CHAMPAIGN — With medical care sliding increasingly out of reach for so many people over the past decade, it's been a constant battle just to keep from losing ground, says Champaign County Health Care Consumers' longtime Executive Director Claudia Lennhoff.
Enough, she says: At 2 p.m. Thursday, Health Care Consumers will announce it's expanded its focus by signing onto Campaign for the American Dream, a national organizing movement to change the nation's economy, infrastructure and democratic processes.
Lennoff said she and her organization understand health care isn't going to be available to everyone without a robust economy, and her organization wants to be in a position to work on the broader issues and rally calls to action in the local community.
"I would say it's been quite a few years of just playing defense," she said. "I think sometimes, when you're in an all-out fight, you just need to go for the whole thing."
The American Dream movement is a coalition of unions and organizations that have banded together to fix an economy they see as no longer working for America's middle class. Some of what organizers want is to see the nation invest in jobs and public education, Medicare for all, keeping Social Security sound, a return to fairer tax rates, and ending wars in favor of investing at home.
Lennhoff said her organization has contacted its 4,400 members and over 700 community members have already agreed to join this movement.