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02/28/2018 | Civic Engagement

Hands Off Our Social Safety Net Week of Action

During the first week of February, Congressional Republicans gathered for their annual retreat at the Greenbrier, a five-star luxury resort in White Sulphur Spring, West Virginia, with both President Trump and Vice President Pence, to plan their agenda for the year. They were met by over 500 activists kicking off a month of direct action. Many of the community leaders receive public assistance and Medicaid and traveled from nearly a dozen states to send a message that any proposed cuts will be met with a fierce fight. Medicaid, the nation’s public health insurance program for low-income children, adults, seniors, and people with disabilities, covers 1 in 5 Americans, including many with complex and costly needs for medical care and long-term services. Over 80 million people in our country get their health insurance from Medicaid.

From March 12-18, CPD affiliates across the country will keep up the momentum  and engage in a week of action to fight new requirements being imposed on Medicaid, particularly those requiring recipients to pass a drug test and/or show evidence of employment. 

From New Hampshire to Arkansas, CPD affiliates will take action to show how these new requirements would hurt low-income communities and exacerbate the opioid crisis. Affiliates involved include Hoosier Action, Delaware Alliance for Community Advancement, VOCAL-NY, Maryland Communities United, West Virginia Health Kids and Families, Rights & Democracy NH and VT, and Ohio Organizing Collaborative. 

Our affiliates and communities coming together to fight back on this issue illustrates a real policy agenda that will help low-income communities facing the opioid epidemic thrive. For example, the Ohio Organizing Collaborative is canvassing for a groundbreaking ballot initiative that would turn drug-related felonies in to misdemeanors, allowing people who had been caught up in the war on drugs to get their lives on track. Other affiliates are holding town hall events to listen to the voices of their members who are impacted by this issue.

Our message continues to be clear: Congress needs to protect the essential benefits American families count on each day to survive. If you’re interested in joining this fight, please email cpd@populardemocracy.org.