NWFCO Celebrates New Health Care Law!

I’m signing [this health reform bill] for 11-year-old Marcelas Owens, who’s also here. Marcelas lost his mom to an illness. And she didn’t have insurance and couldn’t afford the care that she needed. So in her memory he has told her story across America so that no other children have to go through what his family has experienced. — President Barack Obama, March 23, 2010 Read more

Washington CAN!: Medical Interpretation Victory Empowers Patients and Workers

For eight years, I was the interpreter for my father while he was sick. At the age of 14, I was more his interpreter than his daughter. I worried about how I would tell my father that another part of his leg would be amputated or whether he was going to survive another surgery. Sometimes I would spare my father bad news despite the doctor’s orders. I would decide whether or not to tell the nurse if my father had eaten that day based on the pain the IV would cause him. Read more

Tax Justice in Oregon

Just weeks after conservative Scott Brown was elected to replace Senator Ted Kennedy in a Massachusetts special election, and the Supreme Court squashed restrictions on corporate campaign contributions, the health care bill appeared dead. Pundits across the country warned of the end of the progressive agenda. Meanwhile in Oregon, hundreds of volunteers poured into union halls to collect the canvass materials to educate voters on tax fairness and the need to preserve social services. The result? Oregonians stood up to say that they valued social services and didn’t mind asking those who have weathered the storm of the recession to finally pay their fair share to keep them around. Read more

Norm Pflanz: Marching Toward Immigration Reform

While Congress was finishing debate on the historical health care reform bill, hundreds of thousands of immigrants and immigrant allies marched on the nation’s Capitol to demand another piece of critical progressive reform: Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Many of NWFCO’s partners participated in this incredible show of optimism and solidarity, including Nebraska Appleseed. Read more

Grassroots Leaders Take On the Insurance Lobby!

A showdown happened in the streets of Washington D.C. on March 8 between the millions of people across the country tired of money ruling their health and those who would try to bring down health reform. On that day, 25 survivors of health insurance abuse led hundreds of activists from NWFCO affiliates and grassroots groups across the country on a march through the streets of D.C. to shut down the annual convention of the biggest lobbying group opposing health reform, America’s Health Insurance Providers (AHIP). Read more

Make the Road New York Wins Pharmaceutical Language Access Fight in NYC

Thanks to compelling stories ((“Bad Medicine: How New York area pharmacies’ failure to provide translation and interpretation service prevents immigrant New Yorkers from receiving quality medical care and stands in clear violation of local, state and federal law,” Make the Road New York and New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, October, 2007, http://www.maketheroad.org/report.php?ID=437)) from members of Make the Road New York (MRNY), strong relationships with decision makers and key community partners, and good old fashioned direct action, chain pharmacies in New York City will now translate the purpose, dosage, and side-effect information for all medications prescribed to limited and non-English speakers. This means that the major pharmacy chains like CVS, Duane Reade, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, CVS, Pathmark, Target and Costco will now provide translation of medicine into Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Russian, French, and, in some places, Polish. Read more

Immigration Reform in Montana

In 2007 millions of people took to the streets to demand comprehensive immigration reform. Despite these strong numbers, we were unsuccessful in getting legislation passed that year. But we did learn one key lesson from this fight: in order to win immigration reform, we need to reach out to non-immigrant communities and educate them about how the system is broken—and what they can do to become allies in this important fight. Montana is a state with a small immigrant population in a sparsely populated space, making it easy for its lawmakers to feel that they don’t need to take a stance on the issue. As a result, residents and citizens fall victim to the barrage of hateful language and misinformation that is so prevalent in the immigration debate. Read more