[COMM-ORG] health care organizing

Discussion list for COMM-ORG colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
Sat Mar 27 14:38:26 CDT 2010

From: "Scott Reed" <news at piconetwork.org>

Dear PICO leaders and friends,

On behalf of the PICO network I want to thank you for the extraordinary 
work you have done to bring the voices of working families and faith 
communities into the historic debate over reforming the American health 
care system.

Three years ago, you took up the banner of covering all children.    You 
persevered through setbacks and helped show that it was possible to make 
real progress on health care in Washington, DC that has already improved 
the lives of 2.6 million young people in the United States.

Over the past year, your persistence and at-times shear repetition 
helped make affordability a defining issue in reform.   Your efforts 
contributed to a decision last month by the Administration and Congress 
to add $122 billion in additional subsidies to lowering premiums and 
out-of-pocket costs for low-wage workers, increase reimbursement rates 
for primary care providers in Medicaid (which will make it easier for 
low-income families to find quality doctors), and include $12 billion in 
new funding for safety-net clinics.

When the debate got ugly in August and politicians began to wonder 
whether people supported reform, you helped organize more than 50 
rallies and prayer vigils in 18 states that showed the deep community 
support for moving forward.   You helped organize a national call with 
the faith community and President Obama that gathered 140,000 people, 
providing an opportunity for local clergy and community leaders - 
including eight from the PICO network - to share the need for reform and 
raise issues of importance to the faith community to the Obama 

Throughout, you have helped bring the debate back to the stories of 
families.  You joined with more than a thousand people who had their 
pictures and stories added to a multi-media exhibit that traveled across 
the country from San Diego to Little Rock, Arkansas to the U.S. Capitol, 
and places in between, to demonstrate the urgency of making affordable 
health coverage available to every American.

Nine times over the past year you've come to DC to meet with your 
Members of Congress.  I'm proud that our network was represented at key 
moments in the debate, from the beginning at the CHIP signing in 
February 2009 and the White House summit on health reform in March 2009 
to the final vote in the House on Sunday and Tuesday's event with the 
President after he signed the legislation into law.

Thousands of organizations and millions of individuals participated in 
this great debate over what kind of nation we want to be.  None of us 
alone is responsible for the outcome nor every element of the final 
legislation.   Together though, we had a say in a debate that resulted 
in the nation finally putting in place a framework that makes health 
care a universal right for all Americans, with all the security and 
opportunity that comes from knowing that you can see a doctor or get the 
medicine you need when you get sick.

Our work is far from over.  As in the Civil Rights Movement, passing the 
law establishing the right is just the beginning.  We have much work to 
educate people about what reform means for each of us personally; to 
overcome fear and division and bring people together in local 
communities to plan for health reform, to make sure there are enough 
quality health care providers in low-income communities; and to take 
advantage of the resources from reform to erase the horrendous racial 
and economic disparities in health and life opportunities that plague 
our communities.

At the end of the day, PICO is a tool for you to use in making your 
voice heard and negotiating your interests in public life.   The arc of 
the moral universe bends toward justice because we bend it.   Thank you 
for all you have done to bend it on health care and all of the other 
work you do on behalf of yourself, your families and your communities.


Scott Reed, Executive Director

p.s. Here is a link to a good fact sheet about the legislation from our 
friends at Georgetown University Center for Children and Families 

More information about the Colist mailing list