My Stint With The ACA: Why I Was Really There 🌅 🍏 ✌ 💗 🚉

 

My Stint With The ACA: Why I Was Really There 🌅 🍏 ✌ 💗 🚉2/23/2017 Tomorrow I’m traveling to Boston to help with phone banking in support of the ACA (Affordable Care Act commonly known as Obamacare). I’m not a Democrat or Republican. I’m what they’ve dubbed as Unenrolled. I think of myself as a fierce Independent who wishes everyone could just get along—or just get something done.

I don’t think the ACA is perfect. The thing has kinks, but the bones are strong. The flesh needs some reworking. Today, I couldn’t tell you what those kinks are, but I intend to discover as much as I can tomorrow. Perhaps I will research today. So how did this my involvement start? I need to backtrack….

2/04/2017 On this date I attended an ACA meeting with the intention of approaching my Congressional Rep with my request for a Federal mandate on child abuse. Silly me, he was guarded by his Bulldogs (aides) and was unapproachable. I fully invested in the impetus of the meeting because I believe that anything that is wrong with the ACA can be fixed. But I did give a report I had written to one of my representative’s aides on Mandatory Reporting. Circular file I figured. For those of you that don’t know what that means: Circular file is the wastebasket.

Representative Seth Moulton tells us The House had to repeal a limitation it had set on itself not to increase The Dreaded Deficit because repealing the ACA will increase the very same.

2/23/2017 Tomorrow I’m traveling to Boston to help with phone banking in support of the ACA (Affordable Care Act commonly known as Obamacare). I’m not a Democrat or Republican. I’m what they’ve dubbed as Unenrolled. I think of myself as a fierce Independent who wishes everyone could just get along—or just get something done.

I don’t think the ACA is perfect. The thing has kinks, but the bones are strong. The flesh needs some reworking. Today, I couldn’t tell you what those kinks are, but I intend to discover as much as I can tomorrow. Perhaps I will research today. So how did this my involvement start? I need to backtrack….

2/04/2017 On this date I attended an ACA meeting with the intention of approaching my Congressional Rep with my request for a Federal mandate on child abuse. Silly me, he was guarded by Bulldogs (aides) and was unapproachable. I fully invested in the impetus of the meeting because I believe that anything that is wrong with the ACA can be fixed. But I did give a report I had written to one of my representative’s aides. Circular file I figured. For those of you that don’t know what that means: Circular file is the wastebasket.

2/24/2017 I made my way into Boston today. Had to park in the garage under the Commons. Getting to the Democratic office was hard. Multiple Sclerosis plagues my walking. I climbed Beacon Hill, only to find that half-way up I had to sit on a stair. It was like climbing a mountain—damned body. The buildings were eye-candy–ornate door carved long ago in rich wood–visitations of our colonial past.  The red-brick sidewalks threatened to trip me.  Number 11 came up ever so slowly.

Once there, a woman in a uniform guarded a desk in the foyer. She checked me in, and I made my way to a bank of elevators. Fourth floor. Up I went. A computer-generated sign depicting something about the ACA and Chaos pointed the way to an office. A young woman greeted me. I was the first to arrive.

Long white tables likened to cafeteria fare formed an oblong in the center of the small room. Hillary posters hung proudly on one wall. (None of my candidate, Bernie.) Gray file cabinets lined one wall culminating in a table sporting a small coffee maker.  Everything was white and light gray.

“Water?” She asked.

Coffee?” I countered.  ☕

She set about to make me my brew.

I eyed two walls lined with computer tables on which only two of the several desktops worked.  It made sense to me that we had been told to bring in laptops.  Desk-phones (connected to nowhere) resided in a cardboard box.

The second to arrive was a woman about my age. Her name was Margaret. I admitted to my ulterior motive in being there—saving children through a Federal mandate regarding mandatory reporting.  I fumbled for a business card only to discover I had left my card-case home.

“But—that isn’t why I’m here,” I said. “I’m here to make phone calls for the ACA.”

I did that for which I had signed up. We were instructed in the use of their assisted calls network in which we called a number, signed in, and were given a code to punch into our cell-phones. We were to wait to be connected. My small laptop flaunted a script which read:

https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/bb42b61a-e481-43b1-9108-7e590ba1b95b

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Name: [             ]

VANID: [            ]

Senator: Susan Collins , Senator’s Office Phone: 2077803575

Hi is [              ] there?

Hi, my name is [YOUR NAME] and I’m a volunteer with [YOUR ORGANIZATION] calling to ask for

your help in protecting the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. As you probably

heard in the news, Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress are working to repeal

Obamacare. The current health care repeal bill in Congress will take away the healthcare of

more than 30 million Americans, including 77,000 Mainers, increase healthcare costs for all of

us and cost our country 3 million jobs.

Do you agree that Donald Trump and Congress should NOT rush to repeal Obamacare?

IF YES: Continue

IF NO/UNSURE: End Call

IF YES : Great! Republican Senator Susan Collins represents you in Congress. She has put

forward a plan to replace the affordable care act, but her plan does not guarantee that

hard-working women and men, seniors, children and people with disabilities can keep the

coverage they currently have. We need to see a real plan to keep Americans covered before

they vote to take away the healthcare we count on. Congress is debating the issue, and a quick

phone call from you could make a BIG difference.

If you have a minute right now, can I connect you directly to Senator Collins’ district office

so you can tell the person who answers the phone that you do not want Senator Collins

to repeal Obamacare? And if you can tell them about how repealing Obamacare without

another option would affect you, or your family, personally, that’s even better.

IF YES WILL CALL: Great! Let’s just talk through a couple things before I connect you.

Once you’re ready, I will connect you directly to Senator Collins office and you may hear hold

music or ringing. When your call is picked up, you should introduce yourself as a constituent

and ask to speak to the Senator or a member of their staff.

Once you are connected, you should tell them:

Your name and the city/town where you live

That you are calling to say you don’t want Senator Collins to repeal Obamacare. Congress

needs to show us a real plan to keep Americans covered before they vote to take away the

healthcare we count on.

Share your personal reason or story for why this legislation is important to you, your family, or

your community

Before I connect you, do you have any questions about what you should say? (ANSWER ANY

QUESTIONS) It sounds like you’re ready to go. Thanks for your support. I’ll connect you now

(Press the GO button to patch through)

IF WILL CALL LATER: Sure, that’s great. Senator Susan Collins district office number is

207-780-3575 . You should aim to call her office between 9AM and 5PM this week since she is

home in Maine for the congressional recess. If you call outside of that time, you’ll be asked to

leave a message.

Do you have an idea of when you’ll be able to call? (TRY TO GET A COMMITMENT FOR A

SPECIFIC TIME)

Once you reach a voicemail box, you should leave a message and say:

Your name and the city/town where you live

That you are calling to say you don’t want Senator Collins to repeal Obamacare. Congress

needs to show us a real plan to keep Americans covered before they vote to take away the

healthcare we count on.

Share your personal reason or story for why this legislation is important to you, your family, or

your community

Do you have any questions about what you’ll be telling them? (ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS)

We’ll follow up with you in the next week to see how your call goes. Thanks!

IF SUPPORTER DECLINES TO CALL SENATOR: Have a good day, thank you for your time.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

I deviated from the script in that I refused to bang either one party or the other for what the script defined as shortcomings.  I am, after all, a Socialist sitting in a Democratic stronghold.  I hit one caller–longwinded–who decides to give me an extensive history lesson on what is wrong with our country.  He is preaching to the choir, and I have to cut him off after about 10 minutes of trying to get a word in edgewise.  I move on.  I revel in being able to connect 6 calls in 2 /2 hours.  I endure many hangups.

I sigh at 1:30 PM, inform them I am done and ask the shortest way back to the Commons garage.  I leave them with a parting shot–tell them I am there to help, but also because 5 children will die today–and 5 children will die tomorrow–and five children will die the day after that and so on…  I bring my request fo a Federal mandate to protect children to light and tell them I have statistics.

“Statistics?”  One young woman pipes up.

“Statistics,” I say.

Perhaps I have made a difference.

 

Copyright 2017 Joyce Bowen


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About the Author:  Joyce Bowen is a freelance writer and public speaker.  Inquiries can be made at crwriter@comcast.net

Sobre el autor: Joyce Bowen es un escritor independiente y orador público. Las consultas pueden hacerse en crwriter@comcast.net

 

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