Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What can we do?

Most of my posts are about why it's good to support a public option for national health care -- but I just read this brilliant post, which gives a solid set of guidelines about having health care debates with those who don't support reform, and it reminded me of this AskMetafilter question, which asks what supporters of the public option can do to ensure that it becomes law. Here's my brief list:

1) Write your representative and senators. If they support a public option/legislature you like, write a letter of support; if they don't, call on them to change their minds. Here's a brief introduction that will help get you started -- all I would add to their list is to be persistent! Every polite letter gets read and considered, if only briefly.

2) Write a letter to the editor or op-ed piece for the press you read -- including alternative weeklies, magazines, newsletters, church bulletins, and anything else. Another brief introduction, to which I would add that many letters in city newspapers refer specifically to an article run in the paper, and that you have an advantage in writing to a paper that you already read.

3) Visit a town hall -- here are lists of upcoming Democratic and Republican town halls all over the country, and they run through late September, so there's plenty of time. I'm of the opinion (I've never been) that just going and sitting quietly and listening to what your representative has to say has a positive impact on the debate -- six people screaming makes a lot less sense when they're in a crowd of two hundred who came to listen.

4) Get organized with a Public Interest Research Group -- they're organized by state, like MoPIRG (Missouri) and CalPIRG (California). They're running campaigns right now in support of the public option, and are usually happy to accept letters, volunteers and donations.

5) Leave me a comment! Well, that's more of a gesture of support than it is actual support. Start with 1-4, and then use 5 to let me know what happened.

EDIT: 6) Or, if you're a Whole Foods customer, write them and let them know that you think this op-ed is a stellar piece of trash (which is to say, stellar trash, which is to say a plume of hot waste gas).

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