If you have "no place to go," come here!


[I'm leaving this sticky. Why not call, if you already haven't? --lambert]

My goodness, but that was an inspiring speech! Obama can really turn on the oratory and tonight he used those mad skillz to ask us for two things:

As temperatures cool, I want everyone to take another look at the plan we've proposed. There's a reason why many doctors, nurses, and health care experts who know our system best consider this approach a vast improvement over the status quo. But if anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses, let me know. Here's what I ask of Congress, though: Do not walk away from reform. Not now. Not when we are so close. Let us find a way to come together and finish the job for the American people.


I campaigned on the promise of change - change we can believe in, the slogan went. And right now, I know there are many Americans who aren't sure if they still believe we can change - or at least, that I can deliver it.

But remember this - I never suggested that change would be easy, or that I can do it alone. Democracy in a nation of three hundred million people can be noisy and messy and complicated. And when you try to do big things and make big changes, it stirs passions and controversy. That's just how it is.

So he wants better ideas on how to fix health care without busting the budget and he wants our help on making changes. Whether you believe his heart is the before- or after-Christmas size, take him up on this. Call, write, fax, email with this simple-to-understand message:

  • We want Medicare for everyone
  • Tax the rich to pay for it
  • We're not willing to settle for anything less

Then ask all your friends, family, neighbors, people standing next to you in the grocery check-out line, strangers on the street to do the same.

You can call or write to the President:

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Please include your e-mail address
Phone Numbers

Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414
FAX: 202-456-2461

Comments: 202-456-6213
Visitors Office: 202-456-2121

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Bryan's picture
Submitted by Bryan on

Negotiate for drug prices for Part D, or use the VA/DoD list, and dump Medicare Advantage to save even more money.

[Would it be pushing it to ask for two more positions on the Supreme Court?]

Submitted by hipparchia on

we can fix those later.

the best idea of course is hr676, but polls have consistently shown, throughout the entire health care deform 'reform' process, that the 2 ideas the public has most liked are [1] expanding medicare and [2] taxing the rich. the wonks and technocrats can battle over the details, but the general public needs to make their 2 main demands in no uncertain terms.

sporkovat's picture
Submitted by sporkovat on

. . . but be prepared with some followup points if your neighbor in the grocery line is also cynical about the efficacy of petitions to the Czar.

because you kind find common ground pretty far outside the conventional wisdom at the grocery store, anywhere.

Submitted by hipparchia on

he asked for ideas, he asked for help -- here it is.

pitchforks and torches are next.

Submitted by libbyliberal on

We want Medicare for All. Tax the rich to pay for it. Keeping it simple. Thanks for the contact info.

Submitted by hipparchia on

it's fun for the access bloggers to try their hand at playing 11-dimensional chess, seeing what they can do to leverage their readership into raising their [the bloggers'] public profile, but the job of wethepeople is to tell our govt what we want it to do. it's the job of the legislators to work out their own legislative strategies, no matter how much jane hamsher wants to beat us up for not having a legislative strategy ourselves.

Submitted by libbyliberal on

I got to re-grind my ax a bit reliving my FDL exit elsewhere on this site this week.

You have no idea how enlightening, comforting and helpful, too, for detaching serenely your share about how it is the legislators duty to do their own strategies and up to us to take responsibility for OUR part in encouraging them. And the groundedness of single payers in the grounded plan is such an advantage, as opposed to the frenetic mode of those who had been pushing for the trojan pony public option, since it was built on sand.. .
You always help me get remotivated making those phone calls. The ripple effect. Making phone calls is so easy, and yet to break into doing it ultimately takes some rallying of the will. And one gets such a bounce from being proactive later.

I think now is the time to push HR676 to Congress from the citizenry. I am amazed that most people know so little of the real health care reform case. I have to fight being over-intense when I share, but it is important to enlighten them. And health care is not as polarizing an issue as others. In fact more on the right listen to me than center left Obama people.

The health care ads are multiplying. And time may be an advantage to that dreaded Senate bill since Obama's returned david p. is pushing for passage. We must watch out.

Thanks, again. :)

Submitted by hipparchia on

for causing any painful flashbacks.

i'm not opposed to citizens joining up for an inside/outside maneuver if they want to do that, but all the talk [and it wasn't just at fdl either] about having to decide what's politically feasible and having to come up with strategies is just another way to discourage ordinary citizens from participating in govt. truly organized organizing is excellent and can be effective, but it's not a requirement.

as for motivation, i don't comment on your posts very often [well, ok, so i've commented only once iirc] but they're a huge motivation for me every time i read them. thank you for posting them.

Submitted by Lex on

(because i didn't give him the pleasure of me watching) and almost fell out of my chair. People have been putting ideas out since before the sausage making process even started, and the best ones were discarded without a second thought by his administration.

But hey, i love the smell of faux populism in the morning. It smells smells like astroturf.

Submitted by hipparchia on

obama is very likely a fake populist, but that doesn't need to stop us from using this as an invitation inject real populism into the debate.

sisterkenney's picture
Submitted by sisterkenney on

healthcare experts THAT WERE NOT ALLOWED IN THE ROOM when HCR was being discussed? THOSE ideas? Like, say Single Payer? I can't stand it! My BS meter pegged when I read that. I've already e-mailed the WH, but, really, folks, does anyone believe that this was anything but a "focus group" comment? Time for a new party!! The comments, feedback from the average patient, neighbor, relative (well, most of 'em, anyway..can't choose them, ya know), are invariably positive for any alternative to the parties we have now. The level of distrust, disillusionment, and utter despair of ever having true representation and ethical government is palpable, and signals, to me at least, that if ever the time was right for something like a Populist Party, it is NOW. Hell, I'll run, I don't care if I'm not elected, I can give SERIOUS push-back to either of the Levin brothers (Sen or Rep) (MI), and I WON'T have ego/future earnings/patronizing world-view wrapped around the run. Justice party time!

Submitted by hipparchia on

that would be so cool if you did. much as i like jeff roby's full court press and violet socks' justice party [and plan to support both of them], we don't have to wait until new infrastructure gets up and running, you can run as a bernie sanders kind of independent.

let us know if you decide to run and we can hold a [probably very tiny] fundraiser for your campaign.

Submitted by hipparchia on

you made my day with this one!

otoh, given the miniscule amount of coverage anything liberal or progressive or people-oriented gets in the national media, coverage on a c-list blog is probably more valuable.

sisterkenney's picture
Submitted by sisterkenney on

nation-wide. And I sure as heck will take advantage of THAT bounce:
And, FYI, research shows an Independent candidate has fewer hoops to jump thru here in MI, just 3,000 valid signatures (no nomination from a convention needed), and some affidavits. Seems the most important paperwork is involved with Financial documentation (ANOTHER reason for public financing :-)
Might get hold of some NNU peeps, see if they would be interested in supporting me..time is getting short.

Submitted by hipparchia on

that could be an excellent source of support and publicity.

yep, the financial paperwork for florida looks a bit daunting, so i've only skimmed that part of it so far. and yes, it looks like independent might be the easiest [and/or cheapest] way to go here too. we also have a write-in provision, and the filing date is later than for the others [and iirc there's no filing fee or signature requirement] so it's an alternative if you can't come up with the sig/$$$ in time. not as good as having your name right there on the ballot, but you might want to check your state's rules to see if it's a possible fallback you can rely on.

sisterkenney's picture
Submitted by sisterkenney on

yes, the write-in regulations in MI are simple..just file an intent, and the date is later. I'm curious-does Florida require state financial statements in addition to FEC stuff?

Submitted by hipparchia on

beyond what the fec requires on the financial disclosure. i need to look into it further. it's one of the things i've put off, in part because the financial disclosure [iirc] has a later deadline than the filing deadlines. also, i was contemplating moving to another state, since i've got family scattered around the country, and was looking into the state rules for several different states.

sisterkenney's picture
Submitted by sisterkenney on

Just accessed Fla elecion requirements-WOW! $6,960 to file as I. Also, their financial filing rules are incredibly complex! (In addition to the 186-page rulebook given out by the FEC-I'm STILL trying to get thru that!) Mite not be a bad idea to check out other states' regulations-for example, MI only requires residency at the time of election, no filing fee needed, and alot later deadline for Independents.

Submitted by hipparchia on

so it's florida or nothing for me.

you need somewhere between 4000 and 5000 signatures to get on the ballot in my district [if you don't want to pay the filing fee] and you have to pay something like 10 cents per signature to get them verified, so ostensibly it only costs about $500.

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

I heard that last night - "If anyone has any better ideas on healthcare, let me know" and I thought, "Oooh! He just called for Medicare for All!"

Light up those phone lines, folks!

Submitted by hipparchia on

he said to let him know if we had any better ideas....

Submitted by hipparchia on

probably that guy was just a stunt double.

Dykester's picture
Submitted by Dykester on

and told the nice young woman who took my message that I wondered whether President Obama's request last night included those of us who were completely excluded from the process because we want single payer? She laughed. I told her that the president had invited the drug companies, the medical device companies and the insurance companies to the table, but that he specifically and repeatedly refused to include any of us who want single payer. That decision, I explained, is why he has ended up with terrible bills, confused citizens, and widespread anger and dissension.

I told her that my insurance premiums would rise under the House and Senate versions of the bill, due to my age, gender, and pre-existing condition. I also told her that I have been calling my Congresscritters every week -- more often when necessary -- to ask them to kill the Senate and House versions of the bills because both bills are terrible for Americans. I said my suggestion is very simple: expand Medicare for all, staging it in, if necessary, so that all of us would be covered for health care. I offered my already exorbitant health insiurance premium payments as one way to infuse new money into the Medicare system, which would immediately give them the 30% that my insurer skims off of my healthcare for its obscene profits and bonuses. I asked that the President tax the rich -- meaning those who acquire $250,000 or more each year, based on not just wages, but also capital gains and all other income so that every one pays his or her fair share.

I ended by telling her that this life-long Democrat was still waiting for Democratic policies and solutions, but that to date, all I've seen from him are the tired, old Republican ideas, recycled from out-dated small thinkers.

I thanked her for her time and told her to have a great day.

Jeff W's picture
Submitted by Jeff W on

the tinkling, silvery laugh which was one of the things that had got her so disliked by the better element." (P.G. Wodehouse, The Code of the Woosters)

Dykester's picture
Submitted by Dykester on

I wasn't the first person to ask whether single payer would be put back on the table. As I listed my concerns (Obama was for single payer before he was against it; single payer advocates were excluded from the discussions; etc.) she kept saying u-huh, uhuh, uhuh, which I took as agreement. When I talked about the 30% profit skimmed out of health care by greedy executives, she said, "yes!" (emphasis hers).

Submitted by hipparchia on

thanks for calling, and thanks for reporting back to us. i'm pretty limited on phone calling during the ordinary workday, so i resort to email, snail mail, and faxes usually.

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

my colleague practically sits in my lap, the way the workspace is set up. Plus, making political calls from work is not usually a smart idea.

Submitted by hipparchia on

Plus, making political calls from work is not usually a smart idea.

exactly. in my [medium-large] workplace there were only 2 of us who admitted out loud to voting for the democrat in 2004 and the other one retired shortly after that.

as for 'togetherness' at work, i've been in the same situation as you as well as working in a cubicle where it only looks like you have some semblance of privacy.

Submitted by hipparchia on

that's too much closeness for me. i've worked in situations where you had to trip over two or three people to get to the only phone in the room, but i've never had to trip over someone just to get up from my desk.

marcopolo's picture
Submitted by marcopolo on

Sent a brief and forceful e-mail message in support of Medicare for All paid for by a progressive income tax.

Submitted by hipparchia on

Medicare for All paid for by a progressive income tax is an excellent message.

letsgetitdone's picture
Submitted by letsgetitdone on

Thanks hipparchia. It's clean, simple, and to the point. And it's what people should be telling their legislators and their President. Everybody In; Nobody Out!

Submitted by hipparchia on

thanks for the reminder, as clean and simple also makes it easier [and/or less scary] for everybody to participate. it's easy to get all caught up in the wonkishness when that's the pond you're used to swimming in, and easy to forget that probably 99 and 44/100 % of the population doesn't care about wonk, they just want results.