Iowa’s five incumbent congressmen and two U.S. senators have joined the "Divided We Fail" campaign pushing for health care reform. "By the Iowa congressional delegation all signing on, they are pledging to work in a bipartisan way to deliver solutions on financial health and security matters," says Pete Jeffries, national campaign consultant for "Divided We Fail."
Iowa is one of 18 states to have its entire congressional delegation endorse the "Divided We Fail" initiative. The effort to focus national attention on the issue was launched just over a year ago in Iowa when "Divided We Fail" partners, led by AARP, hosted presidential candidate forums in the Quad Cities and Sioux City. Since then nearly a million Americans have signed petitions either on-line or in person, pledging to pressure politicians to act. Jeffries says that tally includes 25,000 Iowans.
"We have to be talking about the critical issues of health and financial security now during the election process so that once that our next set of leaders are in office they are committed to working toward solutions and breaking the gridlock in Washington and at statehouses across the country so that we can deliver real solutions on health and financial security," Jeffries says.
With only 20 days remaining ’til the election the "Divided We Fail" partners are preparing for the next stage, according to Jeffries, hoping to convince the nation’s newly-elected leader to take inotial steps on health care reform in the first 100 days of the next president’s administration. "We want to run through the tape hard, past the November election, and continue to work…to keep raising the volume of what a need there is out there for lawmakers of all political persuasions to come together and, in earnest, deal with the issues of health and financial security," Jeffries says.
But before November 4th Jeffries and other staff from AARP have embarked on a "Break the Gridlock" tour of Iowa, with meetings scheduled in 20 communities to distribute voter guides and talk with voters. There’ll be a mid-day meeting today in Waverly. Meetings are scheduled Thursday in Independence and Decorah and on Friday in Elkader. Groups from the business world as well as unions and consumer groups are also part of the "Divided We Fail" effort. Visit www.dividedwefail.org for more information.