HCAN in the News: Huffington Post – Progressives Plan Day Of Obamacare Activism As House Prepares To Vote On Repeal

Progressive health care reform advocates plan to demonstrate in defense of the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, holding protest events in Chicago and congressional districts across the country, as well as in Washington, D.C.

The day of rallies is the latest attempt by supporters of the ACA, also known as Obamacare, to put a political price on Republicans’ plans to repeal the signature reform. The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the GOP’s replacement bill Thursday, the seventh anniversary of the original law’s passage in 2010.

Read: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/progressive-protests-obamacare-repeal_us_58d283dbe4b02d33b7475b0c

HCAN in the News: Feb 24 State Roundup

A Cost Too High Report Releases

ARKANSAS

Arkansas Community Organizations, the Fight for 15 and others released the “A Cost Too High” report this week in front of the offices of senators Boozman and Cotton.  About 15 people attended.  Kendra Lewis, a fast food worker, spoke about her coverage through the ACA.  Camille Richoux spoke about lgrowing up poor in south Arkansas without health coverage, her mother’s bankruptcy due to medical bills and then later receiving health coverage through her mother’s plan when she was a college student as a result of the ACA.  Reporters from KTHV, KATV, KARK and the Arkansas Democrat Gazette came to the event.  Here is a clip from KARK below.

http://www.arkansasmatters.com/news/local-news/group-asking-ar-senators-to-keep-affordable-care-act/660477579

ILLINOIS

MICHIGAN

WASHINGTON

WISCONSIN

http://www.dailycardinal.com/article/2017/02/wisconsin-non-profit-releases-report-on-the-economic-effects-of-an-aca-repeal


REPORTS FROM STATE ACTIVITY

CALIFORNIA

There’s great coverage of the empty chair town hall meeting that Congressman Issa skipped in Vista. Great work on this event from PICO, SEIU, Health Accees and others. Pretty extensive coverage below.

COLORADO

HCAN partners in CO joined this rally lead by the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative  yesterday. See coverage;

ILLINOIS

Citizen Action of Illinois has been continuing great work to elevate Medicaid and hold the GOP accountable on repeal.

IOWA

Main Street Alliance organized a great rapid response to a Grassley town halls. Press below quotes MSA leader Chris Petersen. Lots of great coverage below. At one of those town halls, Grassley propped up fears about alleged “death panels” that many Republicans claimed would be included in the law.But on Tuesday, Chris Petersen, a pig farmer from Clearwater, turned to Grassley and asserted that he would own the creation of “death panels” if he voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, suggesting that the senator was prepared to cut health care insurance for millions of Americans.
Chris Petersen: “Sir, you’re the man that talked about the death panels,” said Petersen, the former president of a farmers’ union in the state. “We’re going to create one big death panel in this country that people can’t afford to get insurance.”

Petersen, who won applause from almost everyone in the room, offered Grassley a container of Tums, the antacid tablets. “You’re going to need them the next few years,” he said. “People are disappointed.” Grassley told reporters afterward that Trump’s presidency hadn’t warranted any reliance on the heartburn and gas relief drug.

 

MICHIGAN

Michigan United is keeping up the pressure on Trott, even it means using life fowl. Great story below mentions the live chicken the activists brought to the Town Hall . . . 

http://www.wxyz.com/news/angry-constituents-bring-chicken-to-town-hall

And in the days leading up to chicken, other great activity below:

Fox 2 News – shortened clip that was posted on the 11th District Indivisible page by a member. Claudia was on MU’s  constituent team.

Hometown Life (USA Today) –  Dave Trott: Meet Your Constituents (with video)

 

 

 

Yesterday, we hung banners off overpasses in Trott’s district: District 11 Constituents Hang Banners Ridiculing Rep. #ChickenTrott
Rep. Upton:  MU’s Kalamazoo team is partnered with Pro-Kzoo and Organize West Michigan to have vigils and events outside of Rep. Upton’s office
 

Thanks to HCAN Ally and Alumna Erin Knott for organizing the great town hall in Upton’s district that got great coverage here: http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2017/02/kalamazoo_official_upton_aide.html#incart_river_mobile_home

MISSOURI

About 250 people in Columbia, MO, gathered to share their concerns, questions, and stories about the impact of the ACA, Medicaid, and Planned Parenthood on Missourians. Senator Claire McCaskill sent a statement and two staffers. Blunt ignored invitations, Hartzler declined, then claimed she wasn’t invited, then ignored follow up. The event was co-organized by Missouri Jobs with Justice, CoMo for Progress, Missouri Medicaid Coalition, and Planned Parenthood of the Great Plains. Video of event is here: https://www.facebook.com/CoMoForProgress/

Columbian Missourian:
  • Community members share personal experiences about health care during town hall: http://www.columbiamissourian.com/news/local/community-members-share-personal-experiences-about-health-care-during-town/article_7f3e7800-f8a7-11e6-ba31-cfb4acbf9097.html
KOMU:
More events this week:
  • St. Charles townhall Thursday, Feb 23 at 6:30pm targeting McCaskill, Blunt, Wagner and Luetkemeyer  (Leads: MCU, MO Health Care for All)
  • Springfield Street Townhall and Save Our Care Rally on Saturday, February 25th at 7:30am, outside of a Sen Blunt appearance (Broad group of organizations planning under the Missouri Medicaid Coalition)
  • Kansas City Townhall on Saturday, Feb 25th at 1pm, targeting McCaskill, Blunt, and Cleaver (Leads: Jobs with Justice

MINNESTOTA

PICO affiliate ISAIAH and their allies are keeping up the pressure on Emmer. . . good coverage below.

NEW JERSEY

Main Street Alliance member Kelly Conklin, who owns a 12-employee custom woodworking shop in Kenilworth, New Jersey, said his insurance costs have risen by single-digit percentages since the Affordable Care Act came into effect, compared with a 126 percent price increase in one previous year. “I never found out which worker caused that,” he said. “I think they were trying to dump us.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-22/obamacare-s-hungriest-large-market-goes-begging-for-attention

NEW YORK

CANY and their health care allies are chasing Faso in NY. Really good coverage below. He never showed so the CANY activists cornered him in his Kingston office. . . he refused to come out.

PENNSYLVANIA

There was a lot of activity led by partners of the PHAN coalition this past week, including a fantastic Town Hall meeting in Allentown that Toomey didn’t appear in and that got great coverage. Thanks to PICO Affiliate POWER NE for leading on this event. See coverage of the Toomey Town Hall. Also, SEIU did a great job leading and engaging partners in many of the events below.

Scranton Town Hall 

Allentown Town Hall 

Washington Town Hall

Erie Town Hall

Beaver Town Hall

Philadelphia Town Hall 

Harrisburg Town Hall

SWPA Town Halls

Duquense Action

National Coverage

TENNESSEE

Here’s a quick report on the the town hall organized by Tennessee Citizen Action Network this week:.

WEST VIRGINIA

WVCAG and WV Healthy Kids & Families turnout out with about 40 other people for a roundtable discussion with Senator Manchin. The meeting included: the Director of the WV Council of Churches, Sherri McKinney – president of SEIU-1199; Father O’Donnell, legislative liaison of the local Catholic Diocese; Perry Bryant with WV for Affordable Health Care and former State Senator Dr. Dan Foster, the WV Directors of DHHR and Medicaid, Planned Parenthood reps, veterans and retired coal miners and several people with personal stories. During the roundtable, Sen. Manchin agreed to attend the April 19th Town Hall meeting the groups are organizing.
 

WISCONSIN

Citizen Action of Wisconsin is putting two members of the Congressional delegation on notice–they want answers on repeal and commitments to expand health care, not cut it. Over a hundred people attended the HCAN partner’s empty chair Town Hall last night in Wausau, but as you can see from the picture, the politicians didn’t show. Good coverage below. 

HCAN in the News: Politico Pro – The left rallies to save Obamacare with passion but little cash

Published on Politico Pro, 02/23/2017 02:19 PM EDT
By Rachana Pradhan

 

The fiery confrontations over Obamacare sweeping town hall meetings from California to Virginia are giving progressive groups hope they can build the sustained movement that helped push the health law to passage in 2010.

But while Republicans charge the dust-ups are stoked by moneyed interests, foundations and health care interests crucial to the ACA cause are largely on the sidelines — and no health policy-obsessed billionaire has emerged as a white knight. Without cash, the smaller organizations left could be hard-pressed to fight a long battle as conservatives spend heavily to pressure lawmakers to finish off the law and, possibly, revamp Medicaid.

“If you’re looking for where funding used to go to fight for the health care bill … I think you gotta keep looking,” said Ezra Levin, a former Democratic congressional staffer now helping direct the Indivisible Project, which is organizing pro-Obamacare demonstrations and other protests against President Donald Trump’s agenda. “It’s not coming to us, at least not right now.”

The money has been missing for several years. After securing ex-President Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement, key players involved with messaging and advocacy declared victory and moved on without fully completing the sales job. The Health Care for America Now coalition, one of the most audible voices in getting the law enacted, folded in late 2013 after mounting a $60 million campaign to pass Obamacare and protect it during implementation.

It’s left to groups such as the Indivisible Project to confront GOP lawmakers and tap outrage or voter anxiety over the GOP repeal-replace effort. The progressive forces also include the Protect Our Care campaign backed by labor unions and health consumer groups, and some of the original backers of Health Care for America Now. Another group, the Alliance for Healthcare Security, has aired several rounds of ads that are largely being funded by the Service Employees International Union, though the SEIU declined to specify how much it had contributed.

Huge amounts of cash for advertising and outreach may not be as essential in a social media-fueled crucible, where town hall confrontations can almost instantly go viral and organizers can rely on Facebook and other tools to mobilize. The pro-ACA groups scoff at the notion advanced by the Trump administration and some GOP lawmakers that Democrats are paying protesters to make a ruckus over Obamacare at town halls. “To say that we’re a ‘grasstops’ thing is a complete lie,” said Indivisible Project co-founder Angel Padilla. 

But the pro-ACA groups still face a daunting task. Republicans intent on not only dismantling the ACA but capping the open-ended nature of Medicaid are getting backing from money powerhouses such as the American Action Network, which is aligned with House Republicans, and One Nation, a group with ties to Senate GOP leadership that’s spending millions of dollars targeting vulnerable Democratic senators up for re-election in 2018.

Progressive activists similarly capitalized on generous support from pharmaceutical manufacturers and nonprofits such as Atlantic Philanthropies and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation during the heated debate to pass Obamacare. Nearly eight years later, the high-rollers have moved on, leaving health law defenders to make do with paltry budgets.

Levin said most of the 7,000 donations the Indivisible Project has received come from “small dollar” donors who pony up about $50. Padilla said the sum is “just enough to keep us going.”

“We have gotten enough to keep us going another three or four months,” said Padilla, who also works on health issues for the National Immigration Law Center.

“There’s never enough money in the health care advocacy community,” said Ethan Rome, who led Health Care for America Now during the run up to pass Obamacare and is trying to revive it. “That’s never stopped us.”

The activists for now are relying on grassroots passion. Obamacare supporters argue that Republican plans to dismantle Obamacare will cut the safety net for 20 million people who obtained coverage for the first time through the law’s insurance exchanges or its expansion of Medicaid. Even more could be affected if the GOP makes good on plans to revamp Medicaid and end the open-ended funding mechanism of a program covering roughly one in five Americans.

“We didn’t have any illusions to think that this would be just about the ACA,” said Robert Restuccia of Community Catalyst, part of the Protect Our Care campaign. “It will be an expanded fight.”

Community Catalyst has received “hundreds of thousands [of dollars] in new funding” from foundations and individual donors, according to a spokesperson. Health Care for America Now organizers are also relaunching efforts with state partners to try to thwart Republicans — an effort that Rome says will comprise field operations around the country and be “lightly funded.”

In contrast, Health Care for America Now spent $48 million between July 2008 and March 2010 to get Obamacare passed, 40 percent of which went for advertising. The coalition managed to secure additional cash to continue defending Obamacare during the early years of implementation. But it was soon outgunned by conservative groups tapping anger over the law from the political right and closed its doors in late 2013. About half of the $60 million campaign it mounted at the end was bankrolled by Atlantic Philanthropies, a foundation that will shut down entirely by 2020.

Richard Kirsch, one of the individuals involved in relaunching Health Care for America Now, maintains that far less needs to be spent on ads today, where voter angst over repeal has become standard fare on Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels.

“We don’t need the kind of budget we had last time because we’ve got this huge upsurge of what you can’t buy — that’s total genuine outrage,” Kirsch said.

“A lot of what we’re seeing in the country over the last several weeks has really been organic,” said Leslie Dach, a former Obama administration official who is leading Protect Our Care. “It’s come from people who realize that, ‘Oh my God, they might really take my health care away.’”

Health care advocates and other Obamacare defenders say they have received some additional funding from foundations, individuals and organized labor. They expect to see more, but still come up short against conservatives’ haul.

Through the Alliance for Healthcare Security, advocates have spent $3 million on ads in six states and the District of Columbia targeting moderate Republican senators over Obamacare repeal, with the funding largely coming from SEIU, according to several sources. 

That’s less than the $5.2 million the American Action Network spent in January alone on ads to boost the repeal efforts. The group on Wednesday announced it would spend another $2.2 million on Obamacare-related ads. Separately, One Nation, a conservative group with ties to Senate Republican leadership, on Wednesday announced a $2.3 million ad buy that will target vulnerable Democratic senators up for re-election in 2018, as well as GOP moderates.

Funding from health industry groups also hasn’t materialized, unlike eight years ago, when powerful lobbying organizations with a stake in reshaping the health system poured massive sums into helping pass Obamacare. Drug companies devoted substantial resources to helping the Obama administration pass the law. Many such groups now are eager not to antagonize Republicans who control both houses of Congress and the White House.

“I expect more resources will be raised,” said Bob Greenstein, president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-leaning think tank. “I’m not sure they will be anything comparable to what’s on the other side.”

Liberals facing an uphill battle on funding is nothing new, Rome said. He argues, however, that GOP lawmakers will continue to experience huge blowback, because they’re trying to take something away from their constituents.

“These are programs that have powerful constituencies,” he said. “They can’t politicize an issue that is fundamentally personal to people.”

Huffington Post Op-Ed by Ethan Rome, HCAN Co-Director, Medicaid Matters: The GOP Attack On 74 Million Americans

There is good news in the battle over health care – GOP members of Congress are getting pummeled in their districts for trying to take away their constituents’ Obamacare. Voters overwhelmingly oppose repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without an adequate replacement, and Obamacare is more popular than ever in the polls. At the same time, the Republican timeline for repeal is slipping (and slipping), they still don’t have anything remotely close to a replacement plan, and there is growing division within the GOP’s ranks about what to do.

This is why we need to keep up and intensify the pressure, and at the same time hammer home the need to protect Medicaid – especially as Republicans are now talking about including drastic cuts and changes to Medicaid as part of their repeal of the ACA.

What’s the GOP plan to destroy Medicaid? The Republicans would like to radically restructure Medicaid and cut as much as $1 trillion over the next ten years. The results would be devastating.

Seniors would be thrown out of nursing homes or lose home care services. Children and people with disabilities would go without needed care. Families would be slammed with crushing health care costs for their parents. Huge costs will be shifted to state governments, health care and other jobs will be lost, and the economy will be hurt.

Who benefits from Medicaid? Medicaid is the biggest health insurer in the U.S., providing benefits to about one in four Americans. 74 million working families, children, seniors and people with disabilities, including 33 million children, receive Medicaid benefits. Half (46%) of Medicaid spending is on long-term care for seniors and people with disabilities. Medicaid finances nearly half of all births in the U.S., accounts for 75% of all publicly-funded family planning services, and covers more than half of all long-term care spending. Of people who rely on Medicaid, 41% are White, 25% are Latino and 22% are African American.

Total Medicaid spending is roughly 17 percent of overall health spending. Along with education, Medicaid is one of the two largest expenditures by state governments, which administer the program and fund it in partnership with the federal government.

Not surprisingly, Medicaid is popular and a majority of people think it works well. In fact, because of how large and diverse the Medicaid population is, half of Americans report a positive and personal connection with the program. We need to capitalize on this and stop the Republican effort to destroy this program in its tracks.

How would the Republican Medicaid scheme work? Under the current system, state Medicaid programs receive federal matching funds based on the number of people in need and the costs of care in that state. Under the GOP’s proposal, Medicaid would be radically restructured by forcing states to accept reductions in federal funding through either a “per capita cap” or a block grant, both of which would shrink federal funding for state Medicaid programs over time, relative to current law, beginning with a cut as large as $1 trillion over ten years. Simply put, the Republican approach would effectively eliminate Medicaid’s guarantee of coverage, starve the program, and shift billions of dollars of costs to state taxpayers.

If states wanted to maintain their current level of Medicaid services, they’d have to make unacceptable cuts in other areas (such as education) or raise new revenues, and that’s not likely. In reality, states would be forced to make deep and painful cuts. Fewer people would likely be covered, and their benefits would be scaled back.

These cuts would have a far-reaching impact on families, businesses, state governments and regional economies.

  • Millions of jobs would be lost. According to a new report, the repeal of key provisions of the ACA, including Medicaid expansion, could lead to substantial job losses in every state – 2.6 million people could lose their jobs in 2019 alone, and nearly 3 million positions in health care and other sectors could be lost by the year 2021. Massive Medicaid cuts would only exacerbate this job crisis.
  • Millions of children in low-income families would have to make do without adequate medical services, hurting their quality of life and the quality of their education. For example, children with conditions such as unmanaged asthma and chronic allergies would miss school and find it difficult to concentrate when they are in attendance, compromising their school performance and limiting their educational and economic prospects.
  • Millions of seniors would be left without nursing home coverage and other long-term care services, forcing their families to shoulder the burden. The average cost of nursing home care in the U.S. is now upwards of $90,000 a year, while the median household income is only about $55,775.
  • Millions of Americans in the sandwich generation would find it impossible to save the hundreds of thousands of dollars they will need for their own retirement and health care along with the health care needs of their parents. Combined with other pressures such as rising college tuition costs, working and middle class families will fall farther and farther behind.
  • Billions of dollars in health costs would be shifted to the states, which will no longer be able to turn to the federal government for resources to care for more people in need because of economic downturns or emergencies.
  • What’s more, starving Medicaid would force states to cut payments to doctors and hospitals, sending private health plan premiums higher and putting strains on the provider community.

The Republican Medicaid plan isn’t just an attack on health care — it’s a systematic effort to weaken the role of government and undermine the economic security of all of America’s families. We can’t preserve and expand the middle class if people don’t have affordable health care they can count on.

Now more than ever, we must make the case that Medicaid matters.

Huffington Post Op-Ed by Ethan Rome, HCAN Co-Director, Medicaid Matters: The GOP Attack On 74 Million Americans

There is good news in the battle over health care – GOP members of Congress are getting pummeled in their districts for trying to take away their constituents’ Obamacare. Voters overwhelmingly oppose repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without an adequate replacement, and Obamacare is more popular than ever in the polls. At the same time, the Republican timeline for repeal is slipping (and slipping), they still don’t have anything remotely close to a replacement plan, and there is growing division within the GOP’s ranks about what to do.

This is why we need to keep up and intensify the pressure, and at the same time hammer home the need to protect Medicaid – especially as Republicans are now talking about including drastic cuts and changes to Medicaid as part of their repeal of the ACA.

What’s the GOP plan to destroy Medicaid? The Republicans would like to radically restructure Medicaid and cut as much as $1 trillion over the next ten years. The results would be devastating.

Seniors would be thrown out of nursing homes or lose home care services. Children and people with disabilities would go without needed care. Families would be slammed with crushing health care costs for their parents. Huge costs will be shifted to state governments, health care and other jobs will be lost, and the economy will be hurt.

Who benefits from Medicaid? Medicaid is the biggest health insurer in the U.S., providing benefits to about one in four Americans. 74 million working families, children, seniors and people with disabilities, including 33 million children, receive Medicaid benefits. Half (46%) of Medicaid spending is on long-term care for seniors and people with disabilities. Medicaid finances nearly half of all births in the U.S., accounts for 75% of all publicly-funded family planning services, and covers more than half of all long-term care spending. Of people who rely on Medicaid, 41% are White, 25% are Latino and 22% are African American.

Total Medicaid spending is roughly 17 percent of overall health spending. Along with education, Medicaid is one of the two largest expenditures by state governments, which administer the program and fund it in partnership with the federal government.

Not surprisingly, Medicaid is popular and a majority of people think it works well. In fact, because of how large and diverse the Medicaid population is, half of Americans report a positive and personal connection with the program. We need to capitalize on this and stop the Republican effort to destroy this program in its tracks.

How would the Republican Medicaid scheme work? Under the current system, state Medicaid programs receive federal matching funds based on the number of people in need and the costs of care in that state. Under the GOP’s proposal, Medicaid would be radically restructured by forcing states to accept reductions in federal funding through either a “per capita cap” or a block grant, both of which would shrink federal funding for state Medicaid programs over time, relative to current law, beginning with a cut as large as $1 trillion over ten years. Simply put, the Republican approach would effectively eliminate Medicaid’s guarantee of coverage, starve the program, and shift billions of dollars of costs to state taxpayers.

If states wanted to maintain their current level of Medicaid services, they’d have to make unacceptable cuts in other areas (such as education) or raise new revenues, and that’s not likely. In reality, states would be forced to make deep and painful cuts. Fewer people would likely be covered, and their benefits would be scaled back.

These cuts would have a far-reaching impact on families, businesses, state governments and regional economies.

· Millions of jobs would be lost. According to a new report, the repeal of key provisions of the ACA, including Medicaid expansion, could lead to substantial job losses in every state – 2.6 million people could lose their jobs in 2019 alone, and nearly 3 million positions in health care and other sectors could be lost by the year 2021. Massive Medicaid cuts would only exacerbate this job crisis.

· Millions of children in low-income families would have to make do without adequate medical services, hurting their quality of life and the quality of their education. For example, children with conditions such as unmanaged asthma and chronic allergies would miss school and find it difficult to concentrate when they are in attendance, compromising their school performance and limiting their educational and economic prospects.

· Millions of seniors would be left without nursing home coverage and other long-term care services, forcing their families to shoulder the burden. The average cost of nursing home care in the U.S. is now upwards of $90,000 a year, while the median household income is only about $55,775.

· Millions of Americans in the sandwich generation would find it impossible to save the hundreds of thousands of dollars they will need for their own retirement and health care along with the health care needs of their parents. Combined with other pressures such as rising college tuition costs, working and middle class families will fall farther and farther behind.

· Billions of dollars in health costs would be shifted to the states, which will no longer be able to turn to the federal government for resources to care for more people in need because of economic downturns or emergencies.

· What’s more, starving Medicaid would force states to cut payments to doctors and hospitals, sending private health plan premiums higher and putting strains on the provider community.

The Republican Medicaid plan isn’t just an attack on health care — it’s a systematic effort to weaken the role of government and undermine the economic security of all of America’s families. We can’t preserve and expand the middle class if people don’t have affordable health care they can count on.

Now more than ever, we must make the case that Medicaid matters.

Report on Philly Action

HCAN partners helped organize a FANTASTIC action in Philly in response to the GOP meeting with Trump held there on 1.26.  Thanks to leadership from CPD affiliate One Pennsylvania and participation from POWER (PICO), PHAN (Pennsylvania Health Access Network), SEIU, AFSCME, and AFL-CIO affiliates IBT, UNITE/HERE, IBT, USW and the PHL CLC for putting together two great days of events. On the 25th, PHAN and the Save Our Healthcare Bus Tour organized outstate health care events to help shape coverage and focus in on health care as the key theme of the protest on the 26th.

Then the 26th, CPD and partners turned out thousands for a rally in downtown Philly. The following groups in neighboring states sent people to the march: NYCC, Make the Road NY, VOCAL, Make the Road NJ, Make the Road PA, CASA, DE Alliance for Community Action, New Jersey Citizen Action , CWA, NJ Main Street Alliance, local unions and many more.

This was a great team effort. The Philly Enquirer estimated attendance at 5000, though organizers and the photos suggest many more!

See press, picture/social media and great video:

Great video from PICO and Philly We Rise here.

Clips are below:

HCAN in the News: Jan/Feb 2017 State Roundup

ALABAMA

Even in Alabama, PICO is hard at work to fight the terrible proposals on health care. The PICO Alabama affiliate got this great in early February on an event they organized with Alabama ARISE: 

http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/news/politics/southunionstreet/2017/02/02/clergy-members-urge-defense-affordable-care-act/97406168/.

 

ARKANSAS

Arkansas Community Organizations has been passing local resolutions in AR municipalities objecting to ACA repeal and highlighting the local impact. Pine Bluff resolution got some coverage below. See the link to press:

http://www.pbcommercial.com/news/20170206/council-reduces-enforcement-fees-gets-update-on-demo-program

 

CALIFORNIA

Health Access CA, AFSCME, SEIU, PICO and many others have been working together all over CA to respond to attacks on repeal. There’s been great coverage during the month of January.

In early January, AFSCME members and the clients they serve attended an ACA hearing in Bakersfield and offered testimony about the dangerous impact of repealing ACA. UDWA member Julie Otero’s testimony got widespread news coverage. See samples below: 

In mid-January, AFSCME, Health Access, SEIU, North Valley Labor Federation, CA Rural Legal Assistance Foundation and others teamed up for candlelight Vigil after the ACA Repeal vote in Cong. Jeff Denham’s district. Coverage of the event below:

  • Modesto Bee newspaper: http://www.modbee.com/news/article126138094.html
  •  KCRA News (CBS affiliate): A good segment was shown during the popular Good Day Sacramento morning program on 1/13/17, and a news “ticker” across the bottom of the screen commented on the protest vigil continuously throughout the morning

Finally, on January 15th, Health Access, AFSCME, SEIU, and many others joined Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, progressive activist and billionaire Tom Steyer, legendary singer Joan Baez, numerous other federal, state and local elected officials, as well as several individuals (from business owners to care givers to cancer survivors) who would be directly impacted by repeal of the ACA at a huge rally in San Francisco.  Almost every media outlet reported on the event:

A second huge event was also held on Jan. 15th in Los Angeles. There were great champions including newly elected Senator Kamala Harris in attendance as well as doctors, patients, nurses, union members, etc.

Nice quote from Nancy Gomez of Health Access included in this clip:

Nancy Marisa Gomez, organizing director of Health Access and a representative for #Fight4OurHealth Coalition, told the crowd that the broad coalition of more than 100 groups would “fight like hell” for their right to affordable health care.

“We’re not naive; we know the inevitable is going to happen, but we want them to delay the process and consider and put forth a realistic alternative so people don’t lose coverage and have the rug ripped right from under them,” Gomez said after the rally, which organizers estimated was attended by at least 700 people.

 

COLORADO

SEIU, Together Colorado and their coalition held a great rally on January 30th that included 500+ people! The rally opposed repeal of the ACA and a bill by state Senate Republicans to repeal the Colorado exchange.  Speakers included Sen Lucia Guzman, Senate Minority Leader, and Rep. Joann Ginal, and 4 people with personal stories.

See pictures herehttps://drive.google.com/open?id=0B43XwrJ4jL8CVVJWbC1nQTBBV3c.

Also great clips below:

Rally Held At State Capitol Over Affordable Care Act, Insurance Exchange

January 31, 2017 9:07 PM

CBS 4

DENVER (CBS4) – A crowd gathered at the state Capitol on Tuesday in favor of keeping the Affordable Care Act and the Connect for Health Colorado insurance exchange.

http://denver.cbslocal.com/2017/01/31/affordable-care-act-rally-colorado-capitol/

 

Groups Stand Up for Colorado Health Insurance Marketplace

January 31, 2017

Public News Services

DENVER – Groups are gathering on the steps of the state Capitol today to protest efforts by some lawmakers to repeal Connect for Health Colorado, the state’s health-insurance marketplace.

http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2017-01-31/consumer-issues/groups-stand-up-for-colorado-health-insurance-marketplace/a56167-1

 

Republicans defend plan to repeal health insurance exchange despite protests

January 31, 2017

Colorado Politics

As demonstrators called for keeping the status quo, Colorado Senate Republicans on Tuesday argued the case for what is so far a one-party effort to repeal the state’s health-insurance exchange. http://coloradopolitics.com/republicans-defend-plan-repeal-health-insurance-exchange-despite-protests/

 

Capitol crowd roars against proposed rollbacks of health care coverage: ‘Obamacare! What a wonderful word’

January 31, 2017

Colorado Statesman https://www.coloradostatesman.com/capitol-crowd-roars-against-proposed-rollbacks-of-state-federal-health-care-coverage-obamacare-what-a-wonderful-word/

 

Democrats rally in support of state, national health insurance programs

January 31, 2017

Durango Herald https://durangoherald.com/articles/133122-democrats-rally-in-support-of-state-national-health-insurance-programs

 

And earlier in January, for the January 15th day of action, the coalition helped turnout over 500  people to a rally  with Reps. DeGette and Perlmutter,Lt Gov Donna Lynne, House Speaker Crisanta Duran, SEIU Local 105 President Ron Ruggiero and homecare worker Corletta Hithon.

Great coverage: 

http://kdvr.com/2017/01/15/hundreds-attend-denver-rally-to-prevent-repeal-of-affordable-care-act/

http://www.denverpost.com/2017/01/15/diana-degette-fight-repeal-obamacare/

 

ILLINOIS

Citizen Action of IL and AFSCME Council 31 worked with the Save our HealthCare Bus Tour on two events in the state in late January. In addition, Citizen Action supported a great event in Roskam’s district with Sen. Durbin.

On the last weekend of January, Citizen Action of IL stepped up their work to organize members to attend Roskam’s town hall meeting. They successfully confronted the Congressman and he reacted, like other colleagues, by running from his constituents—resulting in the great coverage below.

 

MAINE

While Republicans in Washington DC are busy trying to cut Medicaid through block grants and cuts, Maine People’s Alliance and their coalition are working on expanding Medicaid via the ballot initiative process. On January 25,  Mainers for Health Care steering committee delivered more than 67,000 signatures to the Secretary of State to place a referendum on the ballot to expand Medicaid coverage in Maine. The petitions pave the way for a public vote on accepting federal funding to cover tens of thousands of Mainers who currently can’t afford health insurance but have been denied coverage through Medicaid. Similar bills have been passed by bi-partisan majorities in the legislature multiple times in recent years, but have been repeatedly vetoed by Governor Paul LePage.

Press clips:

Maine People’s Alliance also continued work to challenge ACA repeal and cuts to Medicaid with activity and earned media around the state ithroughout January:

 

MICHIGAN

Michigan United recruited a great speaker to testify against the Price nominee in mid January. Her testimony was well covered back home. See the clips below:

In addition, Michigan United and Michigan People’s Campaign kicked off their Tuesday Turnout campaign, our strategy to resist and disrupt the Trump Agenda by putting pressure on members of Congress over the first 100 days of the Administration. In partnership with MoveON.com, they turned out over 100 constituents in Detroit to fill building which houses the Congressional Office of Representative David Trott (11th CD), demanding that he meet with constituents to discuss his position on the Affordable Care Act, a law he has repeatedly voted to repeal. Members in Kalamazoo carried out a similar action in where MU and MPC members demanded a meeting with Representative Fred Upton.

Michigan United has also been doing actions on Republicans Walberg, Bishop, and Mitchell in January and February. These events started escalation arcs and got a lot of new members involved. Great local press hit in Walberg’s district below. They also did good thank you events at Democrats Conyers, Levin and Lawrence office asking these members to be champions for saving health care.

http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2017/01/fix_it_dont_nix_it_health_care.html

 

MISSOURI

MO Health Care for All, Jobs with Justice and Missouri Faith Voices have been doing events in January and February around the state to raise the visibility of ACA repeal and attacks on Medicaid. See coverage below:

Joplin

 

Springfield

 

West Plains

Most recently, PICO affiliate Faith Voices got great coverage on this mid-Missouri event:

Columbia residents rally in support of the Affordable Care Act
http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/local/columbia-residents-rally-in-support-of-the-affordable-care-act/article_b168443f-71be-52ab-a9bf-cf1f20133057.html

 

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Allies including Rights & Democracy are quoted in this clip from in Manchester, New Hampshire: http://www.wmur.com/article/manchester-voters-rally-to-save-the-affordable-care-act/8601494

 

NEW JERSEY

NJCA and allies did several vigils in January targeting GOP House members who supported repealing the ACA and taking health care away from New Jerseyans. See coverage below.

 

NEW YORK

There’s been continuous and widespread coverage of anti-repeal activities in New York state since the election and in the first month of 2017.

On January 5th, AFSCME, SEIU and CANY organized a press conference in response to a request from Senator Chuck Schumer that got great press coverage:

CANY, SEIU and their many partners at HCFANY also did a great series of events on January 12th that got a lot of press attention. The groups worked with the Save Our Health Care Bus Tour on some great events upstate that coincided with the inauguration of President Trump. See below.

Capital Tonight (TV show broadcast statewide on Time Warner Stations; widely seen by political people): http://www.twcnews.com/nys/capital-region/capital-tonight-interviews/2017/01/20/fighting-to-save-the-affordable-care-act.html

http://wamc.org/post/national-savemycare-tour-bus-makes-

January 12th Events:

Long Island

Daily Gazette (Schenectady)

Albany Times Union (appeared on blog; not sure about print edition):

Channel 10 (ABC, Fox)

Channel 9 (Time Warner Cable)

Channel 13 (NBC) (2 clips)

Also, there was a great protest at Faso’s office two weekends ago that has generated a lot of press–Faso didn’t run from his constituents, to his credit.  This seems to have originated as a grassroots (non-group led event) that CANY members attended. CANY staff have followed up with the leaders and doing some more work together!

 

NORTH CAROLINA

Action NC organized two rallies for the January 15th day of action: one in Raleigh \co-sponsored with Progress NC, and one in Charlotte cosponsored with Health Care Justice NC. Both had 150+ people in attendance. Congressman David Price attended the Raleigh event, which was held at the offices of the North Carolina Association of Educators. Along with him, three ACA recipients and two doctors spoke. Four tv stations and the local daily paper turned out. In Charlotte speakers included two recipients, one doctor and representatives from several organizing and activist groups–Planned Parenthood, NAACP, NOW, Health Care Justice NC and Action NC. Several other recipients spoke when we did an open mike to end the event. See the press below:

 

PENNSYLVANIA

Keystone Progress did a great event in Reading on Jan. 27th that got coverage below. Over 30 people show up in the cold to stand up for our healthcare.  We had some great stories, which are reflected in the media coverage below.

 

OHIO

Earlier in January, Progress Ohio and Ohio Policy Matters did a great report release event with allies that got coverage on AP in 41 places. Columbus Business First hit the hospital employment angle hard; Dayton Daily News ran the local county breakdowns.

 

VERMONT

Rights and Democracy in Vermont and their allies held a great event for the January day of action. Over 1000 people turned out and there was good media coverage.

 

VIRGINIA

Virginia Organizing continued to organize health care events across the state in January that generated good earned media in different areas of the state. See some samples below.


Harrisonburg

Virginia Beach
http://www.pressreleasepoint.com/virginia-beach-virginia-organizing-hold-demonstration-support-health-care-all-people

Danville
http://www.godanriver.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/make-our-lives-better-not-worse/article_6249a61a-d12f-11e6-979d-a3a28db4e120.html


Martinsville
http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/news/local-residents-raise-concerns-about-federal-decisions/article_6ab704fa-e9bc-11e6-8062-b7f7d554741a.html

Of particular note is the quote from a GOP Congressman making excuses about why he’s not having town halls:

“It’s all part of the Democrat strategy: They want to have these meetings so they can bring in a bunch of protesters,” he said. “There’s a group, (Indivisible Guide), and they’re encouraging people to do these things, and they’re pushing everybody to do this so they can show up with big banners and have press. I want to solve problems. I’m happy to make meetings with people who want to have meetings, who are constituents, and sit down and try to problem solve. But I’m not interested in showing up at what they hope will end up being a media event for the lynching of the local congressman.”

WASHINGTON

WACAN! worked with the WA State Governor on a large event in mid-January and also continued to recruit stories of impacted people to be featured in press clips like this one:

http://news.sky.com/story/obamacare-familys-fears-for-the-future-of-the-landmark-healthcare-law-10733753

 

WEST VIRGINIA

WVCAG and coalition groups did a great event on Jan. 12th to keep up the drumbeat on the dangers of repeal. Speakers included Doctors, Nurses, and folks covered who stand to lose coverage, even got a rural hospital admin to speak on how one provision of ACA enabled them to add new specialists to serve their county. CNN was there filming and some b-roll appeared on later segment which also features HCAN’s “Don’t Take My Health Care” yellow and black signs.

Video here https://www.facebook.com/WVCAG/

CLIP: http://edition.cnn.com/videos/politics/2017/01/24/fight-to-save-obamacare-marquez-pkg-ac.cnn

Just 2 weeks later on the 24th, the coalition released a great report that also got great coverage.

 

WISCONSIN

Citizen Action of Wisconsin turned out people to a huge Milwaukee event for the January 15th day of action and subsequently held 5 events later in January. The event in Milwaukee with Senator Tammy Baldwin and Congresswoman Gwen Moore packed a room designed for 300 with over 660 people, while another 200 were outside for a second impromptu rally. 4 tv stations, public radio and major paper covered it.

Milwaukee, January 15th:

Eau Claire Event:

Event in extremely Conservative Waukesha County:

Fox Valley

Appleton

Main Street Alliance Update

MAIN STREET ALLIANCE: MSA is generating great press across the states (ME, PA, NJ, MN, WV) and doing a lot of lobby visits to weigh in with key legislators on how the terrible GOP proposals will hurt small businesses. Great Work!

Great Op Ed from MSA Small Business Owner in WV: http://www.wvgazettemail.com/daily-mail-letters-to-the-editor/20170206/letter-aca-a-help-for-small-businesses-daily-mail

Maine: Maine Voices: Portland small-business owner supports the Affordable Care Act

Pennsylvania: Trump and GOP plotted in Philly to repeal Obamacare. The resistance was waiting

Minnesota: Minnesota business owners urge lawmakers to keep ACA

New Jersey: Small business Obamacare supporters speak out in NJ

Small business group fights health care repeal

Virginia: ACA needs to be improved, but not rewritten entirely

Dec 2016 State Roundup

Health Care for America Now state grassroots partners joined MoveOn and local allies to organize “Don’t Take Our Health Care” actions across the states on December 20th in response the dangerous Republican proposals to repeal the ACA, Implement block grants that would devastate Medicaid and hurt state budgets, and replace seniors’ Medicare benefits with skimpy vouchers for private insurance.

Together, HCAN groups and MoveOn volunteers generated nearly 80 events on December 20th that mobilized the real people impacted by these policies, challenged lawmakers directly in district, and engaged a broader community of grassroots groups in the fight to save our healthcare. Below are some highlights from the 36 events that HCAN partners and allies led in 19 states.

ARKANSAS

Arkansas Community Organizations and their allies held a press conference in front of Boozman’s and Cotton’s offices near the state capitol building. A mother of a child who receives insurance through the ACA Medicaid expansion, a Medicare recipient and recipient of premium assistance for insurance coverage shared their stories with the media. Link to tv coverage is below: http://www.thv11.com/news/local/some-arkansans-fear-the-consqeuences-of-repealingobamacare/379864008

CALIFORNIA

California Advocates including Health Access, SEIU and PICO’s San Diego Organizing Project, ARA and others worked together on two great “Don’t Take My Health Care Events” in Bakersfield and San Diego that garnered English and Spanish language coverage.

In San Diego, Univision covered an event targeting Congressman Issa that drew over 150 people:

In Bakersfield, an event targeting Congressman McCarthy got good media attention both in advance and following the protest.

Advance Coverage:

  • Bakersfield Californian: Worth noting: Coalition to protest McCarthy’s stance on ACA (also mentioned on California HealthLine)
  • ABC23 (Bakersfield): Constituents in support of strengthening Obamacare to rally outside of McCarthy’s Bakersfield office
  • Sacramento Bee AM Alert: Health care advocates urge GOP congressmen to save Obamacare

Event Coverage:

  • Bakersfield Californian: Protesters descend on McCarthy’s district office (Nancy pictured)
  • NBC17 (Bakersfield) 5:00 news segment (Nancy interviewed)
  • ABC23 (Bakersfield) 5:00 news segment

For more video and pictures from these events, visit: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/8znz54xnodxpzsp/AABzcPZj6MqJnl-N2x0irG6Za?dl=0

FLORIDA

In Florida, Miami Workers’ Center and Organize Now teamed up to organize three “Don’t Take My Health Care” Events on December 20th. The groups held three coordinated events in Orlando, Tampa and Miami.

In Miami, 50 leaders and activists from Miami Workers Center, the AFLCIO, New Florida Majority, SEIU-1199, the Women’s Fund, Community Justice Project and Florida Legal Services and Move On chanted and marched in front of Rubio’s office, distributed leaflets and shared stories before announcing the launch of an online petition asking Rubio to protect ACA: http://bit.ly/RubioProtectFL.

The event got media coverage in both English and Spanish TV and print.

Links to more pictures and live videos from the event:

GEORGIA

 New Georgia Project, Faith in Public Life, AFSC and Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda joined forces to organize an event in Atlanta featuring local faith and civic leaders.

Georgia groups proclaim ‘Don’t take my health care 

ILLINOIS

 Citizen Action of Illinois along with MoveOn, Alliance for Retired Americans and PPFA supporters gathered at Congressman LaHood’s Springfield office for a “Don’t Take My Health Care” event that got good coverage:

Video clip including both sides of the repeal debate

Health Care Advocates Protest Outside Rep. LaHood’s Office

Vigil Held in Springfield Urging Lawmakers Not to Repeal Obamacare 

INDIANA

 PICO affiliate IndyCAN organized dozens of diverse clergy and ACA recipients for a prayer vigil on the floor of Eskenazi Hospital, calling on newly elected Senator Young to protect over half a million Hoosiers who will lose coverage if the ACA is repealed.

See photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/indycanpico/albums/72157677982055226

MICHIGAN

Michigan United organized about 40 people for a protest at Representative Trott’s office. For many, it was their first time taking action to demand a meeting with Trott. The event got radio coverage on NPR radio:

Protestors urge Republican Congressman not to repeal the Affordable Care Act

MINNESOTA

PICO Affiliate ISAIAH, Take Action Minnesota and their allies organized 40 leaders, including clergy and religious leaders, for two events at Congressman Emmer’s office and at Congressman Paulson’s office. Their message: “Keep your hands off our health care.”

See pictures:

MISSOURI

Missouri Jobs with Justice, Missouri Faith Voices, Missouri Rural Crisis Center and Missouri Health Care for All organized three “Don’t Take My Health Care” events (St. Louis, Columbia, and Springfield) on December 20th to encourage Senators McCaskill and Blunt to oppose repeal of the ACA and changes to Medicaid and Medicare. There was good coverage of the event in Columbia and great photos from other events included.

Activists gather to speak out about the possible repeal of Obamacare 

Organization says repealing Obamacare without a replacement will increase hunger in Missouri

NEW YORK

Citizen Action of New York, MoveOn and HCFANY partners organized five “Don’t Take Our Health Care” Events. See below for photos from the Massapequa Park and Staten Island events.

Facebook video: https://www.facebook.com/141506109212775/videos/1511850035511702/

NORTH CAROLINA

Action NC organized 35 people come out in the freezing cold to stand in front of Sen Tillis’ office and send the message “Don’t Take My Health Care.” A delegation of 5 people delivered fruitcake and holiday cards to the Senator, spoke with staff for about the importance of maintaining the core services of the ACA and urging him to leave Medicaid and Medicare alone in 2017.

OHIO

Progress Ohio was part of a nice event outside Senator Portman’s office on the Day of action. The Plain Dealer covered the event:

With Obamacare on the line, new figures and lobbying efforts aim to keep it

PENNSYLVANIA

Keystone Progress organized an event in Erie outside the Federal Building that got good coverage:

TV coverage here:

VERMONT

Main Street Alliance participated in events and actions in ME, MN, NJ and VT. Their members and quotes from MSA Executive Director Amanda Ballantyne featured prominently in the clips below. In addition to this great coverage, MSA generated over 500 signatures on their small business petition and nearly 100 calls to Congress.

Main Street Alliance calls for fixing not dumping ACA http://vermontbiz.com/news/december/main-street-alliance-calls-fixing-not-dumping-aca

“Our current health care system isn’t perfect, but rather than focus on strengthening the coverage, the Republican plan would do just the opposite: it rolls back the most important protections,” said Jen Kimmich, co-owner of The Alchemist and chair of the Board of Main Street Alliance of Vermont. “The Republican plan returns us to the bad old days when small business owners paid more for less coverage, got charged twice as much in administrative costs as larger groups, and small businesses had no leverage and no real choices. Small businesses will be vulnerable to continued price gouging by health insurers, and retain no bargaining power, risk pooling, or benefits of economies of scale.”

Roughly 80 percent of private sector businesses in Vermont employ fewer than 10 employees. Small businesses are the engine of our state’s economy, MSA-VT said in a statement. Being able to find health coverage without access to traditional employment benefits means that people aren’t tied to jobs — they have the freedom to start new and grow existing Vermont small businesses.

 Small Business Owners Speak Out And Tell Trump Not To Repeal Obamacare
http://www.politicususa.com/2016/12/20/small-business-owners-speak-trump-repeal- obamacare.html

“Let’s be clear: rather than focusing on strengthening the coverage, the Republican plan would destroy the insurance market and leave millions of business owners without coverage,” said Amanda Ballantyne, National Director of Main Street Alliance. “Stripping subsidies and removing the individual mandate could lead to the ‘death spiral’ of spiking premiums, dwindling healthy participants, and fewer insurance companies offering coverage. If we don’t fight back, we could witness the near collapse of the private insurance market.”

Small business owners won’t be the only people harmed by the Republican plan. It is estimated that 30 million Americans will lose access to their health care if Republicans repeal the Affordable Care Act.

“Mr. Trump and Republicans leadership in Congress are trying to push through a plan that would eliminate affordable health care for my employees and customers,” said Marilyn Sealy, owner of Wells Rugs Service in Morristown and a member of the Main Street Alliance of New Jersey Steering Committee. Marilyn called and spoke to Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen (R). “That means less money in the pockets of people in my community, and fewer people were buying goods and services from small business owners like myself. It would be a disaster for our state economy.”

VIRGINIA

Twenty members of the Danville Chapter of Virginia Organizing gathered at Piedmont Access to Health Services (PATHS) in Danville for a “Don’t Take Away Our Health Care!” on Wednesday, December 21st. See the clips from the event:

WEST VIRGINIA

West Virginia Citizen Action Group, West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families, along with MoveOn and the West Virginians for Affordable Health Care Coalition held three events (Morgantown, Martinsburg, Charleston) for the “Don’t Take My Health Care” Day of Action. About 75 people turned out for the Charleston event, braving the 30 degree weather outside Sen. Capito’s office bringing with them a vision of the 184,000 WV’ians who will lose healthcare if repeal moves forward. Smaller groups gathered in the other two locations. See press below.

Photos of the events are here: https://www.facebook.com/WVCAG/posts/1196317567115561

WISCONSIN

Wisconsin Citizen Action got great member turnout at three events (2 Milwaukee and 1 Appleton) before the day of action, but no media. Last week the group generated

data on the health insurance inflation rate before and after ACA in Wisconsin as part of their annual Health Insurance Cost Ranking report. that drew large statewide media attention. Below are press clips covering the report so far: