July 23, 2009
Editors: Adam Searing and Adam Linker
HEALTH ACCESS COALITION TV: Check out all our videos on HAC's YouTube channel.
VIDEO: Jerry Thompson. Vietnam vet. Thirty-year state employee. Chronic disease survivor. Now about to have to declare bankruptcy in the richest country in the world because he can't keep up with the thousands in medical bills he's getting hit with. Reform is what we need now.
We go to Washington for health reform. On Tuesday, Elaine Mejia of the Justice Center's Budget and Tax Center and Adam Searing traveled to Washington and visited seven of our Congressional offices. Find out what we learned about the health care reform debate. Check out the News14 story too.
Hiding our history. Why is the recently-erected historical marker about NC's shameful eugenics involuntary human sterilization program in a place in Raleigh few people are likely to read it?
US Chamber of Commerce starts million-dollar ad campaign in NC to defeat health reform.
Henderson health care town hall tonight.
Greenville health care town hall tonight too.
Rob Schofield on why this is the critical time for health care reform - "D-Day for Health Reform."
American Medical Association supports House bill on health reform - what will NC docs do?
Why competition will be good for all those private insurance companies.
Now the neurosurgeons are trying to deep-six health reform.
Health reform problems? Throw a fundraising party in Washington.
HEALTH CARE PROTEST TOMORROW MORNING: HAC partner SEANC and other community groups are holding a protest at the Raleigh Executive Health Care Forum in downtown Raleigh. The location was moved across town at the last minute to the downtown Sheraton hotel at 400 S. Salisbury Street - no doubt because of the threatened protest.
HEALTH REFORM WEEK OF ACTION: Events are taking place all over North Carolina - See where, when.
CALL YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS - ESPECIALLY IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES - RIGHT NOW TO SUPPORT HEALTH REFORM:
When we met with NC Congressional members and staffers earlier this week in Washington, DC, we heard a common theme. First, health reform is in trouble. Second, they need to hear from their constituents who want reform.
MANY HOUSE MEMBERS ARE NOT HEARING FROM HEALTH REFORM SUPPORTERS
The bills in the House and Senate are good bills that provide a solid starting point for guaranteeing health coverage that can never be taken away and lowering health premiums and costs for everyone. Now is the time to call Senator Kay Hagan and YOUR House Representative and urge them to ACT on health reform. Use this toll free number from FamiliesUSA:
CALL NOW 1-800-828-0498
ASK TO BE CONNECTED TO YOUR HOUSE MEMBER OR SENATOR HAGAN
POINTS TO MAKE THAT WE HEAR IN OUR NC TRAVELS:
1. Choice. People and business owners would really like more choice in their health care plans. For many, NC Blue Cross is the only "choice" and that is very frustrating. There is strong support for some form of a public health care plan option at our forums.
2. Costs. Sharply rising premiums of 10%-20% a year are a huge concern for everyone, but small businesspeople feel this the hardest. Any health care reform must strongly contain costs for everyone. We don't believe that prevention will be enough - we need a strong comparative effectiveness research plan that drives payment decisions and payment reform.
3. Affordability. When we spoke with small businesspeople about a state reform that would offer them a plan that would reduce health premiums 30% they laughed. For many, their health premiums had gone up that much in the last two years. People are willing to pay, but they want to pay something they can afford.
4. Consumer Assistance. People are confused by health reform and will be even more confused by the public/private plan structure of reform. A strong state consumer agency is needed - like the NC Attorney General's Managed Care Patient Assistance Program - to help guide people to the plans that are right for them.