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Call to Action: June 25, 2018


STOP THE REPUBLICAN BUDGET – PROTECT HEALTHCARE


Quietly, while our focus has necessarily been on Trump’s horrific separation of immigrant families, House Republicans have pushed a budget proposal through committee.  It includes severe cuts to Medicare and Medicaid and repeal of the ACA.   It should not be allowed to come to the floor for a vote. 

The GOP tax cut for the wealthy will add an estimated $1.7 – 2 trillion to the federal deficit.  They are using their self-projected image of fiscal responsibility as a diversionary tactic to attack the healthcare safety nets for the elderly and the poor.

Their budget, with the Orwellian title of “A Brighter American Future:”

  • repeals the ACA
  • cuts $537 billion to Medicare
  • permits partial privatization of Medicare
  • cuts $1.5 trillion to Medicaid and other health programs
  • imposes new caps on Medicaid
  • allows states to opt for block grants
  • enacts Medicaid work requirements
  • includes budget reconciliation language so that it will need only a simple majority to pass

Republican tax cuts for the rich EXPLODED THE DEFICIT!  They must not be allowed to finance them on the backs of the most vulnerable among us.  Call your MOC.

Just Say NO to this BUDGET!


**ACTION ONE: CALL OUR SENATORS**

SAMPLE SCRIPT FOR MERKLEY AND WYDEN:

“My name is [–] and I’m a constituent and voter from [city], Oregon [zip code]. I am very worried about the harm the Republicans’ proposed budget will cause to the health of those who are the most vulnerable. Healthcare is a human right.  I ask the Senator to do everything possible to prevent the passage of any budget that does not safeguard Medicaid, Medicare and the ACA.  Thank you.”

SENATOR JEFF MERKLEY 
Portland: (503) 326-3386, DC: (202) 224-3753
Salem: (503) 362-8102, Eugene: (541) 465-6750
Medford: (541) 608-9102, Bend: (541) 318-1298
Pendleton: (541) 278-1129
https://www.merkley.senate.gov/contact/

SENATOR RON WYDEN 
Portland: (503) 326-7525, DC: (202) 224-5244
Salem: (503) 589-4555, Eugene: (541) 431-0229
Medford: (541) 858-5122, Bend: (541) 330-9142
La Grande: (541) 960-7691
https://www.wyden.senate.gov/contact/


**ACTION TWO: CALL COMPLICIT GREG WALDEN**

SAMPLE SCRIPT:
“My name is [–] and I’m a constituent and voter from [city], Oregon [zip code]. I am very worried about the harm the House’s proposed budget will cause to the health of those who are the most vulnerable. I also remember Mr. Walden’s role in previous attempts to repeal the ACA and gut Medicaid.  Healthcare is a human right.  Please remind him he needs to PUT PEOPLE BEFORE PARTY and work for his constituents—not wealthy and corporate donors. Tell him to do the right thing and oppose the current House budget proposal.  We need him to protect the ACA while expanding healthcare for all.  Thank you.”
COMPLICIT GREG WALDEN
DC (202) 225-6730, Medford: (541) 776-4646,
Bend (541) 389-4408, La Grande (541) 624-2400
https://walden.house.gov/contact-greg/email-me

**ACTION THREE: REMEMBER FOR THE MIDTERMS**

It has become clear that we need a different Congress to protect our healthcare. The attacks on our healthcare won’t change until Congress does.

  • Make sure you and everyone you know is registered to vote.
  • Make sure every candidate for Congress is answering questions about how they will work to make healthcare accessible for all.
  • Learn more about ORD2 U.S. House of Representatives candidate Jamie McLeod-Skinner’s stand on the issues by visiting her website: https://jamiefororegon.com/

The 2018 elections will be the most important of our lives.  

FROM THE MAIL TRIBUNE:

Walden has multiple pharmaceutical contributors

BY STAFF REPORT June 24, 2018

I just read U.S. Rep. Greg Walden’s current email newsletter about his concerns about the opioid epidemic. I was wondering if any pharmaceutical companies donate to Greg Walden’s campaign and how much each company contributes?

— Ann, Jacksonville

In answer to the first part of your question, Ann, yes. In fact, the Center for Responsive Politics reports that Walden’s campaign leads the House in contributions from health product or pharmaceutical companies, individuals or political action committees — $51,546 more this election cycle than Paul Ryan, who’s next in line in that category.

That total — $367,700 as of June 11, per Federal Election Commission data — is $187,800 more than what Walden’s campaign raised in the 2015-2016 election cycle.

We reached out to Walden’s office for comment but didn’t hear back.

Looking at PACs in general, Center for Responsive Politics reports that the lion’s share of PAC contributions to Walden’s campaign this election cycle fall in the health sector: $670,700 (again, this data was current to June 11, based on Federal Election Commission data). Among those health-sector PAC donations, those in what CRP grouped into the “pharmaceuticals/health products” industry hold the top spot: $307,200.

Pharmaceuticals and health products hold the second spot among industries that have contributed to Walden’s campaigns from 1995 until now: $1,015,595 — $132,500 from individuals, $883,095 from PACs.

But we can go even deeper than that, Ann, to see a breakdown of individual companies. PACs are limited to a $5,000 maximum contribution to a candidate campaign per election; they can give once in the general and again in the primary. That $307,200 is from 76 companies.

Some of the contributing pharmaceutical companies manufacture opioids. A number are embroiled in lawsuits claiming fraudulent marketing practices of their own opioids: They include Johnson & Johnson, which gave the $10,000 maximum to Walden, Endo Health Solutions, which incorporates the brand that manufactured Opana and gave $2,000, and Allergan, which contributed $5,000.

Walden is engaging with the opioid addiction issue in Congress. On June 14, he and three other legislators introduced bipartisan House Resolution 6, meant to expand access to opioid recovery and treatment. It would address various avenues within Medicaid, Medicare and other systems to offer more options to combat opioid addiction. One Medicaid provision, for example, is “guidance to improve care for infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome and their mothers.”

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.