fresh voices from the front lines of change







Melinda Gibson is the Operations Manager for Health Care for America Now! The following originally appeared on the HCAN blog.

Health Care for America Now (HCAN), the nationwide coalition that led the successful fight for health reform, is hosting more than 75 educational events and activities in 27 states this week to promote the Affordable Care Act on its first anniversary and to rally against Republicans’ plans to undermine the law. By the end of the week, thousands of people will have participated in HCAN gatherings nationwide, including rallies, birthday parties, news conferences and educational forums.

The HCAN program is part of a coordinated effort by two dozen advocacy groups producing nearly 200 events in 35 states this week. Many of the HCAN events focus on Republicans who have devoted themselves to repealing and defunding the health care reform law.

See a spreadsheet showing the 77 HCAN eventshere

“One year later, Republicans still have no health care plan other than to take away prescription drug discounts for seniors, no-cost preventive care for everyone, small-business tax credits and consumer protections like the ban on denying care or charging more because of pre-existing medical conditions,” said HCAN Executive Director Ethan Rome. “The Affordable Care Act eliminates the worst health insurance company abuses and frees families, seniors and small businesses from crushing health care costs and devastating denials of care. The GOP’s only health care plan is to put the health insurance companies back in charge so they can deny our care and jack up our rates. We must move forward and stop re-fighting the battles of the past.”

The HCAN events and actions across the country feature seniors, children, small-business owners, faith communities, and young people coming together to explain how they are benefiting from the law right now and to highlight what is at stake as opponents of reform are scheming to take away health care reform’s cost savings and consumer protections. Each event will demonstrate that the nation must move forward and protect our health care from those who would take it away to help large corporations that put profits ahead of people.

Here are a few of the many HCAN-sponsored activities taking place this week, many featuring members of Congress, state legislative leaders and people who have already been helped by the new law:

* Chicago: A major rally at the Chicago Temple attended by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky.

* Harrisburg, Penn.: While the Republican-led U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee holds a field hearing nearby, average people will gather for a citizen’s hearing at which they will tell how the new law is already helping them.

* Los Angeles: A birthday celebration at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.

* Rallies at state capitol buildings in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Michigan, Montana, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Tennessee.

* Gatherings at district offices of members of Congress to thank them for supporting the law.

* Demonstrations at district offices of members of Congress who voted to repeal the law so average people can remind them what they are trying to take away from millions of seniors, families, small businesses and children.

Each day during this week will focus on the different communities that are being helped by the Affordable Care Act.:

Monday, March 21: Moving Forward, Protecting Small Business’s Care

Tuesday, March 22 Moving Forward, Protecting Seniors’ Care

Wednesday, March 23: Moving Forward, Protecting Patients’ Rights

Thursday, March 24: Moving Forward, Protecting Women’s Care

Friday, March 25: Moving Forward, Protecting Young Adults’ Care

In addition to HCAN’s events, activities are being sponsored by these grassroots organizations: Alliance for Retired Americans, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Americans United for Change, Campaign for America’s Future, Community Catalyst, Doctors for America, Families USA, Herndon Alliance, Main Street Alliance, MomsRising, National Council on Aging, National Partnership for Women and Families, National Women’s Law Center, PICO National Network, Progressives States Network, ProgressNow, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Small Business Majority, Universal Health Care Action Network (UHCAN), USAction, U.S. PIRG, Vote Kids and Young Invincibles.

An online effort featuring stories of people being helped by the health care reform law will complement the grassroots activities, along with targeted radio and social-media advertising campaigns promoting the benefits of the law.

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