HCAN! New York

Washington DC: Thousands DIE While They LIE

Insurance companies are holding a conference in Washington, DC to strategize about killing health care reform. We’ll be meeting them there in protest.

Get on the bus on March 9th to stop the lies, the deceit, and the continued efforts of the insuance companies to protect their profits before protecting people.

When: Tuesday, March 9th

Albany departure: 2:30 am
Binghamton departure: 5:00 am

*If you would like to travel to Binghamton on March 8th, many of our Binghamton members have offered their homes as a place for you to stay. If you are interested in this option, please select the check box at the bottom of the form.

Click here to RSVP!

Major Rallies for Health Care This Week

We won’t stop fighting until health care reform is finished, and finished right. That’s why we’re rallying this week in Albany on Wednesday, February 17th and in New York City on Saturday, February 20th to call out the big money lobbyists who are obstructing progress and hijacking the agenda for change we voted for in 2008.  Join Us!

Albany – Thursday, February 17th

Rally: 11am at Westminster Presbyterian Church (85 Chestnut Street, Albany)

ACTION: March at 12 noon outside New York Health Plan Association Headquarters (90 State Street, Albany)

RSVP here at http://citizenactionny.org/feb17

New York City – Saturday, February 20th

11:30 a.m. – Gather at Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn

12 noon – March across Brooklyn Bridge

1:00 p.m. – Rally outside NYC offices of Wellpoint – One Liberty Plaza, Broadway & Liberty Street in Manhattan

RSVP here, on MyBo, or Facebook!

“Cost of Delay” Vigils – 12/8 in NYC

As part of a nation-wide day of action, HCAN-NYC will be joining our friends at Moveon.org to demonstrate the overwhelming majority support for a health care reform bill with a strong public option on Tuesday, December 8th at vigils across the city.

Here’s a list of the events, and links to RSVP:


Date:      08 Dec 05:30 PM
Venue:   Bronx County Court Building
Address: 851 Grand Concourse (161 St.), Bronx, NY 10451
Sign Up: http://pol.moveon.org/event/costofdelay/99760


Date:       08 Dec 05:00 PM
Venue:    Clinton St & Cadman Plaza West
Address: 280 Cadman Plaza West, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Sign Up: http://pol.moveon.org/event/costofdelay/99782


Date:       08 Dec 06:00 PM
Venue:    Times Square New York City
Address: Broadway and 46th St, New York, NY 10036
Sign Up: http://pol.moveon.org/event/costofdelay/99753


Date:       08 Dec 06:00 PM
Venue:    outside shopping areas on Queens Blvd.
Address: 8801 Queens Blvd., Elmhurst, NY 11373
Sign Up: http://pol.moveon.org/event/costofdelay/99773

Staten Island

Date:       08 Dec 06:00 PM
Venue:    SI Borough Hall
Address: Borough Hall steps-Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, NY 10301
Sign Up: http://pol.moveon.org/event/costofdelay/99764

Click here to find events across New York State!

Rally to Thank NYC Delegation for Votes on H.R. 3962

On Saturday, November 7th, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act – their health care reform bill.

Join members of New York Health Care for America Now as we rally to thank the members of the New York City House delegation for their support of quality, affordable health care for everyone in America!

Where: Steps of City Hall, Manhattan, New York City

When: 1:00 pm, Thursday, November 12th

Click here to RSVP!

Children’s Health Stroller Brigade – Thursday, Nov. 5th – NYC

championsforchildrenshealthChildren’s Health Stroller Brigade
Nov. 5th 11:00 am to 12:30 pm
Third Avenue at 47th Street

Congress is putting the finishing touches on health care reform legislation and it is astonishing that we are still begging to make sure children are better off, not worse off, in the end. The current proposals in Congress could actually weaken New York’s child health insurance system. We need your help to send a strong and urgent message to Congress and the President that parents deserve the peace of mind that they can afford head-to-toe health coverage for their children and that it is easy to get and keep! This event is being co-sponsored by Citizen Action of New York. Click here to learn more.

The President Visits New York City to Speak About Health Care

On Tuesday, October 20th, President Obama visited New York City and delivered a speech about health care reform. Members of Health Care for America Now held a rally outside to tell the President that we are standing with him in fighting for a strong public option.

Here’s a slide show from the rally:

President Obama is coming to New York City!

Tuesday, October 20th
Join us to RALLY for Quality, Affordable, Health Care for All! And show him
5:30PM – HCAN Press Event
SW Corner of 8th Ave and 34th Street. In-front of HSBC Bank, across the street from
Manhattan Center, Hammerstein Ballroom

(this is the press area for President Obama’s visit)

5:30-7:00 – Rally to Welcome President Obama
& show our support for REAL Health Care Reform – It’s Time to Deliver Health Care for All!

Adjacent the Hammerstein – East side of 8th Ave. between 33rd & 34th Streets
(President Obama arrives at the Hammerstein Ballroom between 6:00pm-7:00pm for an event.  Welcome him and rally his support for Health Care for All)
*Signs available on site but feel free to bring your own!

For more information on either event contact: Mark Hannay of Metro Health Care for All Campaign or Jess Wisneski of Citizen Action of NY

There are many other events happening across New York City all day long on October 20th. Click here for a complete list.

Scene of a Crime in Buffalo

by Diana Cihak, Western New York Organizer, Citizen Action of New York


On Friday, activists gathered in downtown Buffalo to call out the private health insurance industry and their practices of denying coverage in order to increase profits. This action was one of three events across New York this week that focused on the “crimes” of big insurance. Other events also happened in Binghamton and Albany.

Using yellow crime scene tape that read “It’s a Crime to Deny our Care” and holding it around chalk outlines of bodies strewn across the sidewalk, the activists sent a clear message to those walking by on their lunch break.

IMG00015Other volunteers circulated through the crowd gathering signatures on a petition to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asking her to stay strong on a public option and true affordability for families with the House bill, H.R. 3200. 3,200 for 3200 will be delivered to Pelosi when it is complete and the hope is that this petition and these actions will help strengthen her hand when she goes into the conference that will join the House and Senate versions of a health care reform bill for President Obama to sign after passage by Congress.

IMG00017In Buffalo, the health care advocates have a specific target of their actions – United Healthcare Group, which has offices in Buffalo. United Healthcare’s CEO makes $57 thousand dollars AN HOUR, yet he heads a corporation that denies claims to average Americans who pay their premiums. Those Americans who often make less in a year what he makes every hour can be plunged into financial ruin with the stroke of an administrative pen at the private health insurance company. The protest today was to point out that this is not the way health care should be delivered in the US.

With another 6 weeks left in this long fight for affordable, quality health care for everyone in America, actions will be ramping up. Contact me at the Buffalo office if you would like to get involved: dcihak@citizenactionny.org.

Health Care Organizations Thank Schumer for Proposing Public Health Insurance Option in Senate Finance Committee

Support Sets Up Senate Floor Debate That Will Lead to Public Option in Final Bill

Read about the event in Albany here.

Albany, NY — Health care leaders in New York State thanked the Senator for offering an amendment to the health care legislation being worked out by the Senate Finance Committee this week that would ensure that private health insurance companies are held accountable by inclusion of a strong public health insurance option in the bill.

Events to thank the Senator were held in 4 different locations in New York State (Capital District, New York City, Buffalo, Binghamton). The Schumer public option proposal was defeated in committee, but attracted 10 of the 13 Democrats on the Finance Committee, making passage of the proposal on the floor a strong possibility. All Republicans on the committee voted against the amendment.

“A public health insurance option is critical to providing health care consumers with a real alternative to the abuses of the private insurance industry, including denials of coverage, high rates, and poor service,” said Karen Scharff, Executive Director of Citizen Action of New York, which coordinates HCAN in New York State. “We’re gratified that Senator Schumer stood with health care consumers this week against industry opposition. We look forward to a strong debate on the Senate floor and to eventual passage of legislation to create a public health insurance option that checks the industry.”

“Senator Schumer has always been a true champion for the cause and ideals of working men and women. His crucial role in the fight for universal health care, in particular his offering an amendment for a public option, is just the latest example of his commitment to the needs, concerns and well-being of all Americans. We are proud of the leading role Senator Schumer continues to play in this most important and ground breaking issue,” said Denis Hughes, President of the New York State AFL-CIO.

“We applaud Senator Schumer for his tireless efforts in championing real health care reform measures in the Senate Finance Committee,” said Raglan George, Jr., Executive Director of DC 1707 and an AFSCME International Vice-President. “While the public option did not make it into the final Senate bill, we are confident that it will make it into the final health care reform legislation.” George continued: “I think we all recognize the tremendous need for real health care reform, and any real reform means a public option to keep competition healthy.”

Citizen Action Policy Director Bob Cohen commended the Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee who stood strong for the public health insurance option. “No public health insurance option would mean virtually no meaningful choices for consumers. We hope these senators not only will continue to push for a public option, but also will vote in favor of responsible ways to pay for health carereform, including raising revenue from the very wealthiest Americans who greatly benefited from the Bush tax cuts of the past eight years,” said Cohen.

“New York City health reform activists are proud of Senator Schumer for his outstanding leadership. He was able to achieve near consensus among Democrats for the most critical part of reform – the public option – in the best interest of patients and physicians. We’ve got the Senator’s back because he’s got ours,” said Nina Agrawal MD, the founder of NYCforChange, a grassroots group committed to building upon the Obama community network to continue to bring change.

At their event, New York City HCAN members delivered a letter of support and a bouquet of flowers to the Senator’s midtown office that was signed by groups such as Organizing for America, MoveOn.org, NycforChange, National Physicians Alliance, Queens County for Change and Young Invincibles.

“Senator Schumer has really worked confront the problems of our health system and address irresponsible scare tactics. By diligently advocating for solutions and the public option he is standing by the working families of this country,” said Angelo Vellake, President of the Western New York Area Labor Federation (AFL-CIO).

Terri Schelter, RN and the Legislative/Political Director for CWA Local 1168, Nurses United said: “Senator Schumer clearly understands the importance of a strong public option to create competition in the insurance market and lower the costs for hard working Americans. CWA thanks him for listening to the people and not caving to the special interest groups that put profits over patients. This is our chance to get health care reform right.”

“Some have characterized the close vote on Senator Schumer’s public option amendment as a defeat for the vast majority of Americans who support quality, affordable health care for all. They are wrong. The fight for comprehensive health care reform that includes a public option is just beginning. And with the leadership of Senator Schumer and others, we are confident that the cause will not only endure but that this time, it will prevail,” said Aaron Smith, the co-founder of Young Invincibles, an organization of young people that supports health care reform.

Health Care for America Now (HCAN) is the nation’s largest health care campaign. HCAN fights for a guarantee of quality, affordable health care for all with the choice of a strong national public health insurance option in 2009.

Citizen Action liveblogs Senate Finance Committee health care bill markup hearing: happening now

Click here to watch a live blog of the Senate Finance Committee hearing.