Archive for November, 2010

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!

Election Perspective…

Posted on November 4th, 2010 by HCAN California in News

Opponents of the new health care law have wasted no time in claiming that Tuesday’s election was a “national repudiation” of health reform. But nothing could be further from the truth. In a recent article for the Huffington Post, HCAN Executive Director Ethan Rome provided some much needed context and perspective.

Boehner and the Republicans Didn’t Win a Majority to Deny Our Care

Here’s a crucial fact that should not be obscured by the ballyhoo surrounding the shift in control of the House: Most of the Republicans who won last night got a lower percentage at the ballot box than the percentage of Americans who support the new health care law’s requirement that insurance companies cover people regardless of pre-existing medical conditions.

That’s why yesterday was hardly a repudiation of the health care law.

Furthermore, this election was clearly dominated by voter worries about the economy and jobs. Only 19 percent of voters named health care as their top concern, a distant second to the 61 percent most focused on the economy, according to CNN. There were winners and losers among both supporters and opponents of health reform. For example, more than half of the 34 Democrats who voted against the health care legislation still lost their races.

After a wildly toxic political debate over the issue, people are split over the larger question of “reform” and key components of the law enjoy overwhelming public support. Specifically, over the last several months, even as the public has been divided on reform, two-thirds of Americans have supported the outlawing of pre-existing condition exclusions (Anzalone Liszt Research poll conducted for the Herndon Alliance of 1,000 2010 likely voters, conducted April 19-25, 2010. Margin of error +/-3%). For example, while a recent New York Times/CBS poll showed the public split over on the new law, only one-quarter of repeal supporters stuck with their position when told repeal would mean that insurance companies would no longer be required to cover people with medical conditions or prior illnesses.

This is the reality even after a contentious political season marked by an unprecedented deluge of attack ads that spread one lie after another about health reform. In fact, opponents of the new law spent $108 million since March to advertise against it - six times more than supporters.

That’s something members of the new Republican majority will have to navigate as they square real-world legislative proposals on health care (if they have any) with their campaign rhetoric about repeal. They may try on Day One to repeal the health care law’s individual mandate, but they can’t do that without also throwing out the many new consumer protections, including the prohibition on insurers denying people care simply because they’re sick or ending lifetime limits on coverage. Both of those provisions are more popular with the American public than the Republicans are.

The Republicans also talk about de-funding the law, interfering with its implementation and holding endless oversight hearings to gratuitously harass Obama administration officials. That’s not progress, that’s pointless, cynical politics.

We all know that the law is not going to be repealed, so the debateisn’t going to be about what gets done–it will be about defining whose side members of Congress are on. For Republican repeal-mongers, that will be clear. They’re for the insurance companies and against consumers.

The Republicans want to protect the excessive profits of the insurance companies and the bloated salaries of company CEOs, no matter how badly that hurts America’s consumers. That’s what repeal means. It means rolling back the clock and letting the insurance companies deny people coverage due to pre-existing conditions and drop people’s coverage when they get sick. It means that small businesses will continue paying higher rates for health insurance than big corporations. It means repealing measures to cut down waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare. It means opposing much-needed relief in prescription drug costs for seniors. That’s the Republican repeal agenda - the insurance companies get the profits and we get the shaft.

The American people don’t want to give our health care back to the insurance companies. Repeal would cause real harm to real people. That may not matter to the Republican majority, but it matters a great deal to the people they now represent.

President Obama expressed similar sentiments in regards to the perceived threat a Republican House Majority poses to our national health care system.

Well, I know that there’s some Republican candidates who won last night who feel very strongly about it. I’m sure that this will be an issue that comes up in discussions with the Republican leadership. As I said before, though, I think we’d be misreading the election if we thought that the American people want to see us for the next two years relitigate arguments that we had over the last two years.

The California Endowment - Dr. Oz: Find out what the new health law can do for you

Posted on November 3rd, 2010 by HCAN California in Videos & other Media