Progressive Maryland's Role Key to Secure Reps' Backing
Maryland's Proudest Moment: Marylanders were key to making American history on Sunday, March 21, 2010, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (born and raised in Baltimore) accompanied by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (far left) and Assistant to the Speaker Rep. Chris Van Hollen (directly behind civil rights legend Rep. John Lewis, between Hoyer and Pelosi) walked to the Capitol through a mob of right-wing fanatics to pass historic health care reform. The 219-212 win included six of eight Maryland members voting "yes" following an intense year-long statewide effort led by Progressive Maryland as state coordinator for the Health Care for America Now coalition. See PM's statement and best articles in the Washington Post, New York Times.
The new reform will:
- Reduce Costs for most Americans
- Expand Coverage to 32 Million more
- Save over 30,000 lives/year
- Regulate insurance companies so they can no longer:
--deny care for pre-existing conditions
--charge you more if you're sick
--put limits on your benefits
--increase rates with impunity
The Baltimore Sun ran this photo in its print edition and on its website homepage, showing PM's Baltimore Regional Director Matthew Weinstein and allies speaking March 16 outside Verizon's Baltimore headquarters at an event to launch the "Where Is Bmore FiOS?" bus billboard campaign.
PM Executive Director Sean Dobson crossed the police line (left) at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in DC March 9 with other progressive leaders to disupt a meeting of insurance industry honchos plotting to thwart President Obama's health reform. Moments later, police took Dobson (right) and allies into custody as 3,000 supporters cheered. The event was covered by CNN, MSNBC, and DC TV Channels 4 and 7. See Baltimore Sun frontpage clip (below), Washington Post article, two PM videos, and more coverage at HealthCareforAmericaNow.org
100 activists rallied in rain urging Senate President Miller to lead again by publicly supporting, giving bill a floor vote
Progressive Md. Executive Director Sean Dobson addressed the crowd Feb. 22, with
rally MC Jessica Sharp (left). See news release, and AP storys.
PM, Allies Rally for Health Care Reform with
'Melanie's Marchers' from Philly to Capitol Hill
In memory of activist Melanie Shouse, whose lack of health insurance cost her life, fired-up crowds rallied across Maryland and on Capitol Hill to demand that Obama and Reid stop playing footsie with Republicans and finally enact reform right now by simple majority. Learn more at www.melaniesmarch.com.
PM Political Director Rion Dennis tells crowd at the Feb. 23 UMD "Melanie's March" rally, "Pull out your cell phones -- let's all call our Senators to tell them to pressure Reid to pass a good House-Senate compromise by simple majority!"
Russ Kovach addresses marchers in Aberdeen, Harford County, on 135-mile trek from Philadelphia to Capitol Hill. See flier and rally videos: Aberdeen and Baltimore.
Please stop dithering and kow-towing to Blue Dogs and to insurance industry sell-outs like Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman -- you don't need their votes to win in the Senate if you finally abolish the hateful filibuster or at least use the rules of reconciliation. And Mr. President, with all due respect, we don't need any more pretty speeches about the virtues of bipartisanship. Instead, you two must corral right now Senate Dems into one room, lock the door, order out for pizza, and don't let anybody leave until you pass by simple majority a good House-Senate compromise bill... Read PM's Full Letter to Obama and Reid
- 63% say keep trying to pass comprehensive reform
- 72% for employer mandate
- 56% for indiv mandate with subsidies
- 80% for insurance regulations
Protestors from Health Care for America Now, Progressive Maryland, SEIU, MoveOn, and AFSCME rallied outside the downtown Baltimore meeting of the Republican House Caucus on Saturday, January 30, demanding to know why the Republicans are opposing regulating insurance companies. Several insurance abuse survivors joined the protest, including Marcus Grimes, who wanted to know why he had to go blind four years ago when he could not afford the operation that would have saved his sight.
AARP leaders (left photo) reaffirmed its support for quick passage of health reform in a news conference Jan. 20 in Salisbury, MD. Matthew Weinstein represented Progressive Maryland (right photo, far left). See Delmarva Daily Times article.
PM Federal issues Director Matthew Weinstein spoke at a news conference to launch Recovery Watch Maryland Jan. 19 in Annapolis. See news video below.
The Maryland General Assembly kicked off its 2010 election-year session Jan. 13 in Annapolis. Progressive Maryland will turn to you, our members and supporters, to help us remind lawmakers they must deliver for working families in this worst economic downturn since the Great Depression – or face the consequences at the polls. The centerpiece of PM's "2010 Opportunity Agenda for Working Families" consists of:
- Voluntary, public funding of General Assembly races -- to take power away from the insurance companies and energy monopolies and return it to the voters;
- A menu of bills to once again grow the middle class by applying more broadly the principle of PM's historic 2007 Living Wage Act: i.e., that taxpayer dollars should create middle-class jobs, not poverty jobs;
- Fiscal fairness: before lawmakers inflict any more cuts on a state government budget already cut to the bone, they should make sure millionaires and big multistate corporations pay their fair share of taxes; and
- Keeping Maryland well positioned to pull down copious federal funding to expand quality, affordable pre-Kindergarten in our state.