State Advocates Who Participated in Our ACA Anniversary Challenge!

This March we called on advocates across the country to participate in our Affordable Care Act Anniversary Challenge, a contest designed to celebrate the successes of health reform. The goal of the challenge was to use letters to the editor (LTE) to illustrate how the Affordable Care Act is benefiting people.

Well, the results are in, and the advocates hit it out of the park. Sixteen states participated for a total of 30 pieces of earned media, and this is in addition to all the other great coverage they received during anniversary events over the month of March. We were so impressed by the diversity of voices, from small business owners to mothers to faith leaders and young adults. Advocates raised the consumer voice at a critical time.

To give our advocates a Shout Out for all their great work, we’ll start in the Northeast and work our way westward. First up is New Hampshire, with New Hampshire Voices for Health and Children’s Alliance of New Hampshire placing great op-eds. In Massachusetts Health Care for All placed a LTE by a longtime pediatrician. Moving southward, New Jersey Citizen Action received an honorable mention for its guest blog posts and LTEs, plus a fantastic TV appearance. Down in the Mid-Atlantic region we had Maryland Health Care for All Coalition and Virginia Consumers for Healthcare with stellar opinion pieces.

Heading even further south, we meet the CONTEST WINNER, the Tennessee Health Care Campaign! With nine op-eds and LTEs, we were amazed by the breadth and depth of their entries. Some of our favorites were Larry Drain’s letter about how freedom from insurance isn’t really free and an op-ed from Richard Henighan, a primary care provider, who writes about caring for patients who are uninsured or underinsured. Also in the South, we had terrific contributions from the South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center and Alabama Arise. Kentucky had a flurry of activity from both Kentucky Equal Justice Center and Kentucky Youth Advocates. And finally, Florida CHAIN had strong pieces about how the ACA benefits children and brings tax relief to small businesses.

Out in the Midwest, there were great entries from UHCAN Ohio, Take Action Minnesota, and Michigan Countdown to Coverage. In the Mountain West, Colorado Consumer Health Initiative’s innovative pairing of four consumer letters to the editor and a policy op-ed received an honorable mention. And finally on the West Coast, OSPIRG and Washington State Community Action Network round out the entries with great media hits.

Congratulations to all the state groups that participated and for all the work that you do to communicate the importance of the Affordable Care Act and quality, affordable health care for all!

— Lucy Cox-Chapman, Communications Manager