Welcome to Demand Universal Healthcare!

Does America need a new healthcare system? DUH! 

As 2018 winds down, polls show that healthcare is the number one issue on the minds of American voters, as well as that 70% of Americans favor Medicare for All, including at least 50% of Republicans. With the 116th Congress now controlled by Democrats in the House, including a freshman class NOT bought by corporate money, we have a realistic chance to move a bill forward.

Whatever the next year brings, we must welcome ALL those who are committed to seeing the U.S. provide healthcare - as defined in H.R. 676 - to everyone residing here. We must be united and relentless in our demand for it, no matter our political affiliation, our physical ability, or the methods we employ to amplify it.

This is our time - JOIN US in making it an historic one!

THE NEW DUH

Just like Congress, DUH is changing in 2019. Its format and focus will be a bit different - DON'T WORRY! Demanding Universal Healthcare will always be our foundational mission, but adapting to change is necessary.

For the last eight years, founder and executive director Sue Saltmarsh has relied on the amazing social media skills of deputy director Donna Ellington to manage our social media dominance. Donna has taken the DUH Facebook page from 367 followers to almost 90,000, as well as creating the DUH Group, the COSDUH page and, with Sue, the POP page. She has expanded DUH's presence to Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest and has also helped other organizations develop their use of social media. Donna has “gone to FB jail for justice” several times for the “crime” of posting too much in her attempt to educate the general public about the facts of Medicare for All.

It is with understanding but great sadness (and a fair amount of panic) that DUH will be seeing Donna off to concentrate on building her own social media sites, starting with her page ENIMAA – Expanded National Improved Medicare for All Americans. It's only fair that the original DUH page become ENIMAA - however, FB seems to have had trouble understandin g that we wanted to change the name while keeping the original page for Sue to administer. So DUH - Demand Universal Healthcare will now be called Demand Universal Healthcare DUH and start building its own following through inviting friends and original followers, as well as presenting content in a different way. Donna will pursue continued growth of the movement through ENIMAA and her other FB pages, including COSDUH and Forward the Progressive Agenda & Tackle BS.

DUH will not cease to exist but will continue to fulfill its mission to inform the public so we can all demand universal, comprehensive, publicly financed healthcare for all in America! To that end, Sue (and volunteers) will strive to offer news, articles, studies, videos, and original content that you won't see everywhere else (until/unless the sharing starts!) - the stories behind the headlines, as well as unconventional content of other kinds.

We invite you to check in here often, especially once the 2020 election cycle starts, and also to check out our "portfolio" of social media locations. Please be part of the solution to the injustice and heartlessness of our current healthcare system!

POP TO PEP

In addition to the DUH "remodel," the POP page (People Overcoming Politics) will be recreated as People Energizing Politics or PEP and will have its own logo (coming soon). Unfortunately, PEP has also run into FB naming issues - they say the name has been changed from Politics Energized by the People's Participation but while the cover reflects the change, as does the user name, the page title has yet to be changed so if you search for it, search People Energizing Politics and click on it in the list - you'll be taken to  the Participation page, but that's the right one for now.

As more and more Americans become politically aware, I want to provide a forum to encourage more understanding of and participation in our political process, from encouraging "average" people to run for office to paying attention to independent media coverage of political news to mobilizing the public around actions to support all causes that concern people in their daily lives, just just healthcare. The time for accepting a feeling of being powerless in the face of the corrupt two-party system we have is over. I hope the PEP page will increase engagement and participation and end the current head-in-the-sand mentality that fuels that sense of disempowerment. And last, but not least, by the time the 2020 election cycle is in full swing, it's my goal to make PEP the social media platform for the support of the candidates DUH/PEP endorses.          

Both Donna and I are excited about continuing to work toward the same goals, each in our own ways but in solid alliance. It's time for the entire movement to make way for cooperation, mutual support and unity of vision. We invite all of you to see DUH, and now PEP and Donna's page ENIMAA, as reliable resources for the information and inspiration you need to become or remain an active warrior in this fight in whatever ways you can.

We were so pleased and proud to endorse Deb Haaland and thrilled when she won! It should be noted that in addition to being a Laguna Pieblo member, she is also a lawyer, former Chair of the NM Democratic Party, and during her term, New Mexico Democrats regained control of the New Mexico House of Representatives. We look forward to her continued success!

HELP NEEDED!

DUH is very lucky to have two dedicated volunteers who have helped with research, communications, fundraising (soon), and keeping me sane. However, without Donna's full-time commitment to social media, I need consistent, reliable help. The main goal of our upcoming GoFundMe campaign will be to raise enough money to pay at least a part-time (hopefully full-time), computer-saavy someone to learn our website and keep it going, backing me up in case of medical emergency, as well as helping with social media and occasionally being DUH's representative at events near your home. Of course, if no one donates, I'll be begging for more volunteers.

If you're young, socially conscious, and need resume-building experience; middle-aged and leaving the lucrative but soul-sucking corporate world to focus on social justice; or a retiree who isn't a Luddite like me, with time on your hands and the desire to do good work for a good cause, PLEASE ANSWER THE CALL!

Email me at duh4us@gmail.com and tell me what you can and are willing to do. THANKS!

A Note About Committee Assignments

There's been a lot of buzz about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's determination to get on the House Ways & Means Committee, arguably the most influential, and thus powerful, committee in the House, usually reserved for more senior members.

In the video above there's a call to get Deb Haaland, one of two Native American women elected to the 116th Congress, assigned to the Select Committee on Climate Change.

And the assignments of the new Progressives to committees, whether they're fighting huge establishment Democratic forces from incumbents like Alexandria is or going for what has so far been unable to overcome Republican and corporate Democratic greed like Deb is, will be an indication of just how hard Pelosi and her ilk will make it for the freshmen to remain true to their values, principles, goals, and constituents. In any case, too many Americans don't begin to understand what goes on in Congress, so here are the basics about committee assignments from http://clerk.house.gov/committee_info/commfaq.aspx.

Before Members are assigned to committees, each committee's size and the proportion of Republicans to Democrats must be decided by the party leaders. The total number of committee slots allotted to each party is approximately the same as the ratio between majority party and minority party members in the full Chamber.

Members are then assigned to committees in a three-step process. Each of the two principle parties in the House is responsible for the assigning its members to committees, and at the first stage, each party uses a committee on committees to make the initial recommendations for assignments. At the beginning of the new Congress, Members express preferences for assignment to the appropriate committee on committees. Most incumbents prefer to remain on the same committees so as not to forfeit expertise and committee seniority. These committees on committees then match preferences with committee slots, following certain guidelines designed in part to distribute assignments fairly. They then prepare and approve an assignment slate for each committee, and submit all slates to the appropriate full party conference for approval. Approval at this second stage often is granted easily, but the conferences have procedures for disapproving recommended Members and nominating others in their stead. Finally, at the third stage, each committee submits its slate to the pertinent full Chamber for approval, which is generally granted.