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.
On Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024, Garrett Adams, MD, founder of Physicians for a National Health Program-KY, was among the panelists featured at a showing of the “Power to Heal,” a documentary that tells a poignant chapter in the historic struggle to secure equal access to healthcare for all Americans. Central to the story is the tale of how a new national program, Medicare, was used to mount a dramatic, coordinated effort that desegregated thousands of hospitals across the country in a matter of months.
The event, a part of a film series, was a collaboration between the Louisville Free Public Library, the UofL Office of Diversity and Inclusion Health Sciences Center, and the mayor’s office “Lean into Louisville.”
The producer of the film, Dr. Barbara Berney, PhD in Public Health joined by video from San Francisco.
On the left is Karen Krigger, MD, Professor of Family and Geriatric Medicine and Director of Health Equity, HSC Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Louisville, who chaired the program. Seated is Dr. Luz Fernandez, residency director of the University of Louisville family medicine and president elect of the KY Academy of Family Physicians, who was also a panelist. Dr. Garrett Adams is on the right.
There are two more films in the series, “Rustin” on Feb. 18, and “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” on Feb. 25. Info here and here.
KSPH has purchased a copy of “Power to Heal” and offers to show it free of charge to any organization in Kentucky. Write to email@example.com.
A stalemate between one of Kentucky’s largest health care providers and three major health insurers is affecting thousands of Kentucky retirees enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans.
Baptist Health last fall ended its contract agreement with Humana for physician services covered by Medicare Advantage, the Kentucky Lantern reported in October. That means doctors’ visits are considered “out of network” and patients would have to pay more for services.
And effective Jan. 1, Baptist also ended agreements with United HealthCare and Wellcare for Medicare Advantage coverage for services including physician and hospital care — meaning all such care is considered out of network.
Baptist has cited denials of care and delays in payment which the Medicare Advantage companies dispute.
Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care mourns the unexpected January 23, 2024, passing of our steering committee member and activist Larry Hovekamp. We send condolences to his sister Elaine, his family and many friends. We honor the memory of Larry for his decades of marching and fighting for single payer healthcare so that everyone would have care regardless of their ability to pay.
Standing up by sitting down. Larry is pictured here in an October 2009 sit in on the marble floor of the Humana Building protesting the denial of care. This was part of nationwide demonstrations in the effort to place Improved Medicare for All, a national, not-for-profit, single payer plan, on the nation’s agenda. Larry was with us despite needing a cane to walk because of a serious car accident.
On January 10, 2024, National Single Payer hosted a webinar entitled:
“McMedicare for All: What Privatization Means for the Single Payer Movement”
presented by Ana Malinow, MD.
National healthcare experts Kip Sullivan, Suzanne Gordon, Karen Palmer, MD, Don McCanne, MD, Andy Coates, MD, John Geyman, MD, and Jim Kahn, MD, participated in the discussion following the presentation.
The webinar takes the participant from “Taking Advantage of Medicare” to “The Menace of Value-Based Care” to “The Way Out.”
The program begins after 48 seconds. Dr. Malinow ends at 38 minutes when Judy Albert, MD, chairs the Q & A from the audience.
An industry-friendly Medicare Advantageletterhas officially launched in the Senate, circulated by Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Tim Scott (R-SC), Gary Peters (D-MI), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).
You can find PNHP’s response to their letter HERE. The deadline for signing this letter is Wednesday, Jan. 24.
It’s our job to let our senators know that we do NOT want them to sign on.
Call your U.S. Senators today via the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
A suggested script is below, but feel free to adjust it:
I’m a constituent of Senator [NAME]. I’m reaching out about the Medicare Advantage program. Currently, there is a letter circulating in the Senate led by Senators Cortez Masto, Scott, Peters, and Capito praising the program and asking for “stability,” which really means no changes that might protect seniors and people with disabilities.
I’m calling to urge the Senator to NOT sign on to this letter.The Medicare Advantage program has a record of harming patients by delaying and denying care, and by restricting our choice of doctor. Insurance corporations have also been caught overcharging taxpayers by up to 140 billion dollars per year. Rather than uncritically promoting Medicare Advantage, we need Congress to reappraise the program and hold health insurers accountable for their plans’ shortcomings.
You can also use this email tool to urge your senators not to sign the industry-friendly letter. Thank YOU for taking action to fight back against corporate profiteering in Medicare! In solidarity,
In Lexington In early December of this year, Kay Tillow, Chair of Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care, addressed the KY AFL-CIO Convention with a presentation on the current health care crisis and the single payer solution. Delegates responded enthusiastically—some requested copies of the slide show, most signed the petition, and several requested presentations.
Over a decade ago the Kentucky State AFL-CIO was the first state federation to endorse single payer health care—an Improved Medicare for All that would remove insurance companies, co-pays, and deductibles, and publicly fund health care for everyone. After Kentucky broke the ice, a total of 44 state AFL-CIO federations and the national AFL-CIO proclaimed support for single payer.
The convention celebrated energized contract and organizing struggles with speeches by Teamsters Secretary Treasurer Fred Zuckerman, UAW President Shawn Fain, and the Flight Attendants’ President Sara Nelson. Mineworkers President Cecil Roberts, a staunch single payer supporter, brought down the house with his unique narration of the miners’ battle at Cabin Creek.
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.