For Immediate Release
Martine Apodaca 202-730-7604; Lori Lodes, 202-730-7680; Kawana Lloyd, 202-730-7087
SEIU, Lupus Foundation, Future of Music Coalition Hosted Hip-Hop 'HealthCare Remix' Discussion on Reform
WASHINGTON - Washington, DC - Today hip-hop artists joined workers and a major disease research foundation at the "Healthcare Remix" to discuss healthcare reform and why it is so important that Congress gets it done this year. Specifically, the event was held in honor of, J-Dilla an influential hip-hop producer and rising artist whose promising life was cut short by complications stemming from his battle with Lupus. After he lost his insurance coverage, the costs associated with his care reached six-digit levels. In the United States, 60% of uninsured Americans are self-employed or employed by a small business that does not offer health benefits. Participants discussed how healthcare reform can prevent the kind of financial stress and hardship the Yancey family has endured due to the high cost of medical treatment.
"The consequences of more delay are grave. Too many Americans are excluded from the life-saving care they need because of prohibitively high costs," said Dr. L. Toni Lewis President of the Committee of Interns and Residents (SEIU). "J Dilla's tragic and untimely death should be a lesson to the Congress: We must act now to reform a system that costs too much and covers too few."
The event shed a bright light on the need for reform that does more than just expand insurance coverage. Even with insurance many Americans can't afford the care they need because of high deductibles or out of pocket costs. And the strain on family budgets gets worse every year.
"My son had insurance, and even with that coverage, it wasn't enough," said Maureen Yancey, mother of J-Dilla and Chair of the Maureen Yancey Fund. "The costs of J-Dilla's care spiraled out of control until we just couldn't afford it anymore. No family should have to face those kinds of bills when they are seeking life-saving treatment. We need reform."
The day's events culminated with the fourth annual J-Dilla Tribute and Fundraiser at DC's Liv Niteclub with special performances by hip-hop artists. The Lupus Foundation and the Maureen Yancey Fund were the beneficiaries of the proceeds.
As Congress continues to debate health reform, it is imperative that every community has a voice at the decision-making table. These events raised awareness of the urgency of the problem and urged participants to action by entreating them become informed and contact their Members of Congress.
With 2 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers--not just corporations and CEOs--benefit from today's global economy.
Founded in 1974, the Lupus Foundation of America Greater Washington (LFAGW) Chapter, Inc. provides free, current information, education programs and outreach services to improve the quality of lives for people with lupus while also supporting research. Toll-free number in D.C., Md., Va. and W.Va.: 1-888-349-1167 or 202-349-1167. Web site: www.lupusgw.org.
The Hip Hop Caucus, founded on September 11, 2004, has developed a 700,000 member national database, and created field teams in 48 cities across 30 states. The mission of the Hip Hop Caucus is to work towards ending urban poverty for the next generation. We organize young people in urban communities to be active in elections, policymaking, and service projects. Through Hip Hop culture, celebrities, cultural media, technology, and grassroots organizing, we reach young people of color from low-income communities, who are traditionally unengaged in the political process.
About Future of Music Coalition Future of Music Coalition is a national non-profit education, research and advocacy organization that seeks a bright future for creators and listeners. FMC works towards this goal through continuous interaction with its primary constituency ‹ musicians ‹ and in collaboration with other creator/public interest groups.