Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care

Harriette Seiler and Antonio Wilson in Louisville's St. Pat's Parade
Harriette Seiler and Antonio Wilson in Louisville’s St. Pat’s Parade

Act to End the Direct Contracting Entities and ACO REACH that are privatizing Medicare.

Contact us: nursenpo@aol.com, Facebook, @KY4singlepayer, kentuckians_for_single_payer

Listen to Single Payer Radio

Read the Physicians’ Proposal for a National Single Payer Program.  Sign on to it. Join National PNHP.

Slides from Drs. Steffie Woolhandler & David Himmelstein

Quote of the day by Don McCanne. Health Justice Monitor

Answers to questions on single payer.

HR 676, Expanded and Improved Medicare for All, a model single payer bill in the House from 2003 to 2017.

HR 1976, national single payer bill, currently in the House, which needs to be improved to ban and convert the for-profit hospitals, nursing homes, dialysis centers, etc.

Please support the work of Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care by making a donation on line hereOr you can mail your check to KSPH, PO Box 17595, Louisville, KY 40217.  Annual dues are $5, but we welcome whatever you can give.

July 30, 2022, March and Rally for Medicare for All in Washington, DC, and Kentucky

Paul Hoppe, Steve Katz, and Mark McKinley (L to R) of Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care joined the March for Medicare for All in Washington, DC, to demand that the nation move to a national single payer health care system to cover everyone. It was July 30, 2022, Medicare’s 57th birthday.

Helping them hold the banner are Dr. Claire Cohen and Dr. Judy Albert, both from Pittsburgh and leaders of PNHP, and NationalSinglePayer, and the Western Pennsylvania Committee for Single Payer. Dr. Cohen, a child psychiatrist, was among the rally speakers. Dr. Albert and other bicyclists rode to DC on the Appalachian Trail in a demonstration for Medicare for All.

On that same day in Madison County, Kentucky, Dr. Robin Reams, distributed flyers at a Kentuckians for the Commonwealth picnic, and Jill Harmer, Harriette Seiler, and Kay Tillow took the message to Louisville farmers’ markets on Bardstown Road and at the Beargrass Christian Church on Shelbyville Road.

Jill Harmer distributing flyers at the Bardstown Rd. farmers’ market on Medicare’s birthday.
Harriette Seiler at the farmers’ market in St. Matthews.

Can Private Equity bring Health Equity? Watch the video of the Roundtable

On May 9, 2022, Dr. Susan Rogers, PNHP President, moderated a roundtable discussion about Direct Contracting/REACH, the dangers of privatization and so-called “value-based care,” and how to achieve true equity in our health system. Panelists included Dr. Linda Rae Murray, Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, and Dr. Claire Cohen. 

You can watch the video here: https://youtu.be/qR2X9NnFQa0

Dr. Susan Rogers

Dr. Linda Mae Murray earned her M.D. and M.P.H. from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her career includes positions at Cook County Hospital in Chicago; the Manitoba Federation of Labour in Winnipeg, Canada; Meharry College; the Chicago Department of Health; and as chief medical officer of the Primary Care and Community Health Network of Chicago. Dr. Murray is the former president of the American Public Health Association, where she advocated for the guaranteed right to health care for everyone, argued that health requires peace, and that equity and social justice demands a whole and sustainable planet.

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed is a physician, former Health Director for the City of Detroit, and advisor on the 2020 Democratic platform as a Healthcare Unity Task Force appointee. He holds a doctorate in Public Health from the University of Oxford where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and he received his M.D. from Columbia University. He is co-author, along with Dr. Micah Johnson, of the book “Medicare for All: A Citizen’s Guide,” and is also the host of the podcast “America Dissected” on Crooked Media.

Dr. Claire Cohen is a Black child and adolescent psychiatrist who has been practicing in Pittsburgh since 1984. She attended Hahnemann Medical College (now Drexel University Medical School) and completed her General Psychiatry Residency at the University of Chicago, followed by a Child and Adolescent Fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh’s Western Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Cohen has worked in a variety of settings, including community mental health clinics, partial hospitals, school-based settings and, currently, an inpatient hospital setting. She is a leader in PNHP, National Single Payer, and the Western PA Coalition for Single Payer Healthcare. Please join me on Monday, May 9 and join the fight for REAL health equity! Please don’t forget to REGISTER in advance for this exciting event. 

Charlie Casper’s letter in the C-J

The Courier-Journal – 03/20/2022Medical privatization

The past Sunday, The Courier Journal published an exceptional investigative piece by U.S. News on nursing homes. The emphasis was on quality performance, primarily during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the real focus was on ownership and Trilogy Home Services, a private equity, real estate REIT. Here is a first hand look at the toxic mix of Wall Street and private equity firms injecting themselves into healthcare practices. According to the article, high death rates and shoddy care were commonplace, a likely outcome when profit becomes the driving force.

Fast forward to what’s happening to traditional medicare today. Efforts are underway to privatize this highly valued and essential service to seniors — and the efforts are under the radar. Originally operating under the name of Direct Contracting Entities, organizers have now changed the name to the Medicare REACH program, no doubt to further confuse patients who could be enrolled without their knowledge or consent.

Here is another example of Wall Street and private equity placing themselves between doctors and patients.

If you like your traditional medicare, stand up and take notice. The long-term solution is single-payer, Medicare for All. Let’s get rid of health care privatization

Charles M. Casper, Louisville, 40207

National Single Payer Summit

Here’s the link to the schedule of topics and panelists.

Our Healthcare System in Crisis: National Single-Payer

Over the weekend of March 11 to 13, the March for Medicare for All, in cooperation with other groups, broadcast a deep dive, non-stop, educational program into our health care system and why we must move the nation to improved Medicare for All. 

National experts, such as Dr. Ana Malinow and Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, and vital community leaders spoke on Our Broken Health Care System, Racism, People with Disabilities, the Mental Health Crisis, Why Improved Medicare for All must be National, and much more.

The videos are available at these links:  

Friday: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDZpC0U6-38 “Our Broken Healthcare System, Explained”, “Our Broken Healthcare System, a Discussion”, and more!

Saturday: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljTCyreGQl8 “Impacts of Disaster Capitalism on Healthcare”, “Racism in Healthcare”, “The Mental Health Crisis in the United States”, “Healthcare Disparities for People with Disabilities”, “Healthcare Workers Speak Out”, and more!

Sunday: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5j4Fr4m8Qn8 “The International Human Right to Health and Why National Single-Payer is the Way Forward”, “Why Improved Medicare for All Must be National”, “How’re We Gonna Pay for It?”, “Next Wave of Organizing”, and more!

Here’s the link to the schedule of topics and panelists.

Over 250 organizations call for an end to ACO REACH which is privatizing Medicare

Dear Secretary Becerra and Administrator Brooks-LaSure,

Thank you for your efforts to protect Medicare, a program vitally important to the health and economic security of seniors and people with disabilities. We are writing to express our concern about ACO REACH, a pilot program launched by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) as a rebranding of the controversial Direct Contracting model.

Unfortunately, REACH retains the most dangerous elements of Direct Contracting, and under the guise of promoting equity, provides even more opportunities for middlemen to profit at the expense of beneficiaries and the Medicare Trust Fund. If allowed to continue, REACH would completely transform Traditional Medicare by allowing third-party middlemen to manage seniors’ care, without seniors’ full understanding or consent.

A majority of seniors choose Traditional (fee-for-service) Medicare over Medicare Advantage — the version of Medicare run by commercial insurers — because they value the free choice of health providers and the power to manage their own care. However, millions of seniors who actively chose Traditional Medicare will be automatically enrolled into REACH entities, many of which will likely be run by for-profit businesses, such as commercial insurers, venture capital and private equity investors, and even dialysis centers.

Full letter

Story on Common Dreams

At the Humana HQ in Louisville, 12/11/21. Humana is one of the Direct Contracting Entities (DCEs), renamed ACO REACH

PNHP vows to fight back against CMS’ rebranding of DC model to ACO REACH

At Humana HQ in Louisville, KY, Dec. 11, 2021

“ACO REACH is Direct Contracting in disguise,” said Dr. Susan Rogers, an internal medicine physician and president of PNHP. “This new model doubles down on Direct Contracting’s fatal flaws, inserting a profit-seeking middleman between beneficiaries and their providers.”

PNHP identified several ways that ACO REACH perpetuates the dangerous flaws of Direct Contracting.

First, like the DC model, ACO REACH will pay middlemen a flat fee to “manage” seniors’ health, allowing them to keep 40% of what they don’t spend on care as profit and overhead. “The ACO REACH payment model establishes a dangerous incentive for middlemen to restrict patient care, an incentive that has never previously existed in Traditional Medicare,” said Dr. Rogers.

Next, Traditional Medicare beneficiaries will still be automatically enrolled into ACO REACH entities without their full understanding or consent, and once enrolled cannot cannot opt out of an ACO REACH entity unless they change primary care providers. “Changing primary care providers is a burden for anyone on Medicare, but especially for those in rural and other underserved communities,” added Dr. Rogers. Full story

PNHP President, Susan Rogers, MD, spoke about DCEs at Senate Hearing

On February 2, 2022, PNHP President Susan Rogers, MD, testified at a hearing of the Senate Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Growth. The topic was Medicare Financing, and she was invited by committee chair Sen. Elizabeth Warren to discuss Medicare Direct Contracting and the threat of privatization to Traditional Medicare.
This was a historic moment both for PNHP and our campaign against Medicare privatization. When I led a delegation of physicians to the capitol just two months ago, almost no one in Congress had even heard of Medicare Direct Contracting (DC). Thanks to the hard work of PNHP members, this threat to the Medicare program is now being actively debated in the halls of Congress,” said Dr. Rogers.

Below are some highlights from the testimony. You can watch a recording of the hearing HERE (Dr. Rogers’ opening remarks start at 42:50; DCE discussion at 1:49:30), find a full transcript of her remarks HERE, read her more detailed written testimony HERE, and share PNHP’s live-tweet of the hearing HERE.

Below is the delegation that delivered petitions opposing DCEs to Sec. of HHS, Xavier Becerra.