Single Payer – Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017

FCCPR Single Payer Task Force Meeting

Green Fields Market

Attendees: Marilyn Andrews, Judy Atkins, Dave Cohen, Marti Hobbes, Eileen Palumbo, Diane Poland, Jackie Wolf, Susan Worgatfik

Judy Atkins reported on single payer health meeting in New York and took away following information:

-protect access to programs
-“we all win when we all win”
-be vigilant to potential rise in scapegoating of minorities to justify privatization
-if Affordable Care Act is replaced, the National Single Payer group is advocating -“Improved Medicare for All”
-there is work to be done nationally and also at the state level;
-the organization which links together the state efforts for single payer is called     “One Payer States”

Jackie Wolf, who is an active and longtime member of the Massachusetts Campaign for Single Payer Health Care (Mass-Care) discussed the strategy for the bills that are currently submitted to the Massachusetts House and Senate.

She mentioned current discussion taking place in Oregon on expanding health care to all residents that cites a new Rand Corporation Study that might inform the efforts of single-payer health advocates in Massachusetts.

In the next several days, Jackie said it’s important for advocates of the bill to contact our representatives, particularly Stephen Kulik, and urge them to support the bill.

Perhaps this is something we can ask the broader FCCPR membership. To that end, our task force will put together a list of representative names for all Franklin County residents along with the docket numbers of the bills that are pending, and have this ready for 1/29 general assembly meeting (or post to FCCPR website?)

Jackie said there is now, and has for years, been popular support for the bill, yet representatives never follow through. She notes that in 1991 the state legislature showed that the state could save millions of dollars with the system, but the bill arrived “dead in the water.”

So the missing piece is active advocacy by citizens and essential citizens urge their representatives to support it and that’s where groups like FCCPR come in.

Someone mentioned it would be useful to prepare talking points for FCCPR members to use to promote the single-payer health care and to counter misconceptions about the political viability of it. (She often hears “I’m for single payer, but the health insurance lobby in Massachusetts is too strong.”)

She recommends that in addition to asking the general FCCPR group call their representatives to support the bill, we also encourage the general FCCPR membership to join Mass-Care. Perhaps at the 1/29 meeting?

Judy will put together a script for FCCPR members to use when they reach out to their representatives to support the bill.

At the 1/29 general FCCPR meeting, we will also ask our members to fill out the Franklin County Health Insurance Survey (FCHIS), Dave Cohen put together and also ask their help to collect data from their respective Franklin County towns.

Jackie also suggested that we follow up after a time with people who have filled out the FCHIS .

Note that on March 20, Senator Stan Rosenberg will be giving a listening tour—our task force and maybe FCCPR should make a point of attending.

League of women’s voters is hosting a family concert on April 30 to support single payer health care. Jan Mankita, folk singer, will be performing along with other entertainment.

It would be helpful for our task force to put together a list of state representatives and show how much money they’re getting from insurance lobby.