Archive for the ‘Action’ Category

Call the Assembly Appropriations Committee TODAY!

Posted on May 20th, 2011 by HCAN California in Action

Over the course of the last year, there have been numerous instances where private insurance companies have attempted to surreptitiously raise rates on consumers, including Anthem Blue Cross’ notorious attempt to raise rates by as much as 39% last year, and the recent attempt by Blue Shield to raise rates on individual policy holders for the third time since October.

One of our biggest priorities for improving upon the historic Affordable Care Act at the state-level is passing legislation that would strengthen regulation of the private insurance industry WHENEVER attempts are made to raise our rates in California.

AB 52, a bill introduced by Assemblymember Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles), would go a long way in implementing and improving upon the federal health care law while also protecting consumers and businesses by empowering state regulators to REJECT excessive rate increases!

Please take a moment and call your Assemblymember in the Assembly Appropriations Committee TODAY and encourage them to VOTE YES on AB52!

Assemblyman Mike Gatto
District Office: (818) 558-3043

Capitol Office: (916) 319-2043

Assemblyman Ricardo Lara
District Office: (562) 927-1200

Capitol Office: (916) 319-2050

Assemblyman Isadore Hall
District Office: (310) 223-1201

Capitol Office: (916) 319-2052

Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes
District Office: (818) 504-3911

Capitol Office: (916) 319-2039

Assemblyman Mike Davis
District Office: (213) 744-2111

Capitol Office: (916) 319-2048

Assemblyman and Majority Leader Charles Calderon
District Office: (562) 692-5858

Capitol Office: (916) 319-2058

Assemblyman Jose Solorio
District Office: (714) 939-8469

Capitol Office: (916) 319-2069

Once you’ve made your call, let us know how it went!

Click here to send us a note with your feedback.

Make Your Favorite Mom(s) a Star on Mother’s Day!

Posted on May 6th, 2011 by HCAN California in Action

Mother’s Day is coming up this Sunday, and this year - as well celebrate moms across the state - we also celebrate new provisions in the Affordable Care Act that ease the burden so many women face when it comes to their health care. Among these provisions is the elimination of lifetime limits on how much insurance companies cover when women get sick, banning insurance companies from dropping women’s coverage when they do get sick and prohibiting insurers from denying coverage to children with so-called “pre-existing conditions.”

Make your favorite Mom(s) a star this Mother’s Day!

With all the incredible things mothers do in the face of enormous challenges, being concerned about health care for themselves or their children should not be one of them. I’m sure you know a mom or two (or three!) who deserves to be celebrated.

Well, this year HCAN/Health Access California is partnering with MomsRising to make it possible for you to thank all the moms you know with a customizable video announcing them as the star of an upcoming movie, “World’s Greatest Mom.”

Each mom you send the video to will see her name appear as the inspiration throughout a faux movie trailer dramatizing the amazing work moms do every day.

Make your favorite Mom(s) a star this Mother’s Day!

And then after you watch the video, don’t forget to send it to all the moms in your life, because every mother deserves to be a star.

Have a great Mother’s Day!

Get CONNECTED with HCAN-CA and Health Access

Posted on April 22nd, 2011 by HCAN California in Action

On Wednesday, over 100 people crammed an auditorium in Sacramento to be part of history: The California Health Benefits Exchange board met for the first time– the initial big step toward implementing the first ACA reform-prompted insurance exchange in the nation. “If we succeed, we will set the health care reform agenda for the rest of the nation,” board member Susan Kennedy said. “If we fail, we will precipitate the downfall of it nationally. And we are fully committed to seeing it succeed.”

Diana Dooley, Secretary of Health and Human Services in California, was elected interim chair of the exchange board. The work of the exchange, Dooley said, will go a long way toward healing the state’s fragmented health care system. “Right now, we don’t have a health care system in California. We have a lot of pieces of a health care system. What we have now is an illness-treatment system, and what we need is a health system.” Health Access was at this historic meeting both live tweeting the proceedings and as the first and most frequent commentator! Did you miss our live reports via Twitter?

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For nearly three years now, we’ve been working together to bring affordable, quality health care to California. Throughout this time, you’ve received countless e-mails from HCAN-California and our lead state partner, Health Access California, about what has been happening and how to get involved — but did you know you can also connect with us online for the most up to date information?

In the coming weeks and months, we will be covering state implementation bills in Sacramento such as AB 52, which would require health plans and insurers to seek approval from state regulators prior to any attempt to raise health care premiums, copayments, or deductibles and anti-consumer bills such as AB 736, which would amend the insurance code for the benefit of health insurance brokers and agents to the detriment of consumers. Other bills include maternity coverage, eligibility and enrollment and we’ll also be involved and reporting live at future exchange board meetings.

Influential social media tools like Facebook and Twitter will play a critical role in our continued work to implement and improve upon the Federal health care law here in California! They’re also a great way to connect with like-minded health care advocates like you, and will allow you to get real-time updates on actions and news from HCAN-CA and our lead state partner, Health Access.

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Not on Facebook or Twitter yet? No problem! Getting started is easy AND free!

Sign up and create a FREE account on Twitter & Facebook today!

Here’s how to create your free Facebook account:

  1. Go to www.facebook.com
  2. Fill in your information under the “sign-up” prompt
  3. Be sure to include a VALID e-mail address
  4. Click on “submit”
  5. Follow the prompts to get started on your profile
  6. Check your inbox for your confirmation e-mail

Here’s how to create your free Twitter account:

  1. Go to www.twitter.com
  2. Click the yellow “sign-up” button
  3. Fill in your information (including a VALID e-mail address)
  4. Click “Create my account”

Once you’ve signed up – be sure to connect with Health Access through Twitter and Facebook!

Social media tools like Facebook & Twitter offer a great way to stay in touch, easily share updates and alerts with friends and family, and take action all at the same time!

Our goal is to get 5,000 followers on Facebook and Twitter! Subscribe today and encourage the people in your networks to connected, too!

Follow us on Twitter to get live updates and urgent action alerts in 140 characters or less!

Like us on Facebook to get instant action alerts, updates and news from HCAN-CA and Health Access!

Senate Votes on GOP Repeal Bill

Posted on February 2nd, 2011 by HCAN California in Action

Believe it or not — Senate Republicans have tacked on an amendment to the aviation bill that would  repeal the entire Affordable Care Act. This is an outrage!

Thankfully, California Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein have long been dedicated champions of health care reform — understanding the importance of what the new law means for countless Californians, and the absolute necessity of opposing efforts to “repeal and replace!”

Call Senators Boxer and Feinstein NOW and show your support for their continued commitment in defending the Federal health care law against Republican and corporate repeal-mongers!

This isn’t a theoretical debate or a symbolic vote. Senate Republicans are voting to take away real protections that are helping millions of people right now. If Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans are serious about repealing the Affordable Care Act, they should tell their constituents the truth about the cost-savings and consumer protections they want to take away.

Each of them should go door to door in their districts and tell thousands of seniors to cough up the $250 donut-hole checks they received from the new health care law to buy their prescription drugs; visit with parents of sick children who finally got coverage and tell them their insurance is now canceled; and meet with parents of young adults and let them know that they’ll have to drop their young adults from their health insurance!

Click here to call Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer NOW and thank them for their ongoing support for health care!

California Senators Boxer and Feinstein have showed they are true champions when it comes to our health care! Now we need to let them know that we appreciate their efforts in standing up against McConnell and the other Republicans who want to deny us our care and go back to the way things used to be!

Call Senators Boxer and Feinstein NOW and thank them for continuing to stand up for stronger, more affordable health care!

Stand Up Against Repeal!

Posted on January 5th, 2011 by HCAN California in Action

The wealthy insurance industry fought tooth & nail to oppose Federal health care reform legislation in 2009 and 2010…even going as far as threatening to stop selling child-only policies to families with children with “pre-existing conditions” in order to weasel their way out of complying with provisions under the Affordable Care Act.

But thanks to the thousands of calls, e-mails, faxes and letters from dedicated health care supporters like you- California has gone above & beyond the Federal health care law by passing AB2244, which went into effect on January 1st!

The new state law, sponsored by HCAN-CA’s lead state partner, Health Access California, “bars insurers that refuse to sell policies exclusively for children from the broader individual market for five years. It also limits the amount insurers can charge for covering children with serious health conditions to no more than twice what they would charge healthier children.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

Now, as a result of this new law, “all insurers have notified the state Department of Insurance of their intention to resume sales.” (Los Angeles Times)

But this is just the beginning! Many other key provisions from the new health law are already going into effect this month, and that’s why it’s so imperative that we keep up the pressure and oppose efforts by Congressional Republicans and insurance industry lobbyists to repeal the Federal health care law!

Today marks the first day of the 112th Congress with its Republican majority bought and paid for by Wall Street-run corporations and their shill groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It comes as no surprise that one of the Republicans’ first items is to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and all the benefits and consumer protections that we’ve fought so hard to achieve.1 And what are they replacing it with? NOTHING.

Click here to automatically sign the petition that says: “Republicans in Congress shouldn’t give our health care back to the insurance companies and sentence more than 30000 Americans a year to death because they can’t afford health insurance.”

Everyone already knows that the Republican Party is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the health insurance industry2 and other profit-hungry corporations. In case there was any doubt, the Republicans have hired insurance and health care industry lobbyists for key positions on committees and members’ staffs.3 So far, two health care industry lobbyists have joined the powerful House Energy & Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over health care legislation. One of them was named staff director. In addition, a top lobbyist from the medical device industry has joined Boehner’s staff as policy director.4

When you cut through the political hyperbole, the GOP’s search-and-destroy mission is serious business. Thankfully we have a strong Democratic caucus in the House and a majority in the Senate to fight back.  The repeal vote in the House scheduled for next week is part of an all-out assault on the new law in the Congress, the courts and state legislatures.  And it’s an assault with well-funded corporate sponsors.

After a century of legislative and political combat over health care, working families and small businesses and ended the insurance companies’ stranglehold on our health care. Naturally, Boehner wants to roll back the new health care law and let the health insurance companies resume their reign of terror. That’s why Boehner and his band of corporate shills, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor5, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell6 and a raft of presidential wannabes7, have made repealing the health care law the top priority for 2011 for the Republican Party.

Your dedication and support helped pass AB2244, and several other essential laws that have gone a long way towards implementing and improving upon Federal health reform here in California!

Now is the time for us to send this Congress a message.  We will not go back.  We will not let them play partisan political games with our rights as consumers or with the lives of our families.

The repeal-monger hypocrisy continues

Posted on November 29th, 2010 by HCAN California in Action

On the campaign trail, Congressman-elect Andy Harris (R-MD) railed against “government take-over” of health care and then the very first thing he did upon coming to Capitol Hill for freshman orientation was to ask for his.

And when Harris was told he had to wait for his tax payer-sponsored health care, he did what you’d expect all conservatives who ran against health care to do: he got cranky! Harris, who’s also a physician, even asked if he could get coverage from “some government-sponsored insurance” until his Congressional coverage kicked in!

Click here and join the fight against the Republican repeal hypocrisy.  Don’t let them accept health care from tax-payers while they try to take ours away.

The repeal-mongers want to let insurance companies deny people coverage due to pre-existing conditions and drop people when they get sick. They want to get rid of the small-business tax credit and repeal measures to cut down waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare. In short, they want to revert back to the way things used to be!

If Republicans have their way, the insurance companies will get the profits and we’ll get the shaft. HCAN-California will stand alongside the thousands of activists already calling for an immediate end to this deplorable and selfish behavior from the conservatives who support repeal.

Your voice will show that Californians are committed to protecting the gains we’ve already achieved under the health care law and that we’re united in standing firm to get the best health care possible!

Sign TODAY and tell state legislators to support health reform implementation & improvement in 2011!

Posted on November 22nd, 2010 by HCAN California in Action

The outcome of the November 2nd election has opened up new opportunities and challenges for our ongoing work here in California to implement and improve upon the Federal health law, including the election of Jerry Brown as the next Governor of California, the loss of a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives and the arrival of several Congress Members committed to undermining and repealing the law.

But more than anything, this has only added to the overall importance and urgency of our critical work here at the state level to defend, implement and improve upon the law wherever and whenever possible!

Now that the elections are over, California has an historic opportunity to demonstrate true leadership and initiative in implementing the benefits and provisions of the new law, and establishing a model for health reform implementation for the entire nation!

On the other hand, California voters overwhelmingly reaffirmed their support for health care reform by re-electing Senator Barbara Boxer to her fourth term in office over conservative opponent (and vehement health reform opponent) Carly Fiorina, as well electing Democratic majorities in BOTH the State Assembly and State Senate!

Over the next few months, our work here in California will consist of taking advantage of every opportunity to strengthen our health care system and make it work better for ALL Californians! This includes working with a new generation of state legislators and urging them to support health care law implementation! Click here to see the list of new incoming state legislators.

But the road ahead will have its fair share of challenges. Many incoming Members of Congress have made it perfectly clear that repealing the Federal health care law is their top priority! We’ll also be contending with yet another multi-billion dollar budget deficit that could threaten many of California’s most vital and essential health care services and programs!

That’s why we’re counting on state legislators to continue to show their commitment to making sure we get the best health care possible in California!

We’ve come SO far, but there’s still much work to be done! Together, we made health reform a reality in 2010! Next year, we need to keep the momentum going and work together to pave the way for provisions going into effect in 2011 and beyond!

You can help show your support by signing the petition (below) urging state legislators to continue to work towards implementing and improving upon the health care law here in California!

Click here to sign TODAY!

HCAN-CA and our lead state partner, Health Access California, will be meeting with incoming freshman state legislators in the coming weeks. We’ll be handing them copies of this petition to show them that California is counting on them to help make history and ensure that we get the best health care possible!

We need your help to get THOUSANDS of signatures showing support for implementation of the health care law in 2011 and beyond! After you’ve signed, please forward the petition to 5 of your friends and urge them to show their support!

Click here to sign the petition!

Got a story? Share it!

Posted on August 18th, 2010 by HCAN California in Action, Uncategorized

Have you shared YOUR health insurance “horror story” yet? If you’ve got one, we want to hear it!

Click here & share it today!

Your story will help show State legislators why we need to pass critical State implementation and consumer protection bills here in California. Currently, there are several pieces of legislation that could go to a floor vote in the next week or so.

See below for information on what these bills are and how they’ll help protect California consumers and make our health care system stronger!

Those of particular concern in the State Assembly:

  • AB2244 (Feuer): Progressively limits how much private insurers can charge families with children under 19 with so-called “pre-existing conditions” between now and 2014 - when Federal provisions prohibiting all premium differences kick-in.
  • AB2578 (Jones): Requires approval from the Department of Managed Health Care OR Department of Insurance whenever private insurance companies attempt to increase the amount of premiums, co-payments, coinsurance, deductibles or other charges under a health plan.
  • AB1602 (Perez): Creates the California Cooperative Health Insurance Purchasing Exchange (Cal-CHIPE) and implements a variety of other important provisions of the national health care reform law - including extensions allowing children to be covered by their parents’ plans until age 26.

Those of particular concern in the State Senate:

  • SB890 (Alquist & Steinberg): Makes purchasing health plans on the individual market easier by implementing many of the consumer protections in the Federal health care reform law early and includes a strong medical loss ratio so more premium dollars are going to patient care (instead of profits!).
  • SB900 (Alquist & Steinberg): Establishes the California Health Insurance Exchange and creates the California Health Insurance Exchange Fund and enables the Exchange to use its bargaining power to negotiate better prices and values for consumers in the exchange.
  • SB1163 (Leno): Rate Reviews - Would require health plans to provide, in writing, specific reasons for denial of coverage or for charging higher than the standard rates for coverage.

Happy 45th Birthday Medicare!

Posted on July 30th, 2010 by HCAN California in 40 Days to Health Reform, Action, Reports, Uncategorized

Today marks the 45th Anniversary of the passing of Medicare! In honor of this occasion, HCAN California and several of our partners, including lead state partner Health Access California, are organizing celebration-events in Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Francisco to show our support for Medicare and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act!

Signed by President Johnson on July 30, 1965 - Medicare remains one of the most popular health plans in the country. Currently, there are nearly 5 million California seniors enrolled in the program. Best of all, thanks to provisions in the new health care law, the Medicare program will become significantly better as a result of benefits that make it more efficient and sustainable while also helping to make prescription medicine more affordable for seniors and offering comprehensive preventive care coverage for FREE.

Want to get involved? Join us in Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Francisco and help us celebrate Medicare and the new health law!

Click here to RSVP for a celebration event in YOUR city!

Crowd shows appreciation for Rep. Matsui

Posted on April 12th, 2010 by HCAN California in Action, Health Reform in California

More than 150 supporters came down to Trinity Cathedral in Sacramento on Thursday (April 1) to show their appreciation for Representative Doris Matsui. The enthusiastic crowd thanked the Congresswoman for her long-term support and her vital role in making health reform a reality last month!

Among those groups who participated in the event included HCAN-CA lead state partner, Health Access, as well as AARP, California Primary Care Association, Sacramento Labor Council, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment and many others!

Check out the pictures below:

HCAN-CA Campaign Director, Patrick Romano, talks with Rep. Matsui

HCAN-CA Campaign Director, Patrick Romano, talks with Rep. Matsui

Crowd thanks Rep. Matsui for standing strong for health care reform.

Crowd thanks Rep. Matsui for standing strong for health care reform.

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