San Jose, California. The news item below was sent to us by Fred Hirsch, Executive Board member and former Vice President of Local 393, Plumbers, Steamfitters & Refrigeration Fitters in San Jose.
We urge all union members to contact their own congressperson and let them know that you and your union have endorsed HR 676. Urge them to vote for the single payer HR 676 amendment which will be offered by Representative Weiner (D-NY) during the debate in the House on healthcare reform.
AS THE MAN SAYS, “YES WE CAN!”
Yesterday (8⁄26) a dozen members and officers of Plumbers and Fitters Local 393 in San Jose staffed telephones in our union office from 5:00-8:30 PM, calling members to ask them, to in turn, call their own Representatives in their own Congressional Districts to urge support of H.R. 676, the Single Payer, Medicare for All bill. Speaker Pelosi has assured Rep. Anthony Weiner that H.R. 676 will be heard on the House floor.
We told our brothers and sisters that our union has been supporting such universal and comprehensive health care for many years. We detailed the enormous economic advantage it would have on our paychecks, in the payments of our retirees and on the health and future of our families and of all people in our country. The response was almost invariably positive (only two reported negative responses.) We gave the local and Washington, D.C. phone numbers of the Congressmembers and asked that, after they made their call, they urge their family members and co-workers to do the same.
We had a short script for messages, which we left on answering machines, so that not a single call was wasted – and we’ll do the same or better next week. Then we’ll have the advantage of using the vigorous and eloquent message from our fallen Senator, Ted Kennedy. His statement on Utube, Democracy Now, and on some other TV is, that we should all have universal and comprehensive health coverage - the same health care as members of Congress and the President.
What we did last night, we’ll do again, and do it better, next week. You and your union can do likewise. The script we used is below. You can make improvements. Please get it on. Si Se Puede!
Tom Alexander, Member Advocate Bill Alexander, Past President Fred Hirsch, Executive Board Member
Hi, this is (your name), is _____home?
I’m (your name) from Local 393 and I’m volunteering my time tonight calling 393 members from the union hall.
We’re calling to encourage you to make a phone call or write an email in support of Single Payer health care reform.
The debate these days in Washington DC and around the country is about public options and co-ops. For a lot of reasons, we are supporting a single payer, Medicare-for-All approach. For 393 active members it would mean $7.00/hour in savings – money we could put on the check or add to our pensions. For our retirees, it would mean even more. The average pre-Medicare retiree pays over $750/month for medical and dental. Medicare retirees pay, on average, $450 a month. If Medicare-for-All is passed, our retirees would pay nothing. No premiums, no copays, no deductibles. You go to any doctor you want. Note - HR 676 is a call for expanded and improved Medicare for All, including dental, home care, mental health and much more. Win, lose, or draw, the harder we push for Single Payer, the better the final legislation will be.
What we’re asking is for you to call or write your Congressmember. Do you know who that is?
<If they don’t, tell them to call 202-225-3121 and tell the operator you want to talk to your Representative. They’ll ask you your zip code. They will connect you directly to their line. This operator is there 24⁄7. Unless you call mid-day, you will undoubtedly get your Congressmember’s recording, so be prepared to leave a message.
The message: I live in your district. I’m a steam fitter/plumber/refrigeration fitter/whatever and, while I have a great health plan, I am very much in support of HR 676, the Medicare-for -All bill. I am not interested in any bill that relies on co-ops. We need real reform and I want you to know that I will support you at home when you vote for health reform…Thanks for your time.
That’s it. You can write your Congressmember via e-mail, if you prefer. You can get his/her address by going to www.house.gov/writerep . Just go there and click on your state and zip code.
For a direct line to your Representaive’s office:
Dennis Cardoza 800-356-6424 Sam Farr 800-340-3277 Anna Eshoo 650-323-2984 or 408-245-2339 Pete Stark 510-494-1388 Jerry McNerney 925-737-0727 or 408-744-0727 George Miller 707-645-1888 or 925-602-1880 Jackie Speier 650-342-0300 Mike Honda 888-643-4715 Zoe Lofgren 408-271-8700