NC HEALTH REPORT: Thank Our Representatives Who Voted for Health Reform

November 12, 2009
Editors: Adam Searing and Adam Linker

HEALTH ACCESS COALITION TV: Our Channel

KISSELL'S NO VOTE: Check out our video of Larry Kissell talking about health reform as a candidate. Why did he vote against reform in the House last week? In fact, many people are really, really burned about Kissell's no vote on health reform. One is early major supporter James Protzman over at BlueNC - he's collecting reactions.

AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY, AMERICAN DIABETES ASSOCIATION, AND THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION OPPOSE STATE HEALTH PLAN STYLE WELLNESS PROVISIONS: These groups - commenting on language in national health reform bills - released a statement of strong opposition to punitive "wellness" programs like the ones being implemented by the NC State Health Plan. Will this finally get SHP's attention? It's doubtful. Today in the legislative committee meeting of the group overseeing the state health plan, officials were talking about their wellness provisions as a starting a great national conversation. Hmmm... Maybe not the conversation they wanted.

FIVE FACTS ABOUT HEALTH REFORM: NC Policy Watch's Rob Schofield gives a great overview of the debate and the five key points any health advocate should have at their fingertips over the next few weeks as the rhetoric in the Senate heats up.

PROGRESSIVE PULSE BLUE CROSS CORNER:

Rep. Pricey Harrison calls on AG and DOI to investigate NC Blue Cross for their mailer campaigns.

NC Blue Cross executive Barbara Morales Burke (former NC Dept of Insurance Blue Cross regulator) can't (or won't) answer a very simple question - what's Blue's market share? 

Blue Cross and their SECOND anti-health reform mailer and why it's even more of an outrage than the first.

We dissect the new Blue Cross mailer's absurd and self-serving claims.

Leadership from Blue Cross.

OTHER NEWS AT THE PROGRESSIVE PULSE:

3 NC Dems vote against health reform

Six reasons why the House health reform bill will reduce costs.

State Health Plan sets severe penalties for failing those involuntary cheek swab and weigh-in tests.

A mental health system in need of repair.

Good news - NC High Risk Pool soon to be more affordable.

THANK OUR REPRESENTATIVES WHO VOTED FOR HEALTH REFORM
  • Representative G. K. Butterfield, Jr. (D - 01)
  • Representative Bob Etheridge (D - 02)
  • Representative David Price (D - 04)
  • Representative Mel Watt (D - 12)
  • Representative Brad Miller (D - 13)

It wasn't easy. Over the months the bill was debated in the House, the above Representatives got more correspondence, calls and other contacts than on any other issue in years. Their staff members worked amazingly hard to respond to constituent concerns, learn about all the issues and often got yelled at in the process. The three town halls we attended with members had their moments as well.

In the end, each of these people made a considered decision to vote for a bill that - while none of them found it perfect - they saw as a historic opportunity to correct a health system that is failing miserably so many of their constituents.

What's the best way to thank them? A phone call is great but even better would be a letter to the editor of your local paper. A few lines thanking your representative can have a very big impact. You can write on your own or you can use our online system to identify your paper and easily compose a message.

JOIN OUR STATEWIDE PHONE BANK CALLING SENATOR HAGAN:

Now that the health care bill has passed the House, the focus has shifted to the Senate, where the next battle will be fought. We need to let Senator Hagan know we support reform.

Who: Volunteers for health care reform
What: Statewide phone bank targeting Senator Hagan on issues such as affordability and a strong public option
When: Tuesday Nov. 17th; 6-8:30pm (6-7 free dinner and training on how to use the Activate phone bank system; 7-8:30 calls to voters)
Where: Asheville, Charlotte, the Triangle (specific location TBA), and Wilmington
Why: To make sure Hagan hears loudly and clearly from those who SUPPORT reform
How: Contact Hope Marasco with the NC Health Access Coalition at hope@ncjustice.org

Each volunteer will need a phone and computer (this could be a land line or cell phone a desk top or a laptop). As long as the site has wireless, folks can use their laptops w/ wireless routers. We'll be using the Activate phone bank system which automatically dials the numbers for volunteers so that they reach more people more quickly. If folks would like to make calls from home on Tuesday instead of going to a phone bank site, they can join a webinar this coming Friday morning (the 13th) at 10am to learn how to use the Activate system. If they email me, I'll send them the call in information for that training.

BRIEFINGS ON STATE BUDGET HAPPENING ALL OVER NC: In November and December the NC Justice Center and United Way of NC are going across the state to present insightful analysis by our Budget and Tax Center experts and others on the sorry state of our budget. See the schedule.

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