There are different measures for the health of a democracy, but I would rank participation as one of the foremost. I’ve been on the receiving end of much of that this week. Given the proposed healthcare bills, constituents are calling or emailing the office with many varied concerns.
I’ve been sorting through the email account dedicated to healthcare stories; mostly these deal with thoughts about the ACA or worries over the future. It’s also an insight into how constituents think- most who write to the office are older- some are younger but feel strongly about being heard.
This has been a great chance to see how information gathered in state offices from aides and input from constituents comes together to form a basis for talking points and shapes messages. Already I feel that my phone skills are improving from increased practice.
Recently, the Manchester NH VA Hospital came under fire for poor management and concerns about care quality. All of this- from calls about healthcare, to emails about Obamacare, to newspaper articles- serves as a reminder of the very real impact of policies and politics on people’s lives.