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Friday, January 29, 2010

Implementation challenges

Colleen Haller

Staff Writer

Health Action 2010 has so many great workshops that it's hard to figure out where to start! After an amazing plenary presentation with great speeches from Sec. Kathleen Sebelius, Senator Al Franken, Representative Donna Edwards, and a moving tribute to Senator Ted Kennedy's contributions to the health reform movement, I wanted to hear what different advocates were doing on the ground to get health reform across the finish line.

The workshop - Implementation Challenges Roundtable: Post-Reform Grassroots Organizing - was led by two long-time advocates: Jim Duffet from the Campaign for Better Health Care in Illinois and Amy Smoucha from Missouri Jobs with Justice.

Jim and Amy shared their experiences organizing and working on health reform. The discussion focused on how we can build on the existing movement; how we can reenergize our communities and take back the conversation that Republicans have been hyjacking for the past few months.

Advocates discussed the challenges they face and the successes they've had in their communities educating people about health reform. We walked away with a lot of helpful ideas and a renewed sense of strength and optimism about passing health reform. Yes we can and finally, yes we WILL!