Before You Carve that Turkey: All In for Bernie Sanders

By Donna Smith –

Those millions of us who support a Medicare for All, single-payer, reform for the healthcare crisis in this nation have some work to do over the next few days. Senators are on their way to their home states for the one-week Thanksgiving recess – and they need a little up close and personal constituent attention before dinnertime on Thursday.

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is a stalwart supporter of doing the right thing for his state, our healthcare system and this nation – and he has said repeatedly that moving toward a just and economically sound system is possible through Medicare for All, single-payer. In the purest sense of giving patients control over their own healthcare, single-payer gives us all control over our choice of providers – and it gives our healthcare professionals the freedom they need to advise us on the basis of health rather than payment source.

So, even though the current Senate bill is not what we want – Senator Sanders will offer an amendment that would be a substitute for that bill and is mirrored on S. 703, The American Health Security Act.

We need to make it clear before our Senators are immersed in their own holiday events and then in traveling back to Washington, DC, that we want them to support Senator Sanders’ amendment.

Call today, call tomorrow and keep calling until the home offices of the Senators close for the holidays – and many will stay open until Wednesday at noon. Tell the staff you want to talk turkey about the Senate effort.

Time is drawing short for our Senators to hear from us. Debate will begin on November 30 on the current Senate bill. Senator Sanders needs support. He has already told us that he does not expect a win on his amendment. But we are all laying groundwork for this nation to move in the right direction before long – we know that the current bills do not “bend the cost curve” enough and we know they certainly do not bend the death or bankruptcy curve nearly enough to make the bills what this nation needs.

Additionally, we want the legislation to contain language that will allow states that opt in to a single-payer system to be able to do so with the appropriate waivers from federal legal provisions which might otherwise present obstacles to doing so.

So, the ask of our Senators – each and every one, liberal, centrist or conservative – is two-fold and urgent:

1. Vote with and for Sanders’ S. 703 substitute amendment; and
2. Support state single-payer enabling language in the final bill.

Calls to DC won’t be effective this week. We can all return to that effort next week. Thanksgiving week calls must go to your Senators’ offices in your state. Look them up here, using your zip code.

Tell friends, neighbors and relatives. This year, talk a little turkey about healthcare. Ask folks how thankful they would be to have healthcare as a basic human right for their neighbors and for themselves. And then help them look up their Senators’ contact information and tell them how easy it really is to call and log your concerns and your expectations for an affirmative vote for the Sanders’ amendment.

Oh, and don’t forget to thank one another for caring enough to join in the struggle. It matters. Everybody in, nobody out. Thank you all for believing that together we can change this, because we can.


  1. Jeanne Zindorf on November 28, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    Hi Bernie, You are the BEst!!!! Thank you for doing this. I am with you 110%. I also want to propose a National Public Mandate for Congress. Here is the Order.
    Mandate to the Congress of the United States of America: “We the people, declare that any member of Congress that has accepted any considerations from any source other than an individual, natural citizen of the United States, must recuse themselves from casting any vote on any Bill before Congress that even suggests a conflict of interest. An abstention is not a recusal. Any member failing to recuse themselves when a conflict of interest is present is in violation of this Mandate and immediately expelled from Congress and relieved of all duties thereof and their vote is nullified. The member will be escorted from the premises by the Sergeant-at-Arms within 5 days of the occurrence. Under this new Mandate a majority now consists of 50% plus one of all qualified voters. This Mandate goes into effect immediately and applied to the next vote in Congress.” So it is and so shall it be on this _Day of__in the year__.
    The people of the United States of America.

    Corporate America has trespassed on my rights. They have intruded on my rights and liberties and are on the premises without my consent or premises. I feel violated. They invaded my Congressional House and are holding my Congressional family members hostage. Congress can not help themselves. They can not write a Finance Reform Bill. I am thinking Declaration of Independence and what our Founders did to set us free from England. They wrote the D of I and sent it to King George. They sent a copy to the colonies. No debate. No vote. They just did it. I don’t know if there is any such thing as a National Public Mandate. But there is always a first time for everything. Like the D of I. We are a democracy after all. And this is not a revolution. Just owners sending trespassers an eviction notice.

    We need to do something. We the people all want a Single Payer health care plan. But because nearly every Congress person is beholding to Corporate America for campaign financing it is going to be almost impossible. A public Mandate takes it out of Congress’ hands, the President’s and bypasses corporate America. This is people power. Owners taking back their country and kicking out the illegal swatters, corporate America.

    Bernie, Would you read this before Congress? Want me to read it? How do we make this happen? It needs to happen.

    Again, Thank you sincerely for being you.

    Jeanne Zindorf