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The Organizing Revival spirit is brewing in Colorado! Center For Health Progress has increased trainings in English and Spanish, took direct action to demand the state’s largest health provider stop suing patients, then joined  People’s Action’s Care Over Cost cohort in Minneapolis and on Capitol Hill to demand United Healthgroup stop denying care.

 

The Center for Health Progress has been busy! More than 30 member leaders joined CHP staff for a two-day training in Fort Morgan, with a special session on the skill of agitation led by Marta Popadiak, director of movement politics for People’s Action. The next day, new leaders attended CHP’s daylong training in the fundamentals of organizing, which is now held in English and Spanish every quarter. These efforts were featured by The Fort Morgan Times.

All this preparation paid off on March 19 when CHP leaders made a surprise visit to the Colorado Hospital Authority’s Board Meeting, where they spoke with Elizabeth Concordia, the Chief Executive of UCHealth, the state’s largest health care provider. Grassroots leaders and healthcare workers spoke in a public comment do demand that UCH stop its practice of suing patients for medical bills. This was CHP’s first directly-led action!

CHP’s Margaret Comstock and Alysia Dominique then joined People’s Action’s Care Over Cost cohort as they came from all across the country in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, where they took over the lobby of United Healthcare’s headquarters to demand the insurer stop denying care to its members to boost profits.

Comstock and Dominique also traveled to Washington, DC, where they were part of a group that confronted Sir Andrew Witty, the Chief Executive of UnitedHealth Group, on Capitol Hill. Witty was there to testify to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee about the impact of a cyberattack on a UHG payments subsidiary, Change Healthcare, which has delayed payments and treatments for millions of patients. Evidence suggests UHG has taken advantage of the hack as another excuse to delay and refuse payments for care.

To top it all off, CHP then celebrated the passage of HB24-1380 by the Colorado legislature. CHP worked with Colorado Senator Lisa Cutter and Attorney General Phil Weiser to get this bill passed with bipartsan support. The measure, which now advances to Governor Jared Polis’s desk to be signed into law, will create transparency and regulate the collection of consumer and medical debt.

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