If you would be helped by Health Now! or you know others who would be helped, get the word out! There are several important ways to voice your opinion and show your support!
Write a letter to your legislator encouraging him/her to vote in support of the bill and to speak with or write a letter to Taxation Committee and Health Care Committee members asking them to take favorable action on the bill
Write a letter directly to legislative leadership (Speaker Finneran and Senate President Birmingham) or to the Governor telling your story and showing your support of the bill
Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper to show your support for the bill and educate people in your community about the bill.
Here are some tips to get you started:
1) Telling your story
Your story should include:
Full Name. Can be just your first name, if you do not want the legislator to write back to you.
City or Town of Residence include your address so the legislator knows you are from their district.
Names and ages of other household residents, if they are featured in your story.
How lack of health care access or health insurance has affected you.
If possible, How the Health Now! Bill will help you
If you are submitting written testimony, be sure to include the bill number (House Bill 2169, Senate Bill 1703)
For example, (this is based on a real story)
Judy of Springfield—
We have three children, ages 16, 14 and 4. The three children are all covered under the Children’s Medical Security Plan, but we (myself, 38, and husband Richard, 41) have gone uninsured because of the high cost of health insurance. Richard works two seasonal jobs, installing swimming pools in the summer and delivering fuel oil in the winter. Like many seasonal jobs, neither of these jobs offered health insurance. Making ends meet is not easy. We had been fortunate for many years not to have any major health problems. But this year, I developed a thyroid condition and the reality of being uninsured settled in. All it takes is one bad thing to happen.
The Health Now! legislation, House bill 2169/Senate bill 1703, will create an Adult Medical Security Plan similar to the Children’s Medical security plan that covers our children. It will cover preventive care for working adults like ourselves who don’t qualify for MassHealth.
2) Writing a letter to your legislators, legislative leadership, or the governor: Public officials should be addressed as ‘The Honorable’.
Below is a sample format.
The Honorable (Name of your Representative or Senator)
If you do not know who your legislators are, call the Secretary of State’s Toll Free line at 1-800-462-8683.
The State House
Boston, MA 02133
Dear (Representative or Senator) (Last name of Representative or Senator),
(Begin by noting that you are a constituent if you are writing to your legislator). I am writing in support of House Bill 2169/ Senate bill 1703, an Act Expanding Access to Health Care, Reducing Youth Smoking and the use of Tobacco Products, and Improving the Public Health in the Commonwealth.
Although my children are covered by the Children’s Medical Security Plan, I have gone without health insurance because I am unable to pay for private health insurance—my only option. My lack of health insurance has made it unaffordable for me to get the health care that I try to ensure for my children.
I strongly encourage you to write a letter to the committees on taxation and healthcare asking them to take favorable action on the bill.
(signature and complete address if you would like them to contact you)
3) Writing a letter to the Editor of your local newspaper
Many newspapers have a word limit for letters to the editor (sometimes this limit is as little as 50 words), so be brief—show your support but keep your own story to a few phrases.
I have worked at seasonal jobs for the last 15 years. Although I often work as many as 60 hours a week, I have never had health insurance because of the nature of my employment. My lack of health insurance made it unaffordable for me to see a specialist when I hurt my leg two years ago. While they might have been preventable had I been able to get care, these pains have now become a chronic problem, causing me to miss a lot of work.
I understand that there has been a bill filed by Health Care For All and the Health Now! Coalition that would create an insurance program for hardworking but uninsured adults like myself. For the sake of myself and so many others in Massachusetts, this bill needs to be passed.
City of Residence