As the health care reform policy debate continues, Americans increasingly are asking where to read the text of the health care reform legislation that members of Congress are debating and how to share their input.
While numerous alternatives presently are pending before Congress, much of recent discussion and debate has focused around one of the following bills:
- H.R. 3200: America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, introduced in the House by Rep Dingell, John D. on July 14, 2009 the text of which as originally introduced may be reviewed here. It has been the focus of significant mark up negotiation through out July before the following House Energy and Commerce, House Ways & Means, and House Education & Labor Committees; and
- S. __, the Affordable Health Choices Act approved by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, the text of which as approved may be reviewed here.
When reviewing these bills, Americans should keep in mind that members of Congress are engaged in ongoing negotiations about the specific provisions and language of these bills, as well as other legislation. Official developments generally may be monitored here.
Many American businesses and individuals also are asking about how and where to share their views, how to organize others to do the same and other questions about getting the word out. Here a some quick ideas. We encourage others to share.
- The Coalition For Patient Empowerment and the Coalition for Responsible Health Care Reform linkedin group are two one of many resources where individuals are sharing information about these matters.
- Concerned individuals should share their views both by faxing, e-mailing or telephoning key decisionmakers in Congress, as well as joining and participating in activities of other individuals and groups that share their concerns. Contact and get involved with this and other groups that share your concerns.
- Contact the offices of your Congressional representatives in the House and Senate as well as other members of Congress that support your views and ask them about other groups and ways that you can share your views. They will welcome your input and involvement.
- If you are aware of or involved in a group that shares your views, we encourage you to share it on the Coalition for Responsible Health Care Reform linkedin group. If you or others are planning a town hall or other health care reform meeting, use this or other linked in groups to spread the word.
- If you are interested in volunteering to plan events in your region, let us know.
We also encourage you and others to join the discussion about these and other health care reform proposals and concerns by joining the Coalition for Responsible Health Care Reform Group on Linkedin, and registering to receive these updates here.
When communicating, consider targeting your messages to members of Congress whose votes are likely to be impacted by your communications.
For instance, with both the House and Senate in the majority in Congress, Democrats generally have greater control over what legislation moves forward. The Democratic Leadership of the House and Sentate generally can get legislation passed by their members as long as they can maintain consensus among the members of their parties. In connection with the health care reform proposals, however, cost and other considerations have made maintaining a consensus more difficult than on other legislation. Certain fiscally moderate members of the Democratic Party have expressed concern about the expense and other aspects of their Leadership proposed health care reform proposals. These Democrats in Congress generally the members of Congress whose votes are most likely to be impacted by public input and feedback generally and from voters in their districts and contributors specifically.
In the House of Representatives, these members likely are the “Blue Dog Democrats.” Read about Blue Dog Democrats here.
The fiscal conservatism of Blue Dog Democrats makes them more likely to listen to concerns about the cost and other concerns relating to the health care reform bills touted by the Democrat Leadership in the House and Senate. In fact, many Blue Dog Democrats already are speaking out about their concerns about the cost and other aspects of the Bill.
Contact from voters and contributors in their districts and others could make a major difference in the ability that the House Democrat Leadership needs to pass their Bill. Immediately contacting these members and getting others – particularly voters and contributors in the districts that elect these members – is one of the most important steps that concerned Americans can do to position their concerns to be heard.
For most concerned voters, telephone or fax contact is the best means to convey these messages. To minimize spam, most members only accept e-mail submitted through their website links. Security concerns can delay receipt of written correspondence for weeks.
For persons interested in making their voices heard and sharing information with others who wish to do the same, the following contact information may be of interest:
The number of the Capital Switchboard is 202-224-3121.
The Blue Dog Leadership Team and there telephone and fax numbers are:
Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (SD), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Administration, Telephone: 202.225.2801 , Fax: 202.225.5823
Rep. Baron Hill (IN-09), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Policy,Telephone: 202-225-4031, Fax: (202) 226-6866
Rep. Charlie Melancon (LA-03), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Communications, Telephone: 202-225-4031, Fax: (202) 226-3944
Rep. Heath Shuler (NC-11), Blue Dog Whip, Telephone: 202-225-6401, Fax: (202) 226-6422
The Blue Dog Members and their telephone numbers are :
- Altmire, Jason (PA-04),(202)225-2565
- Arcuri, Mike (NY-24), (202)225-3665
- Baca, Joe (CA-43),(202)225-6161
- Barrow, John (GA-12), (202) 225-2823
- Berry, Marion (AR-01), (202) 225-4076
- Bishop, Sanford (GA-02), (202) 225-3631
- Boren, Dan (OK-02), (202) 225-2701
- Boswell, Leonard (IA-03), (202) 225-3806
- Boyd, Allen (FL-02), (202) 225-5235
- Bright, Bobby (AL-02), (202) 225-2901
- Cardoza, Dennis (CA-18), (202) 225-6131
- Carney, Christopher (PA-10), (202) 225-3731
- Chandler, Ben (KY-06), (202) 225-4706
- Childers, Travis (MS-01), (202) 225-4306
- Cooper, Jim (TN 5th), (202) 225-4311
- Costa, Jim (CA 20th), (202) 225-3341
- Cuellar, Henry (TX 28th), (202) 225-1640
- Dahlkemper, Kathleen A. (PA 3rd), (202) 225-5406
- Davis, Lincoln (TN 4th),(202) 225-6831
- Donnelly, Joe (IN 2nd), (202) 225-3915
- Ellsworth, Brad (IN 8th), (202) 225-4636
- Giffords, Gabrielle (AZ 8th), (202) 225-2542
- Gordon, Bart (TN 6th), (202) 225-4231
- Griffith, Parker (AL 5th), (202) 225-4801
- Harman, Jane (CA 36th), (202) 225-8220
- Herseth Sandlin, Stephanie (SD At Large), (202) 225-2801
- Hill, Baron P. (IN 9th), (202) 225-5315
- Holden, Tim (PA 17th), (202) 225-5546
- Kratovil, Frank Jr. (MD 1st), (202) 225-5311
- McIntyre, Mike (NC 7th), (202) 225-2731
- Marshall, Jim (GA 8th), (202) 225-6531
- Matheson, Jim (UT 2nd), (202) 225-3011
- Melancon, Charlie (LA 3rd), (202) 225-4031
- Michaud, Michael H. (ME 2nd), (202) 225-6306
- Minnick, Walt (ID 1st), (202) 225-6611
- Mitchell, Harry E. (AZ 5th), (202) 225-2190
- Moore, Dennis (KS 3rd), (202) 225-2865
- Murphy, Patrick J. (PA 8th), (202) 225-4276
- Nye, Glenn C. (VA 2nd), (202) 225-4215
- Peterson, Collin C. (MN 7th), (202) 225-2165
- Pomeroy, Earl (ND At Large), (202) 225-2611
- Ross, Mike (AR 4th), (202) 225-3772
- Salazar, John T. (CO 3rd), (202) 225-4761
- Sanchez, Loretta (CA 47th), (202) 225-2965
- Schiff, Adam B. (CA 29th), (202) 225-4176
- Scott, David (GA 13th), (202) 225-2939
- Shuler, Heath (NC 11th), (202) 225-6401
- Space, Zachary T. (OH 18th), (202) 225-6265
- Tanner, John S. (TN 8th), (202) 225-4714
- Taylor, Gene (MS 4th), (202) 225-5772
- Thompson, Mike (CA 1st), (202) 225-3311
- Wilson, Charles (OH-06), (202) 225-5705
You and others also are invited to join the discussion about these and other health care reform proposals and concerns by:
- Joining the Coalition for Responsible Health Care Reform Group on Linkedin and registering to receive these updates here; and
- E-mailing Cstamer@cttlegal.com to participate in the Coalition for Patient Empowerment.
Curran Tomko Tarski LLP Can Help
If your business needs assistance monitoring or providing input on health care reform or other human resources, employee benefit or compensation legislation or regulations, or auditing, updating or defending its health or other employee benefit, human resources, or compensation arrangements, or responding to employee benefits, employment or compensation related charges or suits, please contact Ms. Stamer at firstname.lastname@example.org, (214) 270-2402; or your favorite Curran Tomko Tarski, LLP attorney. For additional information about the experience and services of Ms. Stamer and other members of the Curran Tomko Tarksi, LLP team, see here.
The author of this article, Curran Tomko Tarski LLP Labor & Employment Practice Group Chair Cynthia Marcotte Stamer and other members of Curran Tomko and Tarski LLP are experienced with assisting employer and employee benefit plan sponsors, administrators and others about labor and employment, compensation and employee benefit compliance and risk management concerns, as well as advising and defending these and other clients in labor and employment, compensation, and employee benefit related audits, investigations and litigation, charges, audits, claims and investigations.
Board Certified in Labor & Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Chair of the ABA RPTE Employee Benefit Plans and Other Compensation Group, a member of the ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits, and past Chair of the ABA Health Law Section Managed Care & Insurance Interest Group, Ms. Stamer has extensive experience with health and retirement, work force and other employee benefit and employment matters. She is nationally and internationally known for her innovative work with employers, associations, churches, insurers and others to develop health benefit, onsight medical, wellness and other employee benefit and employment arrangements, as well as her involvement in health care, pension and other public policy advocacy.
More Information & Resources
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©2009 Cynthia Marcotte Stamer. All rights reserved.