HCAN!California

Archive for September, 2009

Bay Area rallies against Blue Cross!

Posted on September 25th, 2009 by HCAN California in Action, News

Hundreds of Bay Area supporters showed up outside the offices of Anthem Blue Cross in San Francisco on Tuesday for the “Big Insurance: Sick of It!” rally to demand WellPoint and its subsidiary, Anthem Blue Cross, end their anti-consumer practices and using OUR premium dollars to campaign AGAINST health reform.

A delegation of volunteers even attempted to speak with someone inside the Anthem Blue Cross office, only to encounter a hastily-posted sign claiming, “Entry only for those with appointments.” (Note: this makeshift “sign” was only recently attached to the door with scotch tape). Despite being denied access, the delegates read their list of demands (through the door) and left a copy for Anthem Blue Cross – just in case they didn’t get the message!

Afterwards the crowd marched to Senator Feisntein’s office and our delegates were given an impromptu meeting with one of the Senator’s staff members. The event was a HUGE success, and HCAN-California and our partners would like to thank everyone who came down!

See below for videos and news coverage!

Photo of SF rally-goers from the New York Times

Photo of SF rally-goers from the New York Times

Coverage by SF Bay Area’s KGO-TV:
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Hundreds gather in LA to take on Blue Cross!

Posted on September 22nd, 2009 by HCAN California in Action, News

More than 350 people gathered outside the Los Angeles office of Anthem Blue Cross, the largest private health insurer in California, on Tuesday to issue a series of demands calling on Blue Cross to put an end to its use of premium dollars to fight AGAINST health reform, and its anti-consumer practices which make health reform a necessity in the first place.

A group of supporters even tried to bring a list of demands inside the offices, but were unfortunately escorted by security. Nonetheless, the event was a HUGE success and many thanks to everyone who showed up in solidarity as we continue to fight for real health reform in 2009!

See photos from Tuesday’s event in LA below:

Watch the video on Facebook: Billionaires for Wealthcare at HCAN Big Insurance: Sick of It!

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Join us as we take on Wellpoint/Anthem Blue Cross!

Posted on September 22nd, 2009 by HCAN California in Action

Don’t forget - we’ve got two BIG events taking place today in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. See below for all the details:

Los Angeles:

What: “Big Insurance: Sick of It” Rally
Where: Anthem Blue Cross, 801 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles
When: Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 11:00 am

San Francisco Bay Area:

What: “Big Insurance: Sick of It” Rally
Where: Anthem Blue Cross - 2 Embarcadero Center, San Francisco, CA
When: Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 11:30 am

We hope you can make it, but if you can’t, that’s okay! You can still get it on this important action by faxing a list of demands to YOUR insurance company using our auto-fax system!

For years WellPoint and Anthem Blue Cross have expanded their total stranglehold over our health care. They make record profits while we struggle just to get by. Enough is enough!

You’re a customer and a person with a voice, so you can fight back. Click here to fax your demands to the insurance industry and join thousands across the country who are doing the same today.

We’ll make sure your message gets to your insurer, your Members of Congress, and Members of the Senate Finance Committee, who are starting to work on the Baucus bill - a bill that gives the insurance industry everything it wants.

Together, we can make a difference in the lives of millions!

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Take Action: Join us on September 22nd!

Posted on September 21st, 2009 by HCAN California in Action, California Needs Reform

If you live in California, you’re probably familiar with WellPoint, the biggest insurer in the nation, and their California subsidiary, Anthem Blue Cross - the biggest insurer in the state. Chances are, many of you reading this e-mail are also aware of how WellPoint/Anthem Blue Cross have implemented an aggressive policy aimed at covering only the healthy and doing everything in their power to avoid covering those deemed a “high-risk,” because of so-called “pre-existing conditions.”

But did you know that WellPoint and its subsidiary have also been engaged in an aggressive campaign effort to derail national health reform? Just last month, it was reported that Anthem Blue Cross sent an e-mail to millions of their subscribers littered with false information and outright lies about the House Health Reform Bill, H.R. 3200.

The people of California are fed up. We’re tired of the big insurance companies spending big money to undermine the real reform we so desperately need. Join us on Tuesday September 22nd in Los Angeles and San Francisco as we stand up to California’s most notorious private insurance company.

So join us on Tuesday September 22nd in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area as we tell WellPoint and Anthem Blue Cross to STOP denying us care and STOP using our premiums to lobby against health reform!

Los Angeles:

What: “Big Insurance: Sick of It” Rally
Where: Anthem Blue Cross, 801 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles
When: Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 11:00 am

San Francisco Bay Area:

What: “Big Insurance: Sick of It” Rally
Where: Anthem Blue Cross - 2 Embarcadero Center, San Francisco, CA
When: Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 11:30 am

Why WellPoint and Anthem Blue Cross?

Wellpoint is the biggest insurer in the nation. Anthem Blue Cross of California, its subsidiary, is the biggest insurer in California, with 6.8 million customers relying on it for coverage. Starting with a “robo-call” campaign in April, Anthem Blue Cross urged subscribers into action to help defeat health reform. More recently, Wellpoint called subscribers and urged them to write letters to Congress per instructions on its fake  “grassroots” website. Wellpoint has 33.5 million subscribers — who likely are unaware its CEO is on the record as  favoring “profits over people.”

Wellpoint & its Anthem Blue Cross of California are the insurer most aggressively opposed to health reform:

  • In just the first six months of 2009, Wellpoint spent nearly $3 million lobbying Capitol Hill against health reform, targeting the public option that would give them competition in the marketplace.
  • Just last month, Anthem Blue Cross sent E-mails to California  subscribers with false information attacking H.R.3200, the House version of health reform.
  • California’s Attorney General is investigating complaints that Anthem Blue Cross violated labor law in telling their employes to play politics by attending town halls as opponents of health reform — and signing sample letters to their Congressmen urging the defeat of health reform.

This is not a new role for them. In 2007, Anthem Blue Cross & Wellpoint were the leading opponent to the health reform push of Governor Schwarzenegger, spending over $2 million on a deceptive ad campaign against the proposal.

In Sacramento, they consistently oppose not just big comprehensive health reforms, but even small, specific, common-sense bills at the state legislature. They oppose bills to:

  • stop insurers from charging women more than men; require labeling of insurance policies so consumers know what they are buying, stop insurers from the unfair practice of yanking coverage of people who get sick, make maternity coverage standard in policies, and place a limit on out-of-pocket costs for customers.

Wellpoint and Anthem Blue Cross aren’t just the leading opposition to health reform; they and their anti-consumer practices are the reason we need health reform so urgently.

  • They are one of the most aggressive companies in denying people coverage for so-called “pre-existing conditions.”
  • They had the largest cases of rescissions, where insurers retroactively yank people’s coverage away from them after medical bills come in. In February 2009, California fined Anthem Blue Cross $1 million for yanking coverage of 2,330 customers who submitted medical bills. It took the $1 million fine to get Anthem Blue Cross to actually cover those medical expenses that customers paid for when they bought coverage.
  • They hike rates without justification. Some 80% of individual policy subscribers in California got premium increases of up to 39% in the past year — just as the recession was tightening its grip on people’s household budgets. In fact, Anthem Blue Cross has decided to target the “individual” policy market aggressively in California because it is the least regulated and offers the highest profits. More than a third — about 3 million — of its policies sold in California are the less-regulated individual policies.
  • They aggressively engage in “cherry-picking,” an insurance industry practice that markets coverage to young, healthy people and avoids those who may need medical care. They market “skeleton” or “junk insurance” with bare-bones coverage for consumers, leaving consumers with significant debt, even after paying premiums.
  • Anthem Blue Cross and Wellpoint choose profits over people. Wellpoint CEO Angela Braley told shareholders, “We will not sacrifice profitability for membership.” Braley’s executive salary? Upwards of $10 million annually, plus stock options and benefits.
  • Wellpoint and Anthem Blue Cross of California needs to stop using our premium dollars to oppose health reform, and to stop the practices that make health reform so necessary in the first place.
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Tell us YOUR Story

Posted on September 18th, 2009 by admin in Action, California Needs Reform

Most of us already know that California is facing a major health care crisis. We all know that 7 million of our fellow Californians current don’t have health insurance; and tens of millions more are inadequately covered. But behind these numbers are real people with real stories, and each one of them is another reason why now, more than ever before, California needs REAL reform that includes a strong public option.

That’s why Health Care for America Now - California (HCAN-CA)  wants to hear your stories. We want to hear from you, and add your voice to the ever-growing number of people who are tired of the rising cost of premiums; overwhelming medical debt or being denied coverage because of so-called “pre-existing conditions.” More importantly, we want our members of Congress to know exactly how the current system is failing us — the people of California.

Share your story today! Small business owners, patients/consumers, health care providers - everybody has a telling story. We want to hear from you! Click here to get started and let your voice be heard!

We’ve heard from HUNDREDS of Californians all over the state, and now we want to hear from you!  Tell us how the current system has failed, or is failing, you and your loved ones!

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HCAN National Campaign Manager on Colbert Report

Posted on September 17th, 2009 by HCAN California in News

Health Care for America Now National Campaign Manager, Richard Kirsch, was a featured guest on Comedy Central’s Colbert Report Wednesday night. Watch the clip below:

The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Better Know a Lobby - Health Care for America Now
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Health Care Protests
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Baucus Bill a FAILURE

Posted on September 16th, 2009 by HCAN California in News

Health Care for America Now (HCAN) released the following statement on Thursday in response to the release of the so-called “Baucus Bill,” which may as well been written by the CEOs of the private health insurance industry themselves.

Here’s what HCAN National Campaign Manager, Richard Kirsch, had to say:

The Baucus bill is a gift to the insurance industry that fails to meet the most basic promise of health care reform: a guarantee that Americans will have good health care that they can afford. The Baucus bill would give a government-subsidized monopoly to the private insurance industry to sell their most profitable plans - high-deductible insurance - without having to face competition from a public health insurer.
Under the Baucus bill, employers would have no responsibility to help pay for their workers’ coverage and would be given incentives to have workers pay more for barebones insurance. Americans who don’t get health benefits through work would still not be able to get good, affordable coverage.
We urge Senators on the Finance Committee to replace the Baucus plan with legislation that will do what the Senate HELP Committee and three House committees have done: guarantee that Americans have good health insurance that they can afford with the choice of a strong national public health insurance option.

Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.)

Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.)

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What health care reform REALLY looks like

Posted on September 11th, 2009 by HCAN California in Reports

In light of all the lies, distortions, and misinformation that have been spread about health care reform in general and the House health care reform bill (H.R. 3200) in particular, Health Care for America Now (HCAN) – the nation’s largest health care campaign – has created the following chart to show how the health care system would really work under America’s Affordable Health Choices Act. For a full-size 2-page PDF file, go to www.hcanca.org/hr3200

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Senator Barbara Boxer on Maddow…

Posted on September 11th, 2009 by HCAN California in News

Here’s California Senator Barbara Boxer on the Rachel Maddow Show, talking about her short conversation with the President after his big health reform speech on Wednesday:

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

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Keep the Calls Coming!

Posted on September 10th, 2009 by HCAN California in Action

A big THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to call Senator Dianne Feinstein and Senator Barbara Boxer on Wednesday to urge them to support the Kennedy HELP bill - a critical step in our struggle for attaining real reform that the people of California (and this country as a whole) truly need and deserve.

And despite the EXCEPTIONAL work on behalf of our supporters and volunteers, we still have to make sure our leaders know exactly where we stand on this most imperative issue. Please join us, once again, as we call our Senators and URGE them the stand strong for the health reform that the people so desperately need!

There’s no better feeling than taking the time to make a difference in the lives of millions, It’s easy, and you can do it from your own cell phone, landline or even your computer!

Simply click on the link below, or dial (toll-free) 1-877-264-4226 to connect with Senator Boxer and Senator Feinstein!




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