Persistance met with enthusiasm

by Andy Hartwig—Pennsylvania

I was having a challenging night, it was hard to get people to talk to me. At one point in the night, a little girl answered the door and said her parents weren’t home. Her aunt was busy cleaning the house and folding clothes. I tried to yell over the vacuum to get her attention. I think she pretended not to hear me. From the kitchen, I hear a voice ask me “Is this about SCHIP?” I replied with relief that it was. A young man came to the door and grabbed the clipboard out of my hand and began to sign up immediately. He was so enthusiastic to be graduating high school and couldn’t wait to study political science in college. I let him know that I received a degree in that subject myself.

He wants to dedicate his life and studies to government because he believes it is the job of the government to provide solutions to problems our society, and will fight with all his heart for universal health care and better trade laws to protect American jobs and families. It was great to see a young person with such devotion. If he wasn’t about to go off to school, I would have offered him a job with us. I guess writing about him on the blog will have to do.

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Veteran stuck with bad health care

by Brian Bucher—Pennsylvania

I canvassed a Viet Nam veteran who was placed on disability. He had to choose between two health care plans, but he hadn’t been given explanations about the plans. He chose one that covered hospital care, but later found out that the plan he didn’t choose also covers emergency services and doctor’s visits. He cannot switch as the other plan costs too much.

He only receives $1,200.00 a month on disability, but just lost his Medicaid coverage because “he makes too much on disability.”

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Laid off before the holidays

by Kim Andrews—Pennsylvania

I met a woman tonight who had lost her benefits at work about three months ago. Her daughter has a serious health condition that requires constant medical attention and monthly prescriptions. Luckily, she was able to get the SCHIP program to give her daughter the full medical coverage required.

Unfortunately, the woman was laid off from her job this week because her employers were “paying her too much” and told her they could bring in someone new and pay them half of what they pay her. The woman was crying at this point, explaining how terrible this was, especially right before the holidays!

She was so appreciative that I was at her doorstep fighting on all these issuesaffecting her. She hugged me before I left, and I knew I at least made her feel a little better and provided some inspiration and hope.

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Outsourcing lost them their home

by Brian Bucher—Pennsylvania

When I told a woman “We’re out fighting to stop outsourcing,” she invited me in. She and her husband told me how they had both lost their jobs, and eventually their home, due to outsourcing. Their company moved to Canada, and although they were offered their jobs there, they were denied visas by the Canadian government. Although they are in a better situation now, they stated they had as a result suffered many hardships and losses.

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Nothing left after health insurance

by Jessica Yates—Pennsylvania

While canvassing in a trailer park, I met a young couple with a little girl. We talked about the high cost and inaccessibility of health care. The husband, a plumber, stated he considered himself lucky to have good health insurance. However, each year his entire raise goes toward the increase in his premiums leaving nothing extra for the rising cost of everything else.

They were excited to get involved as dues-paying members and show politicians and corporate leaders it is time to see some real change.

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He saw hope in what we’re doing

by Sandra Wideman—Pennsylvania

When I knocked on a door and was told to come in, I was shocked that the door, three feet from the street, was unlocked. I opened the door and saw a man in a sick bed, legs in braces, surrounded by medications. I gave him my rap, and he insisted I sign him up as a member as he saw hope in what we are doing. I was amazed he could care about others with his own situation as it was.

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Real change starts here

by Brian Bucher—Pennsylvania

I canvassed a woman in her late thirties, sitting on her porch with a kind of searching, empty look on her face. She signed up as a member and even wrote a letter to her representative regarding the much needed funding for SCHIP.

As I turned to leave I noticed she still had that look on her face, so I told her that this is about more than politics. That real change starts here with every action, every day, with each other. This put a smile on her face and mine. I am glad I connected with her.

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All for affordable health care

by Nabil Cristillo—Pennsylvania

I knocked on the front door of a house and an elderly lady, maybe in her 70′s, opened the the door a crack and peeked out to see who I was. Through the crack, I explained to the lady who I was and gave her the Working America rap. As soon as I mentioned the fight for better health care, she opened her door and told me her family sends her money as it is the only way she can afford health care for herself. She was more than happy to
sign up as a member
and a supporter of health care.

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From anxiety to action

by Kim Andrews—Pennsylvania

I was canvassing in an area where I used to work nearby. In the past I worked in a large retail store where I socialized with our frequent customers. Tonight I knocked on a house where one of my old customers actually lived. We used to talk about her two kids who were very sick and who she cares for. Strangely enough, the woman herself is 87 years old and her children are in their sixties. Neither of her children have health care although she herself is covered by Medicare. Her son is a Vietnam vet and he still cannot get proper medical care.

She was excited to see that I was now at her door fighting on these issues and providing her a chance to also join with us. We had gone from having weekly conversations about our health care frustrations to working together through Working America to reach a solution.

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Who gets the meds this month?

by Angel Gober—Pennsylvania


This story speaks for itself, and unfortunately, is probably all too true for lots of people across the country. I spoke with an elderly couple who suffer from a variety of health problems that require (insanely expensive, increasingly costly) medication. Because prescription drugs are so expensive, they have to choose, each month, who can get the medicine. They can’t afford to buy the medication they both need to treat their conditions, so every month they must decide whose problem is more severe. They told me of how they are forced to argue each month about “who gets the meds this month?” This couple should not have to go through this in this country. They are senior citizens! They have already paid their dues to this country. When will this country repay their hard work and sacrifice?

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