Alert: Medicaid Defense - tools for recess outreach

Dear Partners:

Medicaid is under attack, and it needs your support. Policymakers have responded to public outcry regarding attacks on Medicare and Social Security, but Medicaid remains a target for crippling budget cuts.

Congress' upcoming recesses provide an opportunity for us to take action and ensure that Members of Congress oppose several imminent proposals to undermine Medicaid. In this alert we've outlined the threats, the different policymaker audiences, as well as activities and resources to engage your Congressional Delegation to support Medicaid over the next several weeks when Members are home (Senate is on recess May 30 - June 5, and House is on recess June 6 - June 12).

The Threats to Medicaid

Each of these proposals would jeopardize coverage for the millions of low-income seniors, people with disabilities, and children who rely on Medicaid, and create new barriers to implementing the expansion of Medicaid under the ACA.

Actions for State Advocates

While it's likely that this fight will ultimately come down to a few votes in the Senate, outreach to all Member of Congress over recess is essential to build momentum against these threats. Where a Member stands on the issue - either supportive of Medicaid, on the fence, or working to undermine the program - should determine your strategy and messages. Use our new messaging document as a guide, as well our suggestions for asking Members who support Medicaid to take a leadership role in its defense.

First, engage outside partners

No matter what activity you plan, don't do it alone! Think about who you can engage that has influence over the Member of Congress - like other stakeholders in your state or state government officials who support Medicaid. Our checklist of potential partners offers suggestions for organizations and constituencies to engage.

Then, make your voices heard

Members' recesses provide opportunities for direct engagement, grassroots action and media outreach. See our recess planning guide for specific ideas, strategies and tools to support efforts to:

    • Attend Town Hall Meetings (with sample questions and media materials)
    • Schedule in-district meetings (with sample talking points)
    • Organize sign-on letters (with an example letter)
    • Generate calls to Members' offices (with a great example from Missouri)
    • Use Twitter and Facebook to communicate with Members (with sample tweets and posts you can share with your grassroots base)
    • Engage the Media (with examples of successful op-eds and a media availability template)

We all know the importance of the Medicaid program, and its key role in the ACA to expand coverage to millions of people. We must continue the vigorous defense of Medicaid. The health of vulnerable seniors, people with disabilities and children - as well as the health of our communities - depends on it. Community Catalyst staff is available to provide assistance and help think through any materials or strategies you develop.

Thank you for your continued advocacy,

Community Catalyst Implementation Team


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