Single Payer News in Kentucky
Ed Weisbart, MD, spoke on single payer in Louisville
in a four event whirlwind over three days, April 10-12, 2014.
Ed Weisbart, MD, Chair of Physicians for a National Health Program--Missouri, explains single payer health care during a public program at the Old Medical School in Louisville on Thursday, April 10, 2014.
Some of the participants in the Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care workshop and PNHP-KY Annual Meeting on Saturday, April 12, 2014. L-R: Carol Tvaroh, Ada Beale, Tyler Fairleigh, Tom Moffett, Dr. Garrett Adams, Dr. Scott Graham of Fredonia, KY, Dr. Kenny Zegart, and David Ross Stevens of Borden, IN.
Edgar Lopez, MD, moderated a panel of Kentucky physicians at the PNHP-KY Annual Meeting. They spoke about what is currently happening to patients and to medical practice. L-R: Dr. Lopez; Scott Graham, MD, Fredonia, KY; Tracy Ragland, MD. In addition, Esther Costel, MD, was on the panel.
Doctors Edgar Lopez and Garrett Adams at the PNHP-KY Annual Meeting.
Dr. Carol A. Paris spoke at the PNHP-KY Annual Meeting on "Fighting for Single Payer in the US and Health Care in New Zealand." Dr. Paris, a member of the Baucus 13, has just returned from a year of practicing in New Zealand.
Ed Weisbart, MD, Spoke on Single Payer in Louisville
Ed Weisbart, MD
"We will not solve our health care crisis as long as private insurance plays a dominant role. We should correct the flaws of the current Medicare program and extend this coverage to all age groups," says Ed Weisbart, MD, Chair of the Missouri Chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program who was in Louisville speaking at a series of events:
* Thur. April 10, 2014, 7:00 PM,
Old Medical School Bldg, 101 W. Chestnut St.
“Health Care Reform: What’s Here? What’s Coming? What’s Missing? The solution: Improved Medicare for All”
* Fri. April 11, 2014, 7:30-8:30 AM,
Over 70 physicians attended the UofL Family and Geriatric Medicine Grand Rounds at Jewish Hospital.
“Health Care Reform 2.0: Beyond the Affordable Care Act. Fix the problems with Medicare and provide that to all Americans.”
* Fri. April 11, 2014, 12 Noon,
Dr. Weisbart met with 50 Medical Students at University of Louisville Medical School.
* Sat. April 12, 2014, PNHP-KY Annual Meeting and KSPH Workshop 10 AM to 2:30 PM
Lang House, 115 S. Ewing Ave, Louisville. Full agenda.
“Building Single Payer Support in Kentucky - Responding to the health care crisis”
Chaired by Dr. Garrett Adams, Louisville, immediate past president of national PNHP.
Workshop, with Dr. Weisbart; Dr. Art Sutherland of Tennessee PNHP; Dr. Edgar Lopez, Louisville; Dr. Scott Graham, Fredonia, KY; Dr. Carol Paris, member of the Baucus 13, and single payer activists.
Dr. Weisbart is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Medicine and a faculty member at Washington University in St. Louis. He is a family medicine physician and author of “A Single-Payer system Would Reduce U. S. Health Care Costs,” an article that appeared in the AMA Journal of Ethics.
Read Dr. Weisbart's article here, or watch a five minute video of him at a miners' rally here.
Sat., March 15, 2014, St. Patrick's Parade
Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care walked in Louisville's St. Patrick’s Day Parade to the applause and cheers of the crowds. We distributed over 1,700 flyers on single payer. Pictured L to R, Scotty Pulliam, Betty Schmitt, Enid Redman, Greg Pecaro, Charlotte Schmitt, Theresa Schmitt, and Harriette Seiler.
50th Anniversary March on Frankfort for Civil Rights
On March 5, 2014, Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care participated in this commemorative march and rally at the State Capitol in Frankfort. Thousands marched demanding voting rights and passage of HB 70.
On the left is Scotty Pulliam, former president of IBEW Local 369 and KSPH Board Member; second from right is Charlie Clephas, Vice President of the Greater Louisville Central Labor Council; third from right is Charlie Essex, Business Manager of IBEW Local 369.
VICCO STAYS IN SPOTLIGHT, ENDORSES SINGLE PAYER HR 676
January 30, 2014
VICCO, Ky—This little Appalachian community that made national news a year ago by passing a Fairness Ordinance did it again tonight. It voted to endorse Single Payer Healthcare, HR 676, joining 54 other American cities, including Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Philadelphia, Detroit and Baltimore.
Vicco, KY endorses single payer.
L to R Vicco City Commissioners Lula Gibson, Jimmy Slone, Claude Branson, Mayor Johnny Cummings, Kay Tillow, Dr. Garrett Adams, Harriette Seiler (photo by Lane Adams)
The struggling coal town of 334 people unanimously endorsed Expanded and Improved Medicare for All, HR 676, national single payer legislation sponsored by Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI). Vicco—established by the Virginia Iron Coal and Coke Company—is now the fourth Kentucky local government to favor Single Payer Healthcare. The others are Metro Louisville, Boyle County, and the City of Morehead. In 2007, the Kentucky House legislators also endorsed the bill.
Vicco was put on the map early last year when the New York Times, USA Today, the LA Times and other national media covered the passage of the town's new law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. It was the smallest city in America to pass such a law.
Vicco gained further fame last August when Mayor Johnny Cummings and City Commissioners were featured on the Colbert Show on cable television. The Colbert Segment went viral with almost three quarters of a million views.
Since then, Vicco, Mayor Johnny Cummings, and the city commissioners have won further state and national praise. At an event that featured Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan last September, University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto referred to Vicco when he described Kentucky as a place “deep in values that show up in unexpected ways and in unexpected places.”
KSPH Chair Kay Tillow and Vicco Mayor Johnny Cummings.
Vicco's new-found reputation as a progressive and humane community led to a presentation Monday night on health care by Dr. Garrett Adams, past president of Physicians for a National Health Program, and three Louisville colleagues, all representing Kentuckians for Single Payer Healthcare (KSPH).
The KSPH members pointed out that every person in Vicco—and everywhere else in the United States—would be covered by a plan similar to but better than the Medicare system that now serves those over 65 years of age. The HR 676 bill would expand Medicare to all ages and would improve it to include dental, vision, mental health--all medically necessary care. Patients would choose their own doctors and hospitals and there would be no co-pays or deductibles. HR 676 would annually save over $400 billion by ending the profits and waste caused by private insurance companies. The savings would then be used to expand an improved care to everyone in the country.
Kay Tillow, Chair of KSPH, said, "It's a moral issue. We believe that health care should not depend on ability to pay. We invite other cities to join our grassroots movement.”
The Vicco city commissioners decided to throw the weight of the town government behind this movement.
Garrett Adams MD MPH, Louisville, KY., Physicians for a National Health Program-KY, www.pnhp.org
Kay Tillow (502) 636-1551, KSPH Chair, email@example.com
Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care
Text of the Resolution under the seal of the City of Vicco
Whereas: Barriers to quality medical care infringe on the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and access to health care is a fundamental human right, and;
Whereas a bill has been introduced in Congress, HR 676, aka The Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, that will provide all medically necessary care, including dental and prescription drugs, to everyone in the country from birth to death. There will be no co-pays nor deductibles so that inability to pay will be removed as an impediment to care.
Whereas with HR 676 each person will choose their own physicians, hospitals, and other providers.
Therefore be it resolved that the City of Vicco wholeheartedly endorses HR 676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act; and
Be it further resolved that we call on our representative in Congress, Representative Harold Rogers, to formally co-sponsor HR 676 so that the people of our city, our state, and our nation can move forward toward the excellent health care we deserve.
Mayor Johnny Cummings
Claude Branson, Commissioner
Lula Regina Gibson, Commissioner
Jimmy Slone, Commissioner
Electronic copy of the resolution available upon request from Kay Tillow, firstname.lastname@example.org
Press release on PNHP website with photo.
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968)
"Of all the forms of inequality,
injustice in health care
is the most shocking and inhuman."
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., March 25, 1966
Yet 48 years after Dr. King spoke those words, our country still suffers over 83,000 excess deaths each year among African Americans--deaths that would not happen if there were equality.
Our country’s health system leaves tens of millions of all colors without health insurance or with insurance so skimpy they cannot afford to use it.
Now, under the guise of solving the deficit problem, there is a relentless attack on Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid, the programs our nation won through the struggles of the 30s and of the civil rights era.
The Solution: Improved Medicare for All, HR 676
The good news is that there is a solution. Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D MI), the sponsor of the bill that made Dr. King’s Birthday a national holiday, has introduced into the Congress HR 676, The Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act.
This single payer legislation would divert hundreds of billions of dollars annually from profits and waste generated by the private health insurance industry into good care for everyone. Care would be expanded to all and costs brought under control.
Doctors would be freed from insurance industry interference with care. Patients would be freed to choose their physicians. Dental, eyeglasses, hearing aids, prescription drugs, long term care, doctors, hospitals, home health, mental health—all medically necessary care would be included.
Co-pays and deductibles would be banned ending today’s growing problem that health insurance policies are so miserly that even the insured forgo care because they can’t afford it. All of us would be respected as “covered” patients, ending the flight of hospitals and physicians from our neighborhoods to wealthy areas.
Medicare is not the problem. It operates with less than two percent overhead. The healthcare crisis actually stems from the bloated costs of the private world of insurance companies. Under HR 676, those for-profit companies would be removed, allowing us to improve care and include everyone.
In 2011, Bill Clinton said that we could save $1 trillion a year if we adopted the health care system of any of the other developed countries in the world. All of those countries have universal health care under a single payer type of publicly funded program. No more stewing over the deficit!
The passage of HR 676 would save Medicare, end the uncontrolled, gargantuan rise in health care costs, ease the deficit pressure, and actually bring universal health care to the nation.
So why are we even debating cuts to Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid when the solution is at hand that would bring us both better care and cost controls? HR 676, an improved Medicare for All, is sitting in the Congress, awaiting the rising of a movement that will insist upon its passage.
As Dr. King said, "The time is always right to do what is right."
A free program for your church or other organization on single payer is available from Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care (502) 636-1551, email@example.com.
Martin Luther King, Jr., A Dynamic Remembrance, Sat. Jan. 18, 2014
On January 18, 2014, Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care (KSPH) will join in this celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and will lead the breakout session on health care.
Sowers of Justice Network and the Shawnee Presbyterian Church are sponsors of the event and invite your participation.
The Rev. Ron Robinson, Pastor of the Shawnee Presbyterian Church, is a member of the Steering Committee of KSPH.
Martin Luther King, Jr., A Dynamic Remembrance
Shawnee Presbyterian Church
101 South 44th Street
January 18, 2014
11am - 2pm
- To celebrate MLK, Jr.’s life and invoke his work as successors to the enduring spiritual values that lead to action for justice through commitment to non-violence.
- To gather kindred souls in Louisville into sustainable collaborative action for justice and build on our shared spiritual values, shared passion for justice and a shared commitment to take nonviolent action.
- To plan collaborative action for justice and build on our shared spiritual values to take ongoing nonviolent action for specific issues.
10:30 Welcome/Registration - Sign in/ up for issue groups
11:00 Worship Celebration
12:00 Breakout listening sessions with focus on
- Gun Violence
- Immigrant Rights
- Labor Rights
- Health Care
From what we learn that day, Sowers of Justice Network will launch working groups on issues and plan another gathering in early March. These topics represent areas of commitment for the Sowers of Justice Network through 2014.
A light lunch will be served.
Space is somewhat limited, and so that we may better plan food and space, please RSVP (it's free--you won't need to bring the paper tickets to attend)
RSVP here: http://www.sowersofjusticenetwork.org/
RALLY AND MARCH FOR SINGLE PAYER
On the Day Following the Supreme Court Decision
Join Us in Response to the Court’s Decision on the ACA
Forward to Single Payer!
The Supreme Court is expected to rule on constitutional challenges to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) before the end of June. Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care invites you to be with us as we join demonstrations for single payer all across the country with the positive message--Forward to Single Payer Health Care. We march for single payer, regardless of what the court’s decision is.
At 4:00 pm on the day following the Supreme Court’s announcement, we will gather in Jefferson Park at 6th and Jefferson in downtown Louisville. There will be brief remarks. We will have signs, but you are welcome to bring your own.“To save lives and money, enact HR 676, an improved Medicare for all.”
Beginning at 4:30 pm we will walk the two blocks to the Humana Headquarters at 5th and Main where we will issue a statement stressing the urgency of adopting a single-payer health system – an improved Medicare for All – as the only way to assure truly universal, comprehensive and affordable coverage, eliminate financial barriers to care, improve efficiency and control costs.
Our main message:
If the law is declared unconstitutional in whole or in part, we will point out that single payer is clearly constitutional.
The Schedule for the Day Following the Supreme Court Decision:
4:00 pm: Gather in Jefferson Park at 6th and Jefferson
Around 4:30 pm: Begin Walk to the Humana Headquarters at 5th and Main
Around 5:00 pm: 5th and Main, Rally and release statement to the press
We ask that all organizations help by forwarding this message to your members and turning out a crowd that will signal a positive, humane direction in health care for our people and the nation.
Dr. David A. Ansell, Author of "County" to Visit
Dr. David A. Ansell
David A. Ansell, MD, MPH
County: Life, Death and Politics -- What the lessons from Chicago’s public hospital tell us about health care in the USA
Friday, January 27th, 2012
120 W. Broadway (at Second St.)
Please join us! There is no charge for admission.
Dr. Ansell is an Internal Medicine physician and the Chief Medical Officer at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. He has written extensively about health disparities.
Dr. Ansell is the author of COUNTY: Life, Death and Politics at Chicago’s Public Hospital, a memoir about the years he spent working at the "old" Cook County hospital. The book speaks to our nation's failure to address the most unjust of all the inequities present in the world's richest society--that of health inequity.
In the December, 2011, issue of Louisville Medicine, local physician M. Saleem Seyal reviewed County, praising the work as "important and thoroughly engaging."
Dr. Ansell will be visiting Louisville on January 27th and 28th, 2012.
A more complete schedule of events is available here (PDF).
"...we cannot have too many of these stories in circulation, to bear witness, to inform and to inspire.
--A. Zuger, NY Times review of County, July 25, 2011
Kentucky Chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP-KY)
Kentuckians for Single Payer Healthcare (KSPH)
Hoosiers for a Commonsense Health Care Plan (HCHP)
Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Cry for Equality in Health Care, January 15, 2011
Dr. Claudia Fegan at the Louisville Urban League
Saturday's event at the Louisville Urban League featuring Dr. Claudia Fegan was a resounding success. The event drew more than one hundred people who were treated to some very inspiring speakers.
Dr. Joyce Howell, President of Falls City Medical Society; Dr. Claudia Fegan, Past-President of Physicians for a National Health Program, and Dr. Monique Howard, University of Louisville School of Medicine
Dr. Fegan; Greg Fischer, Mayor of Louisville, Dr. Adams
Dr. Garrett Adams; President, Physicians for a National Health Program
Bani Hines Hudson and Dr. Fegan
Mr. Ben Richmond, President and CEO, Louisville Urban League
Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3): "I'm a Single Payer Guy."
Greg Fischer, Mayor of Louisville
Bani Hines Hudson, Community Development Specialist, Louisville
An article about the event can be found the Louisville Courier Journal of Sunday, January 16th, 2011: Click here to read the article.
Celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with Claudia Fegan, M.D.
Claudia M. Fegan, M.D.
Celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with Claudia Fegan, M.D.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
at the Urban League
1535 W. Broadway
Dr. Fegan will speak on "Remembering Dr. King's Cry for Justice in Health Care" followed by questions and discussion.
Dr. Fegan is an expert on single payer. Refreshments and reception. Everyone welcome.
Dr. Claudia Fegan of Chicago is the associate chief medical officer for the Ambulatory and Community Health Network for the Cook County Bureau of Health Services. She practices primary care internal medicine at the Woodlawn Health Center of Cook County.
A past president of Physicians for a National Health Program, an organization of 18,000 doctors who support single-payer national health insurance, an improved Medicare for all, she has appeared on a number of national television and radio programs on behalf of PNHP and has lectured extensively to both medical and community audiences on health care reform in the United States and Canada. She is a co-author of "Universal Healthcare: What the United States Can Learn from Canada" and a contributor to "10 Excellent Reasons for National Health Care."
"Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane."
— Martin Luther King Jr. in a speech to the Medical Committee for Human Rights, 1966
The daughter of a labor union organizer and a social worker, Dr. Fegan received her undergraduate degree from Fisk University and her medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine. She is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and a diplomate of the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians.
Sponsored by Physicians for a National Health Program-KY and Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care, www.kyhealthcare.org
Medicare turns 45 on July 30, 2010
We invite you to a birthday celebration!
People across the country are celebrating a program that has brought care and dignity to millions of seniors and those with disabilities.
Join us to celebrate Medicare’s Birthday
For those in the Louisville area:
Friday, July 30
11:30 AM-1:00 PM
First Unitarian Church, 809 S. 4th St. (at York) (map)
Entrance in the rear. Handicapped accessible and air-conditioned.
Lunch, soft drinks and birthday cake provided by Kentuckians for Single Payer Healthcare (KSPH). Please come & bring your friends. RSVP appreciated but not essential. (502) 636-1551 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will have a brief program on the importance of Medicare.
Those who believe in economic justice are particularly concerned at this time because the deficit commission, which must report to Congress by December 1, is targeting Medicare and Social Security. These vital programs are not the cause of the deficit and must not be sacrificed.
Social Security is fully paid for decades into the future by the payroll taxes from all of us. Medicare can best be protected by improving it to cover all medically necessary care and expanding it to everyone as called for in Congressman John Conyers’ HR 676.
Following the lunch, we invite those who can to join us for the 3-5 block walk to the offices of Senators Bunning and McConnell, and Congressman Yarmuth.
We will ask that our representatives stand with us against any cuts in Medicare, Social Security or Medicaid, that they oppose any raise of the eligibility age, any lowering of the benefits, any privatization, or other actions that would weaken these vital programs, and that they support single payer legislation such as HR 676, Expanded and Improved Medicare for All.
Protect Medicare, improve it, and expand it to everyone.
We are the wealthiest nation in the world with the capacity to take good care of people of all ages. We reject efforts to pit generation against generation. We must protect and preserve Medicare and Social Security for our children and our grandchildren, and for seniors to come.
Kentuckians for Single Payer Healthcare www.kyhealthcare.org (502) 636-1551
Birthday parties in other cities: http://www.healthcare-now.org/takeaction/events-calendar/
For those in the Lexington area:
Friday, July 30
10 AM - 3 PM
In Phoenix Park (map)
(Next to the Main Street Lexington Public Library on the southeast corner of Limestone and Main.
FREE CAKE AND DRINKS!
Please stop by.
Sponsored by Improved Medicare for All--Central Kentucky (IMACK)
Upcoming Events with PNHP President Dr. Oliver Fein
"The Rationale for Single Payer Health Care"
presented by Dr. Oliver Fein
Louisville, Thursday, March 25:
Old Medical School Building
101 West Chestnut Street, Louisville, KY
Stone Building at the corner of First and Chestnut)
Lexington, Friday, March 26:
5: 30 - 7:00 P. M.
Room 014 in the Wethington Building, School of Allied Health, University of Kentucky,
900 S. Limestone St., Lexington, KY
Dr. Oliver Fein
Please join us at the following events March 25-27 in Louisville and Lexington with Dr. Oliver Fein, president of Physicians for a National Health Program. Dr. Fein's appearances are proudly sponsored and supported by Physicians for a National Health Program-KY.
Dr. Fein is one of the country's most popular spokespersons for single payer health care reform and a nationally acknowledged leader in health policy.
Dr. Fein, a general internist active in clinical practice, is professor of medicine and public health at Cornell University. In addition to national health system reform he advocates for an expanded role for primary care. He was a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow in Senate Democratic Majority Leader George Mitchell's office. He is chair of the NY Chapter of PNHP and immediate past vice president of the American Public Health Association.