Monday – Why Bernie?


Reminder: Don’t forget to send out your My Bernie Story to your friends, family and network today!

Why do you support Bernie Sanders, and why should your family support him too? 

While Bernie holds strong to his values and beliefs, he knows that government works when people across the aisle come together. Bernie is a legislative giant. He has introduced or co-sponsored over 7,400 bills and amendments. He’s known as the Amendment King because he has a strong record of getting bills and amendments passed even in a gridlocked Congress. In such a corrupt system, Bernie Sanders is incorruptible, his career long consistency shows that he says what he thinks and does what he says.




Tuesday – Why Medicare for All? 


Bernie believes access to medical care is a right not a privilege. If someone needs medical care they should be able to get it. No one should be afraid to see a doctor because they can’t afford to.

Why is Medicare for All necessary? Why not expand the Affordable Care Act and create a public option?

Our current system is a combination of employer-based insurance and private insurance – where profits rise as coverage decreases and claims are denied. Despite the promise that healthcare would become more affordable, that hasn’t happened. The Affordable Care Act, which made private insurance more accessible to more people, was a small victory, but healthcare and prescription drug costs have continued to soar — along with insurance company and pharmaceutical company profits. 

Premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs are far too high, and getting higher. Millions of Americans remain uninsured and underinsured. And not only is the coverage expensive, it’s inadequate. Most people must pay out-of-pocket for dental, vision, and hearing.  And people are fully aware that the healthcare system is broken. 70% of Americans, including a majority of Republicans, now support Medicare For All.

What is Bernie’s healthcare plan?

Bernie believes that health care is a human right and the best way to ensure everyone is covered is a universal single-payer system, Medicare for All. Medicare already successfully delivers healthcare coverage for those over 65, nearly 15% of the U.S. population, around 44 million people. Medicare for All would expand coverage, remove the profit motive, increase healthcare efficiency and make sure every single American is taken care of.

This is how Medicare for All will be phased in:

  • In the first year the eligibility age for Medicare will be lowered to 55 and children under 18 will be covered
  • The second year to 45
  • The third year to 35
  • The fourth year to everyone
  • Anyone will be able to buy into Medicare for All during the transition.

This is how Medicare for All will be paid for while reducing the overall cost of healthcare:

  • Personal payment of high premiums, co-pays, and deductibles to insurance companies will be eliminated
  • Prices for healthcare services will be negotiated as they currently are for Medicare
  • Prescription drug costs will be cut in half by negotiating prices (Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act), letting people buy low-cost prescription drugs from Canada (Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act), and capping prices to what the rest of the world pays (Prescription Drug Price Relief Act)
  • Everyone will pay 4.5% on income and employers will pay 7.5% on employee income. For the first $29,000 of income there will be no tax

This is how Medicare for All will change the current healthcare system and expand coverage:

  • Increase Access & Choice: Patients can see the doctors they want because no doctors will be “out of network”
  • Increase Coverage: Coverage will include primary and preventive care, mental health care, reproductive care, vision, hearing and dental care, medical devices, and long-term supports and services for the disabled and elderly.
  • Improve Quality: Allows doctors to make decisions in the best interest of patients not to deliver profits to insurance companies.
  • Reduce Prescription Drug Costs: Lowers prices dramatically, by empowering the federal government to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies. Prescription drug costs will be capped at $200.
  • Eliminate Out-Of-Pocket Costs: There will be no premiums, deductibles or co-pays for any medical services.
  • Empower People: Separates healthcare coverage from employment, so everyone will have flexibility to change jobs, or start their own business, without the risk and fear of losing their healthcare benefits.
  • Universal coverage: Covers everyone even if you get fired, leave your job, move, get divorced, turn 26, or have a pre-existing condition.

What will it cost? 

Bernie’s plan is projected to cost $33 trillion over 10 years while expanding coverage and including everyone.

Last year total healthcare spending in the United States was $3.5 trillion. If we change nothing in this dysfunctional system the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services projects that healthcare in the U.S will cost at least $38 trillion over 10 years.

In 2018, the average health insurance costs for a family of four was $28,166. That cost increases $100 each month. Medicare for All will save most families $2000—$4000 per year. This volunteer created tax calculator will give you an idea of how Bernie’s plans will affect you.

What are the ​expected savings?

Medicare for All will drive down healthcare costs by using a schedule of payments for healthcare services like we already do for Medicare. There will be:

  • Reduced overhead
  • Lowered cost of prescription drugs
  • Reduced administrative costs
  • Consolidated private and public healthcare healthcare spending
  • No more citizen spending on health insurance
  • Increased bargaining power

Mercatus, a Koch-funded think-tank, conducted a study and found that Medicare For All would save $2 trillion over a ten-year period. The University of Massachusetts Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) projected that the savings over the same period of time would be approximately $5 trillion.

What are other benefits of Medicare for All?

Medicare for All will end the necessity for private health insurance because every citizen would be covered under a single payer system. And, it would save a lot of money – for workers, employers and the government. We can drastically reduce health care and prescription costs, we can cover more people, and we can make the coverage comprehensive. It’s a win-win.



Wednesday – Money in Politics

What’s the problem with Money in Politics?

According to a Princeton University study, our government no longer represents regular people. In fact, “the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.” Former President Jimmy Carter stated during an interview in July 2015 that “the billionaire class now owns the economy, and they are working day and night to make certain that they own the United States government.” For decades Bernie has been fighting to make our democracy for the people by the people, not for the wealthy by the wealthy. And most Americans agree with Bernie that corporate money in politics needs to be limited so big donors can’t manipulate and buy our elections, control our elected officials and dictate our political discourse.

This video with Robert Reich does a good job explaining the issue.

What’s ​Bernie’s solution?

Bernie’s platform includes a detailed plan to Get Corporate Money Out of Politics: Here’s what his plan will do:

Get corporate money out of our elections

  • Overturn Citizens United which allows corporations to spend unlimited money on elections.
  • Only appoint Supreme Court justices who will make it a priority to overturn Citizens United and who understand that corruption in politics means more than just quid pro quo.
  • Pass a Constitutional Amendment which will overturn Buckley v Valeo and make it clear that money is not speech and corporations are not people.
  • Pass legislation to end super PACs.
  • End dark money by requiring complete transparency regarding the funding of campaigns, including disclosure of contributions by 501c4s.
  • Ban advertising during the presidential primary debates.

End corporate influence at the DNC

  • Ban donations from federal lobbyists and corporations to the DNC.
  • Institute a lifetime lobbying ban for National Party Chairs and Co-Chairs.
  • Ban DNC Chairs and Co-Chairs from working for entities with federal contracts or that are seeking government approval for projects or mergers.
  • Return to publicly funded National Party Conventions.

End corporate influence at the inauguration 

  • Ban all corporate donations for inaugural events and cap individual donations to $500.

Reform campaign finance laws

  • Replace the FEC with a Federal Election Administration, that permits civil and criminal penalties for violation of campaign finance laws.

Change the way we finance our elections

  • Pass mandatory public financing laws for all federal elections.
  • Create a new system of Universal Small Dollar Vouchers would give any voting-age American the ability to “donate” to federal candidates.

Stop the bribery of elected officials by corporations and lobbyists

  • End the revolving door and Institute a lifetime lobbying ban for former members of Congress and senior staffers.

Bernie Sanders refuses to be bought. He continues to show that he is a man of the people, not the billionaires. Bernie refuses support from Super PACs. He believes it’s time to end the corruption of millionaires spending millions of dollars to buy elections and candidates who will do their bidding.

Instead he relies on small donors like you.

Here’s a 13 minute video of Sen. Bernie Sanders fighting to end our corrupt system of legal bribery:



Thursday – How to talk to Democrats & Republicans

Personal conversations with people who know and trust you are by far the best way to bring people on the fence about Bernie to supporting Bernie.  And the best kind of conversations to make that happen center around personal story-telling that explain your motivations with empathy and understanding.

The approach is simple: tell your story, listen, be authentic, and talk about the direct consequences of Bernie’s policies on real people for you and the person you’re talking to.  Make is clear that no one needs to struggle alone, we can and should confront these issues as part of this movement. We are in this together.

Let’s discuss how to talk to your Republican and Democrat friends and family alike. Just remember:

  • Make it personal by telling your Bernie Story
  • Listen
  • Don’t Argue
  • Empathize
  • Ask, Don’t Tell
  • Accept That Some People Will Never Vote for Bernie

Tell Your My Bernie Story: Tell your story about why you believe in Bernie and what convinced you to support him. This is one of the most powerful ways to help people Feel the Bern like you and decide to join our movement. By explaining your motivations you create the opportunity for others to relate to your experience and possibly change their mind.

Listen: It’s extremely important to understand where the person you’re talking to is coming from. Maybe he or she has a real-life experience with an issue, or will never budge on certain stances. It’s essential to listen before trying to explain. Listen to what that person likes, which candidate he or she is interested in, and why he or she dislikes or distrusts Bernie. Try to meet people where they are and listen, offering Bernie’s positions as solutions to the issues people care about and are focused on.

Don’t Argue: This is supposed to be a discussion. Arguing doesn’t persuade. More often than not people leave a debate unpersuaded and holding onto their own position. People want to feel heard, sincerely listened to, and understood, not berated or judged. Some people like to argue for the sake of arguing or use talking points from their favorite media outlets.  That is not effective in convincing someone to support Bernie. Ask yourself: is there a legitimate disagreement being proposed, or are we talking past each other? Sometimes it’s best to just let it go.

Empathize: The person you’re discussing politics with is likely to be just as convinced of his or her views as you are. Don’t cut down an argument based on word choices or fallacies; instead, try to see it as an expression of the speaker’s beliefs and values. Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable helps us connect with people so they may be open to reconsidering their attitude toward Bernie and his progressive ideas. Try to find a connection to the person’s beliefs and Bernie’s policies.

Ask, Don’t Tell: One of the best ways to inform people about something you’re passionate about is to lead them to the issue rather than dragging it to them. Touting Bernie’s strongest policies won’t help if the person you’re talking to doesn’t care about that issue. When discussing policy always ask “Why?” What makes you think that? What would you like to hear more about? Let people come to their own conclusions.

Accept That Some People Will Never Vote for Bernie: There’s no point in arguing with, berating, guilting, or imploring people to change their minds. Taking disagreements as personal insults or lashing out with “you’re wrong and here’s why” won’t help. And refusing to just let it go will give Bernie’s detractors more reasons to oppose you, and may alienate those who are undecided. There are a lot of voters out there. Bernie is not the right fit for everyone.

Talking points for Republicans

  • Bernie is only as socialist as Eisenhower, who had high marginal tax rates of 94% for the wealthiest and invested in infrastructure.
  • Many important things are done by the government with our tax dollars – military, roads, bridges, police, fire departments, parks, libraries and schools.
  • Our tax dollars should be spent in ways that benefit all of us not just rich people and corporations. We pay our taxes, it’s unfair that Google and Amazon pay zero in taxes.
  • Our foreign policy should be focused on what’s good for America not starting wars and occupying countries that pose no real threat to us. No soldier should fight and die for economic interests.
  • Bernie is to the 21st century what Teddy Roosevelt was to the 20th; each advocated breaking up monopolies (Big Tech companies, Amazon, Media/Cable companies) so consumers are not exploited and small businesses can succeed.
  • Bernie wants to save tax money with smarter spending, auditing the pentagon, spending fewer tax dollars on endless wars, and getting rid of subsidies to corporations and the fossil fuel industry.
  • Medicare for All will save money, nearly 10 trillion over 10 years, cover everyone and include dental, vision and hearing.
  • Rebuilding our infrastructure will create good paying jobs.
  • Throughout his career, Bernie has been principled, honest, and has only run positive campaigns.

Talking points for Independents

  • Bernie is consistent and principled.
  • Bernie is known as the Amendment King. He has gotten things done in a gridlocked Congress, including huge advancements that support our veterans. He has proved his commitment to reaching across the aisle for the benefit of the country.
  • Bernie wants big money out of politics so the voices of voters can be heard.
  • The establishment doesn’t want Bernie to win. They don’t want the government to work for all of us. By voting we can show them that we want someone who will work for us and change Washington.
  • The establishment media is against Bernie, he’s not a regular politician. Corporate media and talking heads work to maintain the status quo. It makes them uncomfortable to talk about working class people and issues that matter to regular people.
  • Voting in the primaries is important, this is where the choice is made for who will run against Trump. Like Bernie you don’t have to be a democrat, you can still be an independent.

Talking points for Biden supporters

  • Bernie faced the same votes and issues as Biden and got it right then.
  • Bernie is not accepting corporate donations or raising money from rich people.
  • Bernie is electable.  He polls as well as Biden in head to head match-ups against Trump.

Talking points for Warren supporters

  • If you like Warren, you’ll love Bernie.
  • Bernie supports strong progressive ideas and has a record to back it up.
  • Bernie has been consistent throughout his career; you can trust him to do what he says he’ll do.
  • Bernie has stronger head-to-head matchups with Trump than Warren.
  • Bernie has the volunteers, the donor base, and the infrastructure to win.

Some old adages are truer than others like: You catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Passion without pretension is a strong strategy to convince people that Bernie’s policies are good, and that though we may disagree, we can have a friendly and issues-based discussion. When we have these discussions in a personal and respectful way, on-the-fence voters and even detractors, will see that Bernie and his supporters truly have the public’s best interests in mind. Some may even start to Feel the Bern.

Helpful and fun links: Feelthebern.org | BernieFacts | Bernie Shares Advice on How to Avoid Political Arguments With Family on Thanksgiving | http://www.yourrepublicanuncle.com/ | The Key to Political Persuasion (NYT) | Mr. Rogers and the Power of Persuasion

Happy Thanksgiving!