Friday Actions: Emergency Leave, Medicaid Expansion, and More

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8 mins read

****Actions 3/13/2020****

CENSUS

Fill Out the Census Forms, then Remind Your Friends
Many of you should have received census forms in the mail today. Go get the envelope. I’ll wait….Fill it out and send it in. Then remind your friends to do the same. There are enormous benefits to an accurate census. It will ensure that North Carolina gets adequate representation. It will help with redrawing districts. It will help the government to apportion out federal resources. If you need reasons to fill it out, go here:

Reasons to do the Census:
https://www.prb.org/importance-of-us-census/

Instructions on how to do the Census Online:
https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/3/12/21168139/2020-census-online-how-to


FEDERAL

Tell the Senate to Support Emergency Paid Sick Leave
Democrats have been working to expedite legislation that would guarantee paid sick leave for workers. The bill sponsored by Murray in the Senate and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) in the House would immediately guarantee workers 14 days of paid sick leave in the event of a public health emergency like the current one. Workers would separately accrue up to seven sick days over the course of a year under the bill. This solution is far more effective than Trump’s promise to temporarily repeal the payroll tax, which would have the long-term impact of defunding Social Security.

Democrats are also calling for free coronavirus tests, protections for healthcare workers, more Medicaid funding, enhanced unemployment insurance, and increased food security initiatives. So far, Republicans have refused to agree to any of these. Meanwhile, they dumped $1.5 trillion–yes trillion–into the market ostensibly to stabilize it. Pressure worked at least a little today. McConnell was originally going to let the Senate go into a planned recess this weekend, but your calls (and thousands of others across the country) pressured him into staying and hopefully negotiating with Pelosi. These issues are urgent, and the Senate needs to take care of business immediately.

Details:
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/senate-gop-blocks-emergency-paid-sick-leave-legislation-from-moving-forward_n_5e691016c5b68d61645ebff9

Script:
Hello, I am a constituent from zip code ___________ calling to urge Sen. ______________ to support legislation that would guarantee workers 14 days of paid sick leave in the event of a public health emergency like the current one we are facing with the Coronavirus. We also need free coronavirus tests, protections for healthcare workers, more Medicaid funding, enhanced unemployment insurance, and increased food security initiatives, including expanding  SNAP benefits.  Thank you.

Federal Contact Numbers:
Thom Tillis: DC: (202) 224-6342
Richard Burr DC: (202) 224-3154
Tim Scott (SC): Washington, DC: 202-224-6121
Lindsey Graham (SC): Washington, DC: 202-224-5972


Restore SNAP Benefits
Back in December, the Trump administration approved a new rule that is estimated to cut off nearly 700,000 unemployed people from food assistance provided by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP (formerly known as food stamps). The rule, which makes it harder for states to waive the federal program’s work requirements in areas of high unemployment, targets a group of people known, in the bureaucratic language of public-assistance programs, as ABAWDs—“able-bodied adults without dependents.” That rule is set to go into effect on April 1, just as we are entering a global pandemic that will leave many people unable to work. Congress needs to pass a bill rescinding this rule change to make sure that more people will be able eat nutritional meals.

Details:
https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2019/12/trump-snap-food-stamps-cuts/603367/

Script:
Hello, I am a constituent from zip code ___________ calling to urge Rep./Sen. ______________ to support legislation that would remove the work requirement for SNAP benefits in areas of high unemployment. When these SNAP benefits expire on April 1, 700,000 people will lose access to nutritional meals. This is alarming, given that many people are likely to be out of work because of business closures. If anything we should be expanding SNAP benefits to more people. Thank you.

Federal Contact Numbers:
Thom Tillis: DC: (202) 224-6342
Richard Burr DC: (202) 224-3154
Tim Scott (SC): Washington, DC: 202-224-6121
Lindsey Graham (SC): Washington, DC: 202-224-5972
House: https://www.house.gov/representatives/


STATE

Medicaid Expansion
Keep working on this one. We are now seeing the destructive impact of the NC GOP’s refusal to expand Medicaid. Because the NC GOP stubbornly refuses to allow the Affordable Care Act to work like it should, thousands of North Carolina residents have been unable to get health coverage. This will potentially have a huge impact when it comes to providing treatment for people with the Coronavirus. But it also impacts us in other ways. Vidant Health, in Greenville, was forced to lay off nearly 200 employees because of budget shortfalls due to people receiving treatment but being unable to pay their bills.

As G.K. Butterfield explains it, “Rural hospitals operate on razor thin margins and often do not have the capacity to absorb these costs. Studies have found that when states expand Medicaid uninsured rates for low-income adults decline drastically, which reduces uncompensated care and gives lifelines to rural hospitals. The General Assembly’s decision not to expand Medicaid has not only harmed patient access to care and the overall health care system of eastern North Carolina, but the economy as well.” With so many people facing financial difficulties, now is the time to remind our lawmakers that expanding Medicaid would not only save lives but also would protect jobs in rural communities. This call is most urgent if you have a GOP rep, as most Democrats already support it.

Details:
https://www.wakeweekly.com/stories/butterfield-blames-lawmakers-for-vidant-health-layoffs-sw,203418

Script:
Hello, I am a constituent calling from ____________ to urge Rep./Sen. ______________ to support Medicaid expansion. We are facing a massive, costly public health crisis, and we need to provide people with the health coverage they need for this kind of emergency. In fact, 400,000 people would be able to get health insurance. The layoffs by Vidant Health also show that rural communities continue to suffer because of the refusal to expand Medicaid.

State Contact Numbers:
NC House: http://bit.ly/2CVneDK
NC Senate: http://bit.ly/2DamgAn


Stay Safe!!
You can do ALL of these actions from the comfort of your home. Please be careful and where possible practice social distancing. I want ALL of you to be healthy and active this summer and fall when we are actively doing canvassing on behalf of the candidates who will put our state and country back together again.


Originally posted on Indivisible Daily Call to Action.
Re-posted with permission.


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