Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Divided We Fail Campaign -- A Project of AARP, BRT, and SEIU

It has been two years now since I was officially diagnosed with multiple sclerosis on October 10, 2005. Shortly afterwards, I shared the diagnosis with my students and their families, certain that they already knew that something had been going on during the months of doctors' visits, mysterious treatments, and canceled lessons.

Before the diagnosis, I was blissfully ignorant regarding the controversial issues surrounding health insurance coverage, pharmaceutical pricing and patent law manipulations, state vs. federal regulation or lack of controls, the role of congress in healthcare our healthcare system, and the influence of powerful lobbyists.

This summer I learned of the 'Divided We Fail' campaign which is a joint project of American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), Business Roundtable (BRT), and Service Employees Union (SEIU). [Disclosure: one of my adult piano students is a director of something in the AARP headquarters in Washington, D.C.--hi Lucy.] I also volunteered to spread the word.

Divided We Fail Platform:

We believe all Americans should have access to affordable, quality health care.

We believe all Americans should have peace of mind about their future long-term financial security.

Access Press Releases here

tall graphic with mascot

Here is information regarding the campaign which I received in the mail yesterday:

1. AARP launched Divided We Fail to raise the voices of millions of Americans who believe that health care and lifetime financial security are the most pressing domestic issues facing our nation.

2. The health care system is broken.

  • Too many Americans are just one major illness or injury away from financial ruin due to the skyrocketing costs of the current system.
  • Forty-six million Americans are uninsured and twenty-nine percent say they have skipped treatment, tests or prescriptions because of costs.
3. Lifetime financial security is a cornerstone of the American dream.

  • Traditional pension plans are disappearing, people find it difficult to save and Social Security needs to be strengthened for future generations.
  • Just 1 out of 5 workers today have a traditional pension plan.
  • Only 1/2 of families have saved money in any kind of retirement account - and the typical family has saved less than $35,000.
4. Politicians in Washington have been content to stall, argue, criticize and blame each other rather than solving these problems.

  • The gridlock needs to end now.
  • Individuals, businesses and elected officials must cooperate and work together to create solutions that benefit all generations.

5. Americans have the right to know where our candidates stand.

  • Health and financial security aren't Republican or Democratic issues - they are American issues.
6. We have the right to demand that our candidates address these critical issues facing our families and, when elected, keep their campaign promises - and if they don't, we have the right to hold them accountable.

7. We are mobilizing for the 2008 elections.

  • We will make health and financial security front and center issues in every race - especially for the presidential candidates.
  • We are building a groundswell of people and intend to create "Millions of Voices for Change."
8. The time for action is now.

  • Thousands of Americans have joined Divided We Fail to demand change.
  • It is critically important for each of us to stand up, speak out and demand action.
9. Join the movement - become a Divided We Fail Voter.
  • There are many ways to show your support and get involved in the campaign, including becoming a Divided We Fail voter.
  • One way to get involved is to visit You can sign up to be a Divided We Fail Voter, share your personal story and learn more about the campaign.
10. Divided We Fail. Together we can do anything.

AARP is leading a nationwide effort to demand bipartisan action, answers and accountability on healthcare and long-term financial security in America. Your voice and your vote matter. Learn the issues, add your voice and get involved at

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