Physicians for a National Health Program - Western Washington

Coming Events :


September 20th - PNHPWW Monthly Meeting

Swedish Medical Center/Cherry Hill Campus
SE Conference Center, Room A, 7:30pm (directions)


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-Health Care for All -WA
-United for Single Payer
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It's Time to Add Your Voice

Since 1987, Physicians for a National Health Program has advocated for reform in the U.S. health care system. A large part of our work involves educating health professionals, and others, about the benefits of a single-payer system - including fewer administrative costs and providing comprehensive health insurance for all residents of the United States.



  Latest News

PNHPWW September 20th Meeting Agenda

Discussion of Senator Sander's

Medicare for All Legislation

Swedish Medical Center/Cherry Hill Campus
7:30pm, James Conference Center, Room A


By the time of our September 20th meeting, Senator Sanders will very likely have introduced the Medicare for All legislation that he has been promising for several months. We will spend this meeting looking at the legislation and comparing it to HR676 which has been our "gold standard," and if and how we can support it. At this point (August 31) he is still considering the final version so your input is important.

Concerns about the bill are expressed below.  You are urged to contact Senator Sanders' office with your concerns and recommendations via this link.

(from the Health Over Profits web site)

"At the start of the August congressional recess, Senator Bernie Sanders announced that he will introduce a senate bill this September “to expand Medicare to cover all Americans.” Since the election, the movement for improved Medicare for all, has been urging Sanders to introduce a companion to John Conyers’ HR 676: The Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, which currently has a record 117 co-sponsors in the House and is considered the gold standard by the movement. Recent reports are that Sanders’ bill falls far short of HR 676 in fundamental ways. In fact, Sanders’ bill is a multi-payer system not a single payer system. His bill reportedly would allow private insurers to compete with the public system, allow the wealthy to buy their way out of the public system and allow investor-owned health facilities to continue to profit while providing more expensive and lower quality health care. As a leader in the Democratic Party in the Senate, Sanders is trying to walk the line between listening to the concerns of his constituency, which overwhelmingly favors single payer health care, and protecting his fellow Democrats, whose campaigns are financed by the medical industrial complex. Sanders needs to side with the movement not those who profit from overly expensive US health care."

Here is a link to a template where you can easily express your opinion to Senator Sanders' staff http://healthoverprofit.org/sanders/

This is a letter sent to Senator Sanders co-signed by many long time single payer advocates:

Dear Senator Sanders,

For almost fifteen years the movement for National Improved Medicare for All has organized around HR 676: The Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, introduced each session since 2003 by Congressman John Conyers. As you know, HR 676 has 117 co-sponsors so far this year. This legislation is considered by the movement to be the gold standard framework for a universal healthcare system in the United States.

We appreciate your support for Improved Medicare for All and the work that you have done to elevate the national dialogue on Improved Medicare for All. We hope to continue to work with you to make this a reality in the near future.

To that end, we are writing to share our concerns about the legislation that you are planning to introduce. These concerns are based on what we have learned about your legislation without having the benefit of reading a draft of it.

In order to maintain the cohesion and strength of the movement for Improved Medicare for All, the legislation in the senate must be in alignment with HR 676. This is important so that the movement is unified and so that the process begins from a position of asking for what we want and need, rather than starting from a position of compromise. It is the task of the movement to build political support for the legislation in Congress.

Here is a list of our concerns:

1.We oppose the inclusion of copayments and deductibles in an Improved Medicare for All bill.

As outlined in the recent letter to you from Physicians for a National Health Program, including copayments adds administrative complexity and creates a barrier to care, which leads to delay or avoidance of necessary care. Economic analyses indicate that the administrative and other savings inherent in a well-planned single payer system offset the added expense of eliminating copayments and deductibles. HR 676 does not include copayments. The movement for Improved Medicare for All has coalesced around the elimination of these financial barriers to care.

2.We support a rapid transition to National Improved Medicare for All. The Medicare system was implemented within a year of passage without using computers. Unlike when Medicare became law, the United States now has basic infrastructure in place for a national health insurance based on Medicare. We urge you to utilize the timeline in HR 676, which would start the universal system in less than two years, rather than delaying or phasing it in by age group over time. Beginning with a universal system allows savings and cost controls that can be used to provide comprehensive benefits without cost sharing.

3.We support a single payer healthcare system. We understand that your legislation will allow employers to continue to provide employee health insurance that duplicates what the national health insurance covers to avoid conflict with the Employee Retirement and Income Security Act (ERISA). We urge you to include a carve out of ERISA for national health insurance so that the new system is a single payer system. Without doing so, your bill will be a multi-payer system. This is required to achieve administrative simplicity and significant cost savings. HR 676 allows private insurance that does not duplicate the benefits of the system. Employers and unions would be able to provide extra benefits beyond what the system covers.

4.We support a universal system. We understand that your legislation will allow health providers to opt out of the national health insurance system. This would create a parallel health system for the wealthy and undermine the quality of the public system. Universal systems are of higher quality than tiered systems because they create a social solidarity in which everyone has an interest in making the system the best it can be. We urge you to reject a tiered healthcare system as healthcare is a human right and should not be based on wealth.

5.We oppose inclusion of investor-owned health facilities. Investor-owned health facilities treat health care, which is a necessary public service, as a commodity for profit. These facilities have an incentive to cut corners, under and over treat and charge higher prices. The result is higher cost and lower quality. We urge you to reject profiteering in the healthcare system so that the bottom line is improving the health of our population, not profits for Wall Street.

The above concerns are based on what we know about your legislation at present. We do not know if they are warranted because we have not read the text. Upon reading it, there may be additional concerns.

We hope that you will share the draft text of your legislation with us and address the above concerns before it is introduced. Our support for your Improved Medicare for All legislation will depend upon whether or not it will serve as a companion to HR 676. If it is, we are ready to work in our states to build political support for it. If the above concerns are not addressed, then your bill will not be a single payer Improved Medicare for All bill and we believe it will undermine the movement for HR 676.

We recognize that legislators tend to compromise from the start to build political support for legislation. This has served as a failed strategy because the final legislation is too weak to accomplish its goals. We suggest a different approach of beginning from a position of what is required to solve the healthcare crisis. We have organized for too long to concede from the start on these fundamental principles.



PNHPWW August 16th Meeting Monthly Report
Discussion on Plans for a Candidate Forum
on Health Care in October

PNHPWW August Meeting - Monthly Report - .doc



  • PNHPWW July 19th Monthly Meeting


    Millions Marching for Medicare for All

Phil Polizatto and Pam Dalan took the lead in organizing the Millions Marching for Medicare event Monday, July 24th at the Jackson Federal Building, in Seattle. Similar events that week, both to support Medicare and celebrate its 52nd Birthday on July 30th, were held across the country.
Watch video of event


PNHPWW June 21st Monthly Meeting

What can the City of Seattle do to help its uninsured?


Hisam Goueli, MD, spoke with us about his ideas of how the City of Seattle can develop a program to care for its uninsured.

PNHPWW June 21st Meeting - Monthly Report- Docx - PDF



PNHPWW Annual Public Meeting Weekend


The PNHPWW APM weekend events got high marks from the attendees. If you were unable to be there for the Saturday evening meeting at Kane Hall, you will appreciate the energy and enthusiasm generated by watching video of speakers George Lakey and Carol Paris, MD, PNHP President, and the panel discussion that included John Geyman, MD.  You can watch the event from start to finish including the greeting by Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal and the awarding of the John Geyman Health Justice Advocate Award to Don Mitchell, MD, Past-President of PNHPWW.

There is also a video of the Saturday morning radio interview of George Lakey by Mike McCormick of KEXP's "Mind Over Matters" that highlights George's remarkable history leading to lifelong commitment to nonviolent resistance as a proven, winning strategy for achieving social justice.

The takeaways from the weekend were the importance of building a "movement of movements" and having a strategy for going on the offense at this remarkable point in our nation's history.

The single payer activism workshop led by George and Bill Moyer of the Backbone Campaign attracted 30 participants. The spirit and energy in the room were palpable. Fortunately, video of the workshop will be available after editing is complete.

Special thanks to Mike McCormick of KEXP radio and his talkingsticktv.com for creating the media that will be available to others in our state and across the country.


 


 

Other News:

Still working to make our PNHPWW social media more useful. Please submit/share important info, articles, events to/on our Facebook site - https://www.facebook.com/pnhpww

PNHPWW YouTube channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx_TkWg9tFnCKGnO9F-iEeQ -

National single payer coalitions:

1) HOPE - Health Over Profit for Everyonehttp://healthoverprofit.org; Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/HealthOverProfit.org/; Twitter - https://twitter.com/H_O_P4E
Launched Feb 1st. focused on organizing for national SP legislation HR676. Initiated by Margaret Flowers, Kevin Zeese and others. Website with valuable information about advocacy and events. Holds regular national conference calls at 9 pm Eastern/6 pm Pacific. These calls are open to everyone, but you must register to receive a number.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE CALL.

These calls will provide political updates, educate about National Improved Medicare for All, discuss strategy and plan actions to change the political culture in the United States so that NIMA is the only politically viable solution.

2) Campaign for Guaranteed Healthcare - launched on 1-26-17 by Healthcare-Now! – “a fight back coalition that will carry out a nationally-coordinated, large-scale and militant campaign to fight for single-payer healthcare”. https://campaignforguaranteedhealthcare.org



Whole Washington
 is new single-payer organization in WA. It is “a grassroots coalition of healthcare profeDescription: escription: Macintosh HD:Users:davidmclanahan:Desktop:15740792_348620255523521_4391742141953985974_n.pngssionals, activists and organizers with a common belief that healthcare is a human right, and Washington should be doing more to provide the best level of care to all residents.” It is working on a ballot initiative to bring single-payer healthcare to Washington State. For info - https://wholewashington.org
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/WholeWashington/



There are 15 Annual PNHP Meeting slideshows of the plenary presentations and workshops that you can review and use the information for local activities, presentations, LTE’s etc. You can see the list of slideshow topics with links to them by clicking here.

Suggested Reading : Health Reform in the Trump Era: A Big Step Back, But Possibilities for Bigger Steps Forward – Woolhandler and Himmelstein , Nov 16, 2016.



"Fix It: Healthcare at the Tipping Point"

This powerful documentary that takes a look at how our health care system is damaging our economy, suffocating our businesses, discouraging physicians, and negatively impacting on the nation's health while remaining unaffordable for a third of US residents.

Film producer Richard Master, founder and owner of MCS industries, produced the film. He faces relentless annual cost increases to provide health insurance for his employees. "Fix It" is a result of his journey to find a solution to the dysfunctional US healthcare system.

You can watch the full movie for free here





Recent Literature of Note


10-Point Plan to Stop Trump and Make Gains in Justice and Equality
(word - PDF) - George Lakey

Rand Study - "A Comprehensive Assessment of Four Options for Financing Health Care Delivery in Oregon" - PDF

Washington Post article by PNHP’s Himmelstein and Woolhandler -  “Repealing the Affordable Care Act will kill more than 43,000 people annually - The impact of Republicans' war on Obamacare is likely to be worse than anyone expects”

The Public Option is Back - 
Don McCanne's Comments - Sept 16, 2016

Structural Racism and Supporting Black Lives — The Role of Health Professionals 
-  NEJM, October 12, 2016

Affordable Care Act: imploding and beyond repair - John Geyman. MD - The Hill, Oct 21, 2016



Physicians Proposal Released

The updated Physicans Proposal was released May 5th via the American Journal of Public Health. Several PNHP leaders were involved in the writing. More than 2,200 physicians have endorsed it so far, including 111 in Washington State. You can download the PNHP press release here The full text is available here and PNHP has released a Summary and Fact Sheet.

Statement by Steffie Woolhandler, M.D., M.P.H., on Physicians’ Proposal for Single-Payer Health Care, May 5, 2016

Long before Senator Sanders’ entered the presidential race, my colleagues and I – Dr. Gaffney, Dr. David Himmelstein, and Dr. Marcia Angell (the former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine) – convened a blue ribbon panel of doctors to develop a plan that would fix the glaring problems that our patients continue to face despite the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Twenty-seven million Americans are still uninsured and that number is not expected to fall. Tens of millions with insurance face sky-high copayments and deductibles that would bankrupt them if they were seriously ill. And many more have narrow network plans that won’t cover care at top cancer hospitals or academic medical centers – even when they offer the best option for life saving care.

Meanwhile, profit-driven insurers and hospital chains increasingly dominate health care. And insurers’ growing demands for documentation wastes doctors and nurses time, and saps their morale. While these trends predated the ACA, the law fueled merger- mania, and added bureaucratic complexity and cost.

The alternative we developed (which has been endorsed by more than 2,200 physician colleagues) calls for radical change; a single-payer national health program.

Our plan would cover everyone for all medically necessary care, without copayments or deductibles. And it would guarantee Americans the right to choose any doctor or hospital.

Our nation can readily afford this if we replace today’s wasteful patchwork of insurance plans with a streamlined single-payer system. My colleagues and I have documented the enormous bureaucratic costs of the current system in research published in the most respected medical journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, the JAMA, The American Journal of Public Health and Health Affairs.

Today, private insurers take 12.3 percent of total premiums for their overhead; only 88 cents of every premium dollar reaches a doctor, hospital or pharmacy. And insurers inflict massive paperwork on doctors and hospitals, forcing them to spend one- quarter of their total revenues on billing and administration.

In contrast, insurance overhead is only 1.8 percent in Canada’s single-payer system, about the same as overhead in Medicare. And Canadian hospitals have administrative costs less than half those of their U.S. counterparts. That’s because Canadian hospitals are paid annual global budgets, like fire departments, instead of billing separately for each Band-Aid and aspirin tablet. And billing is simple and inexpensive for Canadian physicians.

Overall, a single payer would save between $400 billion and $500 billion annually by trimming administrative spending to Canadian levels. Moreover, as in other nations, the single payer could use its purchasing power to lower drug prices, saving tens of billions more each year. These savings could fully cover the new costs of the coverage expansions we propose, a conclusion in keeping with past estimates by the Government Accountability Office, the Congressional Budget Office, and private consulting groups (including one owned by UnitedHealthcare).

We have the resources needed to provide excellent care for all Americans; an abundance of hospitals and sophisticated equipment; superbly trained doctors and nurses; prodigious research output; and generous health care funding. Yet only thoroughgoing reform can realize the healing potential that is currently thwarted by our dysfunctional health care financing system.

Dr. Woolhandler is an internist in the Bronx, a professor of public health at the City University of New York at Hunter College, and a lecturer in medicine at Harvard Medical School, where she previously served as a professor of medicine. She co-founded Physicians for a National Health Program, a nonpartisan organization that advocates single-payer reform.







New Students for a National Health Program at University of Washington


 

Students for a National Health Program at the University of Washington (SNaHP-UW) brings the movement for universal healthcare through a national single-payer system to campus. SNaHP-UW seeks to educate and organize undergraduate and graduate students from health science, law, economics, political science, and beyond to add their voices to the growing chorus of healthcare professionals and students calling for healthcare for all.

The chapter's web page describes coming events

 



Video on Single Payer for Washington State

PNHPWW member Mark Hickling has produced a 12 minute video describing the US health care system and those of other developed nations in a down-to-earth way that we can use in our advocacy with friends and family. This video is great for opening a meeting or houseparty.

You can watch this on YouTube by clicking here or on the photo. If you'd like a DVD copy ($5 for materials and postage), send a request here.


Click to watch new short single payer video for Washington State


John Geymajohnn, MD, is Professor Emeritus of Family Medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has spent 25 years in academic family medicine. He is Past President of Physicians for National Health Program (PNHP) and a PNHPWW Board member. John has now written 12 books that are indespensible for understanding the roots of our health care crisis, its current condition, and what must be done to achieve a just and sustainable replacement.

Just at the right time! John's new book looks at how, over the last 60 years, our health care system got to be where it is now - how it changed from a system devoted to patient care to one devoted to maximizing revenues. It then compares the three basic alternatives for health care reform currently being debated.

The book can be ordered from Copernicus Healthcare via Amazon here


John's previous books:
The Human Face of Obamacare
- Promises vs. Reality and What Comes Next

How Obamacare is Unsustainable - Why we need a Single-Payer Solution for All Americans
documents where the ACA fails and the fix we need.

Health Care Wars - How Market Ideology and Corporate Power Are Killing Amercians
examines how our market-based system benefits the 1% at the grave expense and suffering of the 99%.

"Breaking Point - How the Primary Care Crisis Endangers the Lives of Americans"
documents the crisis in primary care in the US and what we must do about it.

John's Web Site


For the latest news on health reform legislation - check PNHP articles of interest and opinion - or research a topic by clicking on the Google Custom Search image below:

 

 

The information You Need to Remain Up-To-Date on Health Care Reform:

Sign up for Don McCanne's Quote of the Day

donFor invaluable daily current health care reform information and analysis read PNHP Senior Staff Policy Analyst Don McCanne's Quote of the Day

Listserve free subscription http://two.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/quote-of-the-day


 


Opinion and Information

"Fixing Obamacare: Move to Single Payer" - Joe Martin - Seattle Times LTE - 4-2-15
“What Happened in Vermont: Implications of the Pullback from Single Payer”
- Steffie Woolhandler, MD, and David Himmelstein, MD, -Jan, 2015
“Lesson On The Struggle For Health Care As A Human Right: What happened in Vermont where a so-called single payer proposal died?”- Margaret Flowers, MD, in Populare Resistance, Jan 2015
Backgrounder on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Healthcare - Margaret Flowers, MD
Stephen Kemble, MD - The Business Case for Single Payer - March, 2014 Powerpoint
Dr. Arnold Relman, Outspoken Medical Editor, dies at 91"
- New York Times obituary
Health Care for All Oregon Speakers Resources -
Powerpoints, Tips, References, Logistics, Friedman & other videos
Why Oncologists Should Support Singe-Payer National Healthy Insurance -
Ray E. Dragon, MD and Lawrence H. Einhorn, MD
10 Things Unions Need to Look Out for When Bargaining Under Obamacare -
Labor Campaign for Single Payer Healthcare
A Perspective on the Relationship between State and National Single Payer Work.doc - Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein- PDF
Obstacles to State Based Reform: Vermont - slideshow - Dr. Marvin Malek
Immigrants and the Human Right to Health Care
- National Economics and Social Rights Initiative
People of Color and the Human Right to Health Care
- National Economics and Social Rights Initiative
Women and the Human Right to Health Care
- National Economics and Social Rights Initiative
Obamacare and the New Deal
- Michael Lind, Comment Don McCanne
What Kind of a Problem is the ACA Rollout for Liberalism
- Michael Konczal
Strategy and Creativity for Grassroots Power (video)
- Bill Moyer, Backbone Campaign
A close look at ACA Exchanges
-Paul Criag Roberts
Funding HR 676: The Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act - How we can afford a national single-payer plan
- Gerald Friedman, Phd
Peter Bohmer's notes on Social Movements - Word.doc - PDF
Roadmap to State Single Payer - Public Citizen
ACA vs Single Payer - Accessibility, Affordability, Cost Control -
PNHPWW
Real Danger of Obamacare: Insurance Company Takeover of Medicine - Nomi Prins
Some thoughts on What's Ahead - Drs. Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein
It's Time for Single Payer
- Dr. James C. Mitchiner
Will Pay for Performance Backfire?; Insights from Behavioral Economics - Woolhandler and Ariely
Medicare Overpayments to Private Plans, 1985 - 2012
- Hellander. Woolhandler, Himmelstein
The Nuts and Bolts of Medicare Premium Support Proposals
- Kaiser Foundation
Committee Responsibilities
- Health Care for All Oregon
Minnesota Single Payer Economic Study
- The Lewin Group
Funding a National Single-Payer System - Gerald Friedman - Prof Economics, U. of Massachusetts-Amherst
"Occupy" and US Health Care - Dr. Mary Obrien
The Wyden-Ryan Plan: Deja-vu All Over Again
- Uwe Reinhart
Sustaining the Movement for the 99%
- Steering Committee of the Labor Campaign for Single-Payer
A Difficult Pill to Swallow
- Margaret Flowers, MD
Privatize Medicare? No Thanks! - Dr. James Mitchner
Why won't Corporate America Support Single Payer Medicare for All - Mark Dudzic
Ryan turns Knife on Medicare, Medicaid - Dr. Margaret Flowers
Pay Much Attention to the Insurers Behind the Curtain - Wendell Potter
Medicare for All is the Solution - Robert Reich
Stop the Bipartisan Assault on Medicare - Support the People - Claudia Chaufan
What Happened to Social Justice in Health Care Reform? - Arthur Sutherland


 


 
 
 
 



What You Can Do To Help:

*Join the Campaign to Pass HR 676 and HR 1200
by sending an email to pnhp.westernwashington@comcast.net. We'll keep you posted with important updates and actions

*Lobby your members of Congress
Tell your representatives that you support HR 676 and HR 1200 and they should too. You can use this email form or - better yet - call their office

*Write an Op-Ed or Letter to the Editor
You can find tips, templates and examples by clicking here

*Speak out about the single-payer solution
Educate yourself about single-payer using the resources & materials -here and here. Bring materials and talk to your church, labor, community or other group about the singlepayer solution.


 
 

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