The organization Health Care for American Now (HCAN) invited thousands of health care supporters from around the country to DC to lobby their Members of Congress for real health reform on Thursday, June 25. According to Jason Rosenbaum from HCAN’s blog, “10,000 people from just about every state in the Union came to DC. People came from all walks of life – pastors, bricklayers, restaurant workers, small business owners, actors and actresses, doctors, nurses – and they gave their legislators a clear message – we want health reform, we want health reform that’s real (including a strong public health insurance option), we want health reform that will lower costs, and we want it now, in 2009, because we can’t wait.”
In the weeks leading up the event, HCAN encouraged organizations interested in health care reform to call and email Members of Congress to support the choice of a public health insurance option, promoted the rally with customized videos with Edie Falco, and encouraged supporters to create Twitter accounts and Twitter to the hash tags of their Members of the Congress during the rally.
The rally started off in the morning in Upper Senate Park. Industry leaders, supporters, and Members of Congress, including Dr. Howard Dean, Anna Berger, Senators Schumer and Brown, Congresswoman Allison Schwartz, and actress Edie Falco discussed health care issues and shared their stores before one of the largest crowds the Capitol Police had ever seen. Following the rally, town hall meetings and one-on-one lobbying visits were scheduled with dozens of Members of Congress so that they could hear directly from the people on the issue of health care reform.
HCAN’s grassroots health care rally was an impressive event and a huge success – people from all over the country came out to voice their opinions and demanded government accountability and health care reform. For more information and photos from the event, please visit HCAN’s blog:
About the Author: Tina Yang is a Summer Intern for Workplace Fairness, where she helps draft legal content relating to health and safety, health care, and employment benefits. She is currently a 2L at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis.