If you haven't called your Senators and told them to reject budget resolutions that take from Medicaid and Medicare so they can pass more tax-cuts-for-the-rich, now's the time. (Alternately, you can email your Reps, courtesy the Coalition on Human Needs.) These clowns just flinched in the face of public opposition to the Medicaid and Medicare cuts in the multiple health care "reform" bills that didn't pass, so why would they think people would be sanguine toward the nearly $50 billion in annual Medicare cuts or the $130 billion in annual Medicaid cuts the Senate budget proposes? Republican Senators will no doubt respond that they have to pass something so they can get to reconciliation and pass a better bill -- a logic rejected by Sens. McCain, Collins, and Murkowski in health care bill votes this year -- or that Republicans have to have something to show for this year so their big donors will start donating again. Now there is a matter no civilized American should ever give a damn about.
Meanwhile, the House bill reauthorizing the Children's Health Insurance Program (or CHIP) would also take money from Medicaid and Medicare! Said bill would make it considerably harder for Medicaid recipients to get prenatal and pediatric care, while it would also force Medicare recipients making over $85,000 (or couples making more than $170,000) pay more money to cover non-hospital health care and prescription drug costs -- up to 80% of their premiums! So Republicans are essentially holding poor and middle-class folks -- making $85,000 annually sure doesn't put you "in the club" -- hostage in order to reauthorize a program they should never have let lapse. Don't folks pay into Medicaid and Medicare their whole lives so it'll be there for them? And you know if President Obama had proposed these initiatives Republicans would have a tantrum as if he were strangling poor people with his bare hands. Hence CREDO helps you tell your Congressfolk to reauthorize CHIP without all the damn poison pills.
Finally, Pennsylvania residents, take note: if you've missed previous opportunities to tell your state legislators to fight partisan gerrymandering by supporting HB 722/SB 22, then the Sierra Club still helps you do that. I really wish we could trust our legislators to do the job right, but we can't -- they do the job so that it benefits them, and the safer their seats are, the less responsive they'll be to their constituents, and the more responsive they'll be to their big donors and all the unearned largesse they can lavish on legislators. HB 722/SB 22 -- which has bipartisan support from nearly half of the state Assembly, presumably the less selfish half -- would create a bipartisan redistricting commission to redraw legislative districts in Pennsylvania, thus placing obstacles in one party or another's efforts to gerrymander a state to their electoral advantage. Naked collusion is still possible, I suppose, but it'd be more difficult -- and all we really want (or need) is a fighting chance.