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Blog: Your Ass isn't Covered!  

Ideas for Change in America - by Jeffrey Muckensturm

Putting Bill Maher’s recent words into action, “Health insurance is like a hospital gown, chances are your ass isn’t covered,” bare-bottom protesters wore hospital gowns and dressed as Insurance Executives. The protesters jumped through hoops held by the insurance executives symbolizing the proverbial hoops that doctors, nurses, and patients have to go through in the current corporatized health insurance system.

PHIMG, Healthcare-NOW!, Progressive Democrats of America, and Act Up! marched in lock step on Saturday, April 4th with United for Peace and Justice and Bail Out the People through Wall St. to support strengthening the workforce by urging Congress to pass HR676, expanding Medicare into a single-payer system, to provide true universal health care to all.

On the following Monday, PHIMG brought the Not Covered Campaign to Congressman Charles Rangel’s office, whose 2008 campaign received three times the amount of campaign contributions from health insurance and pharmaceutical companies as his last run in ‘04, while conveniently not cosponsoring HR 676 for single-payer health care, as he has in the past.

The group also had a list of demands including meeting with him, cosponsoring the bill, using his power as the Chair of the Ways and Means Committee to hold single-payer health care hearings, and including single-payer advocates - not just the health insurance corporations in the national health care dialog Obama’s administration is so open to having. Barack Obama also supported single-payer health care before his run for President made his campaign the top recipient of contributions from the health insurance and pharmaceutical industry.

The group received confirmation that Rangel does support HR 676, and just hasn't signed on yet. Advocates and constituents look forward to a long sought meeting with Rangel's staff next week.

The Not Covered Campaign will be in full swing all summer long calling out the Congresspersons that let campaign contributions stand in the way of providing all citizens with single-payer health care - one by one. It’s critical that citizens act now and push Congress to pass HR 676 before inadequate reform maintaining corporate interests over patients passes. Join the fight for single-payer health care now!

Check out the video

Posted: Apr 23, 2009 12:27pm | (0) | () |  
Blog: Best Protector of Profits at the Expense of Our Health  

by Jason Rosenbaum
Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 02:51:52 PM CDT

DC often feels left out of politics. We don't have a vote in Congress, and so we can't give our Congressional delegation a call when we want reform. But today, DC got to make its voice heard.As noted earlier, America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) is having a conference on "health care reform" at the Ritz in DC today and tomorrow. This is a continuation o their sham listening tour, which Health Care for America Now has been calling out around the country for months. It's all part of their blurring strategy to try and convince the country they are for real health care reform this time around, even though the public health insurance option, the heart of President Obama's health care plan, is a dealbreaker for them.

Today, people in DC stood up to them. Video after the jump...Health Care for America Now, and the partners we worked with on this rally such as the National Nurses Organizing Committee, the California Nurses Association, the American Medical Student Association, DC for Obama, DC Fights Back, The Vineeta Foundation,, the Campaign for America's Future, and the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care, aren't standing for it. The insurance industry has already come out against a key piece of President Obama's health care reform. They clearly aren't helping come up with a solution - they are the enemies of reform.

So, in DC today, these groups got together to deliver an award to Karen Igagni, CEO of AHIP. Here's what we tried to present.

As could be expected, she didn't want to come out, face the crowd, and get her well-deserved certificate. But a couple hundred people had a good time pointing out the insurance industry will always put profits before people. Here's some quick video of the event:


The biggest highlight was the presence of Congressman Eric Massa's (D-NY). It's heartening that Members of Congress are willing to join a rally to send the message that we can't trust the health insurance industry with health care reform. And apparently we made so much of a splash, that Ignagni and her henchmen had to respond to our concerns during their press conference later that morning:

The protest ended when the group tried to enter the Ritz to deliver an oversized award certificate to KarOuren Ignagni, AHIP's president and CEO. The "Best Protector of Profits at the Expense of Our Health" award didn't make it past security guards or a strategically-parked car near the entrance.

"I believe in First Amendment rights," Ignagni said when asked about the protest during a subsequent press conference. "We're motivated by going through a process of taking issues off the table that are troubling the American people."

We're not giving up. We know the health insurance industry will be the main enemies of health care reform. As President Obama said, the status quo is off the table. It's time to fundamentally reform our system, and that means putting people over insurance industry profits.

This award will follow AHIP and Karen Ignagni around the country until she agrees to accept it and own up to her role in protecting profits even if it costs lives.

We'll see you next time, Karen! We're looking forward to it!

(also posted at the NOW! blog)

Posted: Mar 10, 2009 9:08am | comment (0) | discuss () | permalink  
Tags: rally   activism   politics   healthcare   health-insurance   AHIP  
Blog: Are you doing your shopping and searching through iGive?  

Times are tough, but you can save money AND help nonprofits you care about when you do your online shopping (at your favorite stores!) through iGive.

 iGive arranges with merchants to give a percentage of each sale back to the nonprofit you designate.  It costs you no more and through deals iGive makes with merchants you may even save money.

Graphic: Support Nonprofits when you shop at iGive

Posted: Mar 8, 2009 12:04pm | comment (0) | discuss () | permalink  
Tags: giving   donate   nonprofits  
Blog: CNN Poll: Do Americans want government health care reform?  

"Seventy-two percent of those questioned in recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey say they favor increasing the federal government's influence over the country's health care system in an attempt to lower costs and provide health care coverage to more Americans, with 27 percent opposing such a move. Other recent polls show six in 10 think the government should provide health insurance or take responsibility for providing health care to all Americans."

Posted: Mar 7, 2009 7:10pm | comment (0) | discuss () | permalink  
Tags: government   polls   healthcare   cnn  
Blog: The Happy Talk Is Great. Don't Expect It to Last. - The Treatment  

"At the end of the day, at least some of the people who were in the room on Thursday, saying all of those nice things, are going to decide they have more to lose from health care reform than they have to gain.

Maybe it will be the drug lobby. Maybe it will be the insurers. Maybe it will be small business. Maybe it will be all of them. But whatever the array of reform's adversaries, they will have a good shot at winning--unless they are confronted with a public that not just accepts comprehensive health care reform but insists upon it.

Obama can help that process along, by using his position to educate voters and unleashing the grassroots machine he built during the campaign. But he can't do it alone. He'll need the help of groups like the Service Empoyees International Union, Health Care for America Now,, and other liberal groups that can organize supporters and rally them upon command."

Posted: Mar 7, 2009 5:29pm | comment (0) | discuss () | permalink  
Tags: politics   healthcare   reform  
Blog: The Reform That, to the White House, Dare Not Speak Its Name  

"It's not single payer advocates who are harmed by this wall of exclusion, it's all the American families and patients who yearn for real reform and will almost surely be disillusioned by proposals that fail to achieve it. Because you can't genuinely rein in costs without tackling them at the source -- the insurance companies and their built in incentive to perennially jack up premiums, co-pays, deductibles and all the other ATM-type fees that are bankrupting families and crushing businesses. Nor can you begin to address the callous and routine denial of care for those already insured by the claims adjustors and bean counters who don't want to pay for it. There's another potential casualty here as well, President Obama who himself famously said in 2003 that he was a proponent of single payer and must surely know it is best approach. A lot of political capital will be expended to pass reform this year, it ought to be devoted to a reform that will actually work."

Posted: Mar 7, 2009 3:32am | comment (0) | discuss () | permalink  
Tags: politics   healthcare   single-payer  
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