Healthcare For All Newsletter September 1, 2017

September 2, 2017

Healthcare For All Newsletter
September 1, 2017
 “Healthcare: the next battle for guaranteeing healthcare access for all”

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“Healthcare: the next battle for guaranteeing healthcare access for all”

The leadership of both parties in Congress appear to be headed for some kind short-term, bipartisan deal on healthcare access. They should be fighting for the expansion of Medicaid in the 19 states that have refused to do so.

The leadership of the healthcare movement must prepare and carry out a battle for the expansion of Medicaid in those states. It is somewhat like the battle against the extension of slavery in the 1850s. We have to fight for the extension of Medicaid as part of the war to pass H.R.676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act.

This means we have to replace the state legislators and governors who oppose expansion of Medicare with leaders who will fight for it. This will be one of the key struggles in 2018 and 2020.

The other key struggle in 2018 and 2020 is to elect leaders in the House and Senate who support HR676 instead of the leaders in the recent battle to defund the Affordable Care Act who refused to introduce HR676 in the Senate).

In 2020, we will elect the next president. Our candidate must support HR 676. There is no other choice. This struggle for healthcare access is too important for the people of this country to leave in the hands of the present leaders in Congress. And that is precisely what the Trumps, Scaramuccis and their ilk would like us to do.

So, healthcare movement, get it together. “John Brown” fought against the expansion of slavery in our past history. He would fight for the expansion of Medicaid today and for HR676 in the coming years.

Retirees for Single Payer Health Care

Status of State Action on the Medicaid Expansion Decision

A central goal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is to significantly reduce the number of uninsured by providing a continuum of affordable coverage options through Medicaid and the Health Insurance Marketplaces. The ACA expands Medicaid coverage for most low-income adults to 138% of the federal poverty level (FPL); see this table for state by state Medicaid income eligibility levels for adults. Following the June 2012 Supreme Court decision, states face a decision about whether to adopt the Medicaid expansion. It is important to note that per CMS guidance, there is no deadline for states to implement the Medicaid expansion.  Read More



Where the states stand on Medicaid expansion

The Supreme Court’s 2012 ruling on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) allowed states to opt out of the law’s Medicaid expansion, leaving each state’s decision to participate in the hands of the nation’s governors and state leaders.  Read More


The War on Medicaid Is Moving to the States


Reagan set the tone for a conservative war against Medicaid that is now in its 52nd year. Recent Republican proposals to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act would have reduced Medicaid enrollment by up to 15 million people, and, although these efforts were defeated, congressional Republicans aren’t done yet: It’s likely they will attempt to gut the program during the upcoming budget debate. Meanwhile, more than half a dozen Republican governors are trying to take a hatchet to the program—at the open invitation of the Trump administration—through a vehicle known as a “Medicaid waiver.”  Read More


Healthcare: the next battle for guaranteeing healthcare access for all

Healthcare and HR 676

To Sen. Sanders: We cannot begin from a position of compromise

At the start of the August congressional recess, Senator Bernie Sanders announced that he will introduce a senate bill this September “to expand Medicare to cover all Americans.” Since the election, the movement for improved Medicare for all, has been urging Sanders to introduce a companion to John Conyers’ HR 676: The Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, which currently has a record 117 co-sponsors in the House and is considered the gold standard by the movement.

Recent reports are that Sanders’ bill falls far short of HR 676 in fundamental ways. In fact, Sanders’ bill is a multi-payer system not a single payer system. His bill reportedly would allow private insurers to compete with the public system, allow the wealthy to buy their way out of the public system and allow investor-owned health facilities to continue to profit while providing more expensive and lower quality health care.  Read More



Physicians to Sanders: We cannot support barriers to health care


Dear Senator Sanders:

We are writing to express our concern about elements of your draft single payer legislation, especially the inclusion of copayments for medically-necessary care.  Read More



Single-Payer Fight Fuels Primary Challengers Against Establishment Democrats


It has been just over a year since the Democratic Platform Drafting Committee held a vote over whether the party should endorse a single-payer, Medicare for All health care system. The committee predictably declined to put it in the platform by a 7-6 vote. The seven no votes came from delegates chosen by Hillary Clinton, whose campaign was awash in money from the for-profit health system.  Read More


Healthcare and Immigrants

They Got Hurt At Work — Then They Got Deported


Arias was charged with using a false Social Security number to get a job and to file for workers’ comp. The state insurance fraud unit had been tipped off by a private investigator hired by his employer’s insurance company.

With his back still in pain from three herniated or damaged disks, Arias spent a year and a half in jail and immigration detention before he was deported.  Read More

Healthcare and Segregation

First Black Hospital In Kansas City Is Now On Life Support

In photographs from a 1940’s tax assessment, the hospital’s walls peek out from the middle of a dense block, a mixed-use subdivision called Victor Place, with apartments, duplexes, a large corner drug store and various warehouses. Then the hospital, located a block east of Troost Avenue and three blocks south of Vine Street, sat at the edge of a burgeoning African American community, separated by Jim Crow laws from white Kansas City for much of the 20th century.  Read More

Healthcare and the Homeless

Dying on the streets: As the homeless age, a health care system leaves them behind


The elderly man winced as two friends lifted him from his car, and he walked, as if on broken glass, along the curb of a dead end street in an East Oakland neighborhood. It took him several minutes to walk 15 yards, and when he sat again he needed still more time to regain his breath.


His eyes were pressed shut, and as he waited for the pain and breathlessness to pass, his fingertips worked the skin of one knotted, ebony hand. Finally he lifted his head and, with the hint of a smile, said his name was Dwane Allen Foreman. “I’ve got a long story,” he said.  Read More

Healthcare and Water

Flint Water

A series of articles on the poisoning of drinking water in Flint.  Read More

Report: Programs to remove lead would save next generation of kids


The findings follow the uproar over the catastrophe in Flint, Mich., after the city switched water sources in 2014, leading to a spike in lead levels in drinking water. As a result, the proportion of infants and children in Flint with above-average levels of lead in their blood nearly doubled.  Read More




HR 676 – Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act


We propose a fight to “Nationalize Healthcare Access” centered on HR 676 – “Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act”.


This bill contains and has always contained the next step to future of healthcare in this country.


Everybody In, Nobody Out Healthcare – Gives every resident of the United States and the U.S. Territories access to all medically necessary health care services, including vision and dental as well long term care with no copays or deductibles regardless of employment, income or health status.  Private insurance companies may not duplicate coverage under this bill.


Non-Profit Healthcare – Converts all healthcare providers to a not-for-profit service where illness is no longer a source of wealth for a few.


Single Payer Healthcare – Medicare today is a social insurance program for those 65 or older and the disabled under 65.  Medicare for All improves and extends that social insurance program to all of us. This gives us all the collective ability to eliminate the out of control costs of the healthcare industry in this country.  Pays for that expanded coverage by maintaining the present level of federal government revenues for Health Care as well as increasing personal income taxes on the top 5 percent income earners, instituting a modest and progressive tax on payroll and self-employment income, on unearned income, and on stock and bond transactions.


This requires HR 676 to be reintroduced by Congressman John Conyers Jr. in the US House of Representatives in the next session.  It will also require Senator Bernie Sanders to introduce a companion bill to HR676 in the US Senate in the next session.

For this to happen the national, state and local healthcare movement must take up the call to “Nationalize Healthcare Access in this country.  The alternative is the destruction of Medicare, Medicaid, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and the Indian Health Service (IHS).

This is not about which political party you voted for in this election!  It is not about skin color!  It is not about religion!  It is not about immigration status!  It is not about crime and punishment!  It is not about jobs!  Only monsters would deny healthcare to any of us.  And that is exactly what they intend to do over the next two years!

Do we look at our brothers and sisters and shrug our shoulders?  Or do we fight back?


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