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: