It was a hard fight, but one we’re glad to see turned out the right way. The Medicaid provision was one of the key components of the ACA, but it was put at risk by a Supreme Court decision that left it up to the states to accept or decline the funds. Many states have—but others, like Texas, are refusing, leaving millions without coverage.
In New Hampshire, the state House—which supports accepting expanded funds—is working to craft a measure that will be able to get through the Republican-controlled Senate. This may mean a commission will be created to review the issue.
Unfortunately, in Maine, Gov. Paul LePage vetoed a measure to accept expanded funds. The bill, which would cover 60,000 people, passed by strong but not quite veto-proof margins, so the fate of Medicaid in Maine remains unclear.
In North Carolina, Working America members are fighting attacks on our right to vote. Our Republican-controlled state legislature is proposing drastic changes to voting, including cutting early voting days, ending same-day registration, and implementing voter ID laws. All of these measures simply restrict access to the polls, hitting seniors and low income earners the hardest.
Right now, North Carolina has 17 days set aside for early voting. During the 2012 election, more than 50 percent of ballots cast occurred prior to Election Day. Craig Alston, a Working America member, is especially concerned for what shortening early voting days means for him and his community. “Having more than 2 weeks of early voting is beneficial in order to find time to cast my ballot,” Craig says. “I work 12 hour shifts, and having these multiple options enables me to vote.”
The state legislature also wants to require everyone to have a state-issued ID, such as a driver’s license, to be able to vote. According to the Board of Elections, about 10 percent of North Carolinians don’t have a driver’s license–many of them being seniors, low-income folks, and people with disabilities. Requiring everyone to have a picture ID is unnecessary and unfair. It imposes a cost on the simple act of voting, including travel to the DMV and the cost associated with getting necessary documents like a birth certificate.
Florence Price-Harrell says voter ID laws would restrict access to voting for people in her own life. “One of my best friends is sick and is in a wheelchair,” Florence says. “She has not driven for 11 years. With her limited transportation, requiring her to have a picture ID would make it even harder for her to vote. Like her, there are many voters across our state that would struggle to access and afford transportation to the DMV in order to obtain a picture ID.”
Our members have gathered petitions to Governor McCrory, written letters to the editor, and spoken out to defend the right to vote. And they’re not alone: The North Carolina NAACP has been organizing protests in Raleigh against to the state legislature’s attacks on voting rights. The protests have been drawing thousands of people from across the state, gaining national attention.
North Carolinians like Craig and Florence are committed to defending everyone’s right to vote.
10) If you’re not getting paid what you deserve. Whether you see money disappearing from your paycheck or you’ve just never gotten a raise, that’s a problem that you don’t just have to accept.
9) If you’re hitting the ceiling. One of the biggest problems we hear is that people don’t feel like there’s any opportunity for advancement at their job.
8 ) If your boss is a jerk. Just because someone signs your paycheck doesn’t give them the right to abuse you. You deserve respect.
7) If you never know when you’ll have to be there. Does your schedule keep changing? Do your days off turn into work days? Are you getting more shifts than you can handle—or not enough to get by?
6) If you’re not feeling safe at work. You shouldn’t be afraid that just being at work could mean you wind up injured, sick or worse.
5) If you can spot a pattern of unfairness.Harassment and discrimination are illegal—but a lot of workers don’t know what their right are if they’re being targeted.
4) Because the laws that should protect workers are under attack. Republicans in the U.S. Senate are blocking nominees for the U.S. Department of Labor and National Labor Relations Board, endangering the ability to enforce decades-old protections for working people. That’s why it’s more important than ever to know your rights and speak out on the job.
2) Because you spend so much of your day at work. You shouldn’t have to dread the place you spend so much of your time.
1) Because you’re not in this alone. Chances are, whatever problem you have at work, your co-workers are dealing with it too. You’re going to need help from others to fix what’s wrong at your job, and when you take positive steps, the people you work with will benefit, too.
We spend a big part of our life at work—but for too many of us, that time is spent bumping up against challenges that make it hard to deal with. Fortunately, you don’t have to deal with it alone.
We’ve just launched FixMyJob.com, an innovative new website to help you identify the biggest problems you see at your job and solve them. We’re really excited to introduce FixMyJob.com and give people the tools to make their own lives better.
We’ve listened closely to what you’ve had to say about the challenges you face at work. For some, it’s harassment or verbal abuse from a boss; for others, it’s a schedule that they can’t control, or a lack of opportunity for raises and advancement. Across the country, one of the biggest issues is an ever-increasing imbalance of power between employees and the companies they work for. These aren’t things you just have to put up with.
A new study indicates that states, and their citizens, are going to be better off if they accept the Medicaid expansion funds in the Affordable Care Act. Will the decision-makers in these states listen?
RAND mathematician Carter Price, the lead author of the study, examined 14 states to determine the likely effects of rejecting Medicaid expansion funds. Several Republican governors and state legislators have announced that they won’t accept any of the expanded funds. Price’s analysis indicates that this will leave some 3.6 million people uninsured. They’ll be turning down billions in federal funds that will come, in part, from residents of their own states, as well as being saddled with the costs of uncompensated care.
When the law goes into full effect next year, millions of Americans will be left on the outside looking in, denied coverage for no other reason than the misfortune of residing in a red state…If we lived in a country where both major political parties shared a sense of social empathy, the Medicaid expansion piece of Obamacare would be among its least controversial provisions.