HCAN in the News: State-by-State Grassroots Organizing Highlights

By May 22, 2017No Comments

Health Care for America Now (HCAN) and HCAN Education Fund (HCANEF) partners across the country mobilized impacted people, organized activities and events and generated earned media coverage that continued to demonstrate public to Republican plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act and end Medicaid as we know it. State grassroots advocates generated pressure leading up to the vote and organized accountability public education activities immediately following to help impacted people understand the impact of the vote and which Members of Congress supported the legislation. Below are some highlights from HCAN state partner activity.



ACO along with 50 people at French Hill’s office in Little Rock following the House vote on ACHA and in preparation for the coming Senate debate.  The event was organized over the weekend.  There was a rally the office and letter delivery.



The fantastic work of Health Access CA and their allies was featured at the end of April on the Rachel Maddow Show. See the great clip below.



On May 5th, Organize Florida mobilized 23 supporters to an action outside of Rep. Dennis Ross’ office after he voted in favor of the AHCA bill in Congress.  Five ACA and Medicaid supporters shared their stories with the gathered crowd and each participant wrote a letter to Rep. Ross on an “in memoriam” postcard.



Citizen Action of IL continues their great work to hold Rep. Roskam and Republicans around the state accountable for betraying constituents on healthcare. Below are clips from actions in late April and the first half of may, including a protest at the Arrowhead Gold Club and three LTEs generated from local leaders over the last week.

Citizen Action of IL and allies also organized a Mother’s Day themed event in Roskam’s district that got good television coverage:


MSA was quoted in this NYTimes piece below providing a counter-point of view to the NFIB, the corporate business group that often poses as a small business association:

A Main Street Alliance member was also quoted in this Iowa piece:



Michigan People’s Campaign has continued their accountability actions in various districts particularly on Congressman Upton’s district in an action the week after the AHCA vote in St. Joseph (Upton’s hometown). Over 400 people attended. The event included featured a march and protest outside Upton’s office. Video of the events here:

Quote from Michigan People’s Campaign leader:

“Health care is a big deal. We’re human beings. Things go wrong with our bodies. that’s part of being human,” Domonique “Diamond” Ray of Kalamazoo said.  Ray said she is a single-mother of five and has overcome problems like chronic homelessness, poverty, and not being able to find a job.

“I have a single income, but single income or not my kids needs to be healthy, and so do I. How can I be a productive member of society if I’m not healthy?” she said.  Ray said she supports the Affordable Care Act because of the things it covers when you’re physically ill, but mentally too.

“While experiencing this poverty, struggling and homelessness, my kids experienced other things. They saw me struggle. They saw me deal with abusive men. They saw me deal with real things that happen to real people in life,” she said. “How do we deal with that? Some of us go to therapists. Some of us take medication for PTSD. Some of us deal with bipolorism. Whatever it might be. Our mental health care is just as important as our physical.”

Michigan People’s Campaign also did some events outside of Congressman Walberg’s office the week following the AHCA vote that generated this coverage below:


PICO Affiliate ISAIAH and partners have continued to put pressure on Congressmen Paulsen, Emmer and Lewis, who all voted in support of the AHCA bill that would hurt their own constituents. ISAIAH health care rapid response team member Rev Kisten Thompson is quoted in this article.

Star Tribune: Reps Paulson, Emmer and Lewis spare us the crowing over your health bill

Take Action MN held a protest outside a Chamber of Commerce breakfast where Rep. Erik Paulsen was scheduled to speak. We had a solid crowd of about 30-40 people despite a steady, driving rain, and got an excellent story in the local weekly paper:

Families of disabled wait in vain in the rain for Erik Paulsen’s ear on our healthcare

Following the vote, ISAIAH congregations also did this great accountability event targeting Rep. Paulsen:

Prayer Vigil Turns Up Heat on Rep Paulsen for health care vote



Jobs with Justice, PPFA, Healthcare for All and their allies rallied outside Senator Blunt’s office after the AHCA vote along with 200 attendees.

KMOX Radio: Anti AHCA Demonstrators Return to Sen. Blunt’s Office

JwJ and allies also organized a “die-in” at Sam Graves office in KC the same week, marching around the building and pausing for a moment of silence for 217 seconds for each Congressmembers who voted for the AHCA.  Representatives from Indivisible, Stand Ip KC, Northland Progress, Clay County Democrats, and Missouri Jobs with Justice read aloud key ways people will be hurt by the AHCA.  In addition, stories of impacted people from a STL action were included in this clip:

NBC Affiliate: Hundreds demand answers about health care

In Columbia, this NPR Story also highlights survivors:

GOP Health Bill Could Expose People With Pre-Existing Conditions to ‘Whims’ of State Legislatures

HCAN partners Missouri Faith Voices generated some great activity and coverage in outstate MO targeting Rep. Long’s home district.

Protests Held in Springfield Against AHCA

Worried Missourians Protest Health Care Vote

In this clip Faith Voices pastors Rev. Phil Snider Brentwood Christian Church and Fr. Kenneth Chumbley Christ Episcopal Church are interviewed. Deena Knight, an activist with a story, was also interviewed.

Dozen show up at Billy Long’s Springfield office to oppose Republican health care plan


NH Rights & Democracy staff and member activists organized a successful die-in was staged at the State House to welcome Tom Price to the Granite State and also continue to put pressure on his host, Governor Sununu to publicly reject repeal and cuts to Medicaid.


New Jersey Citizen Action was stayed hard at work generating activity in districts of Republican members of their delegation, particularly MacArthur and Frelinghuysen, who took leadership roles in brokering a deal. Clip from the Burlington local paper: and more media below;

In addition to the great work from NJCA above, an allied group, New Jersey Organizing Project (NJOP) organized members to attend the MacArthur Town Hall in early may and got great press on one of their member stories that forced a reaction from Representative MacArthur. See press on Joanna’s story below:



CANY and partners have keep the pressure on moderate Republicans over the course of several months, focusing in a number of districts with escalating actions and using earned media to educate the public about the devastating impact of repeal and Medicaid restructuring .

CANY and their health care allies organized public events in reaction to the votes of Republican Members of their delegation, See below for the district-by-district press coverage.


Rep. Stefanik

Coverage from CANY’s Plattsburgh May 8 protest at Stefanik’s so-called Town Hall which was not open to all her constitutents.

Rep Faso

May 9 Albany

Protesters Bash Faso Outside Albany Event for his vote in favor of AHCA

May 11 Schoharie

Thursday Protests Target GOP’s Faso

May 12 Amenia

Rep. Tenney

Hands Off our health care rally

Congresswoman Tenney Under Heavy Scrutiny at Town Hall Meeting

CANY also organized a number of “Mother’s Day” events designed to highlight the disproportionate impact of the repeal proposals on women and mothers of all ages. CANY organized these actions in the same key targeted districts listed above.

Glens Falls May 11

March for Moms! Tell Elise Stefanik- Mothers Need Healthcare!” action—report starts at 1 minute, 32 seconds (through 2 minutes 32 seconds)



Action NC and Indivisible teamed in early May for a demonstration at Tillis’ office. There were 3 health care speakers–one on problems with AHCA and Republican death panels, another on impact of Medicaid restructuring, and a member who described her experience of falling into the Medicaid gap while in need of life-saving surgery. See the photo below (right).

In addition, Action NC generated these two LTEs published last week in the Charlotte Observer.



Unite Oregon turned out members for the latest town hall meeting held by Rep. Walden to ask questions about why Walden supported a bill that hurts constituents.

Angry crowds blast Greg Walden at Columbia Gorge town halls



RADVT & allies staged a Die-in following the AHCA vote and to greet Sec. Price when he stopped in NH during his “listening tour” on the opioid epidemic and to continue to put pressure on his host, Gov Sununu.



West Virginia Citizen Action Group and their allies did an action at the state capitol following the AHCA vote that got national attention after a reporter was arrested for asking questions about the repeal bill. The event got a response from both the state’s US Senators.

WVCAG and partners subsequently organized a Mother’s Day event that called on Senator Capito to defend health care for families. See the video, including powerful stories.

WV Public Radio on-air discussion on what the ACHA means for WV co-hosted by long-time coalition member and WVCAG ally Rick Wilson from AFSC Economic Justice Project.



Wisconsin Citizen Action has worked with allies over the past two months on a range of activity targeting Speaker Ryan, Senator Ron Johnson and Rep. Duffy’s AHCA vote.