Tuesday, November 17, 2009

CNA/NNOC Statement on the House bill on healthcare

by CNA/NNOC Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro
For Immediate Release
November 9, 2009

Of all the torrent of words that followed House passage of its version of healthcare reform legislation in early November, perhaps the most misleading were those comparing it to enactment of Social Security and Medicare.
Sadly no. Social Security and Medicare were both federal programs guaranteeing respectively pensions and health care for our nation's seniors, paid for and administered by the federal government with public oversight and public accountability.
While the House bill, and its Senate counterpart, do have several important reform components, along with many weaknesses, neither one comes close to the guarantees and the expansion of health and income security provided by Social Security or Medicare.
By contrast, if the central premise of Social Security and Medicare was a federal guarantee of health and retirement security, the main provision of the bills in Congress is a mandate requiring most Americans without health coverage to buy private insurance.
In other words, the principle beneficiary is not Americans' health, but the bottom line of the insurance industry which stands to harvest tens of billions of dollars in additional profits ordered by the federal government. Or as Rep. Eric Massa of New York put it on the eve of the House vote, "at the highest level, this bill will enshrine in law the monopolistic powers of the private health insurance industry, period."

Healthcare-NOW! GA 2nd Strategy Meeting: Wed, Nov 18 - 5pm at AFSC

We will be having the second part of our Strategy Session this Wed Nov 18 at 5pm at the American Friends Services Committee in Decatur at at 189 Sams St. Decatur, GA 30030.

We will be continuing our discussion on strategy by brainstorming which groups we can expect to become allies for our campaign. Also we will discuss tactics we will use to educate people about single-payer healthcare to build a base of organizers and allies and tactics to exert power over those who can enact a single-payer health system. 

So we ask everyone to come with a list of:
1. potential allies for our Single-Payer Campaign

2. tactics to conduct popular education to build a movement and tactics to exert our power to enact reform

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Patients Not Profits Protest - Tuesday, Nov 17th - Cancelled

The Patients Not Profits Protest is canceled for Tuesday, November 17th.  Look back here for more upcoming events.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Healthcare NOW GA Photo Sharing now on Flickr.com

We've set up a flickr group for any Healthcare-NOW Georgia member to share their photos and videos of our events with the group and on our website. 

Go to http://www.flickr.com/groups/healthcarenowga/ and join this Flickr group.  You can then add your pictures to our flickr site and this should automatically update the photos section of our site.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Patients Not Profits - Protest & Press Conference Nov 4th 10AM

Patients Not Profits - Protest & Press Conference
Healthcare-NOW! Georgia: Mobilizing for Healthcare Atlanta Style 

Wednesday, Nov 4th 10 AM 
At BCBS GA Headquarters - 3350 Peachtree Road, NE Atlanta, GA 30326 
Next to the Buckhead MARTA Station/N-7 Red Line (Map/Directions) 

Email healthcarenowga@yahoo.com if you have any questions about the event.

Click here for the event on Facebook 

Health insurance companies are subverting democracy and sabotaging health care reform, a citizens health care group will charge at a PRESS CONFERENCE at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4 in front of Blue Cross/Blue Shield’s Buckhead office, 3350 Peachtree Road, NE. 

“The insurance companies use our own premiums to lobby against us,” said Margie Rece of Decatur, a retired nurse and coordinator of HealthcareNow-GA. “This year alone, insurance companies and other vested health care interests have spent $263 million to oppose any reform which would threaten their obscene profits and power. 

“Unfortunately, they have bought enough members of Congress to kill for now the most logical, cost-effective type of universal health care, Medicare for All, and substitute instead a system which transfers hundreds of billions more taxpayer dollars to the insurance giants.” 

A recent Harvard study concluded that 45,000 Americans died last year because they could not get health insurance, Rece noted. “These companies hold the power of life or death over most Americans. That’s why we call them death panels.” 

After the press conference, the group will attempt to deliver a letter to BC/BS president Monye Connolly. They will demand that BC/BS use its policyholders’ premiums on health care, not lobbying; and stop denying coverage for “pre-existing conditions,” a death sentence for many. 

“The half-hearted reforms dictated by the insurance companies will never solve our health care crises,” Rece said. “We will continue our work until all Americans are automatically covered by Expanded and Improved Medicare from birth to death, with no co-pays, deductibles or lifetime maximums. Everybody in, nobody out!”

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Can the Democrats Avoid a Populist Health Care Rebellion?

The leadership of the Democratic Party is on the verge of passing health insurance reform. The centerpiece of the “reform” is requiring Americans to buy overpriced insurance from private corporations. But, it is evident that many in the Democratic voting base see the insurance industry as the problem – not the solution – and are getting angry about a new law that will force people to buy from corporations they don’t trust.

Just a few weeks ago the Mobilization for Health Care for All was announced (www.MobilizeForHealthCare.org). The Mobilization focuses on the denial of doctor-recommended care by the insurance industry. Sit-ins were planned at health insurance companies with demands that insurance corporations stop the denials. The Mobilization sought 100 people willing to sit-in at insurance corporations and risk arrest as people sat in at lunch counters two generations ago.

The response has been explosive, nearly 800 have signed up to risk arrest and thousands have signed up to join the protests. In the last 20 days 78 people have been arrested protesting the real death panels – the private insurance industry – who according to a California study deny doctor recommended care 20% of the time.

The Mobilization hoped to have “patients not profits sit-ins” in three cities last week, and instead it had them in nine cities. On the next Mobilization day, October 28th, there is likely to be twice as many cities protesting the insurance industry – just as Congress considers forcing Americans to buy insurance. This may be developing into the largest campaign of non-violent civil resistance since the Civil Rights era.

Many of the protesters supported Obama and were active in Democratic campaigns. Does the Democratic Party think that people willing to risk arrest against the corruption of the insurance industry will support Democratic candidates with time, money and votes who force them to buy insurance from these corporations?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

PROTEST Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Georgia Wed, Oct 28 at 4:30 to 6:00 pm

PROTEST Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Georgia 
Wednesday, October 28 at 4:30 to 6:00PM 
at Blue Cross & Blue Shield Georgia Headquarters
3350 Peachtree Rd. NE - Atlanta, 30326 
Next to the Buckhead MARTA

Wear costumes reflecting denial of pre-existing conditions, sick patients and other healthcare horror stories.  Examples: the Skeletons, Ghosts, Grim Reaper, R.I.P., coffins, blood soaked, bandaged patients etc. Use your creativity to create your costume and/or signs!

Signs and costumes are not necessary to participate in on-going demonstrations against health insurance companies. We will provide some signs and banners.

For more information contact:
404-373-7410 ext. 19

Friday, October 16, 2009

54 Arrested in Nine Single-Payer Actions on October 15th

The Mobilization for Health Care had a very strong showing in nine cities around the country yesterday. At least 54 people were arrested in the nine cities.
In New York City, the brave protesters were supported by a crowd of 50 legal protesters. We were prepared to start the action with 10 people risking arrest, and 4 more people joined us to stand up to the corporations that steal our money, our health, and our lives.
Our next task on October 28th is to grow the Mobilization. We want to see the number of cities with mobilizations to be at least 15 and well over 100 people risking arrest.
The task now is to spread the word. Let friends, families and others know about the Mobilization and urge them to sign up at www.MobilizeForHealthCare.org.
It is our job to create a political environment that makes single-payer the inevitable solution to Americas healthcare crisis. It is obvious that what is happening in Congress will not provide healthcare for all tens of millions will be without insurance ten years from now under the best estimates and will not control the cost of healthcare as the insurance industry if projecting a 111% increase in cost over the next decade of their already overpriced products.
Here's news coverage from yesterday's actions (we'll add more as they come in):
Palm Beach, FL
Sit-in protest at Humana's office Palm Beach Post

Thanks for all that you do,
Healthcare-NOW! National Staff
P.S. Call Congress for single-payer now! It's easy and toll-free.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Now Recording Contacts with Representatives & Politicians

We now have form on our website that allows anyone who has contacted their representative to report to us their contact. The form is located on the bottom right of the home page. When you contact a representative fill out the form and hit submit at the bottom.
This will automatically record each contact inputted in to the form and save this information in a spreadsheet file located on google docs.  The link to the spreadsheet is: https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AhcVDS87eH3sdFdDZnBKWlRzNFo0dVJ1WkotN0dCMVE&hl=en
Please everyone start recording your contacts with your representatives on the healthcare website.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Protest at Blue Cross Blue Shield Georgia - Oct 15 4:30 - 6:00 pm

Stop the Healthcare Horror Stories!  

Thursday, Oct 15 4:30 - 6:00 pm
At BCBS GA Headquarters
3350 Peachtree Road, NE Atlanta, GA 30326 
Next to the Buckhead MARTA Station/N-7 Red Line (Map/Directions)

Health insurance companies such as Blue Cross Blue Shield are preventing thousands of Americans from receiving the healthcare they rightfully deserve. 
We will converge upon Blue Cross Blue Shield Georgia on Thursday, October 15th to demand an end to the profiting off the sick and the consistent denial of healthcare by the insurance companies. 
We demand that our government establish Medicare for All, a new system of health insurance that eliminates the greed, waste, and callousness of the health insurance companies.

We will meet at 4:30 pm outside the Blue Cross Blue Shield building located at 3350 Peachtree Rd NE Atlanta, GA right next to the Buckhead Marta Station. (Map/Directions) 

Healthcare-NOW! Georgia: Mobilizing for Medicare For All! 
Email healthcarenowga@yahoo.com if you have any questions about the event. 

Event Flyer in .PDF Format

Link for the event on Facebook

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

PBS Frontline Documentary - Sick Around The World:

Watch online at: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sickaroundtheworld/

     In Sick Around the World, FRONTLINE teams up with veteran Washington Post foreign correspondent T.R. Reid to find out how five other capitalist democracies -- the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, Taiwan and Switzerland -- deliver health care, and what the United States might learn from their successes and their failures.
     Reid's first stop is the U.K., where the government-run National Health Service (NHS) is funded through taxes. "Every single person who's born in the U.K. will use the NHS," says Whittington Hospital CEO David Sloman, "and none of them will be presented a bill at any point during that time." Often dismissed in America as "socialized medicine," the NHS is now trying some free-market tactics like "pay-for-performance," where doctors are paid more if they get good results controlling chronic diseases like diabetes. And now patients can choose where they go for medical procedures, forcing hospitals to compete head to head.
     While such initiatives have helped reduce waiting times for elective surgeries, Times of London health editor Nigel Hawkes thinks the NHS hasn't made enough progress. "We're now in a world in which people are much more demanding, and I think that the NHS is not very effective at delivering in that modern, market-orientated world."
     Reid reports next from Japan, which boasts the second largest economy and the best health statistics in the world. The Japanese go to the doctor three times as often as Americans, have more than twice as many MRI scans, use more drugs, and spend more days in the hospital. Yet Japan spends about half as much on health care per capita as the United States.
     One secret to Japan's success? By law, everyone must buy health insurance -- either through an employer or a community plan -- and, unlike in the U.S., insurers cannot turn down a patient for a pre-existing illness, nor are they allowed to make a profit.
     Reid's journey then takes him to Germany, the country that invented the concept of a national health care system. For its 80 million people, Germany offers universal health care, including medical, dental, mental health, homeopathy and spa treatment. Professor Karl Lauterbach, a member of the German parliament, describes it as "a system where the rich pay for the poor and where the ill are covered by the healthy." As they do in Japan, medical providers must charge standard prices. This keeps costs down, but it also means physicians in Germany earn between half and two-thirds as much as their U.S. counterparts.
     In the 1990s, Taiwan researched many health care systems before settling on one where the government collects the money and pays providers. But the delivery of health care is left to the market. Every person in Taiwan has a "smart card" containing all of his or her relevant health information, and bills are paid automatically. But the Taiwanese are spending too little to sustain their health care system, according to Princeton's Tsung-mei Cheng, who advised the Taiwanese government. "As we speak, the government is borrowing from banks to pay what there isn't enough to pay the providers," she told FRONTLINE.
     Reid's last stop is Switzerland, a country which, like Taiwan, set out to reform a system that did not cover all its citizens. In 1994, a national referendum approved a law called LAMal ("the sickness"), which set up a universal health care system that, among other things, restricted insurance companies from making a profit on basic medical care. The Swiss example shows health care reform is possible, even in a highly capitalist country with powerful insurance and pharmaceutical companies.
     Today, Swiss politicians from the right and left enthusiastically support universal health care. "Everybody has a right to health care," says Pascal Couchepin, the current president of Switzerland. "It is a profound need for people to be sure that if they are struck by destiny ... they can have a good health system."

Healthcare-NOW! GA Meetings - Every Week Mondays at 5:30 pm

Healthcare-NOW! Georgia has its meetings every week on Mondays at 5:30 pm at the American Friends Services Committee located at 189 Sams St. Decatur, GA 30030.  Come join us to help fight for a right to health care for all

Contact us at healthcarenowga@yahoo.com if you have any questions.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Press Release: AFL-CIO Convention Endorses Single-Payer

Unanimous Vote for Medicare-for-All Reform 

PITTSBURGH – In a historic vote that adds the nation’s leading voice of American workers to a broad national campaign, the AFL-CIO voted unanimously at its national convention here today to endorse the enactment of single-payer, universal healthcare for all Americans. The resolution was sponsored by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, and the Alameda County (California) Central Labor Council. In urging its support, CNA/NNOC Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro, an AFL-CIO National Vice-President, noted the recent death of Crystal Lee Sutton, the real-life union organizer from the film Norma Rae who died last week after a long battle with cancer, exacerbated by her own three-year fight with her insurance company. “No one should spend the last days of their life fighting with their insurance company,” said DeMoro. “We should not make choices of who gets healthcare based on their ethnicity, gender, or economic status. But I am addressing the labor movement, not Wall Street. And we all know what is the right thing – the moral thing – single-payer healthcare.”

It marks the first time in perhaps two decades that the AFL-CIO has been formally on record in support of single-payer, which would essentially expand and improve Medicare to cover all Americans. Labor unions around the country have been in the forefront of grassroots actions around the nation in support of single-payer and many labor bodies submitted resolutions to the national convention in support of an endorsement. The resolution notes that “the experience of Medicare (and of nearly every other industrialized country) shows the most cost-effective and equitable way to provide quality healthcare is through a single-payer system. Our nation should provide a single high standard of comprehensive care for all.” It also sites specific single-payer bills, including HR 676, which has 86 cosponsors in Congress.

The vote came shortly after the convention was addressed by President Obama who repeated his call for comprehensive healthcare reform, and will accompany another AFL-CIO resolution supporting other Congressional efforts to pass comprehensive reform. It also followed a reception hosted by CNA/NNOC and other unions Monday night featuring filmmaker Michael Moore whose previous film SiCKO presaged the current national debate with its indictment of the healthcare industry, and was on hand to premiere his latest film, Capitalism: A Love Story to the AFL-CIO convention. In his speech Moore recalled that 65 years ago President Franklin Roosevelt proposed a second bill of rights which called for a right to universal medical care, a fight that continues. He noted that every day the healthcare industry spends over $1 million to block reform while thousands of Americans continue to lose coverage, and urged labor and community activists to keep up the fight. 

Regardless of the outcome of the current healthcare legislative action, said United Steel Workers President Leo Gerard, “we’re going to continue the fight for single-payer. I’m not in favor of universal insurance, I’m in favor of universal healthcare. We are going to fight to make sure every single American gets high quality healthcare.” “We know the patient care crisis, we see it every day,” said CNA/NNOC co-president Zenei Cortez, RN at the reception. “We will not rest until we get rid of the private insurance companies that profit off of suffering.” Greg Junemann, president of International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers and chair of the HR 676 Labor Caucus, which has won similar endorsements from hundreds of international and local unions and state and local labor federations, noted to the convention the unity of labor in fighting for real reform. He also cited the ongoing fight of workers every day to protect the health coverage many have now. “The labor movement needs to set our flag on the top of the mountain, and that we will not rest until we have single-payer healthcare for all,” said Junemann. DeMoro welcomed the many international guests in the convention, and noted how most of them represent industrial nations where no one dies from lack of health coverage or goes bankrupt or loses homes due to un-payable medical bills. “The reason? Because they have single-payer or other national healthcare systems, and because your labor movement led the fight for healthcare. Here insurance companies are at the apex of power, controlling our lives. It is not the public option we should be questioning, it is the private option and its horrendous power over our families,” DeMoro said. “When we meet again in four years, perhaps if we adopt single-payer, we will be like all our international brothers and sisters in this room, and no longer be the richest nation in the world but just 37th in healthcare,” DeMoro said.

Press Release Link: http://www.calnurses.org/media-center/press-releases/2009/september/afl-cio-convention-endorses-single-payer.html

Saturday, September 5, 2009

HEALTHCARE PICNIC PANEL: Saturday, Sept 12th 11am-2pm

Saturday SEPT 12th
542 Moreland Ave SE: Click for Map/Directions 
HEALTHCARENOWGA - Contact: denisewoodallksu@yahoo.com


Please reply to this post with your  "must haves" ideas. Let me know what you demand in healthcare reform. So far we have:
  • A strong public option that extends to EVERYONE in America who wants it one that honors patient choice
  • No more pre-existing condition clauses
  • Ending incentives for employers to fire their sick workers (to lower premiums)
  • A plan that does not cut into medicare or medicaid
  • Restriction of the insurance companies profit motives
  • No mandatory purchasing of insurance (not increase the insurance companies client base) 
  • Reduction of the administrative costs created by the different procedures of 1300 insurance companies.
  • A focus on prevention (provide incentives for preventative healthcare)
We will  also be tallying who is for a single payer system, who is not, and who thinks the public option will lead to single payer. The Weiner amendment will be up for a vote which replaces the entire section A of HR3200 with single payer text. If you support that ... wonderful. Let us know on our tally boards.

We will be discussing and tallying everyone's ideas surrounding all these issues on this day.

In regards to legislation that is currently in Congress (items that are not single payer) we want to have some minimum requirements as a community... these are a few of the 'must haves' that we collected from some folks at the sept 3rd rally at the capital. So glad for everyone who was there to support!!
Our goal of the picnic panel  (besides to eat, to have fun, learn and to mingle among the progressive community) is to build a list 10 - 15 points and demands for healthcare legislation that we (as a community) will support. 

Send me your ideas and we'll put them on a big community board at the picnic...we'll tally up the responses at the end and see what items are most important to our community in regards to our healthcare. Email these to denisewoodallksu@yahoo.com

Bring your questions for our diverse panel!!! See you on Saturday. Stay tuned for more updates

Unifying to bring Healthcare to all. 
Bring your questions, your input, and your appetite for lunch and a unique panel of guests: 
Jeff Ingram with Organizing for America
Henry Kahn with Physicians for a National Health Program
Rita Valenti with Grady
& Debra Greenwood with ABLE.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Top Ten Ways To Tell Your President & His Party Aren't Fighting For Health Care For Everybody

by Bruce Dixon (Published on Friday, July 31, 2009 on Black Agenda Report)


With the corporate media relentlessly distorting the public discussion around health care reform, it time for some clear, bright lines to help us tell who is doing what to whom, and whether any of it leads to health care for all of us. Here are ten of them.


Barack Obama and Democratic majorities in the House and Senate were swept into office on a promise they would deliver affordable and accessible health care for all Americans. But the corporate media journalism limits the national health care conversation to what insurance companies, drug companies, for-profit health care professionals, their executives, lobbyists and politicians of both parties and other hirelings have to say. So it isn't as easy as it ought to be to tell what the politicians are doing about accomplishing health care for everybody. Hence we offer these ten points. This is how you can tell whether your president and his party are fighting for the health care you deserve.

Click Here to View Full Article

Who's Blocking Health Care Reform Now? Blue Dogs? Senate Dems? House Progressives? Or the White House Itself?

health care  again By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
In less than a year, Democrats have transformed themselves from the party of change to the party of excuses. Republican birthers and teapartyers, blue dog Democrats, rogue donkey and elephant senators, and even progressives favoring single payer or the shadowy “public option” have all been blamed by the White House for holding up health care --- or is it health insurance --- reform. But with the end of the August recess, the ring is closing and the clock is ticking...    
Click Here to View Full Article

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Rally for Medicare for All: Sept 3rd - 11:30 a.m. Thursday at the Capitol

Rally for Medicare for All Sept 3 - 11:30 a.m. Thursday at the Capitol (Washington Street side).
Do you believe health care is a basic human right, not a commodity to be bought and sold by profiteering, parasitic health insurance companies? Then join HealthcareNOW-GA at what is being billed as "the biggest rally of the year [in Georgia] for health insurance reform" this Thursday, Sept. 3 at the Capitol (Washington Street side).
Although this rally was called by "public option" advocates, we will be there to raise the banner of REAL health care reform -- Improved and Expanded Medicare for All, as codified in Rep. John Conyers' bill, H.R. 676, and Senator Bernie Sanders' companion bill, S. 703. 
We (HealthcareNOW-GA) will meet at the corner of Washington St. & Martin Luther King Dr. at 11:30. Wear orange if you have it. Bring handheld signs & banners (signs or banners on sticks not permitted at the Capitol). We will have plenty of flyers. Suggested sign slogans: "Medicare for All - H.R. 676"; "Health Care is a Human Right -- H.R. 676"; "Health Care YES -- Insurance Companies NO," "Everybody In, Nobody Out -- H.R. 676." For more ideas, see the attached 2-sided flyer or a brief summary of H.R. 676 at http://www.healthcare-now.org/hr-676/.

If you would like to join the ongoing struggle for Medicare for All, join HealthcareNow-GA and receive regular action alerts and educational articles. Email healthcarenowga@yahoo.com and you will be added to the listserv.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Money-Driven Health Care Video

These are the links to this past weekend's Bill Moyers Journal which showed the movie Money-Driven Health Care.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sign Petition to Endorse HR 676: Single-Payer Bill!


Healthcare-NOW! GA Organizing Meetings

Healthcare-NOW! Georgia has its meetings every week on Mondays at 5:30 pm at the American Friends Services Committee located at 189 Sams St. Decatur, GA 30030.  Come join us to help fight for a right to health care for all

Contact us at healthcarenowga@yahoo.com if you have any questions.

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Health Care Now Georgia Blog Now Up

Health Care Now Georgia's blog is now up and running!
Look for more posts and updates soon.