Category Archives: Obamacare

No Shouting Yet in Town Halls Without Burr, Tillis and Holding

In “Tillis is open to town halls, minus shouting,” 3/6/17, N&O, Senator Thom Tillis said “he would host town hall meetings with constituents, but only if they were done without shouting or name calling.”  Some friends and I have attended 4 town halls between us in the past few weeks. All four town halls have all been orderly events filled with people who really want to talk about their concerns, or share their stories. We’ve heard no shouting in any of them, although three of the four were ones with absent elected officials – Congressman Holding and Senators Burr and Tillis were refusing to hold them. Congressman David Price held the fourth (actually Price is holding a round of town halls), and by many accounts, his constituents left feeling heard. But even if people do actually shout at a town hall meeting, it is part of Tillis’ job to face the consequences of his actions!

The coverage of the town hall meetings has been interesting. When CBS affiliate WNCN covered a town hall meeting in Apex absent Congressman George Holding, they covered it with the title “North Carolina congressmen avoid facing angry town hall crowds in person,” and showed people in larger town halls elsewhere sounding off. However, the Apex Town Hall meeting on Feb 23, 2017, was more than civil. The organizers allowed everyone to speak who wanted to speak. We heard from over 70 concerned constituents on a wide range of issues. Most people were from Apex. There were great energy and ideas flowing in the room! The coverage of people at the Apex town hall was accurate, but the framing of the story (starting with the title) may have been misleading

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Photo Credit: Sarah Moncelle

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We Will Be Heard! Burr/Tillis Town Hall on 3/5/17.

Community members in the Triangle area will be holding a Citizens Town Hall to gather and make our voices heard. We will speak out about issues that concern North Carolinians, and send our comments to US Senators Burr and Tillis if they do not attend. They were invited.

This non-partisan event is being held at a church. Umstead Park United Church of Christ (UCC), 8208 Brownleigh Dr, Raleigh, North Carolina 27617.

Senators Burr and Tillis were part of the group of representatives refusing to do regular town hall events during the Congressional Recess last week (2/18/17-2/26/17). Constituents around the country held their own events for US Senators and Congressmen and Congresswomen who refused to hold their own town halls. The town hall in Cary last week held 250 people, and had to turn away at least 50 more people, according to “Angry Constituents Vent To Cardboard Senators in Cary,” 2/22/17, ABC11. Women, including two Women’s March On Raleigh organizers, led a town hall for constituents of Congressman George Holding in Apex on 2/23/17. See more on that one at “North Carolina congressmen avoid facing angry town hall crowds in person,” 2/24/17, CBS.

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Line outside the Cary Town Hall meeting Photo Credit: Shana Becker

The facebook event is at https://www.facebook.com/events/1660911020876876/

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Roe Forum: “Election Results Impact on Reproductive Rights” summary and pix

The public forum on Reproductive Rights on Wednesday, 1/25/17, in Fayetteville, was fun and informative. Speakers covered legislation moving NC backwards since 2011, lawsuits gaining back some ground, and advantages and problems of ACA/Obamacare. Also got a taste of the Women’s March On Raleigh, and what’s next.

Part of the room with attendees for the panel. Photo Credit: Dr. Aziz

Part of the room with attendees for the panel. Photo Credit: Dr. Aziz

NC Justice Center Executive Director Rick Glazier covered legislation limiting access that we’ve endured in NC since 2011, and also talked about lawsuits restoring some of our rights. Glazier is a former House Representative from Cumberland County, and also a lawyer and former law professor.

Dr. Naveed Aziz spoke as a physician about the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) – the many things it has done for so many people, the unfair deal that pharmaceutical companies have, and also ACA’s burden on physicians.

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National Followup to Women’s Marches – action and education!

Now that women (and men) have found their voices, we need to use them to influence the future of the United States at the hands of the new administration. We need to let everyone know that it wasn’t an isolated event! We need to keep pressure on Congress and the US Senate.

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Women’s March On Raleigh, 1/21/17. Photo Credit: Ashley P.

House and Senate Republicans are going on a joint “retreat” this Wednesday (1/25/17) to Friday (1./27/17) “to sort our their priorities ” and they need to hear from you a.s.a.p.  Send them off to their party’s discussions reeling from the calls to their DC and state offices.  

Are you worried about health care and need to keep Obamacare in place? Read So What Would Happen If We Repealed Obamacare, The Hill, 1/4/17, to give you some ideas why it matters.

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The Time Is Always Right To Do What is Right – MLK (Triangle Events)

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Upcoming events in Raleigh – busy weekend! Don’t forget it is Martin Luther King Jr Day on Monday, Jan 16. Raleigh NOW will march in the annual MLK march as always. Joins us at 10:40am on the Edenton side of the Capitol!  Look for the NOW signs. The streets are closed for this march.

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Saturday, January 14: Join El Pueblo in Raleigh to learn how you can help create a community that protects immigrants and refugees. 10:30am-1pm at El Pueblo.

Sunday, January 15: Join Action NC in Raleigh for a rally to protect our health care and the gains of the ACA. “Our First Stand: Save Health Care.” This is part of the day of action and similar rallies are being held around the country. 3-5pm at NCAE, 700 Salisbury St.

Monday, January 16: Join MomsRising NC for their 7th annual MLK birthday party/family event in Durham: 10:30am -1pm at Northgate Mall

Supreme Court Case Zubik v. Burwell attacks birth control coverage!

Supreme Court cases are so important!  Conservatives are going after birth control coverage, if you can believe it, and the case is at the Supreme Court!  Find out more about Zubik v. Burwell, a case on whether religious institutions other than than churches should be exempt from the contraceptive mandate regulation under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  

The contraceptive mandate is a regulation adopted by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the ACA that requires non-church employers to cover certain contraceptives for their female employees. Churches are already exempt under those regulations.

The Supreme Court started hearing the Zubik v. Burwell case on March 23, 2016.  

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NOW activists in DC demonstrating at Supreme Court building.
Photo Credit: NOW Facebook Page

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Why ACA/Obamacare Premiums Are Rising Faster in NC 

You may have seen the articles on how high the ACA/Obamacare premiums are going for 2016 in  NC.  There were articles written when the insurance companies asked for higher rates, like “Blue Cross Seeks 34% Rate Hike in NC for ACA Plans,” 8/13/15,  and now that the insurance companies were granted higher rates, there are more, like “ACA premiums in NC to rise sharply in 2016” from the News and Observer, 10/30/15. It says in part,
“The Affordable Care Act’s third year in North Carolina will result in significantly higher rate hikes for 2016 than customers saw in January 2015, when Blue Cross went up 13.5 percent and Aetna 2.9 percent. Strictly in terms of percentage, North Carolina’s increases are among the highest in the nation.”
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Charlotte’s NPR station (WPAE) covered this problem as well in “Why Obamacare Premiums In NC Are Rising Faster Than Most States,” 11/5/15, 

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