Click here to join Put People First! PA Friday to Sunday, October 20-22, 2023 for our 11th Annual Membership Assembly in Williamsport, PA. Transportation, meals, housing and childcare included. Join us for our biggest event of the year!

Register TODAY for the Membership Assembly here:

The Put People First! PA (PPF-PA) Membership Assembly is our largest yearly gathering, open to brand new folks and experienced members. Join us from Friday, October 20th, to Sunday, October 22nd, 2023 at the Genetti Hotel in Williamsport, PA. We’re coming together from across the state and the country to build community and celebrate the year. We will reflect on what we’ve learned from our eleven years, strategize together, share art and culture, and envision the year ahead!

This year Put People First! PA will be holding our 11th Annual Membership Assembly as a fully in person event. More details to come for fully virtual attendance for members and national partners who are not able to attend in person.

Register here:

The Membership Assembly will provide free of charge meals, snacks, childcare, transportation and housing, well as masks and COVID tests to take before gathering in person. We’ll have buses and carpools to transport members from different regions across the state. PPF-PA’s COVID protocols require that all in-person participants be vaccinated and have ONE booster. PPF-PA will provide at home tests for in-person participants to test Friday morning, before leaving for the Assembly as well as Saturday and Sunday morning. Masks will be provided and are optional. If you have any questions or concerns about this policy, please let us know in this registration. These protocols will be sent to everyone who registers to review.

Friday night 
Dinner & Optional Activities: Ice-breakers, PPF-PA videos, games, art making, sing out

8:00 – 9:00 AM | Breakfast 
9:00 – 10:30 AM | Welcome/opening 
10:30 – 12:00 PM | Year-long review
12:00 – 1:30 PM | Lunch
1:30 – 3:15 PM | Two workshop options: PPF-PA Orientation or Leadership Development 
3:15 – 3:45 PM | Break
3:45 – 5:30 PM | Leadership Across Difference
5:30 – 7:00 PM | Dinner
7:00 – 8:30 PM | Art and Culture Night 

8:00 – 9:00 AM | Breakfast 
9:00 – 10:00 AM | Opening
10:00 – 11:30 AM | Two workshop options: Campaign Orientation or Campaign Strategy Workshop 
11:30 – 11:45 AM | Break
11:45 – 12:45 PM | Closing
12:45 PM | Grab and Go Lunch 

Register TODAY for the Membership Assembly here:

Help us get to 1,000 signatures!

We who are on or excluded from Medicaid will converge on Harrisburg to bring our voices, needs and demands together and deliver our petition to Governor Shapiro and Secretary Arkoosh.
Please sign the petition here: 

Preparing for the Nonviolent Medicaid Army Week of Action

Join us on Saturday September 9th for a National Prep & Pep Rally to prepare for the Nonviolent Medicaid Army’s National Week of Action from September 17th to 23rd.

The Nonviolent Medicaid Army (NVMA) National Week of Action is a coordinated week of actions across the NVMA network of organizations of those on or excluded from Medicaid all over the country.  

This year’s Week of Action is centered on connecting across difference sharing stories from people all across the country, in both “blue” and “red” states who are impacted by the bipartisan decision to cut 24 million people or more off of Medicaid as pandemic protections come to an end. We will hold both parties accountable for taking away healthcare from millions of people across the country and for the life threatening conditions this is already causing. And to highlight those making money off of our sickness and death and we will amplify our common struggle for healthcare as a human right as we continue to build our movement nationwide.

Click here to join:
Or to call in, Dial: 646 558 8656 (US Toll), then enter Meeting ID: 548 395 7623

The Nonviolent Medicaid Army National Week of Action September 17-23 – Media Spokesperson and Speakers’ Prep Training

Join us for Nonviolent Medicaid Army’s Media Spokesperson training Tuesday, September 12th 7 to 8:30pm

The National Nonviolent Medicaid Army is holding a media spokesperson & speakers training to practice telling our stories in order to be speakers and/ or to be interviewed by the press as part of the upcoming national Nonviolent Medicaid Army (NVMA) Week of Action from September 17-23

Register here to join:

Caravan Against the Cuts!

Sign up to join our Caravan!

Up to 1.2 million people could lose Medicaid in Pennsylvania. Over 100,000 have already been cut!!!Put People First! PA is fighting back. The week of September 17th is a National Week of Action for healthcare and Medicaid with the Nonviolent Medicaid Army. We will be leaving from 5 regions on September 19th/20th and convening in Harrisburg on the 20th.

All are welcome, and cost should not be a barrier. Put People First! PA has raised funds for transportation, food, childcare, accommodations and other needs. Reach out to us at 484-619-2306 with questions.

For more information see:

To participate you must sign up for the caravan here:

Attend the action near you!

Members in our Health Care Rights Committees across the state are preparing actions for the upcoming Week of Action to demand an end to the Medicaid cut-offs, unveil our Medicaid stories quilt, and send off a caravan to Harrisburg to deliver our petition to the Governor to let him know that Medicaid matters to us and our families and why Medicaid cuts = death!

Attend the action near you!
On Tuesday September 19th at 6:00 pm Central Appalachia Healthcare Rights Committee are gathering at First Lutheran Church in Johnstown. RSVP
On Tuesday, September 19th at 6:00 pm North East Healthcare Rights Committee we’re gathering in Berwick, Columbia county in front of the closed Berwick Hospital. RSVP
South Central
On Wednesday September 20th at 9:00 am South Central Healthcare Rights Committee are gathering in Reservoir Park, located in Lancaster City. RSVP
On Tuesday September 19th at 12:00 pm South West Healthcare Rights Committee are gathering at the corner of Biddle Ave. and South Braddock Ave near Frick Park. RSVP
On Tuesday September 19th at 5:00 pm Southeast Healthcare Rights Committee are taking action outside of Delaware County Memorial Hospital. RSVP

We’re continuing our summer basebuilding activities and preparing for the week of action! Across the state our Healthcare Rights Committees have been busy connecting across difference to fight for Healthcare as a Human Right!

Northeast PA/Southeast PA Basebuilding Exchange

Members from the Southeast and Northeast Healthcare Rights Committees held an organizing exchange in Berwick PA. They knocked doors listening to people’s experiences with the healthcare system, spread awareness about the Medicaid cut-offs and how we are fighting back, and mobilized toward the Nonviolent Medicaid Army Week of Action: September 17-23.

South Central Tabling

Our South Central Healthcare Rights Committee in partnership with PA Debt Collective did some tabling in Hanover at the Family First Health Center, talking with people about the medicaid cuts off.


The Central Appalachia Healthcare Rights Committee held another successful People’s Clinic meeting and hearing from residents in Altoona on their struggles getting the healthcare they need.

Nonviolent Medicaid Army Put People First! PA


Zachary Hershman | | 201.264.2200

Put People First! PA  |

Medicaid Cuts = Death 

“Nonviolent Medicaid Army” Takes Action Around The Country

From People’s Clinics to demonstrations outside Medicaid appeals courts, 

Medicaid recipients raise their voices to demand a halt to Medicaid cut-offs during “Week Of Action” beginning September 17th

HARRISBURG – During the week of September 17th, the Nonviolent Medicaid Army will mobilize across the United States to demand an immediate end to the Medicaid cutoffs currently underway. Chapters of the Nonviolent Medicaid Army in Wyoming, Texas, Wisconsin, Indiana, New York, Georgia, Vermont and Pennsylvania are helping file appeals for those targeted by these cuts and holding actions outside the appeal hearings, organizing health screenings at free People’s Clinics in local neighborhoods to raise awareness about the cut-offs and appeals process, and taking action with their legislators and elected representatives.

In Pennsylvania, members of the Nonviolent Medicaid Army will caravan from five regions – Pittsburgh, Johnstown, Lancaster, Berwick, and Delco – bringing 5 different panels of a “Medicaid Stories Quilt” together from across the state. The group will converge September 20th in Harrisburg to deliver a petition to Governor Shapiro and Secretary Arkoosh demanding an immediate end to the Medicaid cutoffs and an expansion of Medicaid to cover all Pennsylvania residents and families, a restoration of the Medicaid Adult Dental Benefit that was cut in 2011, and for the legislature to pass a law establishing an office of the Public Healthcare Advocate for Pennsylvania. The press event in Harrisburg will include speeches from directly affected residents, with photo opportunities of the massive Medicaid quilt. 

Event Times and Locations for PA:

  • Southwest PA: Tuesday September 19th, 12 noon – location TBD; caravan to Central-Appalachia launches at 1:00 pm 
  • Central-Appalachia PA: Tuesday September 19th, 6 pm – First Lutheran Church at 419 Vine St. in Johnstown, caravan to Harrisburg launches at 7:00 pm 
  • Northeast PA: Tuesday September 19th, 6 pm – outside of the closed Berwick Hospital at 701 E. 16th St., Berwick PA; caravan to Harrisburg launches at 7:00 pm
  • Southeast PA: Tuesday, September 19th, 5 pm – outside of Delaware County Memorial Hospital at 501 N. Lansdowne Ave.  Caravan to Harrisburg launches the following morning, September 20th at 9:00 am from Naylor’s Run Park – 500 Beverly Road, Upper Darby 
  • South Central PA: Wednesday September 20th, 9 am – Reservoir Park, 832 E. Orange St. across from Lancaster County Prison, caravan to Harrisburg launches at 10:00 am
  • Harrisburg: Wednesday September 20th, 12:30 pm East Wing Rotunda, PA State Capitol Complex

Automatic re-enrollment of Medicaid has ended after a bipartisan agreement included in the December 2022 omnibus spending bill signed by President Biden. Already more than 5.5 million people have been cut nationally – while over 154,000 people have been disenrolled in Pennsylvania, including 38,000 children and 115,000 adults. [1] 

In August, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it was intervening to pause Medicaid cutoffs in 12 States out of concern that a high percentage of terminations were for procedural reasons (such as failure to complete renewal paperwork) rather than ineligibility for Medicaid.

It is unclear whether Pennsylvania was among those 12 states, as the list was not made public. According to an August 9th letter from CMS Deputy Secretary Sally Kozak, Pennsylvania reported that only 9% of beneficiaries were terminated for procedural reasons during the month of May [2] – however according to the Hospital/Health System Association of Pennsylvania (HAP), in Pennsylvania, about 44 percent of those terminated in PA overall were terminated for procedural reasons. [3]

Healthcare rights advocates and Medicaid recipients are concerned by this massive discrepancy and have sought clarification from Gov. Shapiro and Secretary Arkoosh, while continuing to challenge the legitimacy of cutting anyone from the Medicaid rolls. 

“There are no ‘good states’ and ‘bad states’ when it comes to cutting people off of their healthcare,” remarked Sarah Weintraub of Wisconsin. “Every state that is cutting people off of their healthcare is committing policy murder.” 

“We reject the idea that only some people ‘really need’ Medicaid and others should be forced to pay high out of pocket costs including premiums, co-pays and deductibles. Almost half of this country is poor or near poor – we all need Medicaid!” stated Denita Jones of Texas. 

Weintraub and Jones are both members of the Nonviolent Medicaid Army national Coordinating Committee. 

In Pennsylvania, Put People First! PA has been collecting stories from directly affected residents for months, supporting them in filing appeals and preparing to mobilize for the Caravan to Harrisburg on September 20th.

“My children and myself are Medicaid recipients. I’m worried myself and my children will lose our coverage. My children have asthma and need to be able to get their medication and be able to see the doctor”, said Joanie Dickson of Lancaster, PA.

“My one son is autistic and was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia about a year ago. He is only 9 years old. I don’t know how our family would get through if we didn’t have Medicaid.”, said Blanca Arroyo-Perez of York County, PA. “The Medicaid we do have doesn’t cover all his medications which is more than enough of what we can handle financially. I can’t imagine how worse it would be if we all of a sudden lost our Medicaid all together.”


Background: The Nonviolent Medicaid Army is a growing militant force of the poor and dispossessed, united across identities, regions, races and issues, modeled after Dr. King’s “nonviolent army of the poor” from the first Poor People’s Campaign. 

[1] KFF Medicaid Unwinding Tracker

[2] Letter from CMS Deputy Secretary Sally Kozak

[3] Hospital/Healthcare System Association of Pennsylvania Report on Medicaid Disenrollment