After Guilford County cut $1 million in county medical clinic funding in 2011, Working America member Jennifer Thompson found herself scrambling to find a new way to finance her growing medical needs. Once she finally scraped together the money to see a doctor, she found out that she should have Strength in numbers makes our democracy accountable to everyday Americans, and Working America members are exercising that strength. In faceto-face meetings with a dozen lawmakers across four states, we advocated for better health care, fair jobs and good pay on our first-ever National Lobby Day Series. Meanwhile, members across the country made their voices heard by writing and sending thousands of emails and dozens of letters. We let our elected leaders know that this is just the beginning— we’re active, aware and making change happen. This is How Change Happens Columbus, Ohio been receiving insulin treatments. That harrowing experience gave Thompson all the inspiration she needed to join Working America’s Lobby Day to help expand Medicaid coverage in North Carolina. “I don’t want anyone to go through what I did,” asserted Thompson, a former shipping and receiving clerk who lives in Greensboro. “You just get caught in that loop, and your health care declines. I was working two jobs and didn’t deserve to be treated like that.”
Thompson joined 15 Working America members, as well as WA State Director Carolyn Smith, three Working America organizers and members of the statewide Medicaid Expansion Coalition for the Lobby Day on March 23. The group urged lawmakers to support Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, thus allowing North Carolinians to tap federal funding for health care. The group met with State Sen. Gladys Robinson, and State Reps. John Blust, Cecil Brockman and Ralph Johnson, and a staff member from State Sen. Philip Berger’s office. The group ended the day with a strategy meeting with Medicaid expansion supporter State Rep. Pricey Harrison.
“Our voices really were heard,” reported Thompson, who visited the state capitol for the first time during the Lobby Day. “That accomplished something right there.”