Below are great reports from HCAN State Partners' anti-repeal events that took place January 18th and 19th leading up to the vote in congress. HCAN's state partners never fail to impress. These activities are generating a buzz and making headlines all over the place. Thanks to everyone for organizing these events on short notice and despite inconvenience and delay. Clips from events that took place in the following states are included below: Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Washington, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.
Below is a photo from our event in Connecticut organized by HCAN Partner Connecticut Citizen Action Group (CCAG)
Orlando–Report from HCAN Partner Organize Now
Orlando event targeting Webster had nearly 30 people in attendance from Organize Now, AFSCME, FLARA, FL Chain, JWJ, OFA and more. Fox 35 and Channel 13 both attended the event in front of the local Chamber of Commerce. Speakers included 2 folks who had benefited from health care reform and organizational speakers. At the end of the press conference everyone started calling Webster's office. His office was clearly concerned about the immediate calls and asked folks why they were all calling at once-was it on tv or an email or radio. Calls continued throughout the day.
Tampa-Report from HCAN Partner FCAN
Event coverage here: The Ledger: Residents Ask Ross to Support Health Care
Report from HCAN Partner Maine People's Alliance
We had a good turnout in the snow to rally in support of the Affordable Care Act. The “Rally to Save Healthcare” asked our new Governor and Attorney General to stop wasting our time and money by signing on to repeal our care, thanking Representatives Pingree and Michaud for their support of the ACA, and asking our state legislature to work towards implementation that will cover the most Maine people possible.
Watch video here: Rally to Save health Care
Media Coverage so far:
Report from Michigan Citizen Action
Around 40 people prayed outside of Congressman Upton's office. 10 personal letters delivered to Ed Sackely, District Director. Because of new security, letters and people met with Ed one-by-one. Kalamazoo Gazette article in the link below. Linda did WMUK interview from 7:33 - 7:40.
Report from HCAN Partner Take Action Minnesota
Our MOC letter attached and we placed the following Op-Ed in the press today, by TakeAction board member. Thank you Liz Doyle
Report from HCAN Partner PLAN
The Heckuva Deal Donut Hole bake sale went well. Several volunteers from PLAN, Americans United, and our coalition partners spoke to over 150 senior citizens at the Flamingo Senior Center in Joe Heck’s district (pic attached). Not one senior wanted to buy back their donut hole for $250 but we did give away 6 dozen donut holes along with handouts on ACA repeal targeted to seniors. We also logged 42 calls to Heck’s office made through the cell phones we brought to the event.
Additionally, we sent out action alerts statewide as did several of our coalition partners (Americans United, ProgressNow, and the SEIU) and will continue phone banking and mobilizations today.
The press was only radio phoned-in interview and mention on noon hour news (waiting for clips to become available), with a couple of outlets interested in doing a follow up story after the vote happens.
Report from HCAN Partner NDPeople.org
State Capitol news conference challenging new Rep. Rick Berg on the repeal of ACA yesterday. Speakers did great! Media were the two TV stations (NBC and CBS) and North Dakota Public Radio. The reporter, from Forum Communications which has four daily papers and a bunch of TV stations, asked for the news release.
Report from HCAN Partner Progress Ohio
Marianne Steger, from AFSCME Ohio Council 8 speaks to Steve Cheek, Staff Assistant, for Congressman Steve Stivers in the lobby of his district office.
ProgressOhio Community Blog:
By Denise Gastesi on January 19, 2011 9:49
Ohio Consumers Ask Congressmen Stivers To Side With Hard-Working Families, Not Big Insurance Companies
Tuesday, a delegation of leaders from various groups which are part of an Ohio Coalition of Health Care For America Now (HCAN), and constituents which led the national fight to pass the Affordable Care Act (ACA), delivered petitions to Congressman Stivers district office in Columbus to discuss his position on repealing the new law, which protects consumers from the worst insurance company abuses.
A Health Care Reform Repeal Bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill would eliminate provisions of the new law that are already benefiting consumers in the 15th Congressional District, effectively taking away no-cost preventive care for 77,000 seniors in Medicare, and 65,500 young adults would lose their insurance coverage through their parents' health plans sometimes just after they finish school and as they are looking for a job.
With the Health Care Repeal bill expected to be voted on in Congress this week, simular events are being held in Ohio at other congressional district offices. Constituents delivered petitions to Speaker Boehner's office in West Chester Tuesday and groups are organizing constuents to meet at Fountain Square today to deliver petitions to Rep. Steve Chabot's Office in Cincinnati today.
Online petitions were also sent to Rep. Renacci's office in the 16th Congressional District as well as to Rep. Johnson in OH-8.
From Left to Right: Marianne Steger, from AFSCME Ohio Council 8, Betty Thomas, Retiree coordinator AFSCME Ohio Council 8, Norm Wernet, Ohio Alliance for Retired Americans, and Lonnie Blackwell the president of our retirees chapter 1184 (20,000 AFSCME members across Ohio).
OCHC Statehouse Press Conference 1-19-2011
Some of the stories in the press conference below, came from the ProgressOhio e-mail that was sent out asking for health care stories.
Report from HCAN Partner Oregon Action
We had a great action today in Medford, OR. We had 40 folks at the Medford Library for a press/ community education rally. Speaker included leaders from SEIU, Rev Bill McDonald from the faith community and Oregon Action and 3 stories from people effected by repeal. There were 3 tv stations ( KOBI, KTVL and KDRV). Additionally we had a story in the Mail Tribune announcing the event yesterday Jan 18. There we two pre stories on KOBI which included a wonderful 5 minute interview with Michelle Glass, young Oregon Action leader. Everyone signed a letter to Rep Greg Walden and we announced our next HCAN meeting for Feb 22.
We had a lot of spirit and willingness to continue to be an organized force for health care progress.
From HCAN partners PUP, Action United and Penn Action
Coverage from Tuesday's PA Events:
Here is the report from the event in Lebanon. We had about 20 people attend. We had Jake Long regional co director from the Harrisburg Labor Council Speak, Rev Dan Donomoyer and Bobbie Warshaw a Medicaid recipient talked about the benefits she received. There was also TV there and we are still looking for the link.
Scranton, PA Event
Lackawanna County Courthouse, Scranton PA
In addition to these events, Penn Action recruited Stacie Ritter, a woman with twins who have a pre-existing condition, to come to DC and be part of Speaker Pelosi's hearing to highlight people impacted by ACA repeal. Stacie got great coverage all over the country including the story below.
Public News Service-PA
January 18, 2011
LANCASTER, Penn. - A Pennsylvania woman whose family was driven to bankruptcy after her twin four-year-old daughters were diagnosed with leukemia, is testifying on Capitol Hill today (Tuesday). Staci Ritter says thw girls' medical treatment has been very costly, and the bills piled up when an insurance company refused to pay for some of it. As the U.S. House of Representatives gears up to vote on whether to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act, Ritter's message to lawmakers is that needs to remain intact – to protect families like hers, who are dealing with catastrophic illnesses. "I'm afraid that if they repeal the mandate, that will enable insurers to be able to deny children – like mine, who have pre-existing conditions – health care." Ritter says the family's situation became more serious after her husband's company signed on with a new insurance carrier, and problems emerged with their daughters' coverage. "My children are expensive. Anybody with a pre-existing condition is a liability, they'll openly admit it – so, what do we do to protect these people?" Ritter says she's fearful of a repeal of health care reform, not just because of the impact it could have on her daughters today. "Each time they pick away at it, they take away something that's protecting my children and their future; protecting them from discrimination, protecting them from being able to afford insurance to begin with." She will testify before the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, part of the House Democratic Caucus. Her story turns out better than some, but Ritter says that's only because she went after the insurance company publicly and was able to come to a settlement. Recently, several lawmakers who favor repealing the Affordable Care Act, including new House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), released a report entitled "ObamaCare: Budget Busting, Job-Killing Health Care Law."
Report Back from Tennessee Citizen Action
Report from WA MSA
Coverage of Main Street Alliance members in the Vancouver Columbian yesterday.
By Howard Buck Columbian Staff Reporter
Originally published January 18, 2011 at 4:23 p.m., updated January 18, 2011 at 7:25 p.m.
Photo by Steven Lane
Local business owner Don Orange speaks about health care reform at a press conference staged by Organizing for America at Vancouver Marketplace on Tuesday.
Report from West Virginia Citizen Action Group
WVCAG and partners held a 2PM press conference at the state capitol ahead of the vote to repeal ACA. Press covering the event were: TV 13 (CBS); WV News Service (radio); Charleston Gazette & Daily Mail (print)
Gary Zuckett, WV Citizen Action Group
Perry Bryant, WV for Affordable Health Care
WV Senator Dr. Ron Stollings, Chair HHR Committee
WV Senator Dr. Dan Foster, member HHR Committee
Renate Pore, WV Center On Budget & Policy
Report from HCAN Partner Citizen Action of Wisconsin
Press from "No Repeal" action at Rep. Paul Ryan's office, 1/18:
WISN TV 12 (ABC) Milwaukee (January 18, 2011) Interview with Brian Rothgery on repeal action at Paul Ryan's office (no link available)
Photos from Racine Journal Times picked up by AP:
Rally & Visibility Outside the Capitol yesterday.
Stacie Ritter's story was told in about 60 television markets across the country yesterday thanks mostly to NBC affiliates that picked up a Washington report on the event.
Stacie and her daughters are shown above testifying that repeal would mean her daughters would be at risk of losing their health coverage because of pre-existing conditions. Several stations ran the story more than once.