May 4th RALLY and Public Hearing on Healthcare
for ALL Maine
– It's happening in Augusta. Join us!
Thursday, May 4th
Rally 11:00 AM at the Maine State House
Press Conference at NOON in the the Maine State House Welcome Center, first floor, featuring Rep. Heidi Brooks MD (D-Lewiston), sponsor of LD 1274 – "An Act to Promote Universal Health Care, Including Dental, Vision and Hearing Care” and other speakers representing patients and providers.
Public Hearing 1:00 PM before the Joint Committee on Insurance and Financial Services, Room 220 Cross Office Building.
This is your chance to make universal health care happen. Plan on sharing your health care story and speak support for universal health care. Testifying before the the committee is easy when so much is at stake. Just 1-3 minutes, in your own words – whether you are an individual without coverage, a business struggling to pay employee benefits, or a provider who sees people struggle every day for lack of affordable care, your story will make a difference!
Co-sponsored by Maine AllCare, Southern Maine Workers Center (SMWC) and Maine Sate Nurses Association (MSNA), as partners of the Healthcare as a Human Right Coalition.
Finally, please email us and share your testimony. Please let us know if you are planning to be there in person, or if you will submit a written testimony. Thank you.
Hello Ellsworth – All smiles for universal health care
Ellsworth – Members of Maine AllCare demonstrate their support for publicly funded universal health care that covers every person in Maine. About twenty supporters stood on the Union River Bridge in Ellsworth on Saturday noon March 25, 2017 – from left to right are Holly Duesenberry, Jean Rohrer, Doris Plummer and Sarah Whelan. During the hour-long event virtually every passing car honked in a supportive way, with waves and big smiles. (Click on the photo above to see more pictures.) Photo by Bruce Becque.
People’s Forum on Health Care
March 27, 2017 – Portland ME
The recent People's Forum on Health Care was a powerful event. We want to thank everyone who shared their stories. We also want to thank Representatives Mike Sylvester, Ben Collings, Andrew McLean, Rachel Talbot Ross and Maureen Terry, Senator Ben Chipman, and Travis Kennedy from Senator Angus King's office for witnessing people's stories and affirming their belief that health care is a human right.
Cait Vaughn from the SMWC got the stories written down and collected them. A number of challenged people, most of whom got help from family to pay off the thousands of dollars they were charged for needed medical care to save their lives, the ACA helping them to a point.
The event was held at First Parish Church at 425 Congress Street in Portland, sponsored by the Southern Maine Workers’ Center, (press release may be viewed here.) Maine State Nurses Association and Maine AllCare.
Delene Perley, Board member of Maine AllCare gave a speech sharing her personal experiences at a Portland food pantry. She made the connection between the current political chaos caused in part by the failure of the Republican so-called American Health Care Act (24 million American would have lost their health insurance) and the ongoing challenges faced by people who cannot afford to pay their health care bills and rely on food pantry support to get by. You may read Delene Perley’s speech here.
Our new bumper stickers are here and ready to be mailed to you!
Please show your support for universal health care by making an online contribution of $4 or more and we’ll mail to you one of these bright, colorful 10x3 inch bumper stickers. HEALTH CARE FOR EVERYONE IN MAINE is a clear message to your community. It affirms that you support a transition to a publicly funded system of comprehensive care accessible to every person in our state – one that will improve both individual health and business productivity, and will costs less overall than what we are paying today.
We welcome contributions in any amount – they are tax deductible – but our main goal is to increase visible support in each community throughout our state.
'Maine' reasons for universal health care
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Aroostook activists rally!
PNHP, Physicians for a National Health Program, issued a call for a day of action for Improved Medicare for All to take place on Saturday April 8, 2017 the first day of Congressional Recess.
In response to this call, Aroostook activists rallied to parade in front of Senator King's Presque Isle office and around The Aroostook Medical Center. From there, they traveled to Representative Poliquin's Presque Isle office on Main Street and finally to Senator Collin's office in Caribou for repeat parading there. Since the offices were all closed, Alice Bolstridge plans to send pictures and a letter directly to each of these legislators. Enthusiastic rally participants were Shelly Mountain, Marie Faggiole, Jane Caulfield, Lorette Adams, Darrell Adams, Stan Maynard, Gail Maynard, Jamie Smith, and Alice Bolstridge. Reactions were about as usual for such events in this area, some horn honking and thumbs up. We have a ways to go to arouse the public.
Editor’s note: The Congressional Budget Office, CBO, just scored the new Republican health care bill, the so-called American Health Care Act. The result: 14 million Americans will lose their health insurance in 2018; and 24 million by 2026. That would bring the total uninsured to 52 million people.
In her essay, patient activist Donna Smith nails the problem and offers a solution.
No Politico Wants to Know: We Are Patients
By Donna Smith - Common Dreams - March 11, 2017
It is hell out here for patients right now in America. There may be a swampy, dirty-flash flood going on in D.C. right now, but there are precious few elected officials who see patients as patients. We are health industry consumers. We are political props for both sides of another ridiculous, costly and futile battle over who will please the industry and its political champions enough — who will grow profits across the board. Patients are on the losing end of this upheaval.
Patients haven’t had access to our doctors without the elephant in the room for a very long time now, and that elephant is greed, plain and simple. Until we decide that healthcare access through the expansion of Medicare is the best way to finally re-engage around healthcare for patients who need it, we will fail. Until we move away from greed-driven, winner-takes-all motivation for measuring health system success, we will not break the cycle of going from one dysfunctional model to another.
(Read the entire essay here)
People's Forum on the Human Right to Health Care
February 18, 2017 RALLY in Portland
A diverse group of over 300 people gathered at Portland’s Monument Square for a noon rally on Saturday, February 18th in support of health care as a human right. Coalition sponsors included the Southern Maine Workers Center (SMWC) and Maine State Nurses Association (MSNA) and Maine AllCare. Ronald Flannery from SMWC served as master of ceremony. Marilyn McWilliams spoke for Maine AllCare about our vision for publicly funded, guaranteed health care for all.
After the speeches the group marched to Sen. Susan Collins’ office at 1 Canal Plaza to request a meeting with the Senator to discuss the best and most economical way to achieve guaranteed healthcare for every Maine resident. They invited the Senator, along with other public officials, to March 27th meeting. Details are being worked out. We will keep you informed.
Proposal for true "patient freedom” – Healthcare for all Maine
February 16, 2017
We of Maine AllCare believe in Healthcare for Everyone in Maine. Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress have seemingly surrendered on any national initiative to cover all Americans. One state will probably lead the way by covering its residents. Why not Maine?
America treats healthcare as a commodity like automobiles, where profits, return to investors and sales and marketing initiatives are king. Yet millions who cannot afford this commodity suffer untreated illnesses, even death, or financial ruin due to healthcare costs. Economic impacts such as lost workdays cost employers and employees billions, and uncompensated care is crippling hospitals that are major employers. Universal healthcare coverage is more than an inspiration of morality, it is an economic necessity.
“The status quo is unsustainable, for patients, for workers and for employers" said Henk Goorhuis, MD, Board Chair of Maine AllCare at a recent national meeting of the activist organization ‘Healthcare Now.’” “Further, the ideas pushed by the Republican majority in Congress, which are based on even more privatization and patient cost-sharing, would only exacerbate our citizens’ healthcare access problems.” Available data show that this could mean an additional tens of thousands of unnecessary, preventable deaths, according to a January 23rd Washington Post article by NYU physicians David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler. Read More
What Can Maine Doctors Do?
Return medicine to its healing roots — help educate and advocate for universal, single-payer health care that covers every Maine resident
- Join Maine AllCare mailing list, and volunteer to help, including supporting financially
- Join PNHP — www.pnhp.org
- Visit our websites regularly — www.maineallcare.org & www.philcaper.net for more information
- Organize and make your voices heard through the Maine Medical Association
- Doctors have lost influence during the past 30 years or so, but we are far from powerless – they don’t have much of a business without us!
- Doctors are still influential – make your views known
- Write op-eds and letters to the Editor of your local paper
- Testify in person and in writing before the relevant legislative committees when legislation affecting health care is being considered. MAC can help organize these efforts
- Organize speaking events directed at professions and lay audiences for Maine AllCare speakers
- Grand rounds
- Local and specialty medical societies
- Community forums, church groups, Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs, Chambers of Commerce
If you have ideas about how else we might advance the cause of universal health care here in Maine, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and and put "Idea" in the Subject line. Thank you.