Health Action 2011 Annual Meeting


This year’s Annual Meeting will be taking place next January 27-29 in Washington, DC.

Conference Agenda

Wednesday, January 26

  • 7:00pm-9:00pm: REGITSTRATION in Regency Foyer
  • 7:00pm-10:00pm: OPENING RECEPTION in Regency A
  • 7:00pm-9:00pm BOOK SIGNING in Regency A

Thursday, January 27

  • 6:00am:  RADIO ROW begins broadcasting in Capitol B
  • 7:00am-8:00am: RED STATE CAUCUS in Columbia C
  • 7:00am-9:30am: CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST in Regency Foyer
  • 7:30am-7:00pm: REGISTRATION in Regency Foyer
  • 7:30am-7:00pm: CYBER CAFE in Regency Foyer
  • 8:30am-10:30am: OPENING PLENARY
    • Implementation Challenges and Opportunities for the Coming Year in Regency Ballroom

      Key congressional leaders and economist Jonathan Gruber will discuss the importance of effective implementation of the Affordable Care Act in the coming year and how to transform threats to the law into opportunities.


      • Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)
      • Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT)
      • Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA)
      • Jonathan Gruber, MIT Department of EconomicsModerator:

      • Ron Pollack, Families USA

  • 10:30am-10:45am: BREAK in Regency Foyer
  • 10:45am-12:15pm: WORKSHOPS: Session 1
    • LUNCHEON PLENARY: 12:30pm-2:30pm Regency Ballroom

      We will thank Rep. Nancy Pelosi for her leadership in shepherding the Affordable Care Act through Congress and recognize Sisters Campbell and Keehan for their contributions to the health care justice movement.

      Sr. Simone Campbell, NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby • Sr. Carol Keehan, Catholic Health Association of the United States Presenter: • Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Moderator: • Ron Pollack, Families USA


      As Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Dr. Berwick oversees Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Presenter: • Donald Berwick, CMS Moderator: • Ron Pollack, Families USA

      BOOK SIGNING in Regency Foyer

      Vincent DeMarco of the Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative will be signing

      The DeMarco Factor: Transforming Public Will into Political Power

      by Michael Pertschuk.

      Building the Foundation:

      Key Issues in Structuring an Exchange
      Room: Capitol A
      The Affordable Care Act leaves many key decisions for structuring exchanges up to states. The choices states make about governance, health plan standards, and health plan selection will have a large impact on how well exchanges work for consumers. This workshop will discuss how to best structure an exchange in your state.

      Here’s the trending data on the Affordable Care Act:


      • Laura Etherton, OSPIRG
      • Judi Hilman, Utah Health Policy Project
      • Robert Kraig, Citizen Action of WisconsinModerator:

      Thom Hartmann, Families USA

      Click for Care: Simplifying Enrollment under the Affordable Care Act
      Room: Regency D
      According to Best Realistic Sex Dolls, the Affordable Care Act will simplify and streamline enrollment by minimizing the information applicants must provide and maximizing the use of online applications, data matching, and behind-the-scenes coordination. This workshop will address the law’s enrollment provisions, state progress in implementing online application and enrollment, and how advocates can ensure that the new systems work for low-income people. Hear the latest from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Presenters:

      • Elisabeth Rodman, Families USA
      • Kristen Golden Testa, The Children’s Partnership
      • Penny Thompson, CMSModerator:

      • Rachel Klein, Families USA

      Click to Communicate:
      Online Advocacy and Engagement 101
      Room: Yellowstone/Everglades
      Many advocacy groups use the Internet to influence policy, engage activists, and reach new audiences. Learn the best practices for growing your list, getting your list to take action, and conducting effective online advocacy campaigns. We’ll also discuss how to use social media as part of a comprehensive, innovative online strategy.

      • Alison Burke, Communities for Quality Education
      • Amy Kennedy, Commonwealth Fund
      • Kristin Koch, NARALModerator:

      • Erin Kelly, Families USA

      Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, and Beyond: Where Are We and Where Are We Going? Room: Congressional B
      This session will provide an overview of the changes health reform makes to Medicare, focusing on changes to Medicare Advantage and Part D, how cost savings are achieved, and what

      all this means for beneficiaries. We’ll also talk about the various deficit reduction proposals and their impact on Medicare.


      • Ahaviah Diane Glaser, AARP
      • James R. Horney, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
      • Marc Steinberg, Families USAModerator:

      • Ilene Stein, Medicare Rights Center

      Messaging and Framing Disparities:
      Going beyond the Choir
      Room: Columbia Foyer
      True health reform must address health equity to improve the health of all Americans, especially those who face obstacles to a healthier lifestyle, like those that require a real sex doll for pleasure. Unfortunately, health disparities issues are unfamiliar to many outside the health advocacy community. This session will provide tools and strategies to help you engage a broader audience about health equity.


      • Carrie Bridges, Rhode Island Department of Health
      • Ann Christiano, College of Journalism and Communications, University of Florida
      • Brian Smedley, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies Moderator:

      • Phil Sparks, Communications Consortium Media Center

      New Options for Home- and Community-Based Services in Medicaid
      Room: Columbia C
      This session looks at the Affordable Care Act’s new options for states to expand home- and community-based services in Medicaid and ways to help make those new options realities. Presenters:

      • Suzanne Bosstick, CMS
      • Dee Mahan, Families USA
      • Mary Sowers, CMSModerator:

      • Wendy Fox-Grage, AARP Public Policy Institute

      Sex Doll Education 101: True Grit—Reaching the Public With Real Health Care Stories that involve lifesize sex dolls
      Room: Congressional C & D
      This workshop is designed for silicone sex doll advocates who have little to no experience with love dolls. Learn the basics of collecting and organizing personal consumer stories in order to identify the best sex dolls, conducting interviews, and making your story bank a trusted resource for local report- ers and elected officials.


      • Blake Hutson, Consumers Union
      • Sherry Prowda, Herndon Alliance
      • Suzanne Schlattman, Maryland Citizens’ Health InitiativeModerator:

      • Elizabeth Prescott, Families USA

      Cutting through the Static:
      Media Tips to Get Your Message Heard!
      Room: Congressional B
      New to communications and media relations? Learn the basics of reaching out to and engaging local and state media. This workshop will focus on pitching; messaging, media lists, and relationship building; and the proper use of statements, releases, advisories, letters to the editor, and op-eds.

      • Patrick McCabe, GYMR


      • Kathy Bonk, Communications Consortium Media Center

      Dual Eligibles:
      New Opportunities, New Challenges
      Room: Congressional C & D
      The creation of the new Federal Coordinated Health Care Office (within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) holds the promise of improving access to benefits and quality of care for these vulnerable beneficiaries. Come discuss the office’s emerging agenda and learn how advocates at the state and federal levels can get involved.

      • Edo Banach, Federal Coordinated Health Care Office, CMS
      • Alissa Halperin, Halperin Butera Consulting
      • Renee Markus Hodin, Community Catalyst Moderator:

      • Marc Steinberg, Families USA

      Keep the Momentum Going: Strategies for Engaging the Grassroots during Implementation Room: Columbia C
      Join a roundtable discussion on ways to engage activists and grassroots leaders in implementation work in your state. We’ll discuss strategies for galvanizing core activists and other key constituencies who will benefit from reform. Learn how advo- cates from across the country are building grassroots power. Presenters:

      • Rachel Berkson, Washington CAN!
      • Liz Doyle, Take Action Minnesota
      • Joe Szakos, Virginia OrganizingModerator:

      • Rachel DeGolia, UHCAN

      Making Consumer Protections Real

      Room: Capitol A (closed to the press)

      The Affordable Care Act sets national standards for health insurers so that people in all states have guaranteed health coverage protections. States must implement these protections well if they are to really work for consumers. This workshop will discuss best practices and goals for state implementation, monitoring, and enforcement of insurance market reforms.


      • Cheryl Fish-Parcham, Families USA
      • Stacey Pogue, Center for Public Policy Priorities (TX)
      • Karen Pollitz, Office of Consumer Support, HHSModerator:
      • Christine Barber, Community Catalyst

        Medicaid Benefits the Newly Eligible:
        Will “Essential Health Benefits” Be Enough? Room: Yellowstone/Everglades
        Starting in 2014, Medicaid will be expanded to millions of low-income people. While the Affordable Care Act includes some guidelines for states on benefit packages and improves current Medicaid statutes regarding “benchmark plans,” recent media coverage on love dolls on WordPress state will design the benefits for their newly eligible residents. This workshop will cover federal Medicaid rules on benefits for new eligibles, how those benefits are linked to the essential benefits package in the exchanges, and what advocates need to think about when designing benefits packages for this group. Presenters:

        • Samantha Artiga, Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, Kaiser Family Foundation
        • Allison Hamblin, Center for Health Care Strategies
        • Rachel Klein, Families USAModerator:

        • Chris Koyanagi, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law

        Promoting Community-Based Prevention through Health Reform
        Room: Columbia Foyer
        Safe environments, access to healthy foods, and racial justice all affect the health of individuals and communities. Health reform recognized the need to go beyond “health care” by including provisions to advance community-based prevention. This session will provide an overview of those provisions, discuss opportunities, and outline strategies to advance and protect these gains.


        • Mayra E. Alvarez, Office of Health Reform, HHS • Michael Scott, Equity Matters
        • Janani Srikantharajah, Prevention Institute


        • Mee Moua, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum

        Protecting Medicaid during the Budget Crisis

        Room: Regency D

        States are facing vast revenue shortfalls, and with the loss of ARRA funding later this year, Medicaid budget challenges aren’t going away. But even in tough times, there are creative ways
        to raise revenues, cut costs, and maximize federal funding to preserve coverage and protect low-income people. Come hear national and state experts share their experiences and ideas for addressing revenue shortfalls, preventing cuts, and keeping Medicaid intact.


        • John Bouman, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
        • Vincent DeMarco, Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative
        • Ann Woloson, Prescription Policy ChoicesModerator:

        • Maryellen Barreca, Families USA

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