Showing posts with label Health Care. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Health Care. Show all posts

Cambridge-Somerville makes calls to save affordable health care!

Cambridge-Somerville for Change is hosting weekly Tuesday night phone banks to call voters in targeted states and ask them to keep the pressure on their legislators to oppose the disastrous Republican bill. The bill includes drastic cuts to Medicaid and would allow states to drop vital benefits including maternity care, emergency services and mental health treatment.


Grassroots pressure has already made a tangible impact in the fight against Trumpcare, leaving the repeal-and-replace effort effectively dead in the water.  Now the Senate Republicans have turned their attention to repeal-and-delay, a stunningly catastrophic approach that will strip insurance from 32 million people!  And although the public opposition of Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Shelley Moore Capito puts that effort very much in jeopardy, the fight is not over by any means.

Say what you will about the character of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, but he is nothing if not ruthlessly competent.  Rest assured he will use every tool at his disposal to bully and buy off the members of his caucus in order to get to 50 votes.  We cannot afford to take our foot off the gas in the wake of these collective victories against Trumpcare; now more than ever it is imperative that we keep the pressure on moderate Republicans to stay strong in their opposition to this cruel and devastating legislation.  Further, at-risk senators like Jeff Flake and Dean Heller need to be shown that a “yes” vote will very likely put them out of a job in 2018.

CSfC phone banks will reach out to voters in those target states and give them the education and direction needed to make their voices heard.  We are closing in on the end of this fight, but the coming weeks are key.  It is imperative that we keep these public servants accountable to the public they serve.  Please join us in this effort.


Massachusetts Single Payer Hearing: Thursday, December 15 11am-4pm

Next Thursday, December 15, beginning at 11am and continuing to not later than 4pm, the Mass-Care sponsored bills to introduce a single payer (and alternates to introduce a public option) will have their first hearing before the MA Joint Committee on Health Care Finance in Hearing Room B1 at the Massachusetts State House.

Here's what you can do to help:
(a) Contact your MA state representative and senator and ask them to attend and speak in support of the single payer bills.
You can find their contact information from the Common Cause web site:
(b) If you have any health care stories that indicate how a single payer system would have helped you, sign up to speak in support of the bill.

(c) Attend for any portion of the meeting. The more people that attend, the more support the committee sees for the bill.
Please spread the work to other health care reform supporters.

June 17: Election Endorsements & Healthcare Celebration

Cambridge Somerville for Change (CSfC) will be holding a special Membership Meeting on Thursday, June 17, from 6-8:30pm at the Cambridge YMCA, 820 Mass. Ave., to both decide our endorsements for the 2010 elections and celebrate the recent historic health care victory. Come to the Y in Central Square on June 17 if you want to:
  • help decide which electoral campaigns we should work on this summer and fall
  • share your thoughts and hear what others have to say about the important 2010 campaigns now getting under way
  • toast to the success of all our hard work to pass health care over the past year
Sign up here to attend the June 17 meeting.

[Please note that only those who were CSfC members (on our email list) as of May 26 will be eligible to vote, but all are encouraged to attend.]

House Passes Health Care Reform: 219-212

Way to go, CSfC Health Care Team!!

House Passes Health Care Reform: 219-212

All Hands on Deck: Final Push for Health Reform

Congress is about to act on the final health reform legislation. Votes could be taken as early as next Thursday, March 18. But there is uncertainty and doubt even among the Massachusetts Congressional delegation. We need to convey a simple message to them: Get it done now, and get it done right!
The plan: the Senate version of the bill will be passed in the House in its entirety, and then a package of improvements agreed to by both chambers will be adopted by the House and then the Senate through the reconciliation process (only 51 votes needed).
We need to push our House members to support this approach while working for the best improvements they can make -- especially on low income subsidies, the employer mandate, and the public option. And we need to push our Senators to accommodate as many of the House improvements as possible -- including an up or down vote on the public option. It's now or never on Health Reform.

Step 1: Call Washington
Constituent calls make all the difference.
Representative Mike Capuano: (202) 225-5111
Senator John Kerry: (202) 224-2742
Senator Scott Brown: (202) 224-4543
(Not your district? Check here for the right name and number.)

Step 2: Phone banks to voters and volunteers
After you have called come help us activate other voters.
Saturday March 13: (2 shifts) 1:00-3:30, 3:30-6:00pm, Democracy Center, 45 Mt. Auburn St, Cambridge.
Sunday March 14: (3 shifts) 1:00-3:30, 3:30-6:00, 6:00-8:30pm, HUCTW, 15 Mt. Auburn St, Cambridge.
Tuesday March 16: 6:00-9:00pm, OFA, 56 Roland St #203, Charlestown.
Wednesday March 17: 6:00-8:30pm, HUCTW, 15 Mt Auburn St, Cambridge.

Step 3: Rally
March 16, Tuesday (Noon at the Statehouse)
Come to the rally. Volunteer. sponsored by Health Care for American Now, MoveOn, and Jobs with Justice.

Bus from Boston for Health Reform Protest - March 9

Every day that we allow the insurance companies to obstruct health care reform, people are losing their insurance, their financial security, and even their lives. On Tuesday, March 9, we are going to Washington DC to put a stop to the insurance companies' continued efforts to kill health care reform - and we need you to join us.

Health Care for America Now and SEIU are organizing a free bus that will leave from downtown Boston at 11pm on Monday March 8 to take activists down to a protest march in Washington. You can join us! Email for event details or look it up on facebook (event title:From Boston to DC: Get on the Bus for Health Care Reform).

On March 9, the health insurance lobby will hold their annual conference. We'll be joining thousands of other health care activists from around the country to take our message to the streets in protest! We'll be there to shut down their event and put the insurance companies and every corporate enemy of change on notice: We're tired of the gridlock in Congress and we won't allow the corporate lobbyists to keep bullying Congress into inaction - on health care and all of our issues.

Our dramatic action will send a clear message to Congress: Listen to everyday Americans, not the insurance lobbyists and pass reform that works for us, now. We've had enough of insurance companies' denied claims, inflated profits, and soaring premiums. We can't wait any longer. We need reform now.

Next steps for the Health Care Reform Team

Tuesday's Teach-In was productive and energizing for all those in attendance. Jennifer, from Community Catalyst, spoke about how health insurance reform can be passed in the Senate through budget reconciliation and answered questions about the Congressional bills and President's proposal.

Short-term action steps emerged from our discussion:
  • Call Senator Kerry at (202) 224-2742 and Senator Brown at (202) 224-4543. Tell them to pass health care reform now.
  • Call friends and family in MA and across the country and ask them to call their elected officials.
  • Phone bank at 15 Mount Auburn Street. Date and time TBD.

Rally to Pass Health Care Reform

In 2008 we voted for REAL change. Get it done now. Get it done right.

For more than a year, we've mobilized to reform health care knowing that success will pave the way to rein in Wall Street, create good jobs, win workers' rights, enact immigration reform, and combat global warming. We're fed up. We want the change we change we voted for, and we want it now! Demand that Congress stand up to the corporate lobbyists. It's time to stop saying NO and deliver the change we voted for!

When: Saturday, February 20, 12:30-2:00pm
Where: SEIU 615 - 26 West Street, Downtown Boston (close to Park Street and Downtown Crossing)

Join us to send a message to get the job right! Pass health care reform that:
  • Covers everyone when they need it.
  • Is affordable to everyone, in and out of work.
  • Holds health insurance companies accountable.
  • Includes fair funding - not taxing middle-class benefits.
  • Has the choice of a public option to hold down costs.

If insurance companies and big corporations win, we lose.

We're not giving up on health care reform

Health Care Reform was always going to be hard. Last Tuesday just made this campaign tougher. So what's next? Fold up and go home? Definitely not! It's time to dust ourselves off and pick up where we left off doing grassroots organizing for health care reform.

Our congressional delegation needs to hear from our pro-reform voices now. Some are wavering under media scrutiny. We need to reach out to our delegation and let them know that we are not willing to see health care reform die. Some analysts say the House of Representatives should pass the Senate's health insurance reform bill. Some analysts say to push bills through by reconciliation in the Senate. Whichever route is chosen, we need to urge that final legislation be adopted quickly, before our chance for reform is lost.

Please push past our collective frustration with Washington and our disappointment with many of the bill's provisions. We cannot fight for a better bill if Washington is not willing to touch health care reform. Insurance companies need to end their discriminatory practices. Health insurance needs to be affordable and accessible to all Americans. Fix the bill. Pass it now.
  1. Please call Rep. Capuano at (202) 225-5111. Urge him to continue the fight for real health care reform and to speak out for passage of the best bill that can be passed *now.*

  2. Please join our next Phone Bank! We will call fellow progressives and ask them to call their representative and urge them to fight for health care reform. Sunday, January 24, 6:00-8:30pm, 15 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge (outside of Harvard Square).

  3. Attend the MoveOn sponsored rally for health reform on Tuesday, January 26, 6:00pm, outside of Senator Kerry's office, 1 Bowdoin Square, Boston.

Health Care Reform Needs Martha

Martha Coakley's victory is by no means guaranteed. A recent poll found her only 9 points ahead of her Republican opponent, Scott Brown, and only 2 points ahead among those who are certain they will vote.

A loss here would cause the Democrats to lose their 60 seat majority. 60 votes are needed to prevent a filibuster and pass health care reform. Scott Brown (the Republican candidate) has pledged to vote against the bill. The final passage of the health care bill may not occur until the end of the month - after the January 19th special election.

All phone banks for the election campaign will be held at 15 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge.
  • Tuesday January 12 (6:00-9:00pm)
  • Thursday January 14 (6:00-9:00pm)
  • Sunday January 17 (5:30-9:00pm)
Sign up here!

Please VOTE on JANUARY 19th in the Senate Special Election!!!

Health Care Reform Phonebanks

Please sign up and join our final phone banks!

Congressional leaders need to keep hearing from their constituents that the health care bills need to be passed and need to contain the elements described above. Depending on what amendments are made during House-Senate negotiations, we may target specific senators or representatives for final votes in the House and Senate. Phone banks will be held at 15 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, from 6:00-8:30pm.

Sunday January 10

Thursday January 14

Thursday January 21

Sunday January 24

Make the Health Care Bill More Progressive

This is it - the last chance for the health reform bill to be amended and passed.

The health care reform legislative process is in its final stages now that separate bills have passed both the House of Representatives and the Senate. House and Senate Democrats are working together to combine their bills with the goal of finding amendments and compromises that will allow the same bill to pass both chambers.

Even though some compromises have been made, the health reform legislation is still worth supporting as long as it achieves two key goals:
  • Providing health coverage to at least 20-30 million people who currently do not have insurance.
  • Putting a structure in place that will regulate insurance companies and end their worst abuses.

Call Representative Mike Capuano
at (202) 225-5111 for the DC office or (617) 621-6208 for his district office. He is a strong progressive leader, and we want him to be more public and emphatic about his concerns for the Senate bill. Rep. Capuano is a key leader whom the House and Senate leadership are consulting as they craft the final bill.

During your call, please ask Rep. Capuano to help make the final legislation include more from the House bill than the Senate bill in the following areas:

1. The Exchange & Public Option. The Exchange - to provide a new health care marketplace for individuals and small businesses, the exchange must be national in its scope, as laid out in the House bill, in order to provide enough clout to negotiate reasonable rates and terms. The Public Option - to offer adequate competition and to set appropriate standards in order to prevent insurance companies from continuing to boost their rates and profits astronomically.

2. Subsidies for low and moderate income families. Subsidies are needed for these families to purchase health insurance. The funding and sources to provide this funding are far better in the House bill than the Senate. For example, a family of 3 with an income of $41,000/year would be required to pay an average of $7000 for insurance in the Senate bill as compared with $4866 in the House. In addition, the Senate bill taxes hard-won health benefits of employees, instead of raising fund by levying a small surcharge on the wealthy who make over one million dollars a year, as the House bill lays out. If people are required to have insurance, the insurance must be affordable.

3. Employer mandate. Employers need to be required to do their part in providing adequate health insurance. The House bill requires all but the smallest employers to provide good health benefits or pay into a pool to cover their employees through the Exchange. It also applies standard benefits specifications to all health plans, not just for small groups and individuals. It also mandates that health premiums cannot vary depending on the health status of the person covered. The Senate bill fails on all three counts.

Actions steps for health care reform

It's Game Day. The Senate is expected to unveil their health care bill tonight, and the Congressional Budget Office is expected to release their cost estimates today too. From there, the first Senate vote to proceed with debate on the bill will likely happen Friday or Saturday.

We've gotten further on getting health care reform passed than in the previous decades. The House was a narrow passage. The Senate is expected to be even closer. A couple of senators are threatening to filibuster and prevent the bill from coming to an up or down vote. Compromises on the public option are circulating. Senators need to hear from their constituents that voting for the bill is the right vote. The other side is calling them too. We need our voices to be loud and clear!

Can you step up in 3 ways these next few weeks?

1. Phone Banks
We are hosting phone banks to call voters in other states, asking them to call their Senators and support health reform (the bill, once it is out) and against a filibuster. Currently we are focusing on Maine because our coalition partners believe Sen. Snowe and Sen. Collins can be swung and on Connecticut because Sen. Lieberman is not supportive... yet. Every vote counts.

If you haven't come out to phone bank, please do. The phone bank captain will train you prior to starting. These calls are fun and personally rewarding.

Wednesday November 18
Sunday November 22

Phone banks after Thanksgiving holidays TBD. Stay tuned, but we are aiming to have Sunday evenings and one midweek phone bank.

2. Finish Line Rapid Response
We don't know when the crucial votes are going to be in the Senate. To be most effective, Organizing for America and CSfC need volunteers to be mobilized on a day's notice. We need volunteers who would be interested calling residents in key states and asking them to call their Senators. We may also need volunteers to visit Sen. Kerry or Sen. Kirk's office. We will walk you through any actions and answer all questions you may have.

Please email health.reform@cambridgesomervilleforchange to sign-up. Sign-up if you will have a free half-hour or an hour or more.

3. Call Senators Kerry and Kirk
Please thank them for their continued support of health care reform. They need to hear from us to keep pushing for this real reform as there will be tough votes and potentially tough compromises to try to dilute the bill.

Sen. Kerry: (202) 224-2742
Sen. Kirk: (202) 224-4543

October Health Care Reform Issues and Actions

There was much sound and fury during the August congressional recess, and you might think that the push for Health Care Reform is all but done. But we're just warming up. Representatives and Senators are still figuring out their Health Care Reform strategies and we intend to keep pushing.

We need your help making phone calls, talking to members of Congress, and educating our friends and neighbors about this critical issue.


Phone Banks at Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers

Health Reform Town Hall Meetings with Congressman John Tierney

Health Reform Town Hall Meeting with Congressman Ed Markey


The Alliance to Defend Health Care has some great articles and resources on their web site.

Health Care Rally Tuesday Oct 6 at Noon

Health Care for America Now!,, Jobs with Justice, MassVote and Mass-Care are sponsoring an "Insurance Company Crime Scene" Rally to take place at the MA Association of Health Plans, 40 Court Street, near Government Center on Tuesday Oct 6 at noon.

It's a crime that 64% of all bankruptcies are caused by medical debt. It's a crime that every 12 minutes someone dies because an insurance company denies them care. It's a crime that insurance companies are keeping premiums and out of pocket costs high so that care is unaffordable even for those who have insurance.

At the rally we'll ask insurance companies to sign a 4-point pledge:
  1. Not to stand between a doctor and patient when it comes to deciding what care that patient needs.
  2. Provide Equitable coverage to all resident w/o regard to pre-existing conditions, ethnicity, citizenship status, or geography and end all caps on payments for necessary medical care.
  3. Terminate any policy or incentive that rewards employees financially or otherwise for denying care and rejecting claims.
  4. Not to use any resources - including funds, employees and facilities - to oppose health reform proposals that increase patient access to care, add fair regulation of the insurance industry, or support a public health insurance option available on day one.
There will also be a National Day of Action on Oct 20. Details on this event will be announced later this week.

Health Care Can't Wait Rally Personal Account

Gratifying and Inspiring!

Those are the two words that come to mind when I remember the “Health Care Can’t Wait Labor Day Rally & March” on Boston Common. I arrived at 9:45am. The only people there were the volunteers, and it seemed as if half of those were Cambridge-Somerville for Change members. Once the rally began, the energy level quickly rose. The rank and file union members that told their health insurance stories made the real issues sink in. It was gratifying, hearing from all but one of our US congressional representatives who voiced their strong support for health insurance reform, including a strong public option.

At the end of the rally, we marched down the middle of Boylston St to Copley Square. Passers-by stopped to watch. It was obvious why we were there: they read the many signs people carried and they heard our chants: “What do we want? Health care! When do we want it? Now! Public Option! Public Option!”

Finally we reached Copley Square and marched all the way around the square to Trinity Church. We filled Copley Square with thousands of people publicly demonstrating their support for health care reform including a public option.

That’s why I found this Labor Day to be the most inspiring day since November 4, 2008!

Health Care Can't Wait Rally relocated to Boston Common

The rally has been relocated to the Boston Common (near the gazebo) to accommodate the growing crowd. The rally still kicks off at 11AM on Labor Day Monday September 7.

We are now expecting several members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation. Sign up today to show them your support for real health care reform.

Thanks to HCAN and SEIU, free buses directly to the rally are now available from Framingham, Worcester and UMass Amherst.

PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT THE BUSES, and make sure those who are interested sign up SOON at the MyBO links above.

View Larger Map

HEALTHCARE CAN'T WAIT RALLY - 11:00 A.M. Monday September 7

Please show your support for healthcare reform on Labor Day and send the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation back with marching orders that we want:
  • affordable healthcare for all
  • to reduce the cost of healthcare
  • a strong public option with no triggers or co-ops
  • no lifetime limits on healthcare and no denials based on pre-existing conditions
Please sign up today! The Healthcare Can't Wait Rally takes place Monday, September 7, 11 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in Park Square, Boston (between Arlington and Columbus, near the Arlington Street T stop).

View Larger Map

The entire Massachusetts Congressional delegation has been invited. Rep. Mike Capuano has confirmed he will be there. Mayor Menino has also committed to attend. We expect to have no more than 4 or 5 total speakers. There will be a tribute to Senator Kennedy and there will be a send-off for the members of congress who are there, in which we will deliver to them thousands of declarations in support of health care reform.

Please join us and show your support for real healthcare reform, now!

Health Care Rally in NH

A personal account from a member who attended a rally in Portsmouth NH, outside of the school where President Obama held a town hall meeting:

It was a day of extremes of every sort. We were to be in Portsmouth as early as 6:30 AM but most people arrived around 8. I had half a dozen people from the Boston rally point. I think there were about the same from each of the other three rally points. The number of non-locals (including elsewhere in NH) from "our side" filled at least a bus. We got to the high school about 8:30 AM in the middle of a fierce thunderstorm so everyone got drenched. Luckily by 10 the sun came out and by about noon we were dry again.

When we walked down the street to the High School we had to pick a side of the street to stand on -- those for health care reform and those opposing. That created a tense atmosphere of rivalry. And the opposition were a truly scary lot. One man with a bullhorn and a nasty streak also carried a gun; it is legal to carry an unconcealed weapon in New Hampshire. This was not really about health care. It was real hatred for everything Obama stands for. There were many signs about socialism and pictures of Obama with a Hitler mustache. Really dumb things like "don't let the government mess with my Medicare". They were very hostile.

All the volunteers Boston volunteers somehow got tickets for the town hall meeting, thanks to John Bowes and a couple of NH OFA staff (John graciously gave up his chance to attend). There were 1800 people in the gym. It was a real old-fashioned town meeting! As reported on TV, the crowd inside was totally partisan. The meeting started promptly at 1:00. The president was introduced by a young woman with a poignant story about how she was uninsurable and unemployable because of a pre-existing condition. The president received a huge standing ovation. He made a short speech and then answered questions.

The press of course focused on the negative...or the sensational. There was only one man who said he was a Republican and asked a question about why Obama changed his opinion on universal health care from the time he was a senator. Obama used the question to explain "single payer" and why he doesn't support it. Later the man was interviewed on national TV and admitted that he believes health care needs reform.

In general, the president answered every question in a way to get a new point across. It was a brilliant strategy for getting to the important points but a fairly transparent way of using the questions to make his points.

I believe for those in the room the speech really helped clarify some finer points and dispel some myths such as "death panels" that will pull the plug on grandma (myth). I don't think anything could change the minds of those protesting outside. They have been underground since the election but they are back in force.

Healthcare Reform 101 Forum: Education and Action

Saturday, July 18, 10am - 1pm
SEIU 1199, 150 Mt. Vernon St., Dorchester 02125

The House and Senate both released their healthcare reform bills this week and we have a unique opportunity to help win real healthcare reform. Do not miss this opportunity to learn and to act. Join us this Saturday.

For more information or to RSVP, visit:

Presenters include:
JOHN McDONOUGH, Senior Healthcare Reform Advisor to Senator Ted Kennedy, an architect of the HELP bill released yesterday

DAVID CUTLER, Healthcare Policy Advisor to the Obama Presidential campaign; Otto Eckstein Professor of Economics at Harvard’s Kennedy School

PHIL JOHNSTON, Healthcare and human services consultant, former N.E. Regional Director of the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services

RAHUL RAJKUMAR, M.D., Senior advisor to healthcare reform advocacy group Doctors for America, member of the Obama Healthcare Policy Advisory Team during the campaign and transition

MICHAEL DOONAN, Asst. Professor, Heller Graduate School At Brandeis University, Executive Director of the Mass. Healthcare Policy Forum, and Director of the Council for Healthcare Economics and Policy.

CONGRESSMAN JIM McGOVERN will also join us, and others involved in the healthcare debate in Washington will participate as Congressional activity permits.

HEALTHCARE REFORM 101 Forum: Education and Action
Saturday, July 18
10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
SEIU 1199, 150 Mt. Vernon St., Dorchester 02125
(Next to the Bayside Expo, near the JFK/UMASS Red Line T Stop)

Sign up now:

Equip yourself with the tools you need -- including an informed perspective -- to actively work for meaningful healthcare reform. Learn what you can do now to make healthcare reform happen.

For more information about the state-wide organization, visit Organizing for America - Massachusetts (OFA-MA)


Cambridge-Somerville for Change is an all-volunteer community group dedicated to harnessing the grassroots energy and spirit of change inspired by the Obama campaign. Our organizing work includes electoral and issue-based campaigns at the local, state, and national level. Our members have chosen to work on promoting economic fairness, comprehensive health care reform, creating policies that conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, provide for fair and adequate access to public transportation, and promoting in-state tuition for immigrant youth.

This is an organization built by and for you, the community, and we look forward to your participation and feedback. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions about getting involved, please email
or call us at
(617) 302-7324.

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