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Health Care Advocate Arrested for Trespassing at Own Insurer's Doorstep

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Friday, July 31, 2009   

RICHMOND, Va. - The Virginia Organizing Project (VOP) advocates for health care reform. So, when it found that its own health care provider has been working to oppose reform, it demanded the company use its premiums to pay for health care coverage - not for lobbying Congress.

Janice "Jay" Johnson, board chair for VOP, says the insurance carrier, Anthem, recently raised rates to the nonprofit group more than 14 percent.

"To think of using our premium money to lobby Congress against the best interests for our health in America is just ludicrous."

In Johnson's view, her organization should have the right to demand that the money it pays for health care coverage goes toward that purpose, rather than other uses.

"Thirty-five percent of the money that we pay to Anthem, Anthem uses for their profit, administrative costs, and to help lobby Congress against health care reform."

When VOP held a demonstration on Anthem's doorstep, one VOP member was arrested for trespassing. Anthem has made no comment, either on the issue or the arrest. Meanwhile, Congress continues to debate health care reform, although a vote on any facet of the legislation will not take place until its August recess.



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