Since September, HCAN and HCANEF has continued to respond to attacks on our health care on multiple fronts, including robust mobilization against the Graham-Cassidy repeal effort, continued efforts from the Trump administration to undermine and sabotage the law, and support for bi-partisan efforts to stabilize ACA marketplaces and reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
In addition, HCAN and HCANEF partners have worked with a broad set of allies to respond to attacks to Medicaid, Medicare and the ACA in the federal budget and in the tax reform fight, organizing over 164 events in states during October and November to educate the public about the impact of Republican proposals on the middle class, working families and our health care and hold lawmakers accountable for cutting health care to give tax breaks to the rich and corporations.
Arkansas Community Organizations (ACO) held two “No Thanks” press on Nov. 21, one in Little Rock and one in Pine Bluff, as part of HCAN’s “No Thanks” Day of Action during the Thanksgiving Congressional Recess. The Little Rock event received advance coverage: Protest Set on Tax Legislation
The Little Rock event received coverage: Little Rock Protesters Rally Against Service Cuts
ACO’s Pine Bluff event also got brief coverage in the Pine Bluff Commercial (see right).
In addition, ACO generated a series of letters to the editor in the Pine Bluff Commercial from local people that connected the huge tax giveaways in the GOP’s tax plan to cuts in critical healthcare programs. See below.
LTE’s published in Pine Bluff Commercial, 11/19/17
- Oppose cutting health care for wealth care
- Don’t cut Medicaid, Medicare to pay for tax breaks
- Bill gives tax breaks to the richest
These events built on work from October that also elevated the GOP tax plan and the massive cuts to Medicaid and Medicare that will pay for the corporate tax giveaway. On Halloween, ACO held a rally outside Arkansas Republican headquarters to send a message: Invest in the people instead of giving tax breaks to your wealthy donors. No more tricks to get treats for your buddies!
ACO members and allies also delivered post cards created by kids in the district to Rep. French Hill’s office to demand that he protect health care in the budget on October 4th.
Delaware Alliance for Community Advancement (DelACA) has been working on raising awareness in the state about the impact of repeal and the federal budget and tax fight on Medicaid.
DelACA’s ED, Darlene Battle authored an Op Ed to urge Congress to pass CHIP, 10/25/17
On Friday, Oct 27, Delaware Alliance for Community Advancement (DelACA) held a Community Forum on Women’s Health Issues in response to the attacks on women’s health in the federal budget.
Organize Florida staged a direct action at Wells Fargo as a part of HCAN’s November 21 “No Thanks!” Day of Action. A huge puppet of Rick Scott accompanied by 19 supporters, including allies from Indivisible East Hillsborough, marched to Wells Fargo from MacDill Park. A number of speakers joined including: Da’Myra Williams, Teenager with asthma on Kidcare, Isabelle Hall, Teenager on Children’s Medical Services, Darlene Goodfellow, ACA enrollee, Tara Blackwell, USF Adjunct Professor, Marina Welch, Tampa Community Leader and Lepena Reid, AARP Member. The event received coverage below:
Citizen Action of Illinois has continued to focus energy on highlighting Representative Roskam’s support for health care cuts and big tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations. On November 16th, Citizen Action and allies organized a large-scale event outside a GOP fundraiser targeting Roskam that drew 250 people. Press coverage:
- Mixed reaction from Fox Valley-area lawmakers to House approval of GOP tax plan
- Roskam At the Center of Political Fight Over Taxes
- 250 Protesters Rally Against Roskam At Fundraiser in Downers’ Grove
- More than 100 Protesters Turn Out for Roskam Appearance at GOP Fundraiser in Downers’ Grove
Excerpt from POLITICO Illinois Playbook:
The Coalition for a Better IL 6th reports that more than 100 people showed up on Friday outside a fundraiser U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam attended to protest his vote on the House tax bill. Video
That event followed an event the week before with Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky that featured allies Indivisible, SEIU, and others calling on the GOP to stop their tax bill that would transfer trillions to the rich and corporations paid for by massive cuts to health care.
These November activities followed up an October 4th event in which Citizen Action of IL and IL ARA organized an event to highlight the impact of the federal cuts to Medicaid and Medicare outside Roskam’s district. The event highlighted the tradeoff message about tax cuts for the rich and corporations paid for by cuts to health care. Coverage :
Citizen Action of IL followed up with a Letter to the Editor on the same theme published later in the month:
Citizen Action also produced 2 LTES during Thanksgiving recess to highlight the impact of the tax bill on the middle class:
- Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Won’t Help Me, 11/22/17
- Roskam’s Tax Bill in Congress Would Hurt the Middle Class, 11/22/17
Leading up to the Senate vote on the GOP Tax Bill, Citizen Action and Allies organized a large demonstration again hammering Roskam for his failure to support constituents against the cuts to healthcare and massive tax giveaway that got coverage.
See story immediately after Navajo section:
Politico IL Playbook also printed a link to the group’s Tweet amidst their story about the first day of candidates filing for office:
Last night, demonstrators were again out in force protesting Roskam: “Somehow .@PeterRoskam didn’t notice 100+ #IL06 constituents trying to speak to their Rep. about the #GOPTaxScam tonight in #Wheaton” Twitter
INDYCAN, HCAN’s Indiana partner has been doing a lot of work behind the scenes to urge Senator Donnelly to reject the Trump Tax Plan and to withstand pressure from Republicans to concede on Medicaid cuts. They have been generating great media like this Letter to the Editor from one of their members:
Maine Street Alliance small business owners are raising their voices to reject the GOP Tax bill that Trump alleges will benefit small businesses and “level the playing field.” In Iowa, an MSA member was interviewed by ABC local 5 on the GOP tax bill and called out the IA delegation for not listening to small businesses in early November. See clip here:https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bwo7lXz7vNY4cnV0VGNMck90UE0/view
MSA IA held a press call on Oct. 4 to lift up the voice of small business owners in the budget and tax fight urging Sen. Grassley to vote against the federal budget resolution:
MSA IA member, ReShonda Young wrote this Op Ed calling on Sen. Grassley to vote against the bill:
ReShonda’s story also featured in multiple outlets here:
- Main Street Alliance Raises Concerns About GOP Budget, 10/25/17
- Main Street Alliance, Iowa Business Owners Raise Concerns about GOP Budget, 10/25/17
- Main Street Alliance, Iowa Business Owners Raise Concerns about GOP Budget, 10/25/17
Maine Small Business Alliance, an affiliate of Maine People’s Alliance and Main Street Alliance, has been active in pressuring Senator Collins and Representative Poliquin to reject the tax proposals that will force cuts in Medicaid and Medicare. The group held a press conference and generated press leading up to and following the House vote to pass the GOP tax bill:
- Business Group Calls on Poliquin, Collins to Oppose Tax Cuts for Wealthy, 10/26/17
- Maine Small Business Owners Condemn Rep. Poliquin’s Budget Vote, 10/26/17
- Video of the press conference
- Poliquin Out of Touch with His Constituents, 11/10/17
Another small business member, Cathy Walsh, appeared on a local radio show, Community Voices for Change on WMPG in Portland, and discussed a number of issues, highlighting taxes, healthcare, and also hitting on minimum wage, environment, etc. on 11/16. Link to the radio show.
Earlier in November, Maine Small Business Alliance member Amy Belfast published the Letter to the Editor (see right) challenging Rep. Poliquin to explain his support of ACA repeal policies that would hurt small business owners like her and her husband.
ME Small Business Coalition also joined with Maine People’s Alliance and other allies to connect the state’s ballot measure campaign to expand Medicaid and the federal budget that would cut critical programs.
- Maine Small Businesses Join Call for Medicaid Expansion
- Voters to Decide on Medicaid Expansion
- Voters to Decide on Medicaid Expansion
- Medicaid Expansion- on Maine’s November Ballot- Divides Business Groups
- Maine Small Business Owners Make the Economic Case for Question 2
- Small Business Coalition Urges Yes Medicaid Vote
- In Maine Medicaid Expansion Goes Before the Voters
Main Street Alliance also responded to Trump’s sabotage of the ACA and explains small businesses won’t benefit from proliferation of substandard insurance plans and market destabilization that will result. Press from the article in multiple outlets in Maine here:
- Trump’s Executive Order Could Alter Maine Insurance Market, 10/13/17
- Donald Trump’s Executive Order Could Alter Maine Insurance Market, 10/13/17
- Trump’s Executive Order Could Alter Maine Insurance Market, 10/13/17
Progressive Maryland continued to focus on pushing Representative Harris to oppose repeal and cuts to healthcare in the budget over the past several months.
On Oct. 8, Progressive Maryland organized a health care rally and vigil to call out Representative Harris for his vote for a budget resolution that makes massive cuts to Medicaid and Medicare. Press clips from rally and vigil:
- Vigil for Las Vegas and Rally for Health Care
- Rally for Universal Health Care Held at the State House
- Progressive Maryland Health Care Rally and Vigil
- Vigils for Las Vegas Shooting Victims in Annapolis will Mix Grief, Political Aims
And, they also generated a series of LTES and an Op Ed in the local press.
OP ED written by Progressive Maryland member, Wendi Dennis on Harris’ vote for ACA repeal. It also calls on Harris to focus on bipartisan work towards solutions and reject the federal budget that includes deeper cuts to Medicaid and Medicare paid for by trillions in tax breaks for the rich and corporations.
- Andy Harris’ Health Care Votes Will Not Soon be Forgotten
- Harris Flip Flops on Deficit Spending to Support Corporate Tax Giveaway
- Rep. Harris Flip Flops on Deficit With Tax Bill
- Urge Andy Harris to Reject GOP Tax Reform Bill
Another leader published this great letter to the editor criticizing Harris and his fellow Republicans for ignoring children’s healthcare while promoting tax breaks for the rich and corporations.
In addition to a great string of LTEs, Progressive Maryland also staged a direct action at a Harris town hall meeting to highlight Harris’ support for the GOP tax plan that give tax breaks to the rich and corporations at the expense of health care. Good coverage of the November 11th event is below:
And most recently, Progressive Maryland did a petition delivery to Gov. Hogan’s office urging him to weigh in in opposition of the GOP Tax Bill.
Delivering nearly 300 signatures of concerned voters who are #Thankful for #Medicare #Medicaid & #CHIP to .@LarryHogan via Constituent Services at the #MDStateHouse! We demand NO CORPORATE TAX BREAKS! #TaxScam pic.twitter.com/GLc0nKvdUE
— MDforHealthcare (@MD4guaranteedHC) November 27, 2017
ISAIAH and Take Action Minnesota have been working together over the past few months to put pressure on Representatives Emmer, Paulsen and Lewis to reject healthcare cuts, ACA repeal and the GOP tax bill.
Missouri Jobs with Justice and Faith Voices Missouri have teamed up to draw attention to the negative consequences of GOP budget and tax proposals in their state. JwJ generated letters to the editor from local leaders:
JwJ also worked with partners in Mid-MO on the tax plans. Graduate Student Workers held a rally outside Hartzler’s office to protest the removal of graduate tuition waivers in the House TaxPlan.
Op Ed generated by JWJ on the importance of passing CHIP:
Faith Voices MO organized an action outside Senator Blunt’s Springfield office for the HCAN Thanksgiving recess “No Thanks” Day of Action on November 21st that got local coverage:
HCAN’s newest partner, Battle Born Progress held press events to kick off collection of health care voter pledges earlier this month as part of their plan to make health care a key issue in the upcoming elections. The event got great coverage on multiple stations:
- News Channel 2, CBS: Voters Sign Pledge for Affordable Health Care
- News Channel 4, NBC: Health Care Rally Being Held November 6th
- Battle Born also generated this great blog
The following week, Battle Born was able to get an activist to place this LTE in the Las Vegas Sun:
For the HCAN “No Thanks!” recess day of action on November 21st. Battle Born organized a digital day of action with partners and followers. Battle Born’s labor partner, Culinary 226, participated throughout the day and Congresswoman Titus responded to one of the tweets:
Battle Born also held a press conference with allies outside Sen. Heller’s Las Vegas district office on GOP tax bill and DACA that was live streamed.
On October 4th, Rights and Democracy NH and Granite State Organizing Project collaborated on a Health Care Community Forum to speak out against cuts to Medicaid and Medicare to pay for tax breaks for the rich and corporation. Over 30 people attended the forum in Manchester, NH. Participants shared their health care stories and front line voices represented including a retired surgeon. NH State Rep Backus attended and spoke at the forum as well.
RAD, GSOP, GSP held a kick off celebration and press conference to raise awareness on open enrollment. Shortly after the press conference, members delivered an oversized check to Governor Sununu representing the pay out the rich will get under the new tax plan. See pics and press clip below:
Open Enrollment Begins for Affordable Care Act.
RAD responds to Trump’s Sabotage of ACA:
New Jersey Citizen Action (NJCA) has its hands full with multiple House GOP targeted lawmakers who are sensitive to various provisions of the GOP Tax bill including the elimination of the SALT deduction. NJCA is working with AFSCME, MSA, NJOP and numerous allies to generate pressure in these districts.
Main Street Alliance of NJ is also stepping up pressure using small business voices to critique the tax bill.
MSA small business member generated this op-ed in mid-November:
And also generated this Letter to the Editor during the Thanksgiving recess:
MSA generated these two clips following a press call on Ocbober 11th to expose the fact that small businesses won’t benefit from the GOP tax bill:
- Trump Says His Tax Plan Would Cut Taxes on Small Businesses. It may actually hurt them
- Trump Tax Policy Could be Tough on Mom and Pop Shops on Main Street
HCAN ally New Jersey Organizing Project organized a great rapid response action in response to a visit from Secretary Mnuchin and Ivanka Trump that got great coverage locally. See clips:
- Ivanka Trump, Mnuchin pitch tax reform in Berkeley, avoid tough Q’s on deductions
- With party lines drawn at Ivanka Trump event, protesters left in drizzle
- Mnuchin, Ivanka Trump Press Family-Friendly Message On Tax Reform
And photos here:
In October, NJCA also generated good press about the actions that President Trump took to sabotage the ACA through a series of executive and administrative decisions. See clips:
- NJ Insurers Brace for Loss of ACA Subsidies, Plan to Hike ‘18
- Donald Trump Makes Costly Decision for New Jersey
- What Trump’s Push to Gut Obamacare Means to New Jersey (it’s not pretty)
Citizen Action of New York (CANY) has been working in key targeted upstate GOP districts over the past year on both stopping ACA repeal and on creating pressure for these lawmakers to reject the Republican budget resolution and now tax reform. CANY leads a large coalition also working on these issues.
- Creative Action to protest the budget cuts, 9/28/17
- Groups Concerned About Health Care Cuts, 10/20/17
- Look Headlines, 10/21/17
- Community Groups Join to Support Bipartisan Solution to Health Care. 10/18/17
- Group Rallies for Health Programs Outside King’s Office, 10/18/17
In November, CANY organized attendance at Rep. Reed’s town hall meeting on the 20th. Reed explained tax reform scenarios that agitated the crowd and prompted angry responses.
- Residents Berate Rep. Tom Reed Over House Tax Bill at Town Hall – WSKG – 11/21/17
- Residents respond to Congressman Tom Reed after tax reform vote – WETM 18 – 11/20/17
- Residents get heated in Tom Reed town hall meeting – WENY TV – 11/20/17
On October 4th Action North Carolina (Action NC) members, led by a wolf in sheep’s clothing, held a press conference at the Government Center in Charlotte to highlight the budget proposal’s hidden attacks on healthcare and the lies being told about who will benefit from the tax cuts. TV coverage focused heavily on the wolf’s costume as well as the message.
HCANEF partner Valley Voices United organized a great action for the November 21st “No Thanks” Day of action featuring local elected officials and impacted people. The event got good coverage locally:
Op Ed by Valley Voices’ local leader to share personal story on impact of Medicaid Cuts:
Another HCAN partner, Faith in Public Life, recruited Ohio Leader Rev. Tim Ahrens of First Congregational Church speaks out in opposition of the Johnson Amendment repeal in the tax bill that would lift the separation of church and state protections if passed.
Oregon Main Street Alliance generated a great letter to the editor in mid-November highlighting the impact of the new GOP tax plan on small business owners:
PA HCAN partners Pennsylvania Health Access Network (PHAN), POWER and POWER NE have been working together to stop the GOP tax plan in key targeted House Districts including the November action in Meehan’s district mentioned in this clip:
A POWER Member wrote this LTE following a meeting with Rep. Costello on proposed budget and tax plans:
Earlier, In October, POWER organized a clergy led health care vigil at Arlington Cemetery in Rep. Meehan’s district. Clergy honored lives lost by the opioid crisis and called on Rep. Meehan to protect people struggling with addition by supporting Medicaid. They emphasized that it is a moral imperative to stop health care cuts to fund tax breaks to the rich. POWER leader Reverend Tim Johansen wrote this Op ED that highlights the connection between budget cuts to Medicaid and the opioid crisis from a moral, faith based perspective.
In addition, PHAN organized a Halloween “Trick or Treat” Action outside Rep. Dent’s South Whitehall Township district office that got coverage here:
PHAN partners also generated good press in response to Trump’s sabotage of ACA:
- Trump’s End to Health Care Subsidies Could Mean Double Digit Rate Hike in PA
- Who’s Going to Feel the Pain as Trump Ends Obamacare Help for PA’s Poor?
- Trump’s Cuts to Obamacare Subsidies Undermine Patients, Pennsylvania Critics Say
- Trump Health Insurance Order Could Mean Bigger Rate Increase in Pennsylvania
- Repeal of Clean Power Plan /Health Care Changes
- Trump Health Care Order Could Mean Bigger Rate Increase in Pa.
- Pennsylvania Hospitals Disappointed by Trump Insurance Order
- Lehigh Valley Obamacare Users Nervous About Rate Increases
Tennessee Citizen Action (TNCA) has been targeting Senator on the tax bill using the increased deficit that would ensue as a result of the bill as a wedge issue to continue the divide and delay strategy.
On November 27 TNCA organized a protest outside Senator Corker’s Jonesborough district office.
Earlier in November, TNCA organized a rally on Franklin Square calling out Rep. Blackburn to oppose the tax bill. Photo from the rally included in this recent clip about the tax bill’s disproporationate impact on seniors and low and moderate income families:
TNCA also generated this Letter to the Editor from a member in Sumner County directed at Diane Black ahead of healthcare/tax vote.
Rights and Democracy VT has been extremely active in the fight to protect and defend health care in VT and DC. They have been targeting Governor Scott and were successful in getting him to weigh in in opposition of the repeal bills in the House and Senate.
RAD member Genie Raynor wrote this LTE to highlight RAD’s work to defeat the ACA repeal bill and commitment to fight to protect health care.
Main Street Alliance in VT has also been active in VT lifting up the small business voice in the repeal fight. MSA Vermont Member, Matt Birong, wrote and submitted this op-ed offering a small business perspective on the budget and tax proposals from the GOP.
West Virginia Citizen Action Group (WVCAG) organized a November 21st “No Thanks” Action in Charlottesville that got coverage here:
W.V. Groups Oppose Tax Reform Urge Capito To Reject Bill
WVCAG continued pressure on Senator Capito with a rally outside her Charleston office on November 29th, the day before the expected Senate vote on the tax bill:
Main Street Alliance WV Leader Martha Ehlman, wrote this Op Ed on the budget and tax plan related to medicaid cuts.
Citizen Action of Wisconsin turned out over 100 people for a forum in Paul Ryan’s district that got good coverage making the case that “tax reform” advocates in DC are trying to quietly and quickly pass tax cuts that would slash Medicare by $500 billion.
On October 4th, Citizen Action held a press conference on the steps of Senator Johnson’s Milwaukee district office to urge Congress to Renew Funding for CHIP
Citizen Action of Wisconsin and Partners Urge Congress to Renew Funding for Federal Health Programs
Citizen Action also held a great press conference with Rep. Moore, Mayor Barrett, Mayor Bukiewicz to oppose GOP Tax Bill on November 20th. See press below:
Additional press clip from Citizen Action’s press conference here:
Citizen Action of Wisconsin also organized a robust response to the Trump’s announcement about ending Cost Sharing Reduction payments that garnered very extensive coverage in the press. The press was generated from an in person event, press conference call and a number of 1-1 interviews. See below.
Wisconsin Radio Network (Oct 13, 2017) Trump orders on Obamacare fuel uncertainty in Wisconsin
HCAN generated this OP Ed about a personal story of the impact on Congress failing to pass CHIP
Leading up to the Senate vote on the Tax Bill, HCAN also worked with partner Doctors for America (DFA) to generate this op-ed from a physician featured in Newsweek:
National HCAN partner Faith in Public Life has engaged their network of clergy to fight for health and stop the immoral federal budget and tax cut plan.
On November 28th, hundreds of clergy and community leaders across the nation called on Senators to reject the Republican Tax plan that will soon face a floor vote. Faith in Public Life Action Fund (FPLAF) mobilized faith leaders from Florida to Tennessee to Maine, denouncing the current tax bill as immoral and reckless for fattening the pockets of the wealthy at the expense of the poor.
Faith in Public Life organized a clergy led press conference on November 28th outside Senator Rubio’s Jacksonville district office to protest against the immoral tax bill. Press clips and pics here:
On November 28, FPL organized a clergy led press conference to oppose the GOP tax bill in Maine targeting key Senator Susan Collins. Faith Leaders and community members gathered in front of St. Luke’s Cathedral in Portland and called on Senator Collins to vote no on the tax bill.
HCAN national partner Main Street Alliance (MSA) organized a national press event in mid November featuring Senator Elizabeth Warren making the case about the dangers of the GOP Tax Bill for small businesses.
MSA Sign On Letter: In addition, hours ahead of the critical vote in the Senate, more than 1,500 Main Street Alliance small business owners from around the country signed a letter that was delivered to Capitol Hill opposing the Republican tax bill, calling instead for strong investment in communities and healthcare.
MSA has engaged on the health care fight on multiple fronts over the past several months.
In October, MSA responded to Trump’s ACA Executive Order to sabotage the ACA, raising the voices of small business to explain how the proliferation of substandard insurance plans and market destabilization hurts Main Street.
MSA has also worked on challenging the GOP Tax bill, making the case that small businesses and their communities will pay for the massive budget cuts and tax cuts.
MSA worked on with HCAN ally Not One Penny on social media narrative that small businesses reject the GOP’s tax bill with these 2 videos.
Mike is a small business owner in Atlantic City, who’s done work for the Trump Organization in the past. Today, he’s speaking out against the Republican tax plan, concerned that it’ll tip the scales even more in favor of millionaires, billionaires, and wealthy corporations. Take a look and join us in demanding #NotOnePenny in tax cuts for the rich.
“I don’t understand where they’re coming from. What are they thinking?”
That’s what Randy – a small business owner in New Jersey – has to say about the Republican tax plan.
MSA was also featured on Breaking Through with Kristin Rowe-Finkbreiner, episode title “Rise Up! No #GopTaxScam Yes #HealthcareForAll” aired on Nov 27.
Another link to MSA on the radio is here:
— Rick Smith (@RickSmithShow) November 22, 2017
MSA Member Jim Houser is featured in the tweet.
PICO’s Political Director, Bishop Dwayne Royster, penned this Op Ed in the Huffington Post to lift up the moral argument against tax breaks to the 1 percent paid for by poor people and middle class families.