[COMM-ORG] Virginia Organizing Sept. newsletter
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Sat Oct 2 10:36:00 CDT 2010
From: Virginia Organizing <e-action at virginia-organizing.org>
News From the Grassroots
The New Affordable Health Care Law: A Century in the Making
On September 16, Virginia Organizing held a forum on the new health care
law in Norfolk with Joanne Grossi, Regional Director of Health and Human
Services. Over 100 residents showed up to learn about the new health
care law. "There is so much misinformation about the what the health
care law will do. We held this forum so that the community will get real
information about the bill and not distortions," said resident Winston
The forum took place a week ahead of the major September 23 milestone
when several key health care bill provisions went into effect that will
benefit seniors, small businesses, families with children and the nation
as a whole. In celebration of September 23, Virginia Organizing student
leaders held events at the College of William and Mary, University of
Mary Washington, University of Virginia, University of Richmond and
Tidewater Community College campuses.
Students gathered to celebrate the six-month milestone of the Patient
Protection and Affordable Care Act and the provision that extends
coverage for young adults. Students like Rachael Johnson, age 22, a
senior at Virginia Tech will now be able to stay on their parents'
health insurance plans until they are 26 years old. "Now, I will be
going back on my parents' plan which will give me one less thing to
worry about while pursuing my master's, and possibly my PhD, in clinical
psychology," said Johnson.
The Young Invincibles Have Some New Armor
By: Dr. Chris Lillis
I have been a primary care doctor for some time now. I can still
remember the early part of my career, when I was still adjusting to
practice. I remember personally feeling helpless, or frightened, when
trying my best to help a patient with a life threatening or mysterious
Several months ago, a 24-year-old man walked into my office. He
complained of blurry vision and felt lethargic. He felt thirsty all the
time. He shared with me that in the past he was told he had diabetes,
but he was laid off when his employer downsized in early 2009, and has
been without his medicines and monitoring since. His diabetes was
raging out of control like an unattended forest fire.
There it was again - that fear in my gut. I began to think of the cost
of oral medicines, perhaps insulin, as well as the cost of regular blood
tests to monitor the diabetes, the annual eye exam, and the daily test
strips used in his glucose meter along with the lancing devices to prick
his finger. Treating this young man's diabetes would be easy if he had
Young adults disproportionately live without health insurance - the
Urban Institute estimated in 2008 that 10 million adults did not have
health insurance coverage. Many detractors of the Patient
Protection and Affordable Care Act will say that the "Young Invincibles"
should have the choice to save a few bucks, and gamble with their health
by not purchasing coverage. As a physician, I would say anyone offering
the advice to go without health insurance should be charged with
However, the "Young Invincible" is much like a unicorn - more myth than
reality. Injuries requiring ER visits, obesity and related increases in
diabetes, asthma, and even pregnancies all lead to crippling medical
bills or a lack of basic care for this age group.
Thankfully, the health care law helps young adults now - by allowing
them to stay on their parents' insurance until the age of 26, and in the
near future by providing insurance exchanges and subsidies to purchase
affordable health insurance in 2014.We cannot, and should not, allow our
young Americans to be at such risk for bankruptcy, disability and death
simply due to a lack of access to care from being uninsured. So, in
celebrating the six-month anniversary of the passage of the Patient
Protection and Affordable Care Act, educate yourself by learning the
facts about how the new law will help our Young Invincibles.
Dr. Chris Lillis is a member of the Virginia Organizing Health Care
*Originally posted on http://drsforamerica.org/blog/ Progress Notes
Governor McDonnell Puts Big Insurance Back in the Driver's Seat
Governor Bob McDonnell announced his 24-person Virginia Health Reform
Initiative Advisory Council. The panel will be advising on
implementation of the new health care law and will have considerable
influence on the future of Virginia's health care system.
The problem is that there is not one health care consumer or consumer
advocate on this panel. In fact, it is mostly made up of big business
leaders, hospital CEOs and the CEO of Anthem, C. Burke King. For the
last two years we fought--and won--the right to rein in the insurance
companies. Now, Governor McDonnell is putting them right back in the
driver seat without a single consumer to hold them accountable. Virginia
Organizing is calling attention to the absence of a consumer
perspective on the panel.
News in Brief
⇒Residents held a forum on the dangers posed to the community by
CSX rail cars containing toxic chemicals parked in Fredericksburg. Dr.
Fred Millar, a specialist in railroad hazmat transportation, was the
⇒Virginia Organizing held public "budget seesaw" demonstrations in
Danville, Fredericksburg and Martinsville this month. Community members
used a seesaw to demonstrate that when cuts are made to education or
other vital services, the whole state gets out of balance.
⇒Virginia Organizing's 7th Annual Social Justice Bowl is Friday,
October 22 at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville,
⇒Health Care Law Forum: Wendell Potter will be speaking in Bristol
on October 16 & Kingsport, TN on October 17. See website for details.
⇒We held a campus chapter training in Richmond for students from
UMW, W&M, CNU and UVA.
Pass it on!
Forward to a friend
⇒Newport News/Hampton Roads
⇒South Hampton Roads
⇒On Campus: W&M, UMW, VSU, UVA, CNU, E&H, U of R
Connect With Us!
Are you a state employee? Please support our work! Virginia Organizing
is participating in the
Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign (for state employees) and our number
Virginia Organizing Leader of the Month: Jim Lindsay
Jim Lindsay helped found the Virginia Organizing Health Care Reform
Committee in June of 2008. Jim decided to get involved because he had a
couple loved ones navigating the health care maze, one with insurance
and one without. Struck by how illogical and unfair the health care
system is, Jim decided to take action.
Jim has been involved with lobby visits, rallies, media interviews and
has written countless letters to the editor.
Jim remains active with the Health Care Reform Committee in calling for
Governor Bob McDonnell to include a consumer perspective on the Virginia
Health Reform Initiative Advisory Council. Virginia Organizing's Health
Care Reform Committee has been speaking out on the lack of consumer
representation through legislative meetings and media outreach. They
will also be attending several public comment sessions over the next
several months at council working group meetings.
Jim will continue fighting for implementation in Virginia, even as the
Governor and Attorney General attempt to block health care reform.
"The bottom line is that the current health insurance system in
dysfunctional and fixing it is the most critical issue we face today.
Through all of the politics and heated debate, it's easy to lose sight
of the fact that people really do suffer grave consequences as a result
of inaction. People literally are dying for health care,"said Lindsay.
Â©2010 Virginia Organizing, 703 Concord Ave. Charlottesville, VA 22903
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