TODAY’S ACTIONS: Hoeven and postcards

TODAY’S ACTION #1: North Dakotans, please call Sen. Hoeven and ask him when, NOT IF, he is going to hold a town hall in Fargo on health care. You deserve to know what he is going to do to your access to health care.
 
Fargo: 701-239-5389
Washington: 202-224-2551
If you have used Resistbot enough times, you can use the command “senior” to fax only Sen. Hoeven.
 
TODAY’S ACTION #2: Go buy some postcards if you get a chance. We’ll tell you what we’re doing with them tomorrow. Get a few if you can. Anything with North Dakota or Fargo on them is great, but whatever you can find will work. Minnesotans will be able to participate in this one, too, but still get North Dakota postcards if you can.

TODAY’S ACTIONS: Hoeven and protest

TODAY’S ACTION #1: Ask Hoeven for a town hall

Call Sen. Hoeven and ask him when, NOT IF, he is going to hold a town hall on health care. His constituents deserve to know where he stands on this abomination of a bill.

Sen. John Hoeven
Fargo: 701-239-5389
Washington: 202-224-2551

TODAY’S ACTION #2: Prepare to protest

We’re having a pop-up health care protest tomorrow, from noon to 1 on the sidewalk on 13th Ave in front of West Acres

They say this bill can’t pass the Senate. They also said that Donald Trump would never be president. Now is the time to rise up and be heard, Indivisibles.

Let Kevin Cramer, John Hoeven, and Fargo know how you feel about yesterday’s ACA repeal vote. Bring a sign if you can. We’ll make extras, too.

RULES FOR THIS EVENT:
1. This is a NONVIOLENT PROTEST. Violence of any kind will not be tolerated.

2. DO NOT OBSTRUCT THE SIDEWALK. Leave room for other pedestrians and cyclists to go by. Even if they say mean things to you. Ignore it and let them pass.

3. We have the right to peacefully assemble on public property, but if we are asked by police officers to disperse, we listen. We are not trying to get arrested.

Please RSVP at our Facebook event. If you are not a Facebook user, please email us at indivisiblefm@gmail.com to let us know you’re coming.

URGENT ACTION: ACA repeal vote is today!

The ACA repeal vote is set for TODAY. If this bill becomes law, PEOPLE WILL DIE. High-risk pools will not save them. 35 states had high-risk pools before the ACA. If they had worked, we wouldn’t have needed the ACA in the first place.

North Dakotans, please call Kevin Cramer today and tell him to vote no. He is going to vote yes. Call him anyway. Your voice matters. You don’t want to look back one day and feel like you didn’t do enough.

Rep. Kevin Cramer
Fargo: 701-356-2216
D.C.: 202-225-2611
Text RESIST to 50409 to have your message faxed.

ACA Repeal Update

As of this morning, they still don’t have the votes to pass the ACA repeal bill. The changes they made to the bill to get conservatives on board have been too much for some of the more moderate Republicans to agree to vote for it. Current estimates are that if two more of the undecideds flip to no, this is not going to a vote. It’s not over yet, though.

Our understanding is that Rep. Peterson remains a no and that Rep. Cramer is a firm yes. If we get the sense that either of those might change, we will let you know right away. If you’re looking for an action to take, please call your friends and family in Republican districts and ask them to call their representatives to ask them to vote no.

TODAY’S EMERGENCY ACTION: Save the ACA (again)!

The ACA repeal vote could be coming back as soon as TOMORROW. Remember how bad it was before? They’ve found a way to make it even worse!

They have added an amendment get the votes of the “Freedom Caucus” this time around. It will allow states to decide that insurance companies can charge you whatever they want if you have a pre-existing condition or if you are older but not eligible for Medicare. They can’t deny you coverage, but they can make it so expensive that you won’t be able to afford it.

The Center for American Progress estimatesbecause an individual with asthma costs an issuer 106 percent more than a healthy 40-year-old, she would face a premium surcharge of $4,340. The surcharge for diabetes would be $5,600 per year. Coverage could become prohibitively expensive for those in dire need of care: Insurers would charge about $17,320 more in premiums for pregnancy, $26,580 more for rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders, and $142,650 more for patients with metastatic cancer.”

Whether or not this passes the House will come down to the votes of these members of Congress. If you know anyone who lives in one of these districts, please ask them to call their representative TODAY and ask them to vote NO on the AHCA.

We made a spreadsheet with these representatives’ phone numbers, which you can see here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/14MNNRnOX7R9fVXweu2ZrM23RBOuWUiNaT8jyNZV8kTk/edit?usp=sharing

You can also call your own representative. We assume Cramer is still a yes and Peterson is still a no, but we have not verified that.

Rep. Kevin Cramer
Fargo: 701-356-2216
D.C.: 202-225-2611
Text RESIST to 50409 to have your message faxed.

Rep. Collin Peterson
Detroit Lakes: 218-847-5056
D.C.: 202-225-2165
Resistbot isn’t working for Rep. Peterson because his fax line is down. When you call, you could also ask them to fix that.

This is REALLY IMPORTANT. Please do this today if you can.

 

 

TODAY’S ACTION: No war with North Korea

 
Meanwhile, members of the administration, like Mike Pence and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, have been making statements like, “the era of strategic patience is over.” What does that mean?
 
There is no doubt that the situation in North Korea is complicated and dangerous, and it would be no matter who is sitting in the Oval Office right now. Do you trust Donald Trump to navigate us through a confrontation with North Korea?
 
A 2013 Army war game found it would take 56 days and 90,000 troops to secure North Korea’s nuclear weapons if the Kim regime collapsed. And that’s without any shots fired to take Kim out.
 
In addition, China is obligated by treaty to defend North Korea if it is attacked by another country. Are you ready to go to war with North Korea and China?
 
Call your Senators today and tell them that you do NOT want them to authorize the use of military force against North Korea. You can also text RESIST to 50409 to fax your message via text.
 
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp
Fargo: 701-232-8030
Washington: 202-224-2043

 

Sen. John Hoeven
Fargo: 701-239-5389
Washington: 202-224-2551

 

Sen. Al Franken
St. Paul: 651-221-1016
Washington: 202-224-5641
Moorhead: 218-284-8721

 

Sen. Amy Klobuchar
Minneapolis: 612-727-5220
Washington: 202-224-3244
Moorhead: 218-287-2219

TODAY’S ACTION: Stop the shutdown

The federal government will shut down at midnight on Friday if Congress doesn’t pass legislation to keep it funded. Trump wants funding for his border wall added to that legislation, and he’s telling Democrats that he will stop paying ACA subsidies to health insurance companies if they don’t agree to partially fund construction of the wall in this bill.

The Democrats say that they will not vote for a bill that includes funding for the wall. After all, Trump campaigned on a promise that Mexico would pay for the wall, not American taxpayers.

Right now, it seems like the only way to avert a shutdown is to remove the wall funding provision from the bill. We are calling the House first because that’s where the first vote will happen.

“Hi, my name is _____ and my zip code is _____. I’m calling because I want the Congressman to do everything he can to avert the government shutdown that could start on Friday. I do not want a border wall, and I shouldn’t have to pay for it.”

Rep. Kevin Cramer
Fargo: 701-356-2216
D.C.: 202-225-2611
Text RESIST to 50409 to have your message faxed.

Rep. Collin Peterson
Detroit Lakes: 218-847-5056
D.C.: 202-225-2165
Text RESIST to 50409 to have your message faxed.

Heitkamp Town Hall Recap

Senator Heitkamp held a town hall yesterday in Fargo that was largely focused on health care. She was joined by Pat Gulbranson, CEO of Family HealthCare, Dr. Josh Wynne, Dean of UND Medical School, and Dr. Greg Glasner, CEO of Essentia, who were there to answer questions and share their perspectives. It was a helpful and informative conversation, and we thank Sen. Heitkamp for taking the time to talk to her constituents about this issue.

On the state of the ACA

Sen. Heitkamp said that the Medicaid expansion is working well. Concerns about the ACA are most often about exchanges. Because older people cannot be charged more than three times more than a younger person, the costs of getting insurance have been prohibitive for younger people.

On the Republican “Repeal and Replace” plan (the AHCA)

The Republican plan would phase out the Medicaid expansion. It would also change the funding of traditional Medicaid from mandated payments from the federal government to a lump sum that the states can decide how to use. Over 10 years, federal government spending on Medicaid would be reduced by $880 billion. The North Dakota legislature would have to allocate $250 million to make up for that shortfall.

According to Sen. Heitkamp, older Americans who do not qualify for Medicare will be hurt the most if the AHCA passes.

On what’s happening in North Dakota

Pat Gulbranson of Family HealthCare said that his organization serves low income and homeless people, and they are seeing increasing demand. They just built a West Fargo clinic and it is already too small. They have 15 dental chairs going every day and several hundred people on the waiting list. Their biggest challenge is workforce recruitment and retention. Family physicians, nurses, and support staff are hard to get.

Dr. Wynne of UND said that workforce recruitment is a big issue in health care in North Dakota. From a national perspective, we spend 50% more per person than any other country in the world. We spend more than $10,000 on each person in the US per year–18% of our GDP. The average person on Medicare puts $1 in and gets $3 out, which raises the national debt. In 10 years, we are going to spend 20% of all dollars on health care in US. We have a problem with how we are going to pay for health care.

Dr. Glasner of Essentia said that for him, uncertainty is the biggest problem with trying to deliver care. 60% of their patients are on Medicare or Medicaid. Not knowing what the law might be in a year or two makes it hard for them to plan. He also said that there are not enough doctors for everybody to have a primary care provider anymore.

On Medicare for All

Responding to a question on a single-payer system, Sen. Heitkamp said that everybody believes that a lot of the cost problems you see in health care costs are inefficiencies from not having single-payer, but Medicare and Medicaid are costs are expanding, too. The decision was made in 2010 to go with a market-based system–the question is how to we fix the system we have.

She would like to lower the Medicare eligibility age to 60. That would help lower costs on the exchanges, because older people are more expensive to insure.

On how to stop the AHCA

Sen. Heitkamp said to write our congressman and senators and state legislature to let them know about our opposition to the AHCA and our support for the Medicaid expansion.

On Medicaid funding

Sen. Heitkamp said that she will never support block-granting or per-capita cap funding for Medicaid, which is what the AHCA would have done.

On global health funding

Sen. Heitkamp supports funding for global health as a way to protect the US from future pandemics.

On reducing the costs of care

Dr. Glasner said that 50% of health care dollars are consumed 5% of the population, and that half of health care costs can be attributed to lifestyle choices. Diet and exercise can dramatically lower the cost of health care.

Dr. Glassner also said that if you want to see what’s blowing up hospital budgets, it’s drugs. A single course of treatment for Hepatitis C is $100,000+. Drugs for cancer can be $5,000 to $8,000 per month. It’s very difficult to tell people they are not going to get the best drugs, and the best drugs are often very expensive.

Sen. Heitkamp agreed that we have to find a way to reduce the costs of prescription drugs, but she said that it’s complicated. She does not support importation from Canada due to quality control issues.

TODAY’S ACTIONS: Cramer, Heitkamp, and Hortman

 

Today’s Action #1: Rep. Cramer’s Holocaust comments

As you probably know, on Tuesday, Sean Spicer made some ridiculous comments about Hitler and the Holocaust.

“We didn’t use chemical weapons in World War II. You know, you had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.”

When asked for clarification, he said, “I think when you come to sarin gas, he was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing,” Mr. Spicer said. He also called Nazi death camps “Holocaust Centers.”

This is obviously, astoundingly wrong. Yes, it’s true that Hitler didn’t drop sarin from the sky. Instead, he herded people (his own people) into rooms and sprayed them with a cyanide-based pesticide called Zyklon B. Is that better?

Even Sean Spicer knew what he said was really, really wrong. He begged forgiveness from Wolf Blitzer later that same day. “I was obviously trying to make a point about the heinous acts that Assad had made against his own people last week, using chemical weapons and gas. Frankly, I mistakenly made an inappropriate and insensitive reference to the Holocaust, for which there is no comparison. And for that I apologize. It was a mistake to do that.”

One lone Congressman stood up to defend poor Sean Spicer against the mean media who picked on him for saying something wrong. Can you guess who it was?

Per CNN: “The media is so gullible, they fall for these things because they think it’s really hot stuff and the public just can’t wait to stick it to Sean Spicer — who 99% of the people wouldn’t have the foggiest idea who he is and it distracts them from other things,” Cramer, a North Dakota Republican, said Wednesday KFYR-FM with conservative radio North Dakota host Scott Hennen. “I can’t even believe that anybody in the media, much less all of the major networks, led with this story. A spokesperson, who by the way made a poor illustration, but it’s not completely, it’s not without some validity.”

“It’s not without some validity.”

Call Kevin Cramer’s office today and ask him what validity Spicer’s statement had. Were the people Hitler murdered not “his own” or were they not people? Is it better to drop poison gas from the ceiling than from the sky? And why would he embarrass North Dakota by supporting comments that even the White House has apologized for?

Fargo: 701-356-2216
Washington: 202-225-2611
Resistbot: Text RESIST to 50409 to have your text message faxed

TODAY’S ACTION #2: Send your Heitkamp town hall questions

Sen. Heitkamp will be holding a town hall on Monday, April 17 from 9-10:30 at NDSCS, 1305 19th Ave N, in Fargo. Please submit your questions at this Google Form and we will pass them on to Sen. Heitkamp on Monday. The town hall will be focused on health care, but you can send any questions about any topic. Please include your contact information if you would like Sen. Heitkamp’s staff to contact you about your question or issue.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf3IYeBZsLaurfk1EhPSIddsb73WNdqMRIOrNwBVh8ffNk6Sw/viewform?usp=sf_link

TODAY’S ACTION #3: Support MN Rep. Melissa Hortman

From The Advocate:

While several female representatives, many women of color, delivered heartfelt speeches last week to block the bill before the Minnesota House to increase penalties after Black Lives Matter protesters blocked interstates in outrage over the fatal shooting of Philando Castile, a group of white Republican men played cards in another room. Minnesota House Minority Leader Melissa Hortman admonished the apathetic group during roll call, saying, “I hate to break up the 100 percent white male card game in the retiring room, but I think this is an important debate.”

Rather than show contrition for their lack of interest in a bill that affects their constituents’ civil rights, the men doubled down with a protest letter and a demand that Hortman apologize for calling them out for playing cards while women like Rep. Erin Maye Quade spoke eloquently about her father, a black man who grew up in Alabama and participated in the life-altering civil rights protests in the 1960s.

“I have no intention of apologizing,” she responded. “I am so tired of watching Rep. Susan Allen give an amazing speech, Rep. Peggy Flanagan give an amazing speech, watching Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn give an amazing speech, Rep. Rena Moran give the most heartfelt, incredible speech I’ve heard on this House floor, as long as I can remember, watching Rep. Ilhan Omar give an amazing speech … and looking around, to see, where are my colleagues?”

Please take a few seconds to sign our petition to send a message of support to Rep. Hortman. Let’s thank her for standing up for women of color, and let her know that we agree with her decision not to apologize for it.

North Dakotans are welcome to sign this petition, too, so please do.

https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/thank-you-rep-hortman