Category Archives: Affordable Care Act

Wanna fight Trumpcare? Here’s who to call

It’s time to be blunt. You’ve seen the images of protestors–many of them wheelchairs or holding medical equipment–being escorted away by police from the Capitol offices of Senator Mitch McConnell.

We’re asking–no, begging–you to support them and nearly 24 million Americans who face losing access to potentially life-saving care. We’re asking you to make a few quick calls every day this week to stop the Republican Senate #Wealthcare bill. Then tell five friends to do the same. Keep repeating, and together we can build up the volume of outrage to kill this bill.

If you have friends and relatives in red states, call them, too, and ask them to phone their senators’ offices every day. Volume and persistence count.

We suggest that you call the 11 senators listed in the Trumpcare Toolkit,clicking on the links to put the calls through. If time is limited, please focus on the following:

Don’t be afraid to leave a message. Say that you’re calling as a neighbor and an American. Tell them your family and America’s poor, disabled, children, and almost all elderly people living in nursing homes–America’s moms and dads and grandparents–can’t accept devastating cuts to Medicaid to pay for a tax cut for this country’s richest.

Tell them history will remember how they voted on this bill. Demand that they vote NO.

Affordable Coverage Options Still Available!

As of April 17, approximately 8 million Americans have enrolled in an affordable healthcare plan through the first ACA Open Enrollment period. As many as 5.6 million more, however, will remain uninsured because 24 states have failed to participate in the Medicaid Expansion available under the law.

Fortunately, New York is one of the states with a robust and expanded Medicaid program. This means that while the Federal deadline to enroll for 2014 coverage through the health marketplace has passed, thousands of economically challenged New Yorkers may still have options to access healthcare they need.

Free Coverage for Low-Income New Yorkers

Individuals and families with qualifying incomes (up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level) can sign up to get free coverage under Medicaid, and children can be enrolled under CHIP at ANY TIME during the year.

Special Enrollment Periods

Also, any individuals who don’t meet the income requirements for Medicaid but experience a Qualifying Life Event (QLE) are eligible to apply for comprehensive private plans with rates that are 53% lower than pre-ACA rates in New York State. Examples of QLEs include, but are not limited to:

  • Job loss or change in income
  • Recent loss of health coverage (i.e. your employer dropped your insurance)
  • Marriage, birth, death, adoption, divorce, or similar change in family status

To receive coverage because of a QLE, the application must be started within 60 days of the event.For more information on applying for Medicaid or a Special Enrollment period, please check out this helpful link How Can I Get Coverage Outside of Open Enrollment or contact New York State of Health.

Volunteer to Spread the Word!

GNYCfC has helped GetCoveredNY enroll over 4,000 New Yorkers in free or affordable coverage.  We continue to play an active role in the outreach to help insure the uninsured so as to improve health outcomes across many communities.If you would like to volunteer with us to raise awareness about the options for affordable care, please contact Linda Ricci at

Hope to see you this summer!

Tasha Williams for GNYCfC

Help Uninsured New Yorkers Find Affordable Health Insurance

"Get Covered New York" volunteers at Harlem Week, posing with State Sen. Bill Perkins (center with hat) who stopped by our table to see what we were doing.

“Get Covered New York” volunteers at Harlem Week, posing with State Senator Bill Perkins (center with hat) who stopped by our table to see what we were doing.

It’s time to kick off those summer sandals and get into some walking shoes. Enrollment for the New York Health Benefit Exchange begins October 1st and those who will benefit most – 1.1 million uninsured New Yorkers – remain unaware.  

If you would like to help spread the word, please sign up below. Or, if you have questions, email Linda ( The Get Covered New York team will help provide training in the basics of the Affordable Care Act for volunteers to perform this important service.  There’s no time to waste.

7th Annual East Harlem Youth Fair

Health Fair with food, games, backpack giveaways, and entertainment.
Tuesday, August 20th, 1pm to 4pm / E. 101st Street between Lexington and Park Ave

Sponsored by YMCA of Greater NY, NYC Council Rep Mark-Viverito, MBP Scott Stringer, D.A. Cy Vance, Community Board 11, and other community based organizations.

Peace in the Streets with Antioch Baptist Church

Friday, August 23rd, 2:30 – 8:30 pm
Morningside Park, 123rd & Morningside Avenue
Subways: 125th Street on 2/3, B/D and A/C (and multiple crosstown buses)
RSVP or email Tasha ( with any questions

Harlem Health Fair

Saturday, August 24th, 12 noon – 4 pm, Adam Clayton Powell Plaza. Transit: accessible by the M60 and M101 Buses, as well as the 1, 2, and 3 trains. RSVP

Tabling at Tomkins Square Park

Saturday, August 31st, 1 – 6 pm
7th St and Avenue A
Subway: L train to First Avenue and 14th Steet
RSVP: email Diane (

Greater NYC for Change Annual Membership Meeting

Greater NYC for Change Annual Membership meeting

Greater NYC for Change Annual Membership meeting

Our board has been ratified! Here is to a great year.
Our board has been ratified! Here is to a great year.

Over the last few years, Greater NYC for Change had led in the fight for health care reform, gun violence prevention, and reducing the glaring income inequality in our nation. This year, we’ve taken the steps to become a nonprofit corporation, and we were honored to launch as a nonprofit on Wednesday, May 22nd. Other community leaders and progressive visionaries joined in to plan great things!  


After wine and cheese, the members voted in the slate of executive board members who will run the day to day operations of the group. Later this year, we’ll kick off a bigger party to celebrate – please stay tuned! This is a milestone for us. We hope to amplify your voice and serve worthy causes in partnership with your leadership and allies, in the cause of social justice.

Below are some of our top priorities for the year to come: 

·    Partnership with Health Care for All New York to educate and enroll eligible New Yorkers in the new health care exchange opening in January 2014 

·      Combatting voter suppression laws in Pennsylvania 

·      Advocating for reversal of the harsh federal budget cuts contained in the sequester and for maintenance of protections under Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid 

·      Partnership with organizations dedicated to immigration reform to lobby for passage of the DREAM Act and other meaningful immigration reform legislation 

·      Working to reduce gun violence in New York City communities and to pass gun safety legislation on the national level 

·      Organizing parents, teachers, and other members of the community to lobby state policymakers to expand the pre-k budget, raise educational levels, and combat poverty 

·      LGBT initiatives not limited to overturning DOMA and ensuring recognition of Marriage Equality in all states 

·      Organizing candidate forums to encourage civic participation in local elections 

·      Advocacy against income inequality, in particular for a true living wage in New York City

Sources on the Supreme Court’s Health Insurance Reform Arguments

by Ethan Rips

Lots of us are, for very good reason, anxious about the arguments just concluded at the Supreme Court about the individual mandate and the Affordable Care Act as a whole.

It occurred to me that it might be a good idea to steer people away from the usual horse race coverage of the main stream media and hack sites like Politico, and toward substantive sources that, while no more capable of predicting what this court will do than anyone else, can provide a wealth of information & unusual ways of considering the issues. Sound good? Here goes:

SCOTUSblog, a blog (OK, the name gives it away) devoted exclusively to doings at the Supreme Court. Sharp observers there.

Dahlia Lithwick at Slate. An insightful observer, great journalist & all-around mensch (can I use that term for a woman or is there a feminine form of that? Fun with Yiddish):

Balkinization. A blog by a law professor, populated by more of the same. This is where you go to get down into the weeds of constitutional issues. Cool stuff for obsessive-compulsive types (I couldn’t possibly be referring to myself here, could I?):

The Volokh Conspiracy. A blog devoted to the libertarian (boo, hiss) side of legal issues. Know thy enemy. Actually, every once in a while I find myself in agreement with something said by a libertarian with respect to individual liberties. That is definitely not the case when it comes to health care–or health insurance–reform. Nonetheless, when you’re not feeling traumatized, it’s interesting sometimes to see how they think. I wonder if the administration’s lawyers thought of that before they put together their arguments. I certainly hope so.



Why I Stand by the Affordable Care Act

by Kelly Cuvar

I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer thirteen years ago.  I have never been in remission.  What I didn’t know then, as I started my adult life, was that I would have a pre-existing condition for the rest of my life.  The fact that I had cancer would be a hurdle made manifest in every aspect of my life; where I live, where I can get adequate care, and how to maintain continuous insurance coverage.

Surviving cancer would not just be managing the disease physically, which is hard enough.  The American healthcare system in general and my insurance providers in particular have been a greater affliction for me than cancer.  Every single financial and life decision I make revolves around maintaining my ability to get healthcare.  All of my life decisions have been mediated through my disease.

I am being absolutely honest–having to worry about insurance is worse than having cancer.  I am better able to deal with my illness and survival than I am when trying to obtain and maintain insurance coverage in the private market.  It is more stressful than any of the treatments I have gotten over the last thirteen years, or any of the consequences of those treatments.  What cancer hasn’t been able to do, our broken healthcare system has done:  forced me to deal with anxiety on levels I have never known before.

After working so hard on the passage of the Affordable Care Act, I realize we didn’t get what we wanted, but we got a few things that we need.  For a society that considers healthcare a commodity, we are getting closer to being able to celebrate the goal of a healthy society.  (The way I see it, the goal of a capitalized healthcare system is to make money; the goal of socialized medicine is a healthy society.)  No lifetime or annual caps on an insurance policy, and the most important thing in the bill to me, pre-existing conditions will be a thing of the past.  It will change my life.

Re-living the healthcare fight has ignited many feelings in me and my fellow activists.  We are proud of our work, and we stand by it.  We look forward to a healthy society, and we will always work towards that.


This speech was originally given on the steps of the Federal Court House in Foley Square, New York City, on March 26, 2012, the eve of the Supreme Court hearings on the Affordable Care Act. The Court will likely decide their ruling in June of this year.