Congress is now at home on their April "recess." They're not really taking that much time off.
Typically, Members of Congress hold numerous town halls, meetings, and other forms of constituent outreach during recess. The goal is twofold - to hear what their voters are saying, and to push out messages to lay the groundwork for the work that will take place when they get back to Washington. Therefore, recesses are prime opportunities for groups who want to influence the debate in Congress.
During this recess, health care will be a focus. It'll be a focus because Congress itself is making it a focus:
House Democratic leaders urged their members to begin an all-out push during the recess to build support to overhaul the nation's healthcare system in an effort to take the initiative and avoid some of the problems that former President Bill Clinton encountered with his overhaul plan. They are comparing the massive outreach plan to one used in 2005 to fend off former President George W. Bush's public relations whirlwind tour on his proposal to allow workers to invest some of their Social Security taxes in stocks.
So that's the Congress pushing out a message in advance of legislative action in Washington part. Then, there's the voters talking to their Members of Congress part. That's where Health Care for America Now comes in.
We are mobilizing for health care over the April recess, and have organized over 100 events in over 40 states with over 30 Members of Congress during the break. These range from town halls to rallies to other inventive forms of public action. For example, supporters from New Jersey and Pennsylvania recently marched and met in the middle of the Ben Franklin bridge which span the two states. Check out the video:
So, we've got a two pronged approach going. We're building pressure from the outside, and making sure that health care is a focus going into the next Congressional session. And Members of Congress themselves are selling this health care plan to their constituents, again making sure health care will be a focus in the next session.
We're not going to win without this kind of public push. Unless Members of Congress sell their constituents on health care, and unless they see real support on the ground for their plans, there is no way we'll be able to get something through Congress. Public pressure, a movement, that's what we need.
So mobilize with us and help build that movement. Click here to search for an event to attend in your area. And if you can't make an event, at least send a (free!) fax to your Members of Congress and let them know how important health care reform is to you.