-For Individuals and Local Leagues-
When the people lead, the leaders will follow. –Gandhi
If not you, who? If not now, when?
WHAT WE, the People, CAN DO!
Join our advocacy network.
- Join our Google Group for occasional emails;
- Participate in monthly networking zoom calls;
- Work on advocacy projects like municipal resolutions, convention caucuses and other initiatives;
- Share your social media skills.Link to our webform—for more information or to sign-up.
- Check out our activities in the PHOTO GALLERY. (Use the HCR4US webform to send us YOUR health care advocacy photos.)
- Watch and share the following excellent documentaries. Host a “House Party” and show them to friends or a group to which you belong.
The first six are available from at http://fixithealthcare.com. The shorter versions allow time for discussion.
- FIXIT – Health care at the Tipping Point
- BIG PHARMA – Market Failure
- CANADIAN HEALTH – Debunking the Myths
- BIG MONEY – Democracy on the Brink
- MEDICARE FOR ALL – How Do We Pay for It?
- AMERICAN HOSPITALS (also shorts at https://www.youtube.com/@fixitfilm )
- THE HEALTHCARE MOVIE (http://thehealthcaremovie.net/home/)
- THE TIME IS NOW – Healthcare For Everybody (https://nowisthetimemovie.net/)
- InHOSPITABLE – A compelling story of a profit-driven non-profit hospital (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-Sq_IozI08)
- Spread the facts about Medicare for All on social media, Facebook, and Twitter
- Create or join the League of Women Voters Healthcare Committee to strategize how we can educate everyone about the facts.
- Help develop a healthcare committee in other organizations to which you belong, religious, civic, or community groups.
Learn to listen –> Listen to learn. People can hear what you say, but they don’t take it to heart unless they trust you. So, start with projects to get to know your audience so you can build a bridge of trust. Instead of debating and declaring, gather stories and opinions from people in your area. Ask them to “help me understand what you mean when you say….”
Here are four projects you can model your listening activities on. Feel free to use or adapt their materials (giving credit, of course, when you borrow).
- Healthcare-NOW is doing a they call a “Basebuilding Template.” Find training slides, on-line and hard-copy of the survey, and more at Census Resources.
- Contact information: HealthcareCensus@Healthcare-now.org
- Bruce Watson, Western Mass blogger, offers “Tips for Battling B.S.” based on books like “How to Talk to a Science Denier.” While not specifically oriented for health care discussions, the tips could help in trying to approach people who parrot medical industry talking points. First tip is “Listen, don’t come out with guns blazing…Listen politely to the full explanation.” Plus 6 more tips that sound simple, but can use practice with the mini-scripts he provides.
- Warren George, a conservative retired business executive, commissioned a study in 5 congressional districts in Oregon to probe attitudes about a state-based universal health care program and people’s willingness to pay significantly higher taxes for it. He provides a survey and report of the results, as well as a shorter slide presentation.
- LWV-HCR4US colleagues in La Plata County CO provide materials from their “Survey of Opinions and Experiences of La Plata County Residents”–to inspire your own survey:
Organize and Take Action
- Bring Single Payer activities to civic events in your area.
2018 Summer Festival in Loveland Colorado. LWV of Larimer County’s parade float “An Ailing US Health System is Putting the Statue of Liberty at Risk,” highlights the need for single payer health care. (Courtesy of Elaine Branjord)
- Host a “House Party” and show the documentaries to friends and neighbors.
- Host a public forum on the topic with a film and/or create a panel with allied groups.
- Write a letter to the editor of your local paper.A sample letter in regards to Medicare Advantage can be found at http://healthoverprofit.org/lte-medicare-advantage-dangers/
Similar op-Eds on employer-based healthcare, adapted for different Leagues:
- Massachusetts (with state-based bill in the house)
- Arizona (directed at national Medicare for All bills) pdf version.
- Question candidates in forums and town hall meetings. Include facts about improved Medicare for All in your questions to help educate the candidate and attendees.
Take your advocacy actions to your local governments
- Pass a municipal resolution with help from Public Citizen Tools for Activists. https://www.medicare4allresolutions.org/tools-for-activists/
- One-page distillation of the resolution process by Kathy Yen of LWV Tompkins County NY
- Watch video of Dr. Belinda McIntosh relating the experience of PNHP-GA getting the M4A resolution adopted on their second attempt.
- Larimer County CO LWV Health Care committee members (see picture in Photo Gallery) join with other local activists to get Improved M4A resolution passed. Don’t forget to alert the press. See their local coverage.
- Amherst MA Town Council adopted the following “Medicare for All for Massachusetts Residents” resolution that was proposed by the LWV Amherst Health Care Committee. This is the article that appeared in the local paper, based on the LWV’s press release for which they leaned heavily on the model press release from the “Public Citizen Tools for Activists.“
- Watch Candy Birch of LWV Alachua FL and an ally present to the Gainesville city commission:
League Advocacy at the state level.
These ideas report actions that many Leagues have been involved in. The state League and its positions will govern what activities are open to you at the state and local level as an activist that identifies her or himself with the League. More care must be taken when advocating to federal officials, in order for the League to “speak with one voice.” (See more below, or at the LWV Position page.)
- Support and vote for candidates who champion Improved and Expanded Medicare for All and reject corporate funding.
- Lobby your representatives in the state House or Senate to co-sponsor M4A bills, if your state has one. If they only want to continue to make incremental changes—healthcare only for those who can afford it—find out who their donors are.
- Use an “open letter” to gather signatures and endorsements from different organizations to join their voices to yours, as in this example from Western Mass Medicare 4 All, “Wake-up Call for Single Payer.” It can be found at https://www.wmmedicareforall.org/blog/ or as a petition at https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/wake-up-call-for-single-payer
- Participate in a Health Care “Lobby Day” when organizations coordinate efforts to visit reps at the state capital. They visit supporters and non-supporters, spending the weeks leading up to the day scheduling many short office visits (at least with their health care specialist staff). Generally, there is a rally, and then constituents “swarm” their representatives’ offices. Barbara Pearson (LWV Amherst, MA) and Areliz Barbosa (Spring area, LWV Northampton) stopped for a selfie with colleagues (see in Photo Gallery).
- Give testimony in favor of state-based Single Payer bills, like MA H1239 and S744. Here is an example of written testimony asking the legislators to pass a publicly funded plan run by a Medical Trust to block the financial dirty-tricks and legal loopholes of Private Equity in Health Care.
- Help organize an advocacy “Briefing Day” at the Legislature, focusing on educating our legislators about the benefits of Single Payer. Work with the LWV Legislative Action Committee in your state on recommended health care reform legislation in your state. For example, this is a link to LWV of Massachusetts’ state-wide Advocacy agenda (bills supported or opposed by category) for 2021-2022. Look for the Advocacy agenda for your local and state Leagues.
Advocacy and Lobbying at the Federal Level
- At the federal level, check for LWVUS Action Alerts and organize an education session about one, then get your League to act on them.
- Write, email or call the President 202-456-1414 (as an individual, not a League member, unless you’ve submitted a FARF) . Ask him why he’s working so hard to deliver taxpayer money through the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services into the hands of corporate health insurers. Why are our taxes ending up in stockholders’ dividends instead of delivering health care to every resident of the U.S.?
~YOU DON’T GET WHAT YOU DON’T FIGHT FOR!~
Use Toolkit materials!
- LWV-US Health Care – HCR4US overview: Why take action?
- Tips for a successful event
- Powerpoint “Soup to Nuts” from Phoenix LWV–starts with good tips for preparing for the presentation.
- Many ToolkitResources for your use – Sample Advocacy Tools
Documentaries, handouts (brochures, comparison sheets), PowerPoint’s, books, list of supporting organizations.
- See what other Leagues and League members are doing. Examples of LWV Health Care Initiatives – state, national, and international.