The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968)

king day 2013 004“Of all the forms of inequality,

injustice in health care

is the most shocking and


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., March 25, 1966

Scotty Pulliam, former President of IBEW Local 369, led Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care participation in the 2014 MLK Parade in Louisville.

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:  Expanded and 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,

Help spread the message throughout Kentucky

Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care welcomes your end of year contributions to our non-profit organization.

Your donation will help us to broaden the campaign to bring the improved MedicaDSCN4010re for All message to all Kentuckians.

Please make out checks to PNHP-KY and mail them to:


KSPH, c/o Nurses Professional Organization

1169 Eastern Parkway, #2218

Louisville, KY 40217


Pictured at right is single payer advocate Tom Moffett participating in the Hands Across Louisville event.  KSPH works to achieve a presence in communities in Louisville and across the state.

Hurstbourne Acres Neighborhood Views “Fix It”

On Friday, November 17, members of the Hurstbourne Acres Community gathered at the McMahon Fire Department to view “Fix It,” a movie that details the economic and human hardships of our current health care system and promotes single payer as the solution.NUSKA9~1

Antonio Wickliffe, Doris Bailey Spencer, Harriette Seiler, Christine Perlin, Mark McKinley, and Dr. Edgar Lopez organized the program and worked to spread the word.

The film was followed by a lively Roundtable Discussion about what single payer health care would mean for our country.

HR 676, Expanded and Improved Medicare for All, is the model single payer legislation currently in the US House of Representatives with 120 cosponsors including Louisville Rep. John Yarmuth.

Kentucky’s other five congresspersons, Andy Barr, Thomas Massie, James Comer, Hal Rogers, and Brett Guthrie can be encouraged to sign on to HR 676 by calling them at the Capitol switchboard (202) 224-3121.

You can see “Fix It–Healthcare at the Tipping Point” online at this link.

_UAZOL~1Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care is taking the film to groups through out the state.  If your organization would like to schedule a showing, please give us a call at 502 636 1551.

In addition, KSPH has a power point presentation on single payer health care that is also available.

(Front row, Doris Bailey Spencer & Antonio Wickliffe.  Dr. Edgar Lopez, 2nd row with arms crossed.)

Humana Workers, We’ve Got Your Back!

Humana & all Insurance Workers Get Income Protection in HR 676

Here in Kentucky where thousands receive their paychecks from Humana, it is important to know that HR 676, the national single payer legislation sponsored by Congressman John Conyers, includes protections for the incomes of those who work in the health insurance industry.

Cuban 5 exhibit 096

HR 676 specifies that insurance company workers will be provided for by first choice in retraining and job placement in the new system and by receiving two years of their regular salary so that they will be able to transition to better jobs.  And all the while, they, like all of us, will have all medically necessary care as a right!

Check it out.

It’s Section 303 (e) of HR 676.

We will have care for all and protection for insurance workers!

Full story

In the photo Dave Cox carries his rain-protected sign as advocates for single payer, improved Medicare for All, gather in front of the marble Humana Headquarters in Louisville.


Free Movie, “Fix It,” Fri. Nov. 17, 2017, 6pm


Please join us for the documentary film, “Fix It—Healthcare At The Tipping Point.” “Fix It” reaches across the political and ideological divide to make the case for major healthcare reform in the U.S. It explains how our health care system is hurting the U.S. economy and leaving most Americans under-insured.

6:00 – 7:00 pm – Movie
7:00 – 8:00 pm – Roundtable Discussion

Have you already seen “Fix It?’ If so, you are welcome to arrive at 7:00 pm for a Roundtable Discussion of issues, concerns and questions related to our broken U.S. health care system and how we can advocate for a system of universal health care/a single payer system that would offer Medicare for All. You can view “Fix It” online:

Free event, but please RSVP so we can make sure we have enough seats for all.


William Michael Martinez 1937 – 2017

On September 23, 2017, Harriette Seiler and Kay Tillow of Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care gathered with friends and loved ones at the home of Jean Elizabeth Tucker to celebrate the life of Bill Martinez.

For many years, Bill was an elected member of the Steering Committee of Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care.  Bill worked the community festivals, staffing the booth and carrying tents and tables, to spread the single payer message far and wide.  He worked with quiet commitment and compassion, sharing his vision of justice in health care.

In his spare time he created beautiful works in stained glass and tended a splendid garden.  He will be sorely missed, but never forgotten.  He is pictured here at the Highlands Fest in 2007.

10-11-2007-Martinez&Banner at Highlands22 (2)

Jean Tucker’s designation of Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care as the recipient of Memorial gifts has resulted in many contributions in Bill’s name.  If you would like to contribute, please send checks to:  Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care, c/o Nurses Professional Org., 1169 Eastern Parkway, #2218, Louisville, KY 40217.

This is the obituary from the Courier-Journal

Air Force veteran, semi truck driver, hiker & camper, organic gardener, stained-glass artist, keen photographer, classical music lover, international traveler, lifelong learner, advocate for social justice.

Born March 23, 1937, in Oakland CA to Hawaiian-born parents of Spanish and Puerto Rican ancestry. Moved in 1988 to Madison WI and in 1996 to Lou, KY, where he died on July 24, 2017.

Preceded by brothers Henry and FraIMG_1070nk Martinez; sister and brother-in-law Hilda and Merle Aman; and by his beloved cats, especially Lulu.

Survived by his long-time partner Jean Tucker of Lou, KY; brother and sister-in-law, Daniel and Juanita Martinez of Los Angeles CA; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews, mostly of CA. Also by long-time steadfast friends, Tony Scott of Lou,KY; Ron Tebbe of Wooster OH; and Patrick and Sylvie Desbois-Sorbé of Salies-de-Béarn, France.


At left is one of Bill’s stained glass pieces.  Below is a photo of Bill in Senator Mitch McConnell’s office in Washington, DC.  The woman with her arms full of petitions for HR 676, national single payer health care, is an assistant to McConnell.  Wearing the cap is Bill’s close friend and fellow Teamster, Tony Scott.   In the back on the right is Dave McCool.



Fix It, Thur. Oct. 12, Movie 6pm, Discussion, 7pm


Please join us for a viewing of the documentary film, “Fix It—Healthcare At The Tipping Point.” “Fix It” reaches across the political and ideological divide to make the case for major healthcare reform in the U.S. It explains, in-depth, how our health care system is hurting the U.S. economy and leaving most Americans under-insured.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

St. Matthews Library, 3940 Grandview Ave., Louisville, KY 40207

6:00 – 7:00 pm – Movie
7:00 – 8:30 pm – Roundtable Discussion

Have you already seen “Fix It?’ If so, you are welcome to arrive at 7:00 pm for a Roundtable Discussion of issues, concerns and questions related to our broken U.S. health care system and how we can advocate for a system of universal health care/a single payer system that would offer Medicare for All. You can view “Fix It” online:

Space is limited, so please RSVP so we can make sure we have enough Seats for All.

KSPH Joins the AIDs Walk

On Saturday, August 12, 2017, Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care (KSPH) participated in the Louisville AIDS Walk and events designed to continue the struggle to end AIDs and to assure care for those with HIV.   Hundreds attended the festivities in Iroquois Park.  Children delighted in the face IMG_0956painting and dogs joined their owners in the walk to support.  Harriette Seiler, Secretary of KSPH, (in the pink hat) distributed single payer flyers to everyone.  Those with HIV are among the patients who face cost challenges in assuring the medications necessary for life.   The KSPH flyer is below.

Forward to single payer health care

While health care reform helped some, many with chronic conditions still find essential care and drugs too costly or not on their insurers’ formulary.

Over 300 patient advocacy groups have protested to Health & Human Services that many are still facing barriers to care.

The way forward.    A bill in Congress, HR 676, Expanded & Improved Medicare for All, will provide care for everyone under a single payer, publicly funded system.  All medically necessary care including dental & drugs will be covered–and you choose your doctor.

No co-pays, no deductibles, no limited networks.

No worry about medical bills!  Monies now going to corporate profits will be available for care.

We invite you to join this movement.  Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care meets 1st & 3rd Thursdays each month, 5:30 pm, Board Rm, Mezzanine, Louisville Free Public Library, 301 W. York.

Learn more:

KSPH offers to show the film “Fix It” or to give free presentations on single payer. Let us hear from you!

(502) 636-1551

Kentucky Celebrates Medicare’s 52nd Birthday

On Sunday, July 30, 2017, Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care celebrated Medicare’s 52nd birthday wi20375820_1746727645338002_1409526750731116281_nth cake, great company, and a film at the Tim Faulkner Gallery in Louisville on Portland Avenue.  The celebration was one of many across the country that promoted the single payer Medicare model as the solution to the health care crisis.

Christine Perlin and Mary Dunbar headed the committee to organize the event.  Kristi Thomas, Doris Bailey Spencer, Harriette Seiler, and others helped.  Participants viewed the film, “Fix It–Healthcare at the Tipping Point” and followed up with a discussion period.   The magnificent cake was provided by Mary Dunbar.

Medicare, signed into law on July 30, 1965, was implemented within ten months in a time before the digital age, far outpacing the Affordable Care Act which takes effect in stages over a ten year period.  Medicare brought care to those over 65, the part of the population that insurers were not eager to cover.

Before Medicare about one half of seniors did not have hospital insurance.  Many lived without care, many in poverty.

There are more reasons to celebrate Medicare.  Medicare desegregated the nation’s hospitals by making compliance with Title VI a requirement for receiving Medicare funds.  In the blink of an eye, decades of barriers based on race fell to a well-designed federal program with economic consequences for those who would not comply.

Kristi Thomas (L) and Mary Dunbar, RN (R) at the Medicare Celebration.
Kristi Thomas (L) and Mary Dunbar, RN (R) at the Medicare Celebration.  Photo by Doris Bailey Spencer

The gains in access to hospital care for African Americans in Mississippi “coincide with a striking reduction in black post-neonatal death for causes considered preventable with timely hospital care.”  Medicare showed what the country could do when the objective was patients rather than profits.

In addition, Medicare pays $9.1 billion a year to teaching hospitals, which goes toward resident salaries and direct teaching costs, as well as the higher operating costs associated with teaching hospitals, which tend to see the sickest and most costly patients.

Over the decades some parts of Medicare expanded to cover the disabled and those suffering from end stage kidney disease.  In 2010 it was expanded to cover those in Libby, Montana, suffering from the diseases of asbestos exposure.  Medicare has done a lot of good.

Other changes to Medicare were not positive.  There were attacks in the guise of improvements.  During the Clinton administration in 1997, the Budget Reconciliation Act established “Medicare+Choice,” opening the door to private insurers selling Medicare plans to seniors while pocketing the profits.  That door was widened in 2003 when the Medicare Modernization Act established an entirely privatized drug plan and gave additional taxpayer money to the insurers selling privatized plans known as Medicare Advantage.

The drug plan forbids any use of bulk purchasing power to negotiate better drug prices.  While the Veterans Administration can use its power to lower drug prices by about 40%, Medicare is barred from doing the same.  Billy Tauzin, the sponsor of the Medicare drug plan, went on to work for big Pharma with a million dollar a year job.  Seniors continue to struggle with drug costs.  The public pays about 14% more for these private Medicare plans while the insurers find the ways to lure seniors in.

20430064_1746727642004669_899497785518615893_nMedicare Advantage plans now account for 30% of Medicare recipients.  These inferior plans can threaten traditional Medicare solely because they have been able to keep monthly premiums low or zero, attracting the elderly who must keep monthly costs uppermost in mind.

Subsequent legislation allows means testing for Medicare payments and changes in doctor payments in ways that pretend to pay more for greater value but in reality impose massive administrative costs on doctors’ offices.   These crude attempts to measure what is not scientifically measurable are cause for concern.

There are further problems.  Medicare now covers only about 51% of seniors’ health care costs, leaving them vulnerable to economic hardship, bankruptcy, and going without care.  To preserve Medicare we must improve it and expand it to all.  That was the promise of Medicare when it was passed and that is the clear solution for today’s healthcare crisis with its soaring costs yet incomplete coverage and care.

Medicare shows by in its single payer structure that it can be improved and expanded to cover the entire nation while bringing costs under control.  That is what Congressman John Conyers’ legislation, HR 676 does to assure that every person will be covered for all medically necessary care.   Support is growing by leaps and bounds.  There are currently 116 cosponsors of HR 676 in the House of Representatives.

A well informed and passionate national movement can change what is politically possible and make universal care a reality by passing HR 676!