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For Immediate Release

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

As President Prepares To Sign Health Care Bill, HCAN and AFSCME Start Airing Ads to Thank Members for Being on Our Side

Washington, DC — 

*** Watch the TV ads here ***

Health Care for America Now (HCAN) – the nation’s largest health care campaign – and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) begin airing cable and broadcast television ads in 14 Congressional districts today thanking individual members of Congress for stopping health insurance companies from killing reform. The ads applaud the members of Congress for being on our side against the 2,049 health insurance company lobbyists and the $86 million in misleading ads. The $1,000,000 ad buy runs for a week, and each ad is also sponsored by a grassroots organization in the state.

The ads titled “On Our Side” thank the following members of Congress:  Alan Mollohan (WV-01), Mary Jo Kilroy (OH-15), Chris Carney (PA-10), Allen Boyd (FL-02), Suzanne Kosmas (FL-24), Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01), Mark Schauer (MI-07), Gary Peters (MI-09), Bill Foster (IL-14), Brad Ellsworth (IN-08), Baron Hill (IN-09), Gerry Connolly (VA-11), Paul Kanjorski (PA-11), and Debbie Halvorson (IL-11).

“We understand the courage it has taken for these Representatives to stand up to the well-funded insurance industry and its allies and to stand up for everyday Americans. These Representatives were there for us, and we’re letting them know that we’ll be there for them,” said AFSCME President Gerald W. McEntee.

“Americans understand that Congress had a clear choice: taking the side of the health insurance industry and killing reform or voting for reforms that will rein in insurance company abuses,” said Richard Kirsch, HCAN’s National Campaign Manager. “We want to be sure that constituents in each of these Congressional districts know that their member of Congress stood with them against the big insurance companies.”

Local HCAN activists across the country also will be delivering that message to members of Congress with various activities and events. For example, in Colorado, members of Congress who vote for the bill will be greeted will balloons and the gift of boxing gloves with the message, “Thank you for being in our corner.”  Iowa health care supporters will deliver sweets and a t-shirt from a local small businessman who has testified on Capitol Hill in favor of reform.  There will also be press conferences, delegation visits, and airport greetings for members who voted “yes.” All told, HCAN expects to hold more than 100 events in 30 states to say thanks.

“From now through the rest of the year, we’ll be telling the same story all around the country. By passing health insurance reform, Congress stood up against the special interests in Washington and their political allies and did what’s right for families and small businesses,” Kirsch added.