Wednesday, March 31, 2010


kiplinger has a nice article on impact of reform on retirees

still would like to be pointed towards good summaries of the legislation.  I have ideas as to what needs to be in such a document.  not snowed with what I have seen so far. 

photos from Organizing for America's Health Reform Victory Party held at McGinty's of silver spring on 3/27/10  can be found at the following locations.  I helped organize this party

 hopefully, either photo link will work.

nice video on the role of volunteers in organizing for america and obama's thanks to them

Sunday, March 28, 2010

timeline, etc

for a good timeline of what happens when, go to

yesterday, we held a health reform victory party for moco volunteers at mcginty's from 4-7 p.m. we organized on 2 days notice and about 80 folks showed, inclduing karen mcmanus from van hollen's office, state senator raskin, and councilmember elrich.  I got to make brief opening  remarks.  ABC channel 7 wjla news had a segment of our party on 11 p.m. news. 

Friday, March 26, 2010

Imperfect bill

One friend laments the weaknesses in the bill.  My response:
medicare gets changed almost every year and every few years in very significant ways. My guess is in a few years, particularly once major features kick in around 2014, that changes will occur quite often. 

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Health reform clears last hurdle.

Health Reform legislation is now completely done. What a tremendous accomplishment. I am so grateful to Congress and President Obama. We can be very proud of all of them and all of us who voted for them, and all of us who worked on reform this past year.

Now to party this saturday which I am helping to organize. 

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Almost there

Several sources tell me the senate will finalize its decisions within 24 hours.  What fantastic progress.  

The polls, e.g., the gallup poll, are shifting quickly to support health reform; that is very encouraging. 

Obama's group will be organizing some celebrations for volunteers and I am helping with that.

The following link

is a nice program that you respond to a few questions and it will tell you what the impact of reform will be on you and your family.  

One of our next jobs is to explain all the benefits of this legislation to the american people.  There are many that people are not aware of.  I know that I am aware of tons of them having kept up with many of major provisions.  Most of the public is not aware of them. 

Monday, March 22, 2010

Way to go House

this is so exciting, to see the house pass the bill. We are on the verge of final passage.  I could not be happier for the american people. this is such an important milestone.  now on to the senate

provides a good overview of what might happen in the senate over the next week or so.  Some tough procedural issues. the dems seem confident, but this article suggests not a done deal.

some of us are already starting to think about celebrating.  please let me know your thoughts.

if you read this, please let me know as I don't know if anyone is.  

Saturday, March 20, 2010

rally, phonebank results, budget picture

volunteered at rally at george mason university yesterday. obama was dynamic.  crowd loved him

montgomery county focused phone calls on Boccieri's district and yesterday he changed from no to yes. what a great outcome. I played a major role in organizing the silver spring phonebanks this month as well as last fall.   this link provides a good picture of budget impacts.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Health reform calls flooding congress

see above article.  this ties in with all the calls we made last night in silver spring.

what to make of the latest proposed strategy by pelosi.  quite a gambit.  while I have reservations, whatever it takes.  However, I wonder if she is bluffing to get some difficult democrats to go along with the bill. 

3/15 phonebanking

in silver spring, we had

18 volunteers
we made  780 calls
we contacted 284 folks at home
93 folks made commitments to call their local congressman, Boccieri

a great start.  we have good turnouts signed up for the next two weeks.

I am very pleased to having played an important part in the signups for silver spring and other parts of the county.  

given the latest strategy, who knows if needed, but we need to plug away until a decision is made one way or another.  the post does not like the latest strategy of no vote.  not comfortable with it either, but will settle for whatever it takes.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

great phonebanking response

This week, we have sent out quite a few messages encouraging folks to phonebank. We have had an unexpected surprise, many folks are signing up to phonebank this coming week. Far more than we are prepared for, but we will accommodate them somehow. this is a wonderful surprise. Our activists have gotten the message.

Friday, March 12, 2010

article on reform, phonebanking

NY times article on reform

this article gives a good view of where things stand right now on health reform. Suggests that they may not need stupak and that very few are sticking with him. the article is neither optimistic or pessimistic. that is a good sign in my mind.

Last night I was in bethesda along with a few other folks making phonecalls to ohio. Our goal is to get those folks to call their local congressional rep. We were calling in Representative Boccieri's district. I have set up phonebanking in silver spring from 3/15-18 and 3/23-5. So far 21 folks have agreed to make calls during that time period. Please come join us. Last night I made 45 calls in 90 minutes, reached 8 folks and 3 agreed to make calls to their rep. One had just been laid off from work.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

final bill

Congressional Quarterly Healthbeat has two articles of interest in yesterday's edition. Seems like it is very complicated to get the bills through the house and senate. Not clear whether or not obama needs to sign off on original senate bill before reconciliation is voted upon. Certainly may taken longer than anticipated. I hope not too long.

One article says hoyer and stupak may be able to work out language on abortion. That sounds encouraging.

Route to legislation

Legislative porcess

Interesting article in NY Times today that says that President must first sign bill after the House passes Senate bill. Then Senate and House can modify via reconciliation. Creates a very delicate situation. Everyone has to trust the Senate. Creates another major set of hurdles. Very tough road to conquer. But all we can do is hope for the best.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

critical health reform phonebanks

here is an email that I have been sending out to folks.

Let's Get the Job Done!

This is the closest we have come in 100 years. This is a moral imperative, to provide health care to all and it is an economic imperative which will result in much greater efficiencies and a much fairer health care system. The party is in trouble if we don't pass reform now.

Join fellow Organizing for America volunteers as we call constituents in key states. We'll be asking them to urge a pivotal legislator to take the final step(s) needed to improve health care for all Americans. We're helping President Obama convince wavering Democrats in the House and Senate. We've added phone bank dates in downtown Silver Spring!

The stakes couldn't be higher. As the insurance industry is spending tens of millions of dollars to mislead the public about reform, millions of Americans are dying or losing everything they own. The efficacy of the rest of the Obama presidency and Democratic control of the House and Senate may depend in part on getting this job done as quickly as possible.

Sign up here to make calls with us in either downtown Bethesda, downtown Silver Spring, Gaithersburg or from home.

In Silver Spring, we will be calling the weeks of March 15 and 22nd.

Please spread the word as well.

Monday, March 8, 2010

moral issue

today's post has a nice editorial that states that we should pass reform as a moral issue. I couldn't agree more, and that should be part of the selling process.

Road map

this ny times article link is supposed to provide a good road map as to legislation for the next few weeks.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

crunch time

this is crunch time in my mind on health reform. we really need to do all we can to support reform. We are very close but we need to get over the goal line. If we don't, it will be a tremendous missed opportunity and the dems will be in deep trouble. This is far from a perfect bill but it is a very good bill. Over 30 million folks will get health insurance, and there are many changes in this bill that will make the system more cost effective over the long run. If anyone wants me to, I can enumerate all the changes that make it more cost effective. Some top examples include providing insurance to folks not covered which keeps them out of the ERs, the health insurance exchanges, which make that part much more efficient, and provide rational control of that segment of the insurance market. Comparative effectiveness research, pay for performance, the Medicare Cost Review Commission, many demonstrations on delivery reform that have potential improvements in cost effectiveness, malpractice reform efforts, etc.

I am very pleased that I have again helped organize phonebanks in silver spring over the next few weeks. Folks not in silver spring can get involved with phonebanks by checking You can also call from home or organize your own houseparty using this website. Please everyone do what you can. I will be posting more details on the phonebanks very soon

for what its worth, just a recap on a few good sources

ny times prescription blog
center for budget and policy priorities
kaiser health news (best source going)

Friday, March 5, 2010

abortion issues

I no sooner wrote my comments about abortion when I read today's post, 3/5/10. The post says abortion is one of the bigger challenges. I would not be surprised if congress again yields to the stupak group. They did it to get it passed the house and they may need to do it again. While I personally hate such a provision, I will accept it is 1) it is consistent with crrent federal policy, and 2) perhaps we can change it later. Better to have reform than no reform. The perfect is the enemy of the good.

new blog

google somehow inactivated my old health reform blog. so I have created this new one. Plan to cover topics like my views on legislation and what we can do to encourage reform.

My main concern right now is setting up phonebanks in silver spring. We plan to phonebank over the next few weeks. I have made good progress in the last 48 hours and have several folks lined up already. People can form their own phonebanks, have phonebank parties, or just call from their own homes. Just go to, setup an account and look for events or create an event. I think we need to use every strategy we can to push for this legislation. This is to important to fail. If this does not get passed, the dems are in deep trouble and we are so close now, we can't waste this chance.

Re the chances for legislation. I am quite concerned. this is not an easy road but it can be done. My biggest concern is the stupak faction. Can a compromise be achieved between his group and the rest of the dem supporters. How critical is his group's vote.

I also think the dems need to do a better job of selling reform. Covering more people is not only the moral thing to do, it also creates cost efficiencies. Better to treat a person early than in the ER room. This bill has many features that lead to cost savings and greater cost effectiveness. This part of the bills has not been sold very well. Some of these provisions may be complicated to explain but some of them are simpler to understand.