Activists to Watch: Ethan Rome

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Ethan Rome at a press conference in Washington, DC. (Photo Credit: Will O'Neill)

Ethan Rome is executive director of Health Care for America Now (HCAN), the nation’s largest grass-roots health care coalition. It led the campaign to pass the Affordable Care Act. Now 50, Rome began his activist career as a community organizer with the Connecticut Citizen Action Group after graduating from Wesleyan University in 1985.

Rome worked for 15 years on community, legislative and political campaigns in the state, including the historic grass-roots campaign in 1991 to win a new state income tax. From 1999 to 2009, Rome directed public affairs for the 1.6 million-member American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

During the successful 2009-2010 campaign to win passage of comprehensive health care reform, Rome directed HCAN’s polling, paid media and national events. Since Congress passed Obamacare, HCAN has played a key role in pushing states to implement the law, working with labor, community and other organizations to help Americans sign up for health care insurance.

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