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On Friday I asked you to get on the phone to your Congressperson in the diary, Grab Your Phone...We Aren't Done Yet. Our job wasn't done then and it isn't done now. I need you to call your Congressperson again today and I also need you to call your Senators.

At this point most of you know that our chances to pass health care reform are getting more and more limited. We have a few options at this point, but there's one option that would get the job done quickly and start helping millions of Americans either immediately or within a few months. We need to call everyone, but focus efforts on Blue Dogs and the Progressive Caucus.

Please call your Congressperson today and ask them to pass the Senate Bill as it is now and then tell that Congressperson (and your Senators) that you want them to pass the fixes using reconciliation.

Here are just some of the reasons to pass the Senate bill, so you can provide one or two (whichever is most important to you) while you're on the phone:

  1. Because you can't afford premiums going up 40% in a year or two.
  1. Because you can't afford to get insurance due to a preexisting condition.
  1. Because (as the owner of a small business) you can't afford to provide business to your employees without an exchange.
  1. Because you need a Community Health Center in your area that will help provide low-cost care to a poorer population.
  1. Because you would qualify for Medicaid help if this Senate bill passes and you can't qualify now.
  1. Because your Part D donut hole will be cut back this year and you really need that help so you can take your medications year round instead of quitting in October when you hit that hole.
  1. Because you don't want people to die because they can't afford to go to the doctor.
  1. Because you want providers to be compelled to improve the quality of care they provide.
  1. Because you want insurance companies to be better regulated so they can't just drop people who become sick.
  1. Because you want to see what your very blue state does with the state innovation option, up to and including the possibility of a Single Payer health care option for an entire state.
  1. Because the minimum level of coverage is a lot more than you have with the junk insurance policy you've got now.
  1. Because you want to see insurance companies cut back on their administrative costs and profit and spend more on medical services by instituting a medical loss ratio well above the current average/standard.

As I stated on Friday, the Senate bill is not perfect. The House bill wasn't perfect either. But the Senate bill is better than the status quo for all the reasons above and more. Passing the Senate bill means access to health insurance and health care for 30+ million of the currently uninsured Americans. Passing this Senate bill will also save lives.

Here's the Capitol Switchboard number:

(202) 224-3121 (This number can be used to connect to your Congressperson and your Senators.)

You can look up your member of Congress here and you can also write to them.

The teabaggers are calling to kill the bill. We can't allow their message to be the only one heard.

The folks over at Balloon Juice are calling, so let's double up our efforts and make some phone calls today. Report back on your efforts here in the comments and I'll collect and pass the information along to Tim F over at Balloon Juice. They're trying to keep track of every House Rep's position on the bill.

Tim gives some important advice that I'll relay here:

Identify your name and the town or neighborhood where you live zip code. If you are not a constituent don’t bother. Since you guys never listen to me, at least google a zip code in the appropriate district before you call.

In my last diary on Friday, maineiac gave some great tips in a comment:

some tips

Ask to talk to the legislative assistant. She or he speaks to the member of Congress every day.

Call lots of places. Yesterday, I called my congressman in DC and at a local office, Pelosi, the DCCC, the DNC's contributions phone number, and the White House.

If you can't call lots of places, call your House member.

Try to recruit a few people to do the same.

The only viable approach for anything in the realm of being decent is for the House to pass the Senate bill and to negotiate a legislative patch that can go through the Senate via reconciliation.

If you're on Twitter, you can
tweet your Rep and tweet your Senator. Use the hashtags #passit #pplpwr and #hcr to spread the word on our efforts to call and ask them to pass the Senate bill.

Finally, we may disagree on whether there needs to be a simultaneous passage of the reconciliation fix, or just a fix sometime throughout this next year. That's fine to disagree. Call anyway and relay your message. The more people calling to ask to pass the bill, the more likely we will get both the Senate bill and the fix (even though they may not happen simultaneously). We increase the likelihood of both happening by making those demands to our Representatives.

Remind our Reps that they need to own health care reform and that it creates jobs!! Here's some talking points from David Plouffe:

Pass a meaningful health insurance reform package without delay. Americans' health and our nation's long-term fiscal health depend on it. I know that the short-term politics are bad. It's a good plan that's become a demonized caricature. But politically speaking, if we do not pass it, the GOP will continue attacking the plan as if we did anyway, and voters will have no ability to measure its upside. If we do pass it, dozens of protections and benefits take effect this year. Parents won't have to worry their children will be denied coverage just because they have a preexisting condition. Workers won't have to worry that their coverage will be dropped because they get sick. Seniors will feel relief from prescription costs. Only if the plan becomes law will the American people see that all the scary things Sarah Palin and others have predicted -- such as the so-called death panels -- were baseless. We own the bill and the health-care votes. We need to get some of the upside. (P.S.: Health care is a jobs creator.)

Let's make sure our Representatives hear from us - and hear us reinforcing Plouffe's very smart and strategic message. The Blue Dogs and the Progressive Caucus especially need to hear from you!

Here's the Capitol Switchboard number:

(202) 224-3121 (This number can be used to connect to your Congressperson and your Senators.)

You can look up your member of Congress here and you can also write to them.

Originally posted to Elise on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 06:48 AM PST.

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