HR 676, Expanded and Improved Medicare for All, a model single payer bill in the House from 2003 to 2017.
HR 3421, Improved Medicare for All, 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 here. Or you can mail your check to KSPH, PO Box 17595, Louisville, KY 40217. Annual dues are $5, but we welcome whatever you can give.
Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care invites you to a webinar featuring Dr. Ana Malinow who will present on:
Value-Based or Value-Less? From the Board Room to the Exam Room:
Medicare, Privatization, and the Menace of “Value-Based” Care.
Following the presentation, Dr. Malinow will respond to our questions. You’re invited! If you would like to participate, please email Kay at firstname.lastname@example.org requesting to be sent the zoom link for the Dec. 7 webinar.
Dr. Ana Malinow spent three decades working as a pediatrician with immigrant, refugee and underserved children in Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania, and California before retiring as Clinical Professor of Pediatrics from the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine. She is past president of Physicians for a National Health Program and has been featured on national and international television and radio on health care reform and the stealth privatization of traditional Medicare.
She is currently a lead organizer for National Single Payer and The Movement to End Privatization of Medicare.
(This webinar will replace the December first Thursday meeting of KSPH. If you are on that list to receive the zoom link for regular meetings, you will receive the link for the webinar automatically.)
Below are three articles on this issue.
1. Value-based payment has produced little value. It needs a time-out
By Kip Sullivan, Ana Malinow and Kay Tillow, July 26, 2022
The value-based payment crusade is now two decades old. But despite the tens of billions of dollars — perhaps hundreds of billions — spent on these programs, they have done little to improve Americans’ health or lower health care costs.
Over the last decade, a new industry has emerged that may eventually contribute as much to administrative waste as the insurance industry does today. This industry has no name. Because the participants in the industry all promote a new scheme known as “value-based payment,” and because they all make money off it, we propose to call the new industry the value-based payment (VBP) industry.
Later this month, right before Medicare’s 57th birthday on July 30, corporate health care and the government players who facilitate their lucrative businesses, will gather for a summit on value-based care. They will speak of driving health equity, of reaching underserved communities, of coordination of care, and accountable care. They will insist that physicians share in risk just like insurance companies. They will advocate the transformation of health care to value-based care, supposedly founded on payment for quality rather than quantity, value instead of volume, and outcomes not fee-for-service. They will assert that this transformation brings equity, improves care, and saves money.
They have no evidence to back up their assertions. But the scheme to move to value-based care and to shove risk onto physicians imposes profit-making managers into the system, shifts the profit incentive from more care to denial of treatment, and expands opportunities for venture capital, private equity, and insurance companies.
Harriette Seiler, Secretary of KSPH, was featured on WHAS TV, Channel 11. Humana Medicare Advantage and other Humana plans in Kentucky recently failed to reach agreement with Baptist Health physicians forcing thousands of Kentuckians to have to find new doctors or pay out-of-network fees. This crisis impacts Kentucky state retirees, county retirees, school board retirees other than teachers, and retirees and employees of Local 862 who work at two giant Ford plants in Louisville. Later on Oct. 11, UAW Local 862 workers at the Kentucky Truck Plant joined the strike for a contract. Restoration of retiree health benefits and pensions are UAW demands in the current negotiations.
Jill Harmer, KSPH Steering Committee Member; Bill Londrigan, President of the Kentucky AFL-CIO; Jeff Wiggins, Secretary-Treasurer of the KY AFL-CIO; Kay Tillow, Chair of KSPH, and Garrett Adams, MD, past president of Physicians for a National Health Program, were among those who addressed the crowd through a powerful sound system.
Chants of “Patients, Not Profits, Medicare for All,” and “Everybody In, Nobody Out” rang out above the noise of the construction on the Humana Building.
On Sunday, September 17, 2023, the First Unitarian Church featured “Single Payer Health Care–What America Needs Now.” Jill Harmer, PhD, a Clinical Psychologist and a member of the Steering Committee of Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care (KSPH), made the event possible and presented the sermon. Devi Pierce, MD, who practices in southern Indiana, spoke of the destructive impact high costs and prior authorization have on her patients. The video “What Does U.S. Health Care Look Like Abroad? | NYT Opinion,” was a part of the church’s program.
Jill included in her single payer message an appeal to join in the campaign against the privatization of Medicare that is happening through Medicare Advantage, ACO REACH, and other projects promoted by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. Kay Tillow of KSPH joined Jill for a lively question and answer session.
Mt. Sterling physicians, Dr. Edward Roberts and Dr. Robert Toon, sponsored a September 12, 2023, showing of the documentary, “The Power to Heal,” at the Gateway Regional Arts Center in downtown Mt. Sterling. The film, narrated by Danny Glover, describes how the passage of Medicare in 1965 became the vehicle by which an active civil rights movement, in less than four months, transformed the nation’s hospitals from our most racially and economically segregated institutions into our most integrated.
Publicly funded Medicare not only brought care to our nation’s seniors but it ended segregation in hospitals with its insistence that only hospitals certified as in compliance with civil rights law could receive these funds.
Following the film, Paul Hoppe and Kay Tillow of Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care and Dr. Roberts engaged with the audience in a lively discussion entertaining the possibility that Medicare could once again be the basis of transformation to a more just health care system. A local doctor told of the privatized Medicare Advantage plans’ refusal to authorize payment for tests essential to care. Many signed the petition in support of the national, not-for-profit, single payer system–an Improved Medicare for All plan–advocated by Physicians for a National Health Program.
On July 30, 2023, Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care hosted a showing of “The Power to Heal” in celebration of Medicare’s 58th birthday. The film, narrated by Danny Glover, tells how the 1965 passage of the Medicare law, together with a dedicated grass roots civil rights movement, ended the widespread segregation of US hospitals. Hospitals had to be certified as open to African Americans and integrated before that could receive Medicare money.
Medicare not only brought health care to seniors but more justice to the nation.
KSPH calls for a further transformation of Medicare to end profits in health care and enact a national, single payer system–an Improved Medicare for All.
Thanks to Paul Hoppe who supplied the technical expertise for the film projection as well as the cupcakes imprinted with a Medicare Card and to Charlie Casper and Harriette Seiler who did the work to make the event a success. Thanks to Ralph Hearn and the KYARA for spreading the word, to Mark McKinley for the Radio Show with David Barton Smith, and to Steve Katz who traveled from Lexington to be with us.
KSPH offers to show the film anywhere in Kentucky. We are currently working on arranging a showing in Mt. Sterling. Please write or call: email@example.com (502) 636 1551.
Representative Pramila Jayapal has introduced into Congress the Medicare for All Act of 2023, a national single payer bill. Physicians for a National Health Program is circulating a letter inviting organizations to sign on to show support for the legislation.
We encourage you to ask your organization, and other organizations, to sign on to the letter.
Here’s the direct link to the form where organizations can sign on to support.