Notes from Post Midterm Elections National Strategy Call to Win Medicare For All

by local activists


You can listen to the recording here:

“It is not going to be an easy fight as the drug companies and insurance companies buy politicians and sell out their constituents every single day.” – Bernie Sanders

Post Midterm National Strategy Call to Win Medicare for All / HR 676

Tuesday, Nov. 13th, 2018, 5PM

National Nurses United with Rep. Pramila Jayapal, Nina Turner (Our Revolution), Sen. Bernie Sanders, Bonnie Castillo (National Nurses United)

Jasmine Ruddy, moderator, National Nurses United — Moderator

We’ll hear from special guests and then talk about next steps in the movement to fight for Medicare For All: Rep. Pramila Jayapal, Nina Turner, Bonnie Castillo, Bernie Sanders and leaders of organizations for healthcare justice from across the country


We want to work together to help the Democrats pass HR 676/Medicare for All in the U.S. House. We need a massive grassroots movement to lobby members to sign-on. We’ll talk about why HR 676 is strategic, how get there, the role that the activists are playing, exactly what all of you on the call can do. We now have over a thousand people on this call.

Where we’re going and how get there. Healthcare justice is growing, can’t rely on electoral process to get there. We have to go deep into our communities, doing the groundwork to make it happen will be a deciding factor for victory.

Nurses care about their patients, many of whom suffer and die without care. Our solidarity is eliminating the inequalities. Roll up our sleeves and get to work for victory.

Nina Turner: Thanks to the National Nurses United who have been on the front lines with a vision for having Medicare For All. It is popular across the political spectrum now. In words of Nelson Mandela, “it always seems impossible until we are done.” All Democrats must support Medicare for All so we can have the best healthcare that our tax dollars can buy. We are going to make sure the Democrats will lead on this, stand up for the people, the grass tops — going to push the Democrats to do this, no excuse for any elected Representative to not support this issue.

We can’t have any other great thing in this country if people don’t have their healthcare. People shouldn’t have to make a choice between their medical bills and paying the rent. People are too afraid to go to the doctor if they can’t afford it.

Pramila Jayapal: Thank you for your vision, this is an idea whose time has come. Medicare for All is not a radical idea. Healthcare is not just for the rich and for the wealthy. Bernie used his campaign to lift up Medicare for All. We know that HR 676, John Conyers’ bill, now has a record of 123 co-sponsors. We are ready to stand up for what we believe in, we have the ground power. We will be introducing this bill, HR 676 in the U.S. House. There will be an inside-outside strategy– get your member to sign on.

Senator Bernie Sanders: Physicians see patients walking into their offices with terminal situations. Thousands of Americans die every single year because they are under insured.

Last year drug companies made $50B in profits and the American people are catching on to that reality. We are being attacked daily by Trump and his minions as they read the same polls as we do. Latest polls show that about 70% of American and a majority of Republicans want to expand Medicare for all. That’s why so many Republicans and pharmaceutical companies are getting very nervous.

When Trump attacks us it should not shock you, he is lying once again. Medicare for All does not weaken Medicare, it will strengthen it. We will expand benefits to include dental care, hearing aids, vision care, all the very important services.

Medicare For All will also be a program that will help small and medium businesses at a cost they can afford. Medicare for All is important for working people who are often trapped in jobs they do not like. The passage of Medicare for All would allow them to think about the economic opportunities they haven’t been able to consider because their families would have healthcare as a right. It is not going to be an easy fight. The drug companies and insurance companies have almost unlimited funds to buy politicians and sell out their constituents every single day. We are not going to succeed unless we tell politicians they have to do what the people want and that’s when we’ll finally get guaranteed healthcare. We need grassroots activity to make it happen, we will then transform America in a way that is a very big deal — lets stand up, lets fight back. This is an historical struggle and will transform America. Thank you all.


Lobbying Congress

For those new to the movement, there are two bills in congress: the Senate bill– S1804 has 16 cosponsors; the House bill– HR 676 has 123 co-sponsors. We now have a real opportunity to move HR 676 in the U.S. House in January. We want two committees to hold hearings and then move HR 676 forward to floor of the house. There are two crucial committees in the House— Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce. We really need the chairs and members of both committees to support HR 676.

We must prioritize our activism on this work. We must move both of these bills forward in these two committees, then members of Congress cannot ignore Medicare for All.

Working with a member of Congress (example: Joe Kennedy of MA)

-build a coalition: nurses, doctors, students, labor, etc.

-sign on letter from over 30 organizations from members in your district and from their national organizations

-social media day of action: Facebook, Twitter

-stand outside supermarkets and got over 250 calls, that’s when we finally heard back from our Congressional member

-he told us he does support HR 676 but has a few issues with the text of the bill

Building Coalitions

We worked on the Affordable Care Act but what people really wanted was Medicare for All. Our goal is to meet at least twice with every Congressional member and create a national network.

Democratic Socialists of America

We have chapters in all 50 states; grown by over 600% in last two years; canvassing on a daily basis. By doing this we find either people are not home or they want Medicare for All! Now is the time to strike while the iron is hot!

National Nurses United

We organized in two states– in Florida and Texas. We contacted non-union nurses work and worked with a core. Now have active groups throughout each of these states. The calling card is Medicare for All as a public policy. Our recent urgency was working on two campaigns — gubernatorial race in Florida and U.S. Senate race in Texas. Needed to have the proper technology so we used RN lists then sent texts via a computerized system to about 200,000 non-union nurses. From this effort we now have 3,000 nurses as the committed core. We set up meetings and talked about what a campaign might look like. Over 2,000 came to these classes.

California Medicare Campaign

Knock on every door, largely led by the nurses. We had over 350 all volunteer canvassers and knocked on 24,000 doors. This was not just about talking to likely voters but having as many conversations as we can. When legislators tell us that they have received over 100 calls on this issue then we know we will win because of people power.

Organizing to Win Medicare for All

What Improved Medicare means is everyone will now have vision, dental, get rid of out of pocket costs. It does not hurt anyone’s Medicare — makes it even better. Trump knows how powerful our campaign is and he will come after us. Seniors love their Medicare and they will be our best fighters for Medicare for All.

Physicians for a National Health Program

It’s an exciting time but also a dangerous moment on two fronts: insurance companies are forming a resistance. They are going to pour money into Washington DC as well as put forward half measures to dilute Medicare for All such as public options and under-insurance. We are so pleased there is so much energy on this call. Nationwide there is now a 70% support for Medicare for All. In our experiences as nurses and doctors the only solution is single payer/Medicare for All healthcare.

National Nurses United, Organizing for HR 676

1) We want all the members of the Ways and Means Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committees to co-sponsor HR 676 then we will have a real shot at passing this bill in the House.

2) We must pressure them by building support in their districts, develop key committees, talk to people across the country, ask for their support, and call into these districts. The ask will be to call members of Congress to support our Medicare for All bill — HR 676. We need mass numbers of people to call into these offices to pressure Reps to co-sponsor this legislation.

3) From Feb. 9th-13th we will do as many mass barnstorms as possible: organizing meetings, hear from a variety of speakers, canvass, and phone bank. National Nurses United is committed to barnstorm in CA (Pelosi, Cardenas, Ruiz, Peters) MA (Joe Kennedy) TX (San Antonio). Organize barnstorms where you live– focus on Suzan DelBene in WA on the House Ways and Means Committee.

4) With mass collective action together we will win Medicare for All, so deeply grateful to you and for all of your work.


Here is a discussion by the Young Turks about the fight for Medicare for All:

Stop the 50 “Ribble Republicans” from cutting Social Security and Medicare

Our federal government is being held hostage by a band of Republican extremists who want to radically re-shape our country.

While Republicans have made high-profile attempts to defund President Obama’s signature health care law, that’s not their only target.

50 House Republicans, led by Rep. Reid Ribble of Wisconsin , sent a letter to Speaker Boehner urging him to make cuts to Social Security benefits before the debt ceiling is raised and our government re-opened.

Paul Ryan has published an op-ed asking for the same thing: Cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in exchange for an increase to the debt ceiling.

Rep. Ribble’s ideas about Social Security reads like a wish list straight out of the Romney/Ryan play book:

• Raising the retirement age
• Slashing annual cost of living adjustments through a new formula known as “Chained CPI”
• Means testing for Social Security recipients

Cutting benefits for those most in need is outrageous enough. Demanding them as a precondition for funding the government and ensuring we don’t default on our national debt obligations is both reckless and irresponsible.

Our Social Security system needs to be expanded, not cut. Cost of living adjustments already struggle to keep up with the rising costs that seniors face every day. If these “Ribble Republicans” get their way, everyone who receives Social Security now, or who will receive it in the future, will see less and less in return for what they paid in over their lives.

Speak out today and tell these extremists to stop their hostage-taking.

  1. Sign the online petitions
  2. Tell Congress to stop talking about our EARNED BENEFITS as if Social Security was some kind of welfare program.
  3. Get more representatives to sign on to expanding Social Security
    Tom Harkin’s Strengthen Social Security Senate bill 567 has been joined by a House Bill 3116 sponsored by Rep Loretta Sanchez. Only Jim McDermott has so far cosponsored this. Ask our other representatives to do so.
  4. Check out the following articles
    “Cost-saving adjustments to Social Security and Medicare” on the table again?
    Both sides agree that a potential deal could involve replacing deep budget cuts known as the sequester with cost-saving adjustments to Social Security and Medicare, such as using a less generous measure of inflation to calculate cost-of-living changes.Dean Baker | Will Seniors Have to Pay for President Obama’s Victory on Budget Standoff?
    Whacking seniors with a cut to their Social Security and higher medical expenses makes this situation worse, not better. It means that they will have less money to spend, further reducing demand in the economy.
  5. Phone, fax and snail mail contact information for all WA State congressional representatives are further below. Free faxes at and Email, for obvious reasons, is restricted to constituents. Phones and faxes are not. For critical issues, consider adding faxes to your activist arsenal. Sometimes staff will ask your address when you call. If you don’t live in the representative’s district, explain that you are holding all members of Congress responsible for avoiding cuts to our lifeline programs.

A note on free faxes: they must be from a valid email address. When you send a fax, they send it first to your email address and give you a link to click on. Only clicking the link you got by email will send the fax. Limit 2 per day, no more than 3 pages. For $10/month you can send more faxes and more pages. If you want to ramp up your activities as an online activist, and can afford it, this would be a good investment.

Addresses of all Washington State members of US Congress

Senator Patty Murray
448 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

District Office:

2988 Jackson Federal Building
915 2nd Avenue
Seattle, Washington 98174

Senator Maria Cantwell

311 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

District Office:

915 Second Avenue
Suite 512
Seattle, WA 98174


Representative Adam Smith (WA-09)
2264 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

District Office:
101 Evergreen Building
15 S. Grady Way
Renton, WA 98057


Representative Jim McDermott (WA-07)
1035 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

District Office:

1809 7th Avenue, Suite 1212
Seattle, WA 98101-1399


Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06)

1429 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 2051

District Office:

950 Pacific Avenue, Suite 1230
Tacoma, WA 98402

District Office:

345 6th St, Suite 500
Bremerton, WA 98337

Representative Suzan DelBene (WA-01)
318 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

District Office:

Canyon Park Business Center,
22121 17th Ave SE, Bldg E, Suite 220
Bothell, WA 98021



Representative Rick Larsen (WA-02)

2113 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515



District Office:

2930 Wetmore Avenue, Suite 9F
Everett, WA 98201

District Office:

119 North Commercial Street Suite 1350
Bellingham , WA 98225


Representative Denny Heck (WA-10)

425 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

District Office:

6000 Main St SW
Lakewood, WA 98499

District Office:

420 College Street SE
Lacey, WA 98503

Representative Dave Reichert (WA-08)
1127 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

District Office:

22605 SE 56th Street Suite 130
Issaquah, WA 98029


Representative Doc Hastings (WA-04)
1203 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-4704

District Office:

2715 Saint Andrews Loop, Suite D
Pasco, WA 99301

District Office:

402 E. Yakima Avenue, Suite 760
Yakima, WA 98901


Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (WA-05)
2421 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

District Office:

29 South Palouse Street
Walla Walla, WA 99362

District Office:

10 North Post, Suite 625
Spokane, WA 99201

District Office:

555 South Main Street
Colville, WA 99114

Rep. Jaime Hererra-Beutler (WA-03)

1130 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

District Office:

O.O. Howard House (Officers’ Row)
750 Anderson Street, Suite B
Vancouver, WA 98661

District Office:

Chehalis City Hall Building
350 N. Market Blvd
Chehalis, WA 98532

Phones and Faxes of all Washington State members of US Congress

Senator Patty Murray

Phone: (202) 224-2621
Fax: (202) 224-0238

District Phone: (206) 553-5545
Fax: (206) 553-0891

Senator Maria Cantwell

Phone: 202-224-3441
District Phone:


Representative Adam Smith

Phone: (202) 225-8901
Fax: (202) 225-5893
District Phone: (425)793-5180
Toll Free: (888) 764-8409
District FAX:


Representative Jim McDermott

Phone: (202) 225-3106
Fax: (202) 225-6197
District Phone:
(206) 553-7170
District FAX:
(206) 553-7175


Representative Derek Kilmer

Phone: 202-225-5916
District Phone: (253) 272-3515
District Phone: (360) 373-9725


Representative Suzan DelBene

Phone: 202-225-6311
Fax: 202-226-1606

District Phone: (425) 485-0085
District FAX: (425) 485-0083


Representative Rick Larsen

Phone: 202-225-2605
Fax: 202-225-4420

District Phone: 425-252-3188
District FAX: 425-252-6606
District Phone: 360-733-4500
District FAX: 360-733-5144


Representative Denny Heck

Phone: 202-225-9740
Fax: 202-225-0129
District Phone: 253-208-6172
District Phone: 360-459-8514


Representative Dave Reichert

Phone: 202-225-7761
Fax: 202-225-4282
District Phone: (425) 677-7414
Toll Free: (877) 920-9208
District FAX: (425) 270-3589


Representative Doc Hastings

Phone: 202-225-5816
Fax: 202-225-3251

District Phone: 509-543-9396
District FAX: 509-545-1972

District Phone: (509) 452-3243
District FAX: (509) 452-3438


Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers

Phone: 202-225-2006
Fax: 202-225-3392

District Phone: 509-684-3481
District FAX: 509-353-2412

District Phone: 509-684-3481
District Phone: 509-529-9358

Representative Jaime Hererra-Beutler

Phone: 202-225-3536
Fax: 202-225-3478
District Phone: 360-695-6292
District FAX: 360-695-6197





Demonstrate on Labor Day to protect Social Security and Medicare

Demonstrate & March on Labor Day for:

Social Security & Medicare

Preserve Them! Strengthen Them! Pass Them On!

Labor Day, September 2, 2013

The annual Labor Day Celebration sponsored by the Martin Luther King Jr. County LaborCouncil is the venue for this demonstration.

People arriving later than 10 a.m. can meet us at N 50th & Greenlake AV N

 The picnic begins at 11 a.m.

  Sponsored by Social Security Works WA, M.L. King County Labor Council & Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action (PSARA)

Robby Stern of Washington State Labor Council reports:

I am pleased to report that Rep. Jim McDermott has become an original co-sponsor of Rep. Sanchez’s “Strengthen Social Security Act”, which is the companion bill to the Harkin-Begich bill, S. 567 that has been introduced in the U.S. Senate.

This bill is designed to increase benefits for current beneficiaries while making Social Security stronger for future generations. By updating the current benefit formula, benefits for current beneficiaries will be increased to provide a better standard of living.
To extend the life of the trust fund, the Strengthening Social Security Act would phase out the current taxable cap of $113,700, so that payroll taxes apply fairly to every dollar of wages. By improving the long-term financial condition of the trust fund, future generations will be able to receive the benefits they have earned while providing fairer benefits to current seniors.

The bill would make sure that benefits better reflect the increasing costs facing seniors today by changing to the way cost-of-living adjustments are calculated. This is crucial for seniors facing the daunting challenge of meeting their healthcare needs.

The changes are estimated to preserve the trust fund through at least 2049. While more needs to be done to preserve and protect Social Security for future generations, the changes included in the Strengthening Social Security Act of 2013 are an important step.

Labor Day action for Soc. Sec. & Medicare

Demonstrate & March on Labor Day for:

Social Security & Medicare

Preserve Them! Strengthen Them! Pass Them On!

Labor Day, September 2, 2013

The annual Labor Day Celebration sponsored by the Martin Luther King Jr. County LaborCouncil is the venue for this demonstration.

People arriving later than 10 a.m. can meet us at N 50th & Greenlake AV N


The picnic begins at 11 a.m.


 Sponsored by Social Security Works WA, M.L. King County Labor Council & Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action (PSARA)



32nd Democrats pass resolution critical of Obama's proposed cuts to Social Security and Medicare

2013-08 Resolution on Preserving Social Security and Medicare

Whereas our Social Security System is a foundation of our social safety net for all citizens who reach retirement age or are eligible due to disability; and

Whereas our Medicare System provides vital healthcare services to seniors and disabled and prevents people from falling into total abject poverty due to medical problems; and

Whereas the American people pay into the Social Security Insurance system with every paycheck they receive throughout their working lives and rely on these programs for their well-being in retirement; and

Whereas the Democratic Party has held both of these programs as vital to the nation’s well-being and our core beliefs in providing essential services to our communities; and

Whereas President Obama promised in his last re-election campaign to protect these essential services and understands that hundreds of millions of American citizens depend upon them; and

Whereas he put forward and passed “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (PPACA), or Obamacare, which is reliant on Medicare’s availability to everyone; and

Whereas the 32nd District Democrats have fully endorsed these programs as part of our own platform; and

Whereas we note with regret that President Obama is proposing to make changes to Social Security and Medicare which could reduce benefits and undermine our nation’s social safety net in his proposed Budget;

Therefore, Be It Resolved that, as Social Securitydoes not contribute to the deficit, we oppose any changes to Social Security benefits, or to Medicare, and we call upon the President and Congress to reject this reckless and ill-advised idea which could permanently damage our entire social contract in place since the New Deal; and

Therefore, Be It Resolved that we urge the President and Congress to look instead for ways to raise revenue responsibly by repealing tax breaks for big corporations and the wealthy and by raising the cap on income subject to Social Security, and to follow through on promises to invest in the middle class and protect poor people, children and the disabled by protecting Social Security and Medicare; and

Therefore, Be It Finally Resolved that our secretary send copies of this resolution to the President and Washington State Congressional Delegation, the King County and Snohomish County Democrats, and to local news media.

Adopted April 10, 2013, by the 32nd District Democratic Organization

Originated by Janet Way

[Editor’s note: I would add: “Whereas Social Security is fiscally sound and hasn’t contributed a penny to the deficits.”]

Rally to defend the New Deal and end the Bush tax cuts, Seattle, Monday at noon

Monday, 10 Dec 2012, 12:00 PM Let’s Support A Progressive Champion – 9 miles away
Rep. Jim McDermott’s Office
32 registered participant(s) (100 maximum)
1809 7th St  (map)
Seattle, WA 98101
Hosted by Amanda Morgan

Description Since 1989, Rep. McDermott has been fighting for the people’s rights over corporations and big money. He has shown time and time again, that he believes in a progressive future and will fight to protect Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Join me in thanking him for all of his work and the work that he will continue to do over the course of this “Fiscal Cliff Boogeyman”.

Wed. Dec 5 Rallies to support Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid

On Wednesday, December 5th, AFGE Local 3937 will lead actions statewide to support Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid. The locations and times are below. The message will be:

  • No cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid, including cost of living adjustments
  • No more office closings, reduced service hours, pushing of Internet self-service, or staffing cuts
  • Release the funding SSA needs to restore lost services working families have already paid forLabor and community organization members are welcome to join us, and bring banners and signs. Representatives of organizations who would like to say a few words of concern and support are asked to contact our spokespersons.

Location: NE corner, intersection of 4th Ave & Cherry St, Seattle WA 98104
Spokesperson: Steve Kofahl
Cell phone: 425-275-8770
Time: 11 a.m. – 12 noon

Location: SSA, 3809 Broadway, Everett WA 98201
Spokesperson: Carrie Kitchin-Kofahl
Cell phone: 425-478-5576
Time: 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Location: SSA, 714 N. Iron Bridge Way, Spokane WA 99202
Spokesperson: Ana Rivers
Cell phone: 509-994-5698
Time: 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Location: SSA, 9594 Mickelberry Rd NW, Silverdale WA 98383
Spokesperson: Ivan Weich
Cell phone: 360-731-9782
Time: 11:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Location: SSA, 1118 S. Kimball Ave, Caldwell ID 83605
Spokesperson: Andrea Wassner
Cell phone: 208-989-5550
Time: 12 noon – 1 p.m.

Right wing website Newsmax suppresses embarrassing survey results about Medicare

Right wing website Newsmax held a survey in which they asked whether to cut Medicare.  Respondents overwhelmingly responded, No, don’t cut Medicare.  So Newsmax removed those results and replaced them with results of a question founded upon a lie.

Below are the original results (copied from here). First they asked a question about cutting the deficit; then they asked about cutting Medicare.

To close the federal deficit, Congress and the President should:

Raise taxes  85,099( 08%)
Cut spending 274,206( 27%)
Cut taxes and cut spending 593,479( 59%)
Raise taxes and increase spending 38,066( 03%)


Do you favor significant cuts to Medicare?

Yes, cut Medicare significantly 91,174( 09%)
No, don’t cut Medicare significantly 894,105( 90%)

What’s significant is that 86% of respondents wanted to lower the federal deficit by cutting taxes and/or spending and yet 90% of respondents (almost 900,000 people) opposed significant cuts to Medicare.

Also, 67% of respondents (965,774) said “No, don’t repeal it at all” in response to “Do you support the full repeal of President Obama’s healthcare plan Congress passed in 2010?”.

Americans love socialized medicine!

The results above were copied from’s survey page: SurveyResults. I reported on them on Oct 24th here.

But if you visit the Newsmax SurveyResults page now, you’ll not see the question or results for “Do you favor significant cuts to Medicare?”.

This strongly suggests that Newmax removed the results because they didn’t like them.  Instead, now they present the question “Should Congress restore $500 billion in Medicare benefits for seniors that the Obama plan cut?”, for which 68% of respondents (961,924) said “Yes, restore the Medicare benefits.” This question is, of course, based on a falsehood: that Obama cut $500 billion from Medicare.

See also Newsmax Uses Poll to Spread Lies.

I found other webpages which mentioned the same pro-Medicare results that I had noticed:  here and here and here, for example.