An average person’s Facebook newsfeed is filled with appeals to support a variety of urgent matters. A good deal of that is comprised of calls to contact lawmakers about proposed bills, each of which entails hours of reading and research to fully understand. How does an average American know which bills to support and call their Congressperson about? National Nurses United, Progressive Democrats of America, and Food & Water Watch have come together to identify five pieces of legislation that have a great chance of keeping humanity as healthy as possible in the decades to come. But we need members of Congress to actively support them.
Whatever environmental and health issues keep you awake at night — medical bankruptcy, climate catastrophe, or something else — there’s bound to be a bill in this list that would help if it were passed. There is a lot of work that needs to happen along the way, but these bills can become a reality with your help.
The 5 Bills That Could Change Americans’ Trajectory
Improved and Expanded Medicare For All — (H.R. 676) Quality healthcare for everyone, regardless of income
Today’s healthcare system fails to provide quality, therapeutic healthcare to tens of millions of people in the U.S. Because of the for-profit health insurance model, tens of millions of people don’t have health insurance, and tens of millions more cannot afford the costs of healthcare even though they have insurance. This legislation would establish a federal Medicare for All program to ensure every person in the U.S. has quality healthcare. A Medicare for All system would provide healthcare based on patient need, not on corporate profit. Read the full bill >>
The OFF (Off Fossil Fuels For a Better Future) Act — H.R. 3671 Rapid action to ward off the worst effects of climate change
From fires to floods to hurricanes, the impacts of climate change on the health and safety of our communities and all people on the planet continues to escalate. Science has conclusively shown that dependence on fossil fuels is leading to massive changes in climate patterns. The OFF Act will rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other forms of pollution by ensuring a complete and just transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy resources by 2035 with the bulk of reductions happening in the next decade. Read the full bill >>
The WATER (Water Affordability, Transparency, Equity, & Reliability) Act — H.R. 5609 Measures to help prevent any more Flint-like disasters
Across the country, water infrastructure is crumbling, and millions of people lack reliable access to safe, drinkable water. This legislation would provide the major financial investment needed to update our water infrastructure, repairing old and lead-ridden water pipes, stopping sewage overflows, and allowing for affordable water services for everyone, while also creating nearly a million jobs. Read the full bill >>
Nurse Staffing Standards For Hospital Patient Safety & Quality Care Act — H.R. 2392 Appropriate attention for patients at their most vulnerable
Right now, there are no federal standards regulating the number of patients a registered nurse can care for at one time in U.S. hospitals. As a result, nurses are regularly required to care for more patients than is safe, compromising patient care. This legislation would protect patients and improve healthcare by setting mandated, minimum registered nurse to patient staffing ratios. Read the full bill >>
Inclusive Prosperity Act — H.R. 1144 The “How are you going to pay for it?” bill
This bill would establish a small speculation tax on Wall Street financial transactions, which would help stabilize the market and generate an estimated $320 billion in revenue per year. That revenue would fund free tuition at public colleges and universities, guaranteed healthcare for all, affordable housing, the eradication of the AIDS pandemic, climate change prevention, infrastructure development, and job creation through green infrastructure programs. Read the full bill >>
What is the connection between Medicare for All and the Off Fossil Fuels Act?
They are both bold, life-saving solutions that will address our most pressing health and environmental problems. And make no mistake about it — climate catastrophe is one of the biggest public health threats on the horizon. From any angle you examine it (food scarcity, national security, lack of drinkable water), curbing the worst effects of climate change directly benefits human health.
The Intrepid Lawmakers Who Are Working To Pass All Five Bills
The 12 Congress members that currently support all five benchmark bills are Reps. Judy Chu (D-CA), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), James McGovern (D-MA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL).
“In today’s tumultuous world, it is important for all Americans to know exactly who in Washington is standing up for our most essential needs: a clean, livable environment, quality universal healthcare, and a more just, equitable society for all. By advocating for bold solutions to our most pressing health and environmental problems, these 12 Congress members have shown they are public health and environmental champions in Washington. We’re proud to be working with National Nurses United and Progressive Democrats of America to help identify those in Congress that are moving forward a strong environmental and public health vision for our country.” — Wenonah Hauter, Food & Water Watch Executive Director
How You Can Help Make These Bills A Reality
You can find out how your lawmakers measure up on the scorecard here, organized by state. Spread the word by sharing this and urge your lawmakers to support all five crucial bills — you can use Food & Water Action's messaging tool to contact them about the OFF Act right now.