The Supreme Courts historic decision last week to uphold the Affordable Care Act provides a opportunity to look back on the epic effort to pass the law, and to look forward to next steps. Two coalition and community events next week will foster that celebration and discussion, as well as highlight a new book that tells the story of the unprecedented grassroots, coalition campaign to pass federal health reform.
Written by the former National Campaign Manager of Health Care for America Now! (HCAN), Richard Kirsch, Fighting for Our Health: The Epic Battle to Make Health Care a Right in the United States offers a vivid, first-person account of how health care reform came to be. The book brings readers inside the biggest and most consequential issue campaign in American history. Fighting for Our Health recounts how a reform campaign led by grassroots organizers in California and across the country played a crucial role in President Obama’s signing historic health reform legislation in March of 2010.
Here in California, Health Access was the lead partner organization for Health Care for America Now (HCAN), this historic campaign to make health care a right in our country.
Please join Health Access and The California Endowment for special book parties featuring Richard Kirsch, in downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday, July 10 at 4pm, or in downtown Sacramento on Wednesday, July 11 at 1pm.
Hear firsthand how HCAN won the campaign to pass the ACA, and the work needed to continue to implement and improve the law, and fulfill its promise. Copies of the book will be available and for a donation you can receive a signed copy.
In Richard’s book, the action takes place inside the Beltway — the White House, Congressional anterooms, and the streets of DC — and at hundreds of town meetings, demonstrations, and confrontations in places like Fresno, Modesto, Sacramento, San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, Los Angeles and San Diego, where we turned out hundreds and thousands of health reform supporters and raised our voices for quality, affordable health care.
Most powerfully, it is the story of the triumph of thousands of people who had seen loved ones die, families go bankrupt, small businesses ruined, and futures destroyed by the old health insurance system model in the United States that left consumers at the mercy of the corporate health insurance companies.
Again, please join us!
In Los Angeles: Tuesday, July 10, 4pm (4-6pm)
The California Endowment – Los Angeles
1000 N. Alameda St., Los Angeles, CA 90012.
In Sacramento: Wednesday, July 11, 1:00pm (1-3pm)
The California Endowment — Sacramento
1414 K Street, Suite 500, Sacramento, CA 95814
“First of all, I can’t put this book down. … It’s a memoir. You’re funny. You’re a great writer. And it’s fascinating reading.”
— Susan Arbetter, Capitol Pressroom
“The story of intense and rough politicking over more than a year after Obama outlined his health care plan is best told in Fighting for Our Health, by Richard Kirsch, a grassroots organizer.”
— Jeff Madrick, NY Review of Books
“Finally, a book about intrigue and politics in Washington that has relevance for Americans outside the beltway, written by someone who is actually in a position to know what really happened.”
— Howard Dean, former Governor of Vermont
“Richard Kirsch’s book is the rarest of combinations: an insider look at American politics that instructs as well as entertains. As head of the remarkable advocacy organization Health Care for America Now, Kirsch was on the frontlines of the fight for affordable, quality coverage for all Americans in 2008-10. Now he recalls those searing yet inspiring experiences with wit, wisdom, and a wry sense of humor. The result is a compelling story of the power of citizens’ groups that says much about how health care reform happened—and what its passage and uncertain implementation mean for our democratic future.”
—Jacob S. Hacker, Professor of Political Science, Yale University, and co-author, Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer—And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class
“This is the book to read for the inside story about the grass-roots campaign for health care reform… Richard Kirsch tells that story with passion and insight — and with important lessons for organizers of all kinds.”
— Paul Starr, Pulitzer Prize winner, Princeton University professor and author of Remedy and Reaction: The Peculiar American Struggle Over Health Care Reform
“Fighting for Our Health is a thoroughly enjoyable, enlightening read… that should be on the shelves of every activist in the country and will be a staple of college courses for many years.”
— Peter Dreier, E.P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics at Occidental College and author of The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame