Action Alert: Health Reform Passed!

Dear Partners:

Yesterday the Senate and House passed the Health and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act - the final piece of this year-long health reform effort. The reconciliation bill includes provisions to strengthen the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Specifically, it lowers premiums and out-of-pocket costs for low- and middle-income families, closes the doughnut hole for seniors, and ensures that existing health insurance plans abide by the new insurance market reforms. Early next week President Obama will sign this final piece of the health care reform package.

Members of Congress voted to make health care reform a reality for America's families.  You can find the roll call vote for the reconciliation bill online for both the Senate and the House. We ask that you please be sure your networks and partners know how their Members voted. 

As they head home for the Spring Recess, we urge you to thank all Members of Congress for their work in support of health care reform. You have seen and heard the negative reaction, and we need to counter those messages.  We cannot stress enough the importance of every positive call, email, visit, and event. 

It is also important that we continue to educate the public about what health care reform really means and counter the opposition's misinformation campaign. As advocates, you are strong spokespeople to talk about the benefits of reform, calm people's fears about the changes, and share how this historic law will help real people.

ACTION STEPS:

Make calls: Please engage your networks, staff, colleagues, and friends and ask them to reach out to their Members and say, "Thank you for supporting health care reform." 

Write Thank You Notes: Write a personal thank you note or have everyone in your organization sign a card. Send a note of thanks by mail, email or fax.

Plan events: Plan your own or participate in an existing event, whether it's a large rally or a small group visit to the district office to show your appreciation for Members who voted for health care reform.

Write letters to the editor:  Members read all the papers in their districts - not only the large papers, but also community dailies and weeklies. Personalize our template letters to the editor and place them in local and state papers. Even if your Members didn't support reform, you can tailor these templates to thank the members of your community who did.

Be a resource to the media and the community: Use our template Expert Advisory and Media Availability to make the media and the public aware of your areas of expertise. Include your partners who can speak about specific issues like seniors, children or small businesses. Reach out to your community by holding forums or attending existing meetings to talk about the implications of health care reform.

Connect with people who will be helped right away: Our ‘Quick Wins' document outlines the immediate changes the law will bring and the kind of people who will be helped. Use this to help start collecting stories and building relationships with people who will personalize the impact of this landmark legislation. 

Again, we thank you for all of your amazing work - you made this historic moment possible. Congratulations!

Thank you for your continued advocacy,

The Community Catalyst National Health Reform Team

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