[COMM-ORG] Virginia Organizing Sept. newsletter

Discussion list for COMM-ORG colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
Sat Oct 2 10:36:00 CDT 2010

  From: Virginia Organizing <e-action at virginia-organizing.org>

September 2010
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 
health insurance.

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.

Donate Now

News in Brief

&rArr;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 
featured presenter.

&rArr;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.

&rArr;Virginia Organizing's 7th Annual Social Justice Bowl is Friday, 
October 22 at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, 
6:00-8:00 p.m.

&rArr;Health Care Law Forum: Wendell Potter will be speaking in Bristol 
on October 16 & Kingsport, TN on October 17. See website for details.

&rArr;We held a campus chapter training in Richmond for students from 
UMW, W&M, CNU and UVA.

Pass it on!

Forward to a friend

Local Chapters





&rArr;Northern Virginia

&rArr;Newport      News/Hampton Roads

&rArr;South Hampton Roads


&rArr;Shenandoah Valley

&rArr;Washington County

&rArr;Lee County



&rArr;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 
is 3168.

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.

©2010 Virginia Organizing, 703 Concord Ave. Charlottesville, VA 22903 

More information about the Colist mailing list