Blog

Interning update

The past few weeks have been packed with lots of exciting events that Action NC has been involved in. I would like to bofa-protesting.jpgstart off talking about the Bank of American action, which was called "500 Pounds of Coal.” That action really caught my attention because they went about proving their point in a very creative way. It started off with a number of people dressed in all white garments with messages on the back that got up and spoke on each of the different issues that coal causes, which was very informative. After each speaker finished they would dump some more coal on the ground.  There were face masks that were provided so that people wouldn't breathe in the coal. Just the sight of that alone was enough to draw a crowd of people curious about what was going on.

There were alot of signs centered around what they were protesting about, some of which said "Poison Air, B of A still the number one funder of coal, and Clean up B of A". The protest was centered around the fact that Bank of America is a huge funder of the coal industry and the harm this causes to the environment, to air quality, and to all of us in terms of many major health issues.  In fact there have been a number of days recently that the air quality was so polluted that it was dangerous to breathe.

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States’ Rights. Again.

Judge.jpgOpponents of the Affordable Care Act are cooking up yet another legal challenge—this to the authority of the federal government to create exchanges in states which refuse to do so and then offer the subsidies that make coverage affordable to those between 133%-400% of the federal poverty level. Estimates are that 23 million will gain coverage through the exchanges, and 18 million of these will be eligible for the subsidies.

The argument is that the literal language of the ACA only allows subsidies in exchanges “established by the state.”  Does “state” mean the states, or does it mean the acting government authority, be it state or federal? May states’ nullify this enormous portion of the ACA simply by refusing to act on the exchanges?

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Dimons and Diamonds

jamie_dimons_horns.jpgAs we celebrate Independence Day, let’s remember the freedom of the big banks from accountability and consequence for the havoc they continue to wreak.  We’ll skip that celebration, thank you. Their impunity from civil and criminal liability, and the lack of effective action to help the rest of us move past the fallout of their reckless conduct, has become farcical and tragic.

Jamie Dimon, who wowed ‘em on Capitol Hill recently with his quick wit and easy charm while maintaining his crusade against sensible and necessary Dodd-Frank regulations, and any regulation of the dangerous derivatives markets, is now having to acknowledge that the derivatives bets made by JP Morgan-Chase with FDIC-guaranteed dollars, bets that he himself has characterized as “stupid,” may well result in losses of $9 billion rather than the initially-reported $2 billion. Folks, these are bets in an unregulated market devoid of transparency with money insured by our tax dollars. But don’t ask for any of the profits if they win—the risk is public, the reward is private. Anyone genuinely concerned with creeping socialism should start right here.

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ActionNC Highlights Foreclosures at BofA Headquarters

They rolled in driving multiple vehicles, a band of intrepid activists, moving from city to city spreading the Gospel of Social Justice.  ActionNC and Occupy Charlotte greeted the travelers of Occupy Caravan Monday morning to offer support for the Bank of America action planned for later that afternoon.  But first, a quick detour to support the Supreme Court's decision striking down most, if not all, of the infamous Arizona Immigration Law, SB-1070.  With flags unfurled and flying, the Occupiers took to the streets, chanting, laughing and chatting about upcoming events and their journey thus far. 

In the company of Immigrant Rights Activists and ActionNC members, Occupy Caravan fit right in, standing behind the speakers to lend their support. 

But this was only a precursor to the main event, the Bank of America action.

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Action NC's Statement on the Supreme Court's ACA ruling

“Obamacare is here to stay. It’s time to put aside partisan politics and end legal debates and move forward on implementing the law fully so that North Carolinians can finally get the health care we need.”

 Raleigh, NC - Here is a statement from Kevin Rogers, Policy & Public Affairs Director for Action NC, a statewide advocacy organization that worked to pass the Affordable Care Act in 2010 as part of the national Health Care for America Now Campaign:

 “Today, the Supreme Court ended the debate over the Affordable Care Act and ruled conclusively that Obamacare is here to stay. It’s time for opponents stop wasting time on get to work on fully implementing the law in NC.

The court has spoken and the constitutional debate is done. The law is two years old and implementation is moving forward. Over 100 million Americans already receive benefits under the law and in the next two years, the rest of America’s families and businesses can look forward to consumer relief and new benefits under the ACA that will finally give North Carolinians financial and health security.

The law stops insurance companies from denying our care and jacking up our rates whenever they please. It also ends insurance company practices that have cut short countless lives, denied coverage and services to millions and imposed billions of dollars in excess costs on consumers and employers. It also expands coverage to millions of families and small businesses who could never afford it before while at the same time lowering costs for the millions more who already have insurance.

The law’s political opponents in Congress who have vowed to continue their efforts to undermine and repeal Obama should heed the court’s decision and abide by the law just like everyone else. Rather than focusing on circumventing the court’s decision with their budget that not only takes away key parts of the ACA, but also ends Medicare as we know it and dismantles Medicaid, they out to get to work on improving the economy and creating jobs.”

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Action NC is a state partner of Health Care for America Now, the nation’s leading grassroots health care advocacy organization. HCAN led the fight to win passage of health reform and to keep Congress from being steamrolled by corporate special interests.