Only 10 minutes of emergency room care?

by Brian McAnally — Maine

A woman I canvassed about health care in the Bangor area told me that she, at 80 years old and on a fixed income, pays over $600.00/month for health insurance. When this woman became ill and was in need of emergency medical attention she was told at the hospital that her insurance would only cover 10 minutes of emergency care. A physician was not available, so a physician’s assistant spoke with the woman for 10 minutes, then discharge papers were placed in her hand and she was wheeled into the parking lot. Having gone to the hospital by herself she had to wait for a passerby to call her a taxi to take her home.

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Autism and the health care industry

by Rachel Colyer — Pennsylvania

When I walked up to the door of this home, I found a list of autism facts posted on the front door. The woman who opened the door was nice, and very agreeable to our issues, especially about health care. As she was signing up as a member, we had a short discussion about the health care industry and autism. She told me a member of her family has autism and that health insurance companies don’t cover autism itself, only related health issues are covered. Then she began to tell me how horrible the pharmaceutical companies are and about the exorbitant prices they charge for medication. The rate of autism in children is on the rise and we should all be aware of the lack of compassion among for-profit health care providers.

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Flinging the door open for SCHIP

by Dave Ninehouser — Pennsylvania

She was shutting the door. “We don’t do this kinda thing,” she said.

“Ma’am, President Bush is trying to cut SCHIP,” I blurted through the narrowing crack in the door.

The door flung open wide. “What? Why?!” Her face was a mix of shock and horror, and then anger as I explained the situation further.

The rest is holding-politicians-accountable-citizen-action history.

She wrote a letter telling each of her reps to stand up and protect children’s health care, and she made sure that everyone else in her household did, too.

She said, “I didn’t realize how important it was.”

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Labor walks in the bluegrass state

by Tim Robertson — Kentucky

The Working America office here in Louisville, KY, was fortunate enough to participate in the first labor walk of this election season. Highlighted speakers included the Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO, Richard Trumka, and the labor-endorsed candidate for governor of Kentucky, Steve Beshear. Both stopped in with our Working America delegation to shake hands and introduce themselves, which was quite an honor. State president Bill Londrigan announced our presence to the crowd, as well as our total of more than 39,000 new Working America members to a raucous ovation from the union members in attendance. It was a great time, and very inspiring to see how much our work is appreciated by everyone in the labor movement.

Paid for by AFL-CIO Committee on Political Education Treasury Fund.

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One door at a time

by Marcus Walker — Ohio

A really cool thing about our work is that people make me feel good about the work we’re out here doing. When I talk to people I say we are changing the world one door at a time. Thanks, Working America, for this great opportunity.


We get everyone involved

by Jonathan Middleton — Ohio

I met a woman today who was unable to speak. She was very skeptical about opening her door, but then I told her I was fighting for health care in our country. She opened the door after going to get a pad of paper. I gave her my rap and she answered me and asked questions on her pad of paper. After she signed up she wrote “Thank you for being so patient with me, it is so hard to have a conversation with anyone.” I told her that it was my pleasure to talk to her and that we get everyone involved. She wrote “you are doing great things for people, thank you so much.” I was on top of the world for the rest of the day.

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Too much for food stamps, not enough to live

by Cicily King — Ohio

I met a nice lady with 3 kids, a single mother who works at a big-box retailer. She said her child was autistic and he is able to get his medications through SCHIP. She also told me she makes $1.71 per hour–too much to qualify for food stamps.

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It’s a family affair

by Jonathan Middleton — Ohio

I met a very active woman while I was canvassing today. She was a member already and I had signed up her husband earlier. Right away she started talking about how she loves the Health Care Hustle emails that Working America sends her. She went on to state that she writes her politicians on a regular basis, focusing on Debra Pryce. She was kind enough to have her entire family write letters for me on the SCHIP program and then volunteered to write more letters in the future. This is why I do what I do; when I see that we make a difference in people’s lives, it is the greatest gift this work could give me.

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Good education for our children

by Alex Tinker — Oregon

I canvassed a Spanish-speaking mother who was extremely gracious about the work we are doing. She immediately identified with the high cost of health care, and when I translated the goals, she was particularly impressed that we were working on education. She said she wanted her children to have a good education to have a better life, and thanked me extensively. Walking away from the door, I thought for a moment about how big a movement this is, and how health care fits in to the picture along with education in how we can make this country truly be a land of opportunity.

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Give notice? You’re fired!

by Renee Chandel — Maine

A woman today shared with me the story of herself and her friend. They were both working for a store in Maine for two years. In that time the woman I spoke to earned a .25 cent raise, she was making $7.75 an hour. Each of the ladies were offered a job at a competing store in Massachusetts for $12.00 an hour to start in one month. They each gave their current employers a month’s notice and were fired on the spot. The woman I spoke to said that with her husband’s salary she was able to go without a few weeks of pay. Her friend, however, being a single mother was evicted from her home because she was unable to pay rent.

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