Ask your legislators to support HB 97 to end discrimination for pre-existing conditions in Kentucky

David Cox at Humana Headquarters in Louisville

In Kentucky, it can happen that a senior is denied a Medicare supplement (Medigap) insurance policy, or is charged more for such a policy, because of a pre-existing condition.  Such discrimination isn’t right and should be illegal.  In fact, four other states have passed laws that do not allow such practices.  We must do the same.

Write, call, email, tweet your representative urging her/him to co-sponsor HB 97 which will make such discrimination unlawful in Kentucky.

Then ask your senator to introduce or co-sponsor HB 97 in the senate.

(HB 97 was introduced into the KY House on Jan. 5, 2021, by Rep. Tom Burch.  It was formerly BR 483.)

HB 97 is here.

Find your representative and senator here.

You can leave a message for your representative and senator at 1-800-372-7181.  If you do not know who they are, the operator will help you.

Article illustrating the problem:

Medicare Advantage Enrollees Discover Dirty Little Secret

— Getting out is a lot harder than getting in

by Cheryl Clark, Contributing Writer, MedPage Today


Further info:  Kay Tillow,, 502 636 1551


Vermont Medical Society Endorses National Single Payer Health Care

Jane Katz Field, MD
Jane Katz Field, MD

The Vermont Medical Society (VMS) overwhelmingly endorsed a resolution supporting a single-payer national health program, also known as Medicare for All, at its annual meeting on Saturday, Nov. 7.

The VMS, which represents 2,400 Vermont physicians and physician assistants, is only the second state medical society in the U.S. after Hawaii to formally endorse a national single-payer health care program.

The VMS resolution was introduced by Dr. Jane Katz Field, a pediatrician and vice president of the Vermont chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program (VTPNHP).

“The need for universal single-payer health care has never been more urgent,” said Dr. Katz Field. “Thirty million Americans were already uninsured before the COVID-19 pandemic, and millions more continue to lose coverage as they lose their jobs. Today the Vermont Medical Society recognizes the need to move away from a broken health system that ties health care to employment, and towards a system of equitable and universal coverage.”



Support of a single-payer, national health program

As adopted at the VMS Annual Meeting on November 7, 2020

BE IT RESOLVED that the Vermont Medical Society express its support for universal access to comprehensive, affordable, high-quality health care through a single-payer national health program; and be it further

RESOLVED that the Vermont Medical Society will support a national health program provided it meets these core criteria and principles:

a) Promotes universal, equitable coverage for all US residents (regardless of immigration status);

b) Provides comprehensive and high quality coverage for all medically necessary or appropriate services, including inpatient and outpatient hospital care, primary and preventive care, long-term care, mental health and substance use disorder treatment, dental, vision, audiology, prescription drug and medical devices, comprehensive reproductive care (including maternity and newborn care, and abortion),

c) Prioritizes affordability for all, including: no cost sharing ( no premiums, copays or deductibles), a ban on investor-owned health care facilities, and prescription drug prices to be negotiated directly with manufacturers;

d) Reimburses physicians and health care practitioners in amounts that are sufficient, fair, predictable, transparent and sustainable, while incentivizing primary care;

e) Allows for collective participation by physicians and other practitioners in negotiating rates and program policies;

f) Promotes global operating budgets for hospitals, nursing homes and other providers. Continues to move away from fee-for-service reimbursement models to more flexible payment models that incentivize better outcomes and more coordinated care;

g) Allocates capital funds for hospitals separately from operating budgets;

h) Eliminates the role of private health insurance companies, thereby greatly reducing administrative costs and burdens on clinicians;

i) Allocates funding for graduate medical education that assures adequate supply of generalists and specialists

j) Reforms medical school costs to reduce the amount of debt recent graduates face;

k) Protects the rights of healthcare and insurance workers with guaranteed retraining and job placement;

l) Provides high quality software (EMRs) developed in public sector and provided free to all practitioners;

m) Creates a legal environment that fosters high quality patient care and relieves clinicians from practicing defensive medicine; and

n) Is funded through a publicly financed system, based on combining administrative savings and the current sources of public funding, with modest new taxes based on individual’s ability to pay

Christine Perlin-Gump, Presente!

Christine Perlin-Gump, Louisville activist for peace and social justice, passed away on November 19, 2020.  She is survived by her husband Michael, her son Max of Lexington, and her daughter Rina of Louisville.   Christine loved her job as interpreter and attended classes every day to assist Spanish-speaking students in understanding and communicating.

Several years ago Christine joined Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care, enthusiastically jumping into the work to bring the struggle to the broader public.  She was elected to leadership as a member of the KSPH steering committee.  She led power-point presentations to teach single payer in every venue possible–even once in a noisy bar.  She rode her bike to dozens of festivals where she staffed booths, explained the issues endlessly, and persuaded people to sign petitions.  Christine was courageous, energetic, full of fun, and creative.  She dressed up in Irish attire to help carry the banner in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade,  stuffed endless envelopes, and led educational discussions.

Christine Perlin speaking at the demonstration at Humana.
Christine Perlin speaking at the demonstration at Humana.

In 2018, Christine wrote, produced, and directed a health care skit that was performed on the sidewalk in front of the Humana Headquarters in downtown Louisville.

When Kentuckians sat-in at the office of Senator Mitch McConnell to stop further destruction of health care, Christine was there, proudly demanding health care justice and ending up with a citation from Homeland Security that accused her and others of “failure to comply.”

Christine was not afraid to take a stand.  Her inspiration and work will continue in those she touched.  Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care will honor her memory.

The notice in the Courier-Journal is at this link.

Those who sat-in for health care at the office of Senator Mitch McConnell. Christine in on the right in the front row.
Those who sat-in for health care at the office of Senator Mitch McConnell. Christine in on the right in the front row.



A New Show Each Week on Single Payer Radio

Links are below to the most recent radio shows:


Eugene Shively, MD, and Mike Flynn, MD, discuss Investor-Owned Health Care;   11/30 at 2PM, 12/1 at 7AM, 12/2 at 11AM


“What is Single Payer and Why Do We Have to Have it?” with Kay Tillow


Gun Violence as a Public Health Issue, Dr. Keith Miller, Dr. Mike Flynn, Dr. Eugene Shively


Medical Bankruptcy for those with insurance, Matt Fentress, Dr. Barbara Casper, Kay Tillow


Dr. Susan G. Bornstein, Dr. Eugene Shively, Dr. Mike Flynn discuss health care reform


Dr. Wayne Tuckson speaks of Racism in Health Care with Dr. Eugene Shively and Dr. Mike Flynn

– – – – – –

Please listen and share on Facebook and social media!  Our thanks to Mark McKinley who makes the shows happen.

Listen live at 106.5 FM on Mon. at 2:00 PM, Tues. at 7:00 AM, and Wed. at 11:00 AM–or go online at and tap ‘listen live.’

All the single payer programs are archived here:

Harriette Seiler’s letter in the Courier-Journal

Health Care and the Senate Race

As the November election nears, television viewers across Kentucky are subjected to dueling campaign ads approved by Sen. Mitch McConnell and Amy McGrath.  For voters, health care is a crucial issue, especially due to the spread of COVID-19, job loss and threats to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  While the need for care and coverage has escalated, “ability to pay” remains a barrier.  for the insured, the costs of premiums, deductibles and prescriptions are rising.

Harriette Seiler, Secretary, Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care
Harriette Seiler, Secretary, Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care

Ironically, while sniping at each other, our Kentucky senatorial candidates reveal they agree on the path to meaningful reform.  Each cites the other’s past comments in favor of health care for all.  Amy  refers to a 1990 clip of Mitch saying he will “make sure healh care is available to all Kentucky families.”  A 2020 McConnell ad features Amy favoring “single payer.” Obviously, each candidate understands what sort of health reform legislation our country needs.

I am a member of Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care, which does not endorse candidates.  I urge Mitch and Amy to study the systems of other advanced democracies, to listen to common sense and conscience, to advocate for universal single-payer Medicare for All.

Harriette Seiler, Louisville 40207

Single Payer Radio has weekly programs

Hear Dr. Wayne Tuckson discuss inequities and racism in health care.

Listen to the podcasts of Single Payer Radio here.

Each program is aired three times during the week on Monday at 2:00 pm, Tuesday at 7:00 am, and Wednesday at 11:00 am.

At the designated times, tune in to 106.5 FM or online go to and tap ‘listen live’.

You can listen to all the Single Payer programs at this link:


Beyond the Medicare Advantage Scam

David Cox at Humana Headquarters in Louisville
David Cox at Humana Headquarters in Louisville

In a television ad repeated incessantly, 60’s quarterback star Joe Namath reads his lines to promote the Medicare Coverage Helpline.  “Are you getting all the benefits you deserve?”  He ticks off the new benefits.  You may be able to lower your out of pocket costs and get extra benefit now, he says.

The ad announces that the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has officially authorized new benefits that Medicare Advantage Plans may include.  “One simple call gives you free, professional assistance to help you get more benefits and save money,” says Namath.  It sounds like a public service announcement from Medicare.

But it isn’t.  It’s a pitch to sign up in the privatized, for-profit Medicare Advantage plans—and it’s a scam.  It is true that a person may be able to lower monthly costs by enrolling in one of these plans.  That’s a powerful incentive in a time when the majority of seniors live on tight budgets, many just an inch from disaster.  The laws and regulations allow these insurance companies to lure seniors away from traditional Medicare, and Congresspersons of both parties should be held responsible.

Full story:

The Medicare Advantage Scam

Ask Your Mayor to Join Mayors for Medicare for All

Two mayors have announced an effort to get the nation’s mayors to sign on to support Medicare for All.  Here is the story of the launch by Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia.

“Health care is a human right,” Garcia said in the release. “I’ve been supporting a single payer system in our state for many years because of the millions of people uninsured or underinsured. It’s time for Medicare for All.”

Mayor Robert Garcia of Long Beach
Mayor Robert Garcia of Long Beach

Garcia was joined by the Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf:

“The clearest lesson from the COVID-19 crisis is that healthcare must be a right for all — and not a path to bankruptcy and deeper racial disparities,” Schaaf said in the release. “We’re mobilizing local leaders to build a national movement so the next Congress will adopt legislation that brings healthcare access to all.”

It would be meaningful if some Kentucky mayors would sign on to this.  Please ask your mayor to join in this effort.

The website where mayors can sign on is here:

Appeal to Governor Andy Beshear to Support National Improved Medicare for All


Dr. Garrett Adams speaking at the Unitarian Church
Dr. Garrett Adams

Remarks at Virtual Presentation (ZOOM) to Secretary Eric Friedlander, Carrie Banahan, and Jacquelyne Richardson on Aug. 25, 2020

Garrett Adams, M.D., M.P.H.


  • We are proud of your leadership in the pandemic. Thank you.
  • Your recent comments regarding the disproportionate rates of cases and the effects of Covid-19 on Black and Brown Kentuckians again reflect your wisdom, your humanity and concern for others.


You said:

“My commitment today is … to begin an effort to cover 100 percent of individuals in our … African American communities, everybody…We are going to be putting dollars behind it and we’re going to have a multi-faceted campaign to do it… it’s important because COVID-19 has shown what can happen when you don’t have coverage…This is just a first commitment and making up for that inequality that Dr. King said was the most severe, inequality in health care…I want to eventually make sure there’s coverage for everybody out there, but this is the time and this is our commitment and we’re going to make it happen.” 6/9/20.


We honor your commitment and we’re here today to help us move forward together to achieve that goal. Thank you for the opportunity to meet with you and to open this dialog. We believe the only way to accomplish your vision of 100% health insurance coverage of individuals in … African-American communities is with a single payer national health insurance plan.


I have often thought about the similarity between your daily Covid-19 encouragement to Kentuckians, “We’ll get through this. We’ll get through this together.” and the Single Payer mantra, which is, “Everybody in, Nobody out.”


Seventeen years ago this month, at my desk at the Louisville Jefferson County Metro Health Department I read an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, entitled, The Physician’s Proposal for a National Health Plan. Here is an abbreviated version of the proposal.


A PhysiciansProposal for Single-Payer Health Care Reform



  1. The plan removes all financial barriers to medical care.


  1. Saves enough on administrative overhead to provide comprehensive coverage to the uninsured and to upgrade coverage for everyone else, thus requiring no increase in total health spending.


  1. Puts in place effective mechanisms to control costs, lowering the rate of medical inflation and making the health system sustainable for future generations.


  1. Restores free choice of clinician and hospital to all Americans.


  1. Every resident of the U.S., including all immigrants, is covered for all necessary medical care.


  1. National Health Program (NHP) card entitles patients to care at any hospital or doctor’s office.


  1. Provides coverage for outpatient and inpatient medical care as well as rehabilitation, mental health and long-term care, dental services, and prescription drugs.


  1. Improves on traditional Medicare’s benefits and expands coverage to all Americans.


  1. Eliminates premiums, co-pays, deductibles, and co-insurance.


  1. Is federally financed (like Medicare) and administered by federal, state and regional boards. Private insurance that duplicates NHP coverage is prohibited.


  1. The Initial increase in government costs is fully offset by savings in premiums and out-of-pocket costs.


  1. Hospitals and other health facilities will be on a budget. Most remain privately owned and operated, receiving an annual “global” lump sum budget from the NHP to cover all operating costs.


  1. Physicians are paid based on a simple fee schedule covering all patients or by salary


  1. Medications purchased wholesale.


  1. It is paid for by combining current government health spending into a single fund with modest new progressive taxes fully offset by reductions in premiums and out-of-pocket spending


( – Am. J. Public Health, June, 2018)


At the end of the article there was an online option to endorse the plan and join PNHP, a data-driven organization of physicians and health professionals who educate and advocate for Single Payer national health insurance. I joined 8,000 fellow physicians. Today there are 23,000 and the majority of American doctors support Single Payer as well as leading physician specialty organizations.


Recently the AMA cut ties with an anti-single payer lobbying group as did the American College of Radiology.


In January the nation’s largest medical specialty society, the American College of Physicians (ACP), announced its endorsement of Medicare for All. On Aug. 12, 2020 the Society of General Internal Medicine officially endorsed that support and committed to advocate for universal health care coverage.


The majority of Americans favor Medicare for All. Although there are no specific Kentucky polls, evidence is building that Kentuckians favor the reform: City Council resolutions, and Democratic Club endorsements, a Resolution in the Kentucky House of Representatives in 2007. Recently two Kentucky candidates for US Senate ran on single payer platforms. One of the candidates was endorsed by both leading newspapers in the state and came close to winning the Primary.


Single Payer is the only plan that will cut through the wasteful bureaucracy of our current system and actually provide health care for all. A single payer health plan will do exactly what you want it to do. It will level the playing field for all Kentuckians and put us on the road to equality and dignity for all. We are hoping that you and your administration will commit to a period of study and hopefully, support of a national single payer health care plan.



Tell Andy: Fulfill the promise to cover everyone; Endorse Improved Medicare for All

Health Care advocates challenge Governor Beshear to make good on his promise to cover his Black constituents and all Kentuckians and to endorse the only proposal that will make that happen–Improved Medicare for All.

To accomplish his goal of covering everyone will require legislation as set forth in the Physicians’ proposal, a national single-payer, improved Medicare for All.*  Ask him to endorse this proposal– Improved Medicare for All. Without such action many more lives will be lost.  
You can email Governor Andy Beshear here:
Or mail a letter:
Governor Andy Beshear
700 Capitol Avenue, Suite 100
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
Main Line: (502) 564-2611
Fax: (502) 564-2517
Our letter made national news at here.
The KSPH letter is below.


Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care

An affiliate of the Kentucky chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program

P. O. Box 17595, Louisville, KY 40217,, (502) 636 1551

July 10, 2020

Governor Andy Beshear

700 Capitol Avenue, Suite 100

Frankfort, Kentucky 40601


Dear Governor Beshear,

We join our fellow Kentuckians in praising your strong and wise leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic, the worst natural crisis most of us will ever see. We applaud your science-based actions and your sincere compassion for the people of the Commonwealth. Thank you!


Kentuckians for Single Payer Healthcare is a nonpartisan grassroots organization with a statewide following. We are affiliated with Physicians for a National Health Program ( and share their mission to educate and advocate for single payer national health insurance—Improved Medicare for All.


Recently, shocked by the horrifying rate at which Black Kentuckians are dying from COVID-19, you committed publicly to covering every single African American and, furthermore, every Kentuckian. We are profoundly moved by your courageous commitment, and we welcome this initiative wholeheartedly. Yes, it must be done. There can be no excuse for our wealthy country, with its vast medical and professional resources, to leave anyone without high quality care.


We are grateful that you opposed the ill-advised Medicaid waiver proposals of your predecessor. Expansion of publicly-funded Medicaid was the major achievement of the ACA in Kentucky, but thousands still lacked coverage. Many fall into the gap with income too high for Medicaid yet too low to buy private plans or afford their deductibles and copays.  In 2018 Kentucky still had 7% of the non-elderly uninsured—a total of 238,400, close to a quarter of a million people, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.


Today, as you well know, we are in crisis. With the arrival of the pandemic, the rising unemployment rate plays havoc with employment-based health insurance. Over 900,000 Kentuckians could lose their employer-based health coverage due to layoffs and furloughs. Many of these individuals may never be called back to their old jobs, which will create an enormous lack of health coverage in Kentucky. There is no way that the ACA can begin to meet the challenge with the newly unemployed numbers at over 40 million nationwide and a pandemic raging. Prior to the layoffs of 2020, there remained over 27 million uninsured, and nearly 62 million underinsured individuals in this country. We already have distressing health care outcomes lagging behind other wealthy countries in maternal mortality, life expectancy, and infant mortality, to name but a few. As coverage grew under the ACA, so did underinsurance—the number of people nominally covered who still could not afford their care.


We believe it is essential to look to a more far-reaching and cost-effective solution to covering all our people and eliminating health disparities. The solution is Improved Medicare for All, a publicly-funded single payer plan. The current state of healthcare in the midst of Covid-19 cries out for a low-cost, universal expansion of coverage that only a Medicare for All plan can provide, a truly best-case solution to insure that everyone receives equal and unparalleled access to the best medical care available. There will be no distinction in coverage based on race, ethnicity, health status, or ability to pay. All necessary medical procedures, hospitalization, dental, eye care, hearing aids, mental health, prescriptions, and long-term care would be available to all. To remove all financial barriers to care, there will be no copays and no deductibles. And the cost for better than 95% of our citizens would be significantly lowered.


Our nation’s health care system is structured to be dependent upon private health insurers and profits, making it the most expensive system in the world, yet millions are still deprived of coverage and care. About a third of the nearly $4 trillion per year that our country spends goes, unnecessarily, to administrative costs. We call for universal coverage that does not depend on private health insurance companies whose overhead and profit consume over 30% of total health care costs and will eventually bankrupt our healthcare system.


To accomplish the goals you have so courageously expressed, to which you are committed, will require national single payer legislation, an improved Medicare for All system as set forth in the proposal of the Physicians for a National Health Program.* We urge you to publicly endorse that proposal. You will have a world of impact in advancing your goals if you call on Kentucky’s congressional representatives to pass such legislation. Your endorsement can move the whole nation forward.


There is momentum now for a permanent solution to the ongoing health care crisis in our state and in our nation. Polls show majority support Medicare for All. In the recent Kentucky Democratic Primary senatorial election, the combined vote totals for the two candidates who supported Medicare for All were greater than the candidate who did not. In 2007, the Kentucky House of Representatives passed House Resolution No. 81, urging the US Congress to enact H.R. 676, the United States National Health Insurance Act.


Improved Medicare for All is the solution to solving this moral issue.


We would be pleased to provide more information on the advantages of Improved Medicare for All, either by teleconference or, hopefully soon, a face to face meeting. Please consider our request on behalf of the people of the Commonwealth. We look forward to future discussion, to answering your questions.


And again, thank you for your continued efforts tackling the heartrending problem plaguing the most vulnerable in our State.



Sincerely yours,


Garrett Adams, MD, MPH

Past President

Physicians for a National Health Program


Kay Tillow


Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care


Edgar Lopez, MD, FACS, Vice Chair

Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care


Harriette Seiler, Secretary

Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care


Charles Casper, Treasurer

Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care




cc:  local and national news media