July 5 Wrap-up

Lots of organizations slow down when the weather gets hot. Not Our Revolution Maryland:

Saturday June 30, OR – Anne Arundel led our march in the first annual Annual Annapolis Pride Parade and then hosted a super-popular booth where over 80 people stopped by to express support for our progressive mission and to join our email list. There are some great pics in the July Newsletter at 4.

Monday, July 2, ORMoCo and Western Maryland activists met with Congressman David Trone to urge him to co-sponsor HR 1384 – Medicare-for-All! The meeting was reasonably productive and ended on a positive note. Click “continue reading” for Amy Frieder‘s notes.

7/1/19 meeting with U.S. Rep. David Trone, District 6

Introductions

  • Rep. David Trone, Andy Flick (Chief of Staff), Sonny Holding (District Director)
  • Hal Ginsberg (OR State Organizer), Amy Frieder (Constituent), Chris Izzo (Constituent), Janeane Marks (Constituent and R.N.)

Personal Stories

  • Hal discussed his family experience with long-term care
  • Chris discussed lack of affordability, dipping into retirement savings as a result
  • Janeane discussed her positive experience seeking medical treatment abroad, in a country with a single-payer system
  • Amy discussed her positive experience receiving affordable, government-provided health insurance that is not tied to full-time employment and her family members’ difficulty finding access to affordable healthcare due to part-time and gig-economy employment

Presentation of Constituent Letters

  • Amy presented 13 constituent letters with personal stories to the Congressman, highlighting:
    • A constituent in Frederick City whose father and grandfather, after serving in the military, were free to start their own businesses without worrying about access to healthcare because they could receive care from the VA as veterans
    • A constituent in Germantown who, after being diagnosed with breast cancer, immediately worried about whether her health insurance would cover treatment and how she would be able to afford treatment rather than more pressing, personal issues
    • A constituent in Derwood who works as a contractor for a federal agency and who, during the government shutdown, could have lost access to healthcare had it not been for the generosity of his contracting company
    • A constituent in Gaithersburg whose mother was diagnosed with cancer twice and whose health insurance did not cover her necessary treatment; their family declared bankruptcy three times as a result
  • Rep. Trone, who was diagnosed with cancer during his 2018 campaign, agreed that cancer patients should only have to worry about fighting cancer – not fighting cancer AND insurance companies. He acknowledged his privilege in being able to afford treatment and that everyone should be able to afford it.
  • Rep. Trone and Sonny brought up the bill in the house that supports contract workers affected by the government shutdown.

Further Discussion

  • Chris related the conversations he has had with retirees and overall positive regard for Medicare.
  • Janeane mentioned how she worked to ensure her patients received the care they needed.
  • Hal presented arguments specifically in favor of Medicare for All (M4A):
    • The U.S. spends more on healthcare per capita than any other country, but our healthcare outcomes are dismal, even very similar to Cuba’s.
    • M4A would result in cost savings while guaranteeing access to care. Administrative costs would decrease.
    • M4A is popular and would be as big as the New Deal – Democrats should support it!
      • Rep. Trone asked which Democratic presidential candidates support it.
    • M4A is good for business – it would help American businesses be more globally competitive.
      • Rep. Trone said his business spends millions per year on healthcare coverage for his employees, but he believes that providing fulltime employment, healthcare coverage, and decent wages is the right thing to do as a business owner. He described the ACLU Trone Center’s work and his company’s efforts to hire 500 returned citizens who were previously incarcerated.

Conclusion

  • Rep. Trone concluded that we all want the same thing – universal coverage, as healthcare is a human right – but that we disagree on how to get there. He cited the 167 million people who would lose their current health insurance if private health insurance were abolished overnight.
  • Andy said that the best thing for us to do to achieve healthcare reform is to help Democrats win all across the country, and Rep. Trone mentioned the events he has held in support of purple district candidates.
  • Sonny urged us to keep doing what we’re doing and get others involved in the political process.
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