This week we met with Flora Csontos from Senator Baldwin’s office to discuss healthcare and funding for the 2020 census. We were joined by members of Indivisible Stoughton and had our largest group yet. Thanks to everyone who has shown up and helped keep us going!
Question: We have been working on coordinating with other Indivisible groups. One group that we have spoken with is Indivisible Hawaii and they had some concerns about the 2020 census that seem relevant since Senator Baldwin is on the Appropriations Committee for Labor. We would like to request that the 2020 census is adequately funded since this information helps us figure out how to allocate our resources and would help create fair voting districts.
Flora: It’s great that your groups are looking out this far!
Question: We had heard that the funding for the 2020 census might be decreased. Is this true?
Flora: I have not heard that, but I will check.
Question: We are against Trumpcare and would like to ask Senator Baldwin to continue opposing this legislation. What is the status of the Senate vote for this healthcare bill?
Flora: The Senate vote has been pushed to after the July 4th recess. This means that senators will have a chance to meet with their constituents over the break and hear their stories about the ACA. The CBO score came out yesterday and it is almost the same as the House version of the bill. People are spending more money for less care. Affordable healthcare is a personal issue for Senator Baldwin. As most of you know, she had a childhood illness and understands how difficult access to quality healthcare can be with a pre-existing condition. She’ll do everything she can.
Question: Will Senator Baldwin have any town halls over the 4th of July recess?
Flora: None are scheduled for July. We will possibly have some in August, but nothing concrete yet.
Question: Do Democrats have a plan of what they would like to do with healthcare? Resisting Trumpcare will only get us so far unless we have our own plan.
Flora: Several people have put forward plans to improve the ACA. While the ACA is good, there are things we can do to improve it. Earlier this month, Senator Baldwin introduced legislation that would help middle-class families receive financial assistance. We want to proactively improve the ACA. (The press release for this legislation is included at the bottom of this update).
Question: Senator Baldwin does not support school vouchers, but I am concerned because Governor Walker does. It doesn’t seem fair that money meant for public education is being funneled to private schools.
Flora: Out of all of Trump’s nominees, we received the most calls regarding Betsy DeVos. We will continue to push back against vouchers. We want everyone to have access to quality public education.
Question: Does Senator Baldwin have any plans to filibuster by amendment? Reconciliation would allow any number of amendments to be added to the AHCA, so it is possible for Senator Baldwin to do this in order to slow down the process. A national group is pushing for this and have created a website, trumpcareten.org, where people are submitting amendment ideas.
Flora: I will pass that along to the Senator.
ACA Improvement Press Release: