Gov. Bentley Asked to Attend SOS’ Medicaid Expansion Rally on May 31

Medicaid-ALAlabama Sen. Hank Sanders, a co-founding member of the Save Ourselves Movement for Justice and Democracy, sent a letter to Gov. Dr. Robert Bentley, respectfully asking him to attend the SOS rally to expand Medicaid in Alabama under the Affordable Care Act.

Gov. Bentley and state GOP leaders have expressed their concerns and fears as reasons for rejecting new federal monies that could flow into Alabama to provide affordable healthcare for more citizens. But they also have a responsibility to hear from concerned citizens about their fears and concerned about the consequences of not accepting the federal funds that could insure up to 300,000 Alabamians.

SOS members and their supporters are preparing to present as many as 13,000 signatures of citizens who favor Medicaid expansion in Alabama. Sen. Sanders’ letter asks Gov. Bentley to be present when SOS presents those signatures to his office. Below is the letter’s content:

May 28, 2014

The Honorable Robert Bentley
Governor, State of Alabama
State Capitol
600 Dexter Avenue
Montgomery, AL 36130

Dear Governor Bentley:

The Save Our Selves Movement for Democracy and Justice, a coalition of responsible organizations respectfully requests your presence or the presence of an official gubernatorial representative to attend a rally on the statehouse steps Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 11:00 a.m.

We are petitioning for you to expand Medicaid in Alabama. Your opposition to expanding Medicaid in our State is hard to understand. The denial of medical treatment, deferral of preventive care, and the poor health outcomes that result, have no place in a nation and state with the wealth, technology and scientific advance of the USA.

Alabama has one of the lowest Medicaid eligibility caps among the states. That means more people who can least afford health care are faced by having to do without. What we want is decency and fairness; neither of those breed “dependency.” That Medicaid will not be expanded in Alabama is more shameful because Alabama already ranks among the worst of all states when income inequality is calculated.medicaid-graphic_Kaiser Foundation

While medical costs have skyrocketed in recent years, earnings of the poorest 20 % of Alabamians actually dropped 13.5% in the last decade, In contrast, the richest 20% have enjoyed income growth of 71%. It is apparent the corporations are moving, if anything, away from commitment to their workers. (Statistics source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; Economic Policy Institute).

You must be aware that estimates say 300,000 Alabamians still cannot afford health coverage (including about 152,000 who are working, some at two jobs.) Some of this country’s most profitable companies — massive retail outlets, fast food chains – are the real dependents, relying on taxpayers to weave and expand safety nets, when the provision of health care should be assumed a part of their cost of doing business.

Our coalition is convinced that Medicaid expansion is a necessity in Alabama, and we appeal to you to
do the right thing.

Signature: Senator Hank Sanders, SOS Chairperson

Signature: Barbara Howard, SOS Health Committee Chair

 See the letter HEREDownload 


Mayors Hold Vigil in Protest of Voting Rights Infringements in Greene and Macon Counties

voterIdGraphic2-250x249Mayors from Greene, Macon and Lowndes counties, with members of Saving OurSelves, will hold be a voting rights vigil on the steps of the State Capitol on Friday, May 16th from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The group is protesting the violation of the voting rights of Macon and Greene County citizens whose gaming industries have been improperly closed. Amendments to Alabama’s 1901 Constitution made it possible for residents to vote on allowing for gaming businesses in their counties. Greene and Macon residents voted in favor of the businesses, which provided major boosts to their failing economies. But state authorities raided the gaming facilities, putting thousands out of work. Additionally, the residents and their local authorities have not been allowed to have their day in court.

Friday’s vigil has been strategically planned to take advantage of the fact that candidates for State and Legislative offices will be convening in Montgomery for the annual meeting of the Alabama Democratic Conference (ADC). The ADC Annual Reception, to which all of the Democratic candidates for office have been invited, will be held at 7 p.m. Friday evening.

The vigil has the support of ADC Chairman Dr. Joe Reed. Its members are strong supporters of voting rights and have been invited to attend the rally as well to lend their voices to the struggle for voting rights in the impacted counties.

Parker Griffith, Democratic candidate for Governor, and Dr. Reed will be the keynote speakers at the event, as well as mayors from Macon, Greene, and Lowndes counties.

The rally is part of SOS’ ongoing campaign to raise awareness of extreme policies and immoral use of Alabama laws to suppress and circumvent the will of the people who have legally exercised their voting rights.