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July 31, 2014 | 4th Av 5774

State Organizing

As of October 2007, if you live the following states, you have active legislation on universal health care and likely have existing coalitions you join: California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wisconsin, and Washington. (Massachusetts and Vermont passed legislation for universal or near-universal coverage in 2006.)

If your state has introduced legislation, you can work with the coalitions in your state to examine the language of the bill to decide if there are any significant omissions or problematic regulations in the bill, which you can then work to amend. Families USA provides information on state health insurance expansion efforts, with side-by-side comparisons of each state as well as general resources and links on state health insurance efforts.

If you don't live in a state with a universal health care bill already introduced in your state legislature, you can work with coalition partners to write sample legislation and to advocate to your elected officials for the introduction of such a bill. TheUniversal Health Care Action Network has information online on activities in each state, including state and local organizations working for universal health care, links to 2007 state bills, and information about your state government and elected officials. Visit their website and click on "State Connections" to find out what's happening in your state.

Several national organizations working on universal health care also have local affiliates your congregation can work with. These include, but are not limited to, SEIU's Americans for Health Care, AFSCME, American Medical Students Association, and U.S. PIRG's Federation of State PIRG's.

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