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ACTION ALERT - JANUARY 2002
DOWNLOAD PRINTABLE VERSION: ActionAlertJan2002


Use the Tobacco Tax for Health Now!

As this year's legislative session begins, we face increased economic insecurity and new public health concerns. We need to act now to pass Health Now! (S.1703/H.2169). It is critical now, more than ever, that we pass Health Now! to:

SAVE—Health Care for Children, Families & Seniors
PROVIDE—Health Care for working families threatened by the recession
PROTECT—Hospitals by decreasing demand on the Free Care Pool
REDUCE—Youth Smoking to save lives

1. Health Now! will SAVE Health Care for Children, Families, People with Disabilities and Seniors, by using the 50-cent tobacco tax and federal matching funds to shore up the 1996 health coverage programs for children & low-income families as well as the Prescription Advantage Program for seniors and people with disabilities.

2. Health Now! will PROVIDE Health Care for working families threatened by the recession, by using the new tobacco revenue to fund health coverage for the Working Poor. Health Now! will also strengthen the Community Health Workers Program to promote public health.

3. Health Now! will PROTECT Hospitals by decreasing the number of people who need the Free Care Pool and reducing emergency room overcrowding.

4. Health Now! will REDUCE Youth Smoking to Save Lives and cut Health Care Costs.

  • Call your Representative and Senator now and urge them to support the bill!
  • The main number for the Legislature is 617-722-2000. Ask to be connected to your legislators' offices. Once connected, tell them your name, and identify yourself as a constituent. If you are unable to speak with your legislator directly, ask to speak with a staff person or ask to leave a detailed message with the person who answers the phone.
  • If you don't know who your state legislators are, call your city or town clerk's office, or the Secretary of State's Citizen Information Service at 1-800-392-6090, or check on their web site at www.state.ma.us/sec/cis.

Suggested script: Hi, my name is _____ and I (am your constituent/work with your constituents). I am calling to ask you to support the Health Now! bill (H.2169 in Senate Ways & Means and S.1703 in House Ways & Means). This bill increases the tobacco tax by 50-cents and the revenue is dedicated to provide health care coverage for working adults, parents and young adults. In addition, Health Now! funds community health workers and other critical public health programs. Now, more than ever, we need Health Now!. Please urge your colleagues to support this bill.


The Health Now! Massachusetts coalition is made up of more than 75 organizations, bringing together the same broad-based coalition that led the successful 1996 effort to pass Chapter 203, which has brought health coverage to over 250,000 children and adults.

Health Now! Massachusetts is part of the Alliance for a Healthy New England, which is working to pass tobacco tax increases in all six New England states.

Visit www.healthnowma.org or call us at 617-275-2928 for more information about the Health Now! Massachusetts campaign.


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HealthNow! The Massachusetts Chapter of the Alliance for a Healthy New England
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