By Lynne Ide
In early 2017, a network of organizations and individuals that care about health care started the Protect Our Care CT campaign.
The campaign was sparked by a shared desire to protect the positive gains made by the Affordable Care Act, block the erosion of Medicaid, women’s health and Medicare programs – and stand together for state and federal solutions that deliver on the promise of universal quality, affordable health care for everyone.
We believe this is a marathon fight, not a sprint.
On October 14 Protect Our Care CT is hosting a Health Care Action Summit. Please join us!
We are calling state health care activists, advocates and organizations that care about the fight for universal quality, affordable health care to join together and build power to:
- fight back against the erosion of access to health care
- build support for a health care agenda that delivers on the promise of quality, affordable health care we can ALL count on
- require more vision, backbone and accountability from policymakers to help us achieve real change that benefits everyday people
Health Care Action Summit on Saturday, October 14 from 8:45 am – 3:30 pm at Thomas Edison Middle School (1355 North Broad St.) in Meriden. Register TODAY
The Summit will start with a provocative morning plenary. Jacob Hacker, director of the Institution for Social & Policy Studies at Yale University, an expert on the politics of U.S. health and social policy, will kick off a panel discussion with his latest thinking on how we get to universal health care. Hacker was one of the leaders in the “public option” approach as a means to achieve universal coverage.
And the day will include a selection of health policy and skill building workshops:
Health Care 101. A beginner’s guide, this workshop focuses on the basics of health policy. Learn about how people are covered and how people get care, with a specific focus on the Connecticut health care environment. The workshop is intended to help people understand the key proposals, debates and issues in current health policy. Rosana Garcia Ferraro, Policy Associate, Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut
Why Is Health Care So Expensive and What Can We Do About It? The United States spends twice as much on health care as the next most costly country. Americans are paying more and more out-of-pocket fees for their health care and seeing the cost of prescription drugs go through the roof. This workshop will explore the reasons for our expensive system and then turn to what we can do about it. Chuck Bell, Programs Director, Consumers Union
Bold Ideas for Getting to Universal Health Care. Instead of continuing to play defense against ACA and Medicaid cuts, health advocates are eager to play offense to fight for quality, affordable health care for all. This workshop will give a brief overview of how other countries provide universal health care and then explore some of the bold ideas to reach that goal in the US – at both the state and federal level. Topics covered will include single payer/Medicare for All, Medicare and Medicaid public options, and all-payer rate setting. Participants will explore the pros and cons of these different approaches. Jill B. Zorn, Senior Policy Officer, Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut
Leading-Edge State-Based Health Care Reform. States are often described as “laboratories of democracy.” In health care policy, often great ideas that start in one state are adopted by others and sometimes programs that start in states can inspire federal policy. For example, both the national Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) were modeled after policy initiatives that started in Massachusetts. In this workshop, we’ll explore some of the progressive health care ideas being proposed and implemented in Massachusetts and other states, focusing on ways to lower costs, promote health and expand access to care. Brian Rosman, Director of Policy and Government Relations, Health Care for All
A Healthy Connecticut Requires Health Equity. Health equity ensures that all people have access to optimal health despite their race, ethnicity, culture, or socioeconomic status. Connecticut is one of the wealthiest states in the country and is often heralded as being one of the healthiest states. Yet, Connecticut also has some of the greatest health disparities in the country. This workshop will explore health inequities in the state and strategies for achieving optimal health for all. Led by Health Equity Solutions
Organizing the Community to Influence Elected Leaders. Nonpartisan organizing to educate and hold elected officials accountable is key to success in changing the state’s health care debate. This workshop will feature best practices in organizing communities to put pressure on state and local elected officials to protect and advance health care in our state. It will highlight and draw lessons from a successful Bridgeport campaign. We want you to walk away ready to organize to engage elected officials. Brenda Lopez, Lead Organizer; Alison Martinez-Carrasco, Youth Organizer; Luis Luna, Worker Organizer, Make the Road CT
From Message to Action. In this workshop, we will discuss tools and strategies for effective messaging and communications about health care that inform your constituents and move them to take action. We will talk about how to identify your audiences, frame your message, and select your communications channels. The workshop will include a combination of presentations and case studies. Leslie Gabel-Brett, Ph.D., Strategy and Communications Consultant
Your Voice and Your Experience Matter; Advocating for Change in Health Policy. How can YOU make a difference in state and federal policy around health care and other issues? In this interactive session, you will learn from experts in the field how to tap into the power of your own health care experience, along with other strategies and tips on advocating with policymakers – and then practice your new skills! Deb Polun, Senior Director for Policy and Outreach, Community Health Center Association of CT and Susan Yolen, Vice President for Policy & Advocacy, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England
Stories for Social Change: A Workshop for Advocacy Stories. Participants in this workshop will learn about the power of stories to convey the importance of issues related to health care access. They will learn key storytelling concepts and practice techniques for developing stories for different audiences and contexts. Through this process, they will gain confidence in their storytelling, develop strategies for supporting one another, and hone their abilities to connect and persuade. Michaela Blei, Director of Education at The Moth, co-founder of Speech/Act, storytelling-for-advocacy collective and Onnesha Roychoudhuri, co-founder of Speech/Act
Getting Involved in Electoral Campaigns. Whether you are interested in working on an electoral campaign seeking to put a family, friend or neighbor in office – of if you feel compelled to run for office yourself, this workshop is for you. We will unpack and identify the basics of what it takes to successfully volunteer on a campaign or to run for office. Ann Pratt, Director of Organizing, CT Citizen Action Group