Today we held a press conference at Congressman Eric Massa’s Pittsford, NY office. Congressman Massa is one of the freshman Democrats that has effectively slowed down and possibly stalled the passage of HR3200, the bill being debated in front the House of Representatives for health care reform. Frankly we were shocked when we found out Massa was attempting to slow down the process because he has always been an advocate for health care reform – he ran on a single payer platform during his campaign.
So, we went to his office to ask him to tell us why he was stalling the bill and what it was that he was looking for in order to fully support HR 3200. After a good press conference that was attended by many different individuals from the Western New York region we met with his Chief of Staff. It seems that maybe we are not as far apart as we thought – according to his staff Congressman Massa is just on the fence right now about supporting the bill. But then again he is not willing, yet, to come out and say he will vote for it when the Congress reconvenes in September.
Massa’s office is being flooded with mail and phone calls against health care reform and HR3200. That makes it hard for him to enthusiastically support any reform legislation. Now, we know and his staff implied, that there is a hard line right wing theme to many of the letters and calls against reform. They realize that the pushback on health reform is a coordinated and well funded effort by the Republicans to make Obama and the Democrats look bad no matter what the cost to the average American.
But still, he needs to hear from his voters that support reform.
So, if you are reading this we need you to call Congressman Massa and ask him to support HR3200. You can call his Pittsford district office at: (585) 218-0040; or his office in DC at: (202) 225-3161
At the end of the long meeting with his staff there was a light in the darkness when his staffer said “well maybe you should meet with the Congressman yourself”. So we are doing just that, we are going back to meet with him tomorrow and see if we can’t get him to commit to supporting HR3200.
But in order for us to get him to say yes, he needs to hear from you. So please call his office right now.
And on Thursday there is a town hall meeting in Honeyoe Falls that Massa is holding about health care reform. So please try to attend if you live in his district – it starts at 7:30 at the Mendon Community Center.
There is hope – we just have to keep working!