HEALTH CARE REFORM ALERT! Urgent action requested!

October 6, 2009

Health Care Action Alert

This is an urgent request from Association President Allan Clark to all member leaders who receive the CSEA PAC News Flash.

Your help is needed to generate phone calls and handwritten letters from members and retirees to Congressman Dennis Cardoza in the 18th Congressional District, Congressman Jim Costa in the 20th Congressional District and to Senator Dianne Feinstein.

Those of you who are in Cardoza’s district are asked to concentrate on getting calls and letters to him. Those who are in Costa’s district are asked to focus your efforts there. Everyone else in the rest of the state is asked to work on getting calls and letters to Senator Feinstein.

The reason for the calls and letters is to persuade Cardoza, Costa and Feinstein to support the public option of the health care reform package that Congress is considering now.

CSEA supports the public option, because it not only affects our members, but also millions of people, especially children, who do not have access to health care, by giving them an alternative to the costly insurance provided by the private insurance companies. Although our ultimate goal is single payer health care, we believe the public option may be a helpful step in the right direction.

Private insurance companies have few incentives to keep the cost of health care down, or to improve the quality of care. A not-for-profit public option will introduce true competition into the health care market, taking a big step toward providing true access to health care.

This Wednesday, October 7, and Thursday, October 8, delegations of labor leaders will be visiting Senator Feinstein, and Congressmen Cardoza and Costa in Washington D.C. To show the importance of the public option and to push for its support, we especially want to make phone calls to them on these same two days.

Please make your call this Wednesday or Thursday, and urge others to do so, by calling toll free 1-877-264-4226 and follow the instructions.

Or calls can be made to their district offices. For Cardoza call Modesto: 209-527-1914; Stockton 209-946-0361; Merced 209-383-4455. For Costa call Fresno: 559-495-1620 or Bakersfield: 661-869-1620. For Feinstein call San Francisco 415-393-0707; Los Angeles 310-914-7300; San Diego 619-231-9712; Fresno 559-485-7430.

When calling please ask that they “Support a public option for health care and support HR 3200.”

Calls after those two days will still be helpful and should continue, but it’s really important for us to maximize the calls this Wednesday and Thursday.

Handwritten letters also have a huge impact. We need for those who live in the 18th Congressional District to write to Congressman Cardoza and those who live in the 20th Congressional District to write to Congressman Costa. It is equally important that everyone else in the state write a letter to Senator Feinstein.

Due to the urgency of this vote, if you can, it would be very helpful if you would fax your letter so that it gets there quickly. The fax numbers for Congressman Cardoza’s district offices are: Modesto 209-527-5748; Stockton 209-946-0347; Merced 209-726-1065.

The fax numbers for Congressman Costa’s district offices are: Fresno: 559-495-1027 and Bakersfield: 661-869-1027.

The fax numbers for Senator Feinstein’s district offices are: San Francisco 415-393-0710; Los Angeles 310-914-7318; San Diego 619-231-1108; Fresno 559-485-9689.

If you do not have access to a fax machine, please mail your letter as soon as possible.

The mailing addresses for Cardoza’s district offices are: 1010 10th Street, Ste. 5800, Modesto, CA 95354; 137 E. Weber Ave., Stockton, CA 95202; 222 M Street, Ste. 305, Merced, CA 95340.

The mailing addresses for Costa’s district offices are: 855 M Street, Ste. 940, Fresno, CA 93721 and 2700 M Street, Ste. 225, Bakersfield, CA 93301.

The mailing addresses for Senator Feinstein’s district offices are: One Post Street, Ste. 2450, San Francisco, CA 94104; 1111 Santa Monica Blvd, Ste. 915, Los Angeles, CA 90025; 750 B Street, Ste. 1030, San Diego, CA 92101; 2500 Tulare Street, Ste. 4290, Fresno, CA 93721.

As for what to say in your letter, keep it short and urge him to support the public option. If you or your family have faced challenges because of the current system, please tell your story. If you need a sample letter as a guide, here is a suggestion:

I’m writing in support for H.R. 3200, the House health care reform bill that includes the public option and doesn’t impose any new taxes on our health care benefits.
As the unemployment rate continues to increase and more and more workers are losing their employer-based health care, we need a public health care option now more than ever.

The majority of Californians support a public option. We’re counting on you to stand up for the interests of the working families you represent and vote for HR 3200 when it comes up on the House floor.

President Clark would greatly appreciate it if you would let him know if you placed a call. We have a special email address for this purpose: .
If possible it would also be great for him to get a copy of your letter too. You can mail a copy to him at CSEA HQ, 2045 Lundy Ave., San Jose, CA 95131 or fax it to 408-432-8578.

Please help spread the word by forwarding this message and ask your co-workers, friends and family to also call and write a letter.

Thank you very much for your help in our ongoing effort to reform health care.