Single Payer Healthcare Task Force Meeting 5/17/17

Present: Judy Atkins, Mike Fadel, Peter Kerr, Emily Greene, Jackie Wolf, Joan Joshi, Haynes Turkle, Jim Thornley, Dave Cohen, Gisele L’Italien, JR

We met in the new FCCPR office corner of Main and Bank Row.

We reported on what has been done so far.

Every Town that had the Single Payer Resolution in support of the Medicare for All bill on the warrant has passed the resolution. The Towns are Deerfield, Leveret, Colrain, Plainfield. The results have been passed on to State Rep’s.

It was discussed and decided that the work at the Town level should continue as it was successful, and the result of getting the Towns to officially endorse the bill is a meaningful way to bring the support for the bill to the State Rep’s and State Senators, as well as the press coverage.

We should continue to collect the information on how much Towns currently pay and how much they would save.

We need to find out which Towns are having Fall Town Meetings. These meetings are a little more difficult to get resolutions passed – but we need to look into how to do this.

If anyone wants to research which towns and how to do it – please let the rest of us know.

The resolution itself would make a good flyer or poster.

We got a response from Charlemont – they sent us the numbers on health care expenditures and savings:

Total wages and salaries $586,711.60

Total paid for health insurance for employees $53,989.44

Total if Medicare for All were in effect ( wages x .0794) $46,585.00

Savings $7,404.00

So even a small town would save tax payer money.

Right now the employees in Charlemont are paying on a weekly basis $92.09 for a family plan and $31.90 for a single plan and $74.28 for a two person plan. There are no deductibles.

So for example, if the employee’s yearly income is $35,000. The cost of single payer payroll tax would be $875. per year. (35,000. x .025)

Instead of what they are currently paying = for a family plan 4768.88 per year; $1658.80 for a single person plan; and $4070. for a two person plan.

I will write them back and give them the results.

Everyone really liked the film Fix-It: Health Care at the Tipping Point. The film can be down loaded and either shown by live streaming, or we talked about putting it on a thumb drive and showing it  – which might be easier especially if internet access is not available.

There are many different possibilities for places to show this film. Libraries may be the easiest, but also there are quite a few civic and service groups that meet monthly and might want to have the film as a program for their group.

Let’s start finding places to show the film. Jackie Wolf offered to help with the presentation and to answer questions. And it would be good if we would practice doing it ourselves, with the help of the FAC sheet and other resources.

Businesses – Another important outreach is to see if we can find businesses that are open to talking about what health insurance they provide and how much the business and the employees pay, and if they would consider supporting single payer. I think we need to think about this and talk about it some more.

Also let’s not ignore the unions in the area. Many of them signed on to single payer in the past, but we need to renew the discussion and bring them up to date.

Another thing that was brought up – It is important to publicize the attack on health care by Trump and the Republicans. The House Bill was outrageously destructive to health care. But Trump wanted a “victory.” Some victory!
Bernie Sanders says “This cannot be called a “health care bill,” This is a “destroy health care bill.’


Senator Jamie Eldridge and Mass – Care are starting to make plans for a big Single Payer Conference to be held either in Worcester or Boston probably in September.


The next General Assembly of FCCPR will be Sunday June 11, 2:00-4:00 pm at The Grange.


Everyone is invited to a meeting on June 7th in Northampton. I (Judy) will be away next week.
There will be a lot of good information and networking at this meeting. Please attend if you can.

see below:

From: Deborah Levenson <>
Date: May 24, 2017 at 2:55:45 PM EDT
To: Health Care Action <healthcareaction@lists.wmjwj. org>
Subject: Next regional meeting – June 7

Please join us for the next meeting of the western Mass. Medicare-for-All regional network at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 7, at the following location:  Mass. Nurses’ Conference Room, second floor, room 234/236, Potpourri Plaza, 241 King St, Northampton (across from Stop & Shop). oi=map&q=241+King+St+ Northampton+01060.

Some items on the agenda —
1.  Updates on our bills in Boston – what the heck is going on behind closed doors?
2.  Report on MassCare’s lobbying plan for the next few months
2.  Information sharing –  local actions and events, lobbying efforts, etc.
3.  Brainstorm ways our regional network can educate and advocate for Medicare for All this summer — organize tabling at farmers’ markets and other events?  a larger event – teach-in/ speak out?  (July 30 is Medicare’s birthday – signed in1965 by LBJ.)
4.  Decide on a name for the network and Facebook group.

If you would like more background on Single Payer before the meeting, we encourage you to watch the film “Fix it” at this link: .  You can also find information at .

Please RSVP for the June 7th meeting to .  Hope you will join us!