Report from DC: 700 advocates come together for Families USA Health Action 2017

by Rosana Garcia


Last week, Jill Zorn and I attended the Families USA Health Action 2017 Conference in Washington, DC, to represent the Foundation, and to learn from others.

In this critical time for health care, it was inspiring to gather with almost 700 health advocates from all across the country.  Most importantly, we were all reminded what’s at stake for everyone as changes are proposed to our health care system — especially those changes that may make health insurance coverage less accessible and more expensive.

Health care is something that we all need, sooner or later.  It can mean life or death for some — and can improve our quality of life, provide good jobs, and is a cornerstone to our society.  Health care is a human right and there’s a lot on the line.

Want to know what’s at stake in Connecticut?  Check out our fact sheet: What’s at Stake in CT? How your health care could change.

I’ve gathered together my Tweets on the conference, you can check it out here in my Health Action 2017 Storify.

Families USA has posted their: Our Favorite Moments from Health Action 2017 and a Storify collection of Tweets from the conference.

You can even check out the videos from all the plenary speakers here.  I felt particularly proud of Representative Rosa DeLauro from Connecticut.  Some of my favorites included:

  • Reverend Dr. William Barber, President of the North Carolina NAACP and leader of the Moral Mondays movement, who reminded us that health care and social justice are not a left or right issue, but a moral issue
  • Dr. Atul Gawande, who told heartbreaking stories about what was at stake, and reminded us that medical care has moved from hospitals and heroics to incremental, preventive care
  • Sister Simone Campbell, Executive Director of NETWORK, who gave us four virtues for 21st century advocacy: 1) Practice a modicum of joy.  2) Holy curiosity —  Listen, really listen, to everyone’s stories.  3) Sacred gossip — When you hear stories, share them.  4) Do your part — just your part.  Trust others to do theirs.

So what can you do?

  • We’re ready to listen to your story — reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter, or email us at
  • Speak up to our leaders.  In fact, Senator Blumenthal has two events this weekend:
    • Saturday February 25, 1:30 p.m. at Wilbur Cross High School, New Haven
    • Sunday, February 26, 1:00 p.m. at Central Connecticut State University, New Britain
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