Chapter Minutes Archives
Monday, February 20, 2017, 5:30pm, Unitarian Universalist Church, Brunswick
13 Present, including 4 newcomers
We heard about the Board’s 3 new members and about decisions from the Board Retreat.
Our MCC member, Debbie Atwood, will chair the Education and Communication Committee-newly formed at the Retreat, and she asks for help from MCC members in reaching out to get members active in calling, writing, rallying, and so on for MAC.
- Bill Clark spoke to Brunswick Rotary. 8 people, 4 signed up; very positive response.
- The full version Now Is The Time will be shown on 3/8 @ UUCB, 7pm; and 3/26 @ First Parish, after services.
- Endorsements –HCHR Coalition (MAC, MSNA, SMWC) has endorsement from about a dozen organizations.
- Sue Kennedy: MUUSAN (Maine Unitarian/Universalist Social Action Network) policy committee recommends endorsement of the HCHR coalition, now up to the full group (April vote)
- HCHR Monument Sq rally 2/18, noon-1 pm had ~300 participants, delivered a loaf of bread to Sen Collins’ office. Speakers included a MAC person (Marilyn McWilliams), and reps from SMWC, MSNA and MAC (Bill Clark) delivered the bread.
We watched the 35’ version of Now Is The Time. People were energized as they understood better that “insurers wrote the ACA.” Movie presents good data for how SP could cover everyone, with expanded benefits and no deductibles and still save money! “Improved Medicare for All.” Good discussion followed.
Charlie Priest noted that a 2002 study in Maine showed that SP was affordable for Maine. There has not been a follow up study as neither legislature nor another group has been willing to pay for a repeat.
We hope people will do house parties, show up at rallies, etc. Handouts, posters are available.
Monday, January 9, 2017, 5:30pm, Unitarian Universalist Church, Brunswick
Present: 12, with 4 new attendees, Sue Kennedy, Kay Frazer, Paul Dumdey, Will Neilson
2017 Midcoast Chapter Goals
- Make available to our members simple talking points.
- Act locally
- Letters To Editor – create templates for all to use
- Group actions that are coordinated- perhaps though group emails or google groups
- See emails about everyone calling Sen Collins on 1/11, with a consistent message
- Educate other groups/ broaden the umbrella
- Do house parties
- Show the movies more
- Make use of social media
- Get more medical professionals involved
- Do a full page ad signed by physicians
- Call attention to the fund raisers for medical costs for individuals (they are ridiculously ineffective and distract people who thihk they are doing the right thing)
- Do a new pin/button that focuses on young/health care for all
- Involve other groups. We need to work in concert- AllCare cannot do this alone!! Discussed the HealthCare as a Human Right Coalition, and noted that we have 7 endorsements as of now-see below
- Deb Atwood will survey this group for additional ideas about partnerships with other groups
- Sue K is a liaison with MUSSAN. Maine Council of Churches will be approached.
- Do more speaking engagements
- Check out ME People’s Alliance’s successful campaign for minimum wage for organizing ideas
3 members of the Board and Bill Clark are traveling to NY for Healthcare NOW! Conference 1/14. Informal beginning as a demonstration at the Trump Tower on 1/13!!
AllCare initiatives and steps planned by the Board
- Bd member Geoff Gratwick proposes a SP bill to Maine Legislature ( LR # 1981, details to be written)
- 2020 Referendum
- Educate Public about UNIVERSAL COVERAGE FOR EVERYONE
Vacancies on AllCare Board – searching for new members. If you know good candidate, let Bill know.
We will show the 35’ version of Now is the Time movie at our next meeting, Monday, 2/20/17 at 5:30 PM at UUCB.
Current list of HCHR endorsing organizations:
- Maine Health Equity Alliance
- Southern Maine Labor Council
- Western Maine Labor Council
- Portland Outright
- Eastern Maine Labor Council
- Maine AFL-CIO
- Maine Food and Medicine
Respectfully submitted, William Calk MD
Monday, November 14, 2016, 5:30pm, Unitarian Universalist Church, Brunswick
Present: Bill Clark, Jean Staples, Bill and Gail Eaton, Cindy Dechennes, Virginia Derr
Elections – shocked; could this be an opportunity for AllCare?; Corporate interests rule, and Trump’s cronies will select key positions, wrong message and wrong messenger.
- Naomi Klein article says dems have been taken over by neo liberals dedicated to lobbying for policies of deregulation, privatization, austerity and corporate trade, making rich dems richer;
- Colorado care defeated 80/20, CA drug pricing (“Ca won’t pay more than the VA”) also defeated big time.
- Bill and 2 Board members headed to Healthcare Now! Conference in NYC in January. https://www.healthcare-now.org/
Legislative candidate survey led by MCC– 400 surveys sent, ~ 100 responses –We got positive feedback about AllCare. A learning experience for AllCare.
Growing AllCare on election day. – Jean, Bill, Cindy, Virginia, Poppy were at polling places.
Board notes: Fund-raising is going well for a 1 yr field organizer contract to begin soon.
Movies – Now IS The Time at Curtis Library. Strong film, very timely and up to date. Check out report on home page at www.MaineAllCare.org
- Virginia, Bill and AllCare Chair Charlie Priest will host showing of Fix It film at Brunswick First Parish Church Sunday 11/20 11am.
- Virginia to talk to Bill Koop at Church in Topsham. Other suggestions: Bowdoin College – Bill will contact a professor at Bowdoin. Cindy will ask Dir of Primary Care Residency at Central Maine in Lewiston.
Monday, October 3, 2016 Unitarian Universalist Church, Brunswick
14 present, including 3 visitors from Midcoast Progressive Maine Forum (Waterville); they support universal, publicly funded healthcare, will work with us- potentially start an AllCare Chapter in Waterville.
71/350 Legislative Candidates have responded to our 3-question Survey; 64 democrats and 5 Republicans. Volunteers will make follow-up E-mails and calls to nonresponders. We will send results to County phone banks, and post @ MaineAllCare.org.
Public education: movies- Now Is The Time Healthcare For Everybody at the Curtis Memorial Library 11/ 9, at the Highlands (Mid-October- private showing), and Fix It Healthcare, at First Parish Church 11/20
The Board has contracted with Benn Marine, a “field organizer” who will be collecting signatures and developing list of volunteers to collect signatures at the polls, throughout Maine, on Nov 8!
Reviewed our “Healthcare as a Human Right” coalition (AllCare, Maine Nurses Assoc., and Southern Maine Workers Center) arrangement.
Briefly discussed the Lown Institute “Right Care” initiative.
Respectfully submitted: William Clark MD, Chapter Leader
February 22, 2017, Allen Avenue Unitarian Universalist Church, Portland
Members present: Michael Bacon, Nancy Bogg, Dan Bryant (Chair), Phil Caper, Beth Franklin, Ann Liederman, Roger Marchand, Marilyn McWilliams, Delene Perley, Margaret Rosenbaum, Norman Rosenbaum, Bonney Starbird, David Wilcock, Diane Wilkins.
Guest: Carol Hayden
1 - Minutes of January 18, 2017 were approved.
2 and 3 – Marilyn and Delene filled the group in on the recent Board meeting and Retreat.
4 – For the record, and the benefit of newcomers, the chairman listed recent chapter actions:
Healthcare is a Human Right Coalition rally Monument Square, noon, Feb 18
Letters to the editor (Portland Press Herald) – Mike, Peggy and Roger, and Nancy O’Hagan have all written strong universal healthcare letters recently.
Portland Women’s Walk Jan 21 was attended by Suzanne.
Women’s March on Maine Jan 21, Augusta was attended by Nancy Bogg and Beth
Rally for Justice Jan 21 – Marilyn spoke.
5 – Actions in planning stages were discussed –
Falmouth Library Fix It screening/discussion February 28
St. Alban’s Church presentation – Dan and Suzanne are working on this.
Outreach to business community -
- Ocean View meeting – Tom, Marilyn, and Beth met with John Wasileski, president of OV and found him quite supportive of SP.
- Lamey-Wellehan – status of Carin’s effort not available at this time
- Rotary – The chairman has written to Mike McGovern re: a presentation.
- Lee Auto Malls – The chairman has written to Adam Lee about his view of SP.
Now is the Time screening – Rines Auditorium screening and publicity were discussed.
Media outreach – Dan has written to Harold Pachios about having a Pachios on the News program on SP and Jennifer Rooks about a Maine Calling program.
Showing of The Healthcare Movie to the Primary Care Progress group at MMC - Oren and Suzanne are working on this.
6 – New chapter actions –
Delene introduced Carol Hayden, who told the group about the folk duo Salem Street,
which seeks to support social causes with their music.
There was brief discussion of a Bumper Sticker Party and the need soon for volunteers for signature-gathering at walks and markets.
7 – Meeting was adjourned at 8:30. Next meeting was set for March 29, 7 PM, at Allen Avenue, Unitarian Universalist Church.
Respectfully submitted, Dan Bryant
October 26, 2016, Allen Avenue Unitarian Universalist Church, Portland
Meeting chaired by Chapter Leader Dan Bryant MD, six members attending
- Minutes from 9/15 approved.
- Maine AllCare Board updates: Benn Marine, our new field organizer helping with signature gathering and data base management. Board consultant Betsy Smith will offer proposal for “next steps”, such as hiring a full-time organizer/fundraiser in the Spring 2017; also, replace departed Board members.
- October First Friday experience.– joint tabling with other members of the Health Care Is a Human Right Coalition (Maine State Nurses Association and Southern Maine Workers Center). Went well but few signatures collected. Discussed need for improved signage and shared ideas on effective signature gathering.
- Signature gathering at polls on 11/8/16 – Benn is organizing this using sing-up sheets and post cards for future use with legislators and supporters. Of note, we support Medicaid expansion, but our effort is getting health care access 1.3 million Maine residents.
- Dan summarized Legislature Survey Project initiated by Bill Clark MD, Leader of Midcoast (Brunswick) Chapter.
- Next single-payer presentation: November 14, 2016 at the Woods at Canco by Board members Marilyn McWilliams and Suzanne Roberts MD.
- A number of possible actions were discussed, including: Bumper sticker party, film or PPT show in medical setting, Portland First Friday on November 4th, screening of “Now is the Time”.
Respectfully submitted: Dan Bryant MD, Chapter Leader
Thursday, September 15, 2016 St Luke’s Cathedral 143 State Street, Portland ME 04101
Dr. Henk Goorhuis, Vice President of Maine AllCare gave a slide presentation to an audience of 14 on “Universal Health Care: The Economics of Why and How”. This stimulated lively debate and discussion, which had to be interrupted by chairman Dan Bryant so that the business meeting could proceed. Members were updated on the latest MAC board meeting, signature gathering at the September 2 Portland Art Walk was reviewed and plans for the October 7 Walk were begun, plans were made to fill Common Ground Fair staffing holes, signature gathering at Portland area polls on November 8 was discussed, further work on presentations at The Woods at Canco and at Ocean View was done, and the possibility of holding a bumper sticker party similar to River Valley's was discussed.
Respectfully submitted: Dan Bryant MD, Chapter Leader
Sunday, February 19, 2017 Blue Hill Library
Meeting Chaired by Chapter Leader Joe Lendvai; 15 members in attendance
Updates from MAC Board:
- Have hired consultant, looking to hire executive director; beginning to create committees (education, outreach/coalition-building, development, policy). Three new Board members: Moira O’Neill, Jonathan Fulford, Chuck Radis.
- Still planning on referendum for 2020, but many variables now at federal level; may need to re-assess at state level. The over-riding need is still to educate the public.
- Some discussion of Sen. Collins’ new healthcare plan at Board retreat, and Lynn Cheney has contacted Sen. Collins.
Reports on recent events and plans:
- Downeast chapter members have taken part in or hosted three events since January meeting: participated in a press conference with the Peace and Justice Center on 1/20 and a Healthcare Is a Human Right rally on 2/18 with the Southern Maine Workers Center and Maine Nurses Association; and member Betsy Braunhut hosted a house party and film showing on 2/3.
- Three more events are being planned, for March, April, and September.
- In response to Collins’ proposed healthcare plan: Republicans like block grants, and Collins’ plan includes giving percent of ACA funding to states. Propose block-grant funding scheme that could be used to develop universal plan for Maine?
- Continue state effort or focus on national? General thinking is to keep working on both levels. One-Payer States—connecting state efforts to national. Seeing a system at work on the state level may be key to having a shot at the national level.
- Cultural changes that have occurred in medical practice—in the past, the focus was on patient care, now it’s more and more on money due to corporatization and industrialization. Nurses are way ahead of doctors in resisting these cultural changes, and organizing for something better.
- Successful events need to be planned well in advance—good resources on Fix It website re: how to plan and prepare for and host meeting/showing.
- Need to put MAC on the map, regularly, and get the word out about meetings—editorials, letters to editor, event notices, etc. WERU? Maine Calling? Down East Chapter Facebook page? Need more social media presence and activity as another way to engage and educate.
- One approach: for 2017, focus on how current system doesn’t work, not on how new model would be paid for—that is what we need to figure out. Alternatively, need to be able to present a new, well-supported model—that would be inspiring and help people imagine a different way.
Reports on healthcare models in other countries:
- Israel: Member Valerie Dornan shared research findings including coverage, options, funding.
- Develop questions (and answers) we would like to address when talking with new people
- Recommend chapter-sponsored activities and individual actions by each person
- More reports on healthcare in other countries
Next meeting will be Sunday, March 19, 3-4:30 pm at the Blue Hill Library.
Respectfully submitted: Liz Solet, Secretary
Sunday, January 15, 2017 Blue Hill Library
9 members attending
Announcements and Updates:
- Maine AllCare invited to participate in Jan 20, 2017 Press Conference of 13 community organization at Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine in Bangor – Joe Lendvai and Rom VanBuren volunteered
- Board of Directors will hire executive director to professionalize and intensify efforts
- Possible sources of funding universal system – what we pay now vs what a tax (or taxes) would be
- Valerie D reported on funding methods in Israel, Finland, England, Denmark
- How to sell idea of universal health care
- Duncan N reported on infrastructure problems in Scandinavia; higher stand of living among young - system not keeping up
- Latest US per capita health care spending over $9,900; compare to premium costs – big gap.
- Insurance co’s overhead 20–33% vs Medicare 3.5%
- Reference to Tommy Douglas and Canadian system. Started in Saskatchewan, spread nationally over a decade
- Current worries about changes in Medicare and Medicaid - negative impact on hospitals and millions of individuals
- Can Maine alone develop its own publicly funded universal health care system?
- Is single income tax (health tax) best way vs many small user fees (or combination)? Group consensus = simple single tax. In Maine about 700,000 adults will pay. Decouple business from health care.
- Key question: gradual or instant transition? In meantime, how to bring costs down? Self insured models i.e.: Cleveland Clinic (contract w large business and negotiated captivated rates), Jax Lab, focus on healthy behaviors
- Chapter to show new movie, Now Is the Time with moderated discussion, prepare card that shows what people pay now vs w/ a new tax, diversify membership, engage nurse practitioners for proposals on how to reorganize new system.
Homework: develop Q&A, Action Plan for Chapter.Meeting adjourned 4:45pm
Sunday, November 20, 2016 Blue Hill Library
Meeting chaired by Chapter Leader Joe Lendvai, six members in attendance.
- FIX IT film shown at three venues, followed by discussion. Stoning on Opera House may be next important venue for screen ing and community health care forum.
- Revised state legislative election; four key supporters elected. May introduce new bill in 2017.
- Legislative candidate Mike Fisher shared health care / health insurance cost related conversations with voters during his campaign; their inability to navigate current system.
- Extended discussion about “what we can do”. General agreement to work for universal publicly funded health care.
- Discussing the 79%-21% failure of Colorado Care, a citizen initiated constitutional amendment to provide universal health care for all state residents. A California initiative to control drug costs (requiring state agencies to pay no more than the VA) was also defeated 53.5% - 46.5%.
- Our outreach, including film screenings, needs greater publicity
- Minutes approved for October 16, 2016 meeting.
Respectfully submitted by Joe Lendvai
Sunday, October 16, 2016 Blue Hill Library
Meeting Chaired by Chapter Leader Joe Lendvai; nine members in attendance
Report on recent tabling event at Peninsula Harvest Festival, Blue Hill– by Joe Lendvai
Report on Colorado Care (on ballot this November)– by Lynn Cheney
The discussion focused on how much it cost to get referendum on ballot in CO, and how CO Care would be structured financially. Also on costs to citizens in the new system, should it be passed. Recent polling results show 60% against, 30% in favor, and 10% undecided.
Report on member’s experience sending email with link to Fix It to 100 contacts—7% response rate, ranging from mild interest to deep knowledge of the issues to ‘what do we do about it?’
Discussion of how to approach businesses in Maine to support/get involved with MAC’s work.
Discussion of how universal health care plan for Maine would be financed, and whether employers’ contributions would be part of the mix. Also presentation and discussion of capitation as payment method for healthcare providers—pros and cons, other models. Questions raised about whether or for-profit health insurers should continue to be part of healthcare system.
Members are organizing/leading events coming up on October 20, November 1, and November 5 (showing Fix It followed by discussion/panel. Two evens are in conjunction with appearances for local candidates for Maine Senate and House who support universal healthcare.
Respectfully submitted: Liz Solet, Secretary
Sunday, September 18, 2016 Blue Hill Library
Meeting Chaired by Deputy Leader Lynn Cheney; eight members in attendance
Report from Maine AllCare Board on progress to hire a field coordinator – by Phil Caper MD
Report on OnePayer States monthly teleconference that tracks single payer activities by various states around the nation – by Lynn Cheney
The discussion focused on Colorado Care and their Amendment 69. If approved by the voters on the November ballot, it will be a resident owned, non-government owned health care financing system that will cover all Colorado residents. Some attention was also spent on how to best inform Maine AllCare supporters on the “how” of developing / proposing/ advocating for a referendum here in Maine.
General discussion of Federal vs State approach. There is resonance in Maine with issues of cost, fairness, and unnecessary complexity of the current system. There was strong interest in what other Maine AllCare chapter are doing.
Three members (LynnC, Betsy B, Gary P) will organize new showings in Hancock County of the film FIX IT.
Respectfully submitted: Liz Solet, Secretary