River Valley Chapter rocks!
July 4, 2015 -- by Anne Wood
Mitzi and Kim Sequoia of the River Valley Chapter of Maine AllCare chat with Monica Wood of Portland at the Fourth of July events at Hosmer Field in Rumford. Throughout the day Chapter members handed out literature and lemonade and spoke with a large number of local residents and some visitors to the area. An additional feature of the booth was a free gift basket that was raffled off at the end of the day. The Chapter event was one of several planned for the summer and fall.
Maine AllCare River Valley Chapter Report – Rumford
April 18, 2015 Rumford -- by Anne Wood
The Maine AllCare River Valley chapter gathered at the Rumford library for its second meeting on April 18 to share updates and formulate a plan for the next few months. Group leader Joe Sirois spoke of the legislative committee meeting in Augusta in March, at which time Maine citizens presented testimony on the urgent need for improved and equitable health care. Joe was among the speakers, and five other River Valley chapter members attended as supporters of the movement. Testimonies also emphasized that the Medicare for All concept gives relief to business owners burdened with providing health insurance and to employees who must restrict themselves to jobs that provide health-insurance benefits.
Group photo from the April 2015 meeting of the Maine AllCare River Valley Chapter, from left to right: Linda Macgregor, Randall Smith, Mary Flynn, Errol Flynn, Mitzi Sequoia, Kim Sequoia, Jon Starr, Brie Weisman, Greg Trundy, Donna Trundy, Anne Wood, Joe Sirois.
Joe also noted Vermont’s and New York’s recent efforts toward universal health coverage, underlining the premise that single-payer health coverage will in all likelihood succeed as a state-by-state effort, just as Canada’s robust system emerged province by province. LD384 has met with initial approval, and letters to legislators can help to ensure continued success. Currently the River Valley chapter is making plans for a calendar of events and venues that will allow for distributing information and raising awareness of the healthcare movement.
River Valley Area Forms Maine AllCare Chapter
Shown above are Maine AllCare board members and several of the local attendees at the initial meeting of the River Valley Maine AllCare Chapter on February 28 at the Rumford library. The group is part of a growing State movement with the goal of providing affordable and accessible health-care coverage for all Mainers. Pictured from left to right: Marshall Todd, Dr. Henk Goorhuis, Charlie Priest, Genelle Ward Burhoe, Anne Wood, Joe Sirois, Betty Wood, Jon Starr, Brie Weisman, Alice Knapp, and Chris Wing.
The River Valley Area comprising Rumford, Mexico, and Dixfield held its first chapter meeting on February 28 at the Rumford library with Joe Sirois acting as chapter leader. Energy was high and attendees shared personal stories. Maine AllCare Board Members Henk Goorhuis, M.D.; Charlie Priest, Esq; and Alice Knapp, Esq. attended and answered questions from the perspective of physicians, legislators, lawyers, and private citizens. Discussion centered around the need for a fair system that treats all its citizens equally.
The Healthcare Movie has been shown in different local venues and other viewings are planned. The group of fifteen members and growing plans to meet regularly, with a goal of educating the public and publicizing pertinent legislative hearings. — Submitted by Anne M.Wood
A PUBLIC INVITATION – You are cordially invited to join us at the next meeting of the Midcoast Chapter of Maine AllCare, a growing group of Maine people interested in making health care accessible and affordable to everyone. If you live in the greater Bath - Brunswick - Topsham area you will find our meetings are always friendly, fun and informative. For more information please contact Bill Clark, Gail Eaton, or Julie Pease.
Please click on the Maine AllCare Calendar in the Menu bar for specific information about the subject, time and place for our next scheduled meeting.
The public is invited to join members of the Portland Chapter of Maine AllCare for our regular monthly meetings to share ideas and plan joint activities in support of Universal Health Care for ALL Maine.
Please click on the Maine AllCare Calendar in the Menu bar for specific information about the subject, time and place for our next scheduled meeting. We generally meet at:
Cathedral Church of St. Luke
143 State Street, Portland ME 04101
For more information about our next meeting please contact Beth Franklin or call 207-650-3177.
Report of the Midcoast Chapter, Maine AllCare
At our September 2014 meeting, we reviewed the success of our summer activity, the staffing of Maine AllCare table at the Peace Fair in Brunswick on August 3rd.
Photos from the Peace Fair:
We discussed the distribution of the "Healthcare Information for Maine Voters and 5 Questions for Candidates" flyer (see home page). Chapters members will be contacting employers and organizations around the state to request dissemination of the flyer to employees and members of their organizations. Bill and Gail will continue to coordinate the effort, and have asked for feedback from our contacts.
Other relevant news & recent events:
- Joe took flyer to Belfast Aug 16 (Harborfest), and Julie and Jean took it to Portland (Strangers into Neighbors: Free Health Screening Clinic, Rally and Community Celebration at Deering Oaks Aug 16).
- Bill and Andy Cook attended the Maine Medical Association session on single payer. It was a good crowd at which Phil C Sen Gratwick and Rep Priest spoke. Good discussion, a lot of skepticism, mostly around “can we trust gov’t; competition and markets are good; won’t docs be disempowered?“
- Escape Fire” movie presented by Access Health of Midcoast Hospital — Julie Pease and Jean Sawyer attended and note that film confirms doctor’s powerlessness and distress. We talked about physician distress about “quality” issues (getting pay docked if your patients do not meet standards), and the passivity of medical colleagues. Pay for Performance (P4P) issues are awful.
- Jean Sawyer reports that recent news articles related to health care included: Docs leaving poverty areas. Vaccination rates falling off as docs do not get reimbursed, and vaccine costs going up. Dental health coverage being cut – so emergency room costs surge. Immigration politics are hot, and people are voting on it – the health issue is whether they should get Mainecare or other benefits.
- Sep 18 is the organizing meeting for “ Greater Portland AllCare Chapter”.
- Common Ground Fair, Oct 19-21, Beth Franklin organizing AllCare table. (Bill and Cindy willing to help.)
- Healthcare Movie showing in Rumford
Ideas for future actions:
How might we reach out to doctors in the community who are disillusioned about our healthcare system and other practice issues. Getting physicians engaged is key component of the movement. Bill is wondering about a “flyer” for docs, to be sent through the Maine medical association. A Portland doctor Dan C is thinking about getting docs to send personal letters to colleagues.
For information and membership, please contact Julie Pease at 207-449-9237.
Maine AllCare President Julie Pease, MD speaking at the inaugural meeting of the Maine AllCare MidCoast Chapter in Bath on August 29, 2012. She is introduced by Karen Johnson, leader of the new chapter.