MINUTES – PORTLAND CHAPTER MAINE ALLCARE
June 27, 2018, 7 PM
Allen Avenue Unitarian Universalist Church
524 Allen Avenue, Portland
1 – Present: Dan Bryant, chair, Audrey Briggs, Diana Cundy, Ed Cundy, Beth Franklin, Anthony Pastore, Delene Perley, David Wilcock
2 – May 23 minutes approved
3 – Board update by Delene:
Phil Bailey has been hired as Executive Director, and Chris Cayer and Abbie Ryder as Field Organizers. There was widespread tabling around the state at the June polls. Geoff Gratwick reported little progress has been made in the Task Force. A new “rack card” handout has been developed. MAC has endorsed the Call to Prevent Nuclear War of Physicians for Social Responsibility, but has not committed to the Maine People’s Alliance initiative for “Universal In-Home Care.” Grant applications are underway.
4 – Recent chapter actions/involvements
May 23 Health Care Task Force meeting – Ed and Diana gave a fuller report, including the TF’s discussion of drug re-importation and simpler forms, but felt little overall progress had been made, including any discussion of the role of private insurers in our system and its problems.
Candidates questionnaire – results were published in the Press Herald May 30, and are available on the MAC web site. Dan questioned the value of the exercise as he has seen little response to the findings.
Democratic Gubernatorial Forum – June 7. None present had attended
Tabling at Primary polls – June 12. 1084 signed “yellow cards” were obtained, many flyers handed out. Ed and Diana emphasized how much polls varied in numbers of voters, and recommended we increase volunteers at busiest polls in future. Prominent signage is also important where allowed.
Maine Unitarian Universalist State Advocacy Network Portland march – June 16. Delene had organized this and although only six marchers participated, she felt the crowd was supportive, and that the effort helped “get our name out there.”
Healthcare-NOW! Single-Payer Strategy Conference – June 22-24, Minneapolis. Julie Pease, Bruce Becque, and Lynn Cheney attended. Some proceedings are available at https://wiki.healthcare-now.org/2018_Single-Payer_Strategy_Conference, but members hoped some report from our attendees will be forthcoming.
HCHR Coalition – Audrey reported that meetings are now quarterly. She will check with Southern Maine Workers Center about possible future action (?Labor Day march). She also raised again the perennial question of what specifically we and the Coalition are working toward. Beth suggested a training session in our Key Principles and FAQs, with instruction in how best to engage with the public. Dan will check with Chris on this. Audrey also emphasized the importance of asking people who have expressed interest in volunteering to actually do so.
5 – Future actions/involvements/opportunities
Data entry – Dan has the signed cards and will contact Chris and Abbie about training more volunteers in NationBuilder entry. Diana suggested interrogating NB for signers checking off “join chapter” so they can be invited. She will let Dan know of those she has come across and suggested others do the same.
Medical community – In an effort to engage with the medical community, Dan has discussed with an InterMed officer the possibility of a presentation to their doctors (to make our case and find out what pushback we may face); and will be meeting in two days with a board member of the MaineHealth Accountable Care Organization to assess their position.
Arts community – The PortFringe Festival (annual June event) has expressed interest in MAC because of the problems the arts community has with health care coverage, and some future work with them may be possible.
Business community – Delene and Dan encouraged all to keep trying to obtain endorsements from businesses/organizations they deal with.
? OLLI Brown Bag Lunch program – Dan will check with Nancy Bogg about the feasibility of this.
Common Ground Fair – September 21-23. Beth indicated MAC has applied to give a presentation during the fair, as well as man a table. She also suggested use of the Jeopardy style health care game used so successfully at the Belfast event.
6 – Miscellaneous/FYI
PNHP’s proposal for pharmaceutical reform, “Healing an ailing pharmaceutical system: prescription for reform for the U.S. and Canada” is available at http://www.pnhp.org/pharma
Also, earlier this month, the AMA House of Delegates approved Resolution 108 (study of the single payer model), proposed by the Medical Student Section. And the Student Osteopathic Medical Association will ask the American Osteopathic Association at its next annual meeting to support Medicare for All.
7 – Dan announced that he would be stepping down as chapter leader after the next meeting. No one present volunteered to take over. Ed and perhaps others will contact members about their willingness to serve, and it was hoped that readers of the minutes would offer help or suggestions. The job should be easier with both an executive director and field organizers on board to guide and assist.
8 – Next meeting – July 25, Allen Avenue Unitarian Universalist Church
Respectfully submitted, Dan Bryant