S. 2123, the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, wouldn't repeal mandatory minimum sentences, but it would make sentencing fairer. S. 2123 would reduce several mandatory sentences for drug and/or violent felony convictions, and would make these sentences retroactive, so that current offenders can get reduced sentences as well. It would also get relief for thousands of crack cocaine offenders under the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, which reduced the sentence disparity between crack and powder cocaine users. And it would allow judges to sentence certain non-violent drug offenders more appropriately. If the bill doesn't do everything you'd like it to do (it doesn't do everything I'd like it to do!), it still would, if passed, make progress in sentencing reform in America, and it wouldn't preclude further efforts to make progress; note, also, that S. 2123 has six Democratic sponsors and four Republican sponsors, suggesting that it might be the result of actual negotiation. Hence the Drug Policy Alliance helps you tell your Senator to support the sentencing reform in S. 2123.
Meanwhile, Consumer Reports reported this month on "surprise medical bills," which occur when your health care provider subcontracts certain aspects of your care -- specialists, lab work, anaesthesia, like that -- to providers outside your health insurance provider's network, which, as you know, results in higher costs. Thing is, your health care providers currently have no obligation to tell you when they're outsourcing any part of your care outside your network, hence the surprise. And much of this problem is emergency-related -- when you need your appendix out, as one Texas resident found out, you're not haggling over which available surgeon is in your network. Yes it does occur to me that single-payer, Medicare-for-all health care would obliterate this problem. But in the meantime, we need to tell our lawmakers to ensure that the privately-run health care system in this country doesn't repeatedly screw us over. So Consumers Union helps you tell your lawmakers to close the loopholes that could cost you tens of thousands of dollars in unexpected health care costs.
Finally, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell your Congressfolk to pass H.R. 3513/S. 2023, the Prescription Drug Affordability Act of 2015, then CREDO still helps you do that. Would the Prescription Drug Affordability Act eliminate obnoxious pricks like Martin Shkreli, who pays about $20,000 more for a bottle of wine than I do? No, but it would make it harder for them to jack up drug prices fiftyfold in a day. And this bill would force big pharmaceutical corporations to disclose their pricing; naturally they've resisted such a move, almost as if they have something to hide. The bill would allow Medicare to negotiate its own drug prices, and while most people support such a thing, a lot of people would ask what it has to do with getting drug prices down for everyone. And I would answer that over 49 million Americans are currently enrolled in Medicare, which means Medicare is a big, big pool with a lot of negotiating power -- and thus also a lot of power to drag prices down even for folks who don't get Medicare yet. That's what Mr. Bush really feared when he wouldn't allow Medicare to negotiate its own prices years ago.