Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Make the Call! Tell Washington what you Want!

Dear Valjeanne,

The conservative movement has made it their number one priority to stop health care reform.

They have mobilized their followers and are outnumbering us by 3 to 1 in calls to some Hill offices.

We can’t let them bully and we can’t let them win – a majority of Americans want health reform and want it now.

What you have to do is simple: call 1-800-828-0498 and ask to be connected to your Representative. Then tell us that you called, so we can make sure we are keeping up with our opponents:


As we move closer to reform, the debate will intensify. Our opponents will ratchet up their attacks in an effort to derail our progress.

We can’t let their myths get in the way of the facts: Without health care reform insurance companies will continue to deny Americans with pre-existing conditions and health care costs will continue to skyrocket. Health reform will deliver stable coverage that will always be there for you, even if you change or lose your job.

The status quo is unacceptable and unsustainable.

Take a minute to call 1-800-828-0498 and ask to speak to your Representative. If you’ve already called once, call again – let Washington know we want health care reform.


Thank you for all you’re doing to win this important fight.


Julia Eisman
eAdvocacy Coordinator

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Changing Healthcare for the Better

"Our nation is the home of the world's premiere medical research and development enterprise and its most advanced medical technology. The Research Triangle is at the forefront of much of this work-to cure cancer, treat chronic diseases, and train world-class health care providers. But our best efforts to prevent disease and improve treatment are not translating into more affordable and accessible health care. Today, there are nearly 50 million Americans who don't have basic health insurance, and even those who do often face rising costs and cannot be certain that their current coverage will meet their future needs.

Since the uninsured drive up costs for everyone, our country is paying a steep price for our failure to address this crisis-an estimated $100 billion every year. That translates into an average annual surcharge of $1017 that insured families are currently paying to subsidize the care of the uninsured. Rising health care costs are crushing the budgets of families and businesses, making us less competitive in the global economy, putting Medicare in jeopardy, and hurting our nation's long-term fiscal sustainability. Although taking action will not be easy, we simply cannot afford the cost of inaction.

It's time we fix what's broken-but we've got to do it without breaking what's already working well. On July 14th, key committees in the House of Representatives released their draft of legislation to do just that. H.R. 3200, America's Affordable Health Choices Act, would reform our nation's health care system to provide stability for American families: coverage that cannot be taken away, costs that will not threaten family finances or put insurance out of reach, and quality care that lets people choose their own doctors.

H.R. 3200 will provide:

More Choices:

o If you like your current plan, you can keep it.

o If you are not insured or want to change your current plan, the bill would establish a health care exchange where consumers can select from a menu of affordable, quality health care options: either a private insurance plan or a new public health insurance plan.

o People will have similar choices to what federal employees, including members of Congress, have.

Better Quality:

o The bill will ensure that Americans of all ages have access to greater quality of care by providing better preventative and wellness care, and strengthening existing programs.

o Every child in America will have health care coverage that includes dental and vision benefits, and the legislation will ensure that more doctors and nurses are available to provide quality care as more Americans get coverage.

o Critically, the bill also will close the Medicare prescription "doughnut hole" that causes so many of our seniors to have to choose between food and their medications.

Stable, Affordable Coverage:

o Americans will have portable, secure health care plans and will no longer have to worry about losing coverage for themselves and their families if their employer drops their plan or they lose their job.

o Insurance companies will no longer be able to deny Americans based on pre-existing conditions, age, race, or gender.

o The bill will also eliminate copays for preventative care, cap patients' out-of-pocket expenses, and guarantee catastrophic coverage that protects every American from bankruptcy.

The legislation marks the first step of a commitment made by President Obama and Congress to provide stable, sustainable health care for Americans now and for the next generation. In the weeks ahead, the bill will go through many more refinements and alterations as the debate proceeds. I will continue to monitor committee deliberations and to participate actively in the discussions shaping the bill. I welcome your comments as this process moves forward..."


Immortal 2nd edition/chapter 1

Immortal 2nd Edition /chapter 1

Thursday, July 9, 2009

What's next for Alaskan Wildlife?

Palin's Resignation Leaves Wake of Wildlife Devastation: Parnell Has Opportunity to Chart New Science-Based Path

The following statement from Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund President Rodger Schlickeisen is in response to the resignation of Alaska governor, Sarah Palin:

"Governor Palin's surprise resignation comes at a crucial point for wildlife and wild places in Alaska. In the just two and a half years of her term, she has made a series of decisions that prove she had absolutely no interest in being an environmental steward of the unique natural treasure that is Alaska.

"Instead, Governor Palin ignored our nation's leading wildlife laws and filed senseless lawsuits to pursue her anti-wildlife agenda. Palin's increasingly extreme anti-wildlife management policies included shooting wolves from airplanes and helicopters, using airplanes to track black and brown bears then shooting them from the ground, and the gassing of wolf pups in their dens. She even targeted wolves that had been part of a fifteen year long scientific study conducted by the National Park Service. All this, as well as her decision to fight much needed protections for both polar bears and Cook Inlet beluga whales, shows her blatant disregard for both science and environmental laws.

"Her efforts were, and still are, a threat to the natural integrity of America's last frontier, a state that boasts many national wildlife refuges, forests, parks and other federal lands, covering more than 200 million acres of the state. And if this isn't enough, Palin's persistent denial of global warming is sure to fast make her a political relic.

"Palin's successor, Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell, must now decide whether he intends to extend Palin's devastating and destructive wildlife legacy even further, or whether he intends to chart a new path, by removing politics from wildlife management and restoring science to the decision making process. He can be sure that Defenders will be paying close attention to his decisions."


The Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund (www.defendersactionfund.org) provides a powerful voice in Washington to Americans who value our conservation heritage. Through grassroots lobbying, issue advocacy and political campaigns, the Action Fund champions those laws and lawmakers that protect wildlife and wild places while working against those that do them harm.

Jessica Brand (202) 772-0239

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Women's Rights at Risk!

Dear Valjeanne,

The health reform debate is heating up — and some members of Congress are playing politics with women’s health.

Republican leaders on the Senate Finance Committee — one of the key congressional committees drafting health care reform legislation — are pressuring their colleagues on the Committee to exclude women’s reproductive health care services.

Specifically, they are demanding that health reform legislation restrict coverage of abortion services — coverage that the majority of women have right now.

At a time when our leaders should be focused on expanding health coverage and providing better quality care for all Americans, this move to take away basic benefits is unconscionable.

We can’t let this happen.

Some Senators are urging that reproductive health services be excluded, which would limit coverage many women have right now, as well as deny benefits to millions of women who would otherwise be covered under proposed health care reform legislation.

We need your help.

Women’s health care needs are not limited to reproductive health, but it is a key determinant of women’s overall health. A comprehensive health care reform plan that improves women’s access to affordable, quality health care, including comprehensive reproductive health services, is therefore essential to improving the health of women, families and communities.

>>Urge your Senators to stand up for women’s reproductive health needs in the debate over health care reform.


Marilyn Keefe
Director of Reproductive Health Programs