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Rapid Response INFO Alert - Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Good News on Key Issues

Sometimes we see immediate results from our legislative actions. More often, it takes time for our efforts to produce results. Within recent weeks, we’ve seen positive outcomes on two different issues where Rapid Response activists weighed in over the past few years.

Healthcare Reform is Paying Off!

Before the Affordable Care Act, we watched helplessly as insurers recinded coverage on far-fetched technicalities when a neighbor was in the fight of her life against cancer, as insurers declared spina bifida a pre-existing condition in order to deny coverage to newborns, as insured relatives lost everything because of co-pays and uncovered costs, and as costs continued to climb ever higher – while CEOs got big payouts.

Now, healthcare reform is giving consumers a measure of power in their relationship with insurance companies. The law forbids insurers from dropping customers who get sick. It prevents insurers from refusing coverage to children because of pre-existing conditions. It requires insurers to spend a large percent of premiums on actual medical services instead of bloated CEO pay and profits – and if they do not, they have to return the excess to consumers. For big group plans, the law says insurers must spend 85 percent of premiums on patient care. For smaller group plans and individual coverage, it is 80 percent. Recent reports show that this year, nearly 16 million health insurance consumers will get an estimated $1.3 billion back because the Affordable Care Act limits the profits that insurance companies can make off the illness, injury and pain of their consumers.

301 Clean Energy Trade Case Producing Results

In 2010, Rapid Response activists were part of a successful effort that resulted in President Obama initiating action against China’s protectionist and predatory tactics to dominate the clean energy sector and harm U.S. jobs. Last week we saw yet another positive outcome as our government made a preliminary announcement of significant tariffs on solar panels from China.

While this case won’t be final until later this year, it is among the biggest antidumping decisions in American history. China currently has more than half of the American market for solar panels, so this is a major step towards giving the U.S. a fighting chance in this important industry where current and future Steelworker jobs are at stake.

Reminder: Make sure to take action to protect auto parts sector jobs by
writing a letter to the editor. Find last month’s ActionCall at:

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