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Maine AllCare Press Conference

Senator Geoff Gratwick, Chair of the Insurance and Financial Services Committee speaks to MPBN reporter Patty Wight and Associated Press State House reporter Alana Durkin

Senator Geoff Gratwick, Chair of the Insurance and Financial Services Committee, speaks to MPBN reporter Patty Wight and Associated Press State House reporter Alana Durkin during a press conference hosted by Maine AllCare before the start of public testimonies on January 9, 2014 in the Cross Office Building in Augusta.

Maine AllCare Press Conference Prior to Legislative Hearings on LD 1345

We had outstanding press coverage within less than an hour after the testimonies were completed at around 4:45pm on Thursday, January 9, 2014.

Hats of to Patty Wight of Maine Public Radio for an accurate, balanced and thoroughly professional reporting. You may hear and read her report here.

We also received great coverage by Alanna Durkin of The Associated Press. Ironically, this story about universal health care hearings here in Augusta, Maine was first published in San Francisco in the SFGate, an online publication. Apparently no Maine newspaper deemed this potentially transformative health care event worthy of sending a reporter.

This shortsightedness did not dampen the enthusiasm and excitement of the many supporters of universal health care.

Maine AllCare board president Dr. Julie Pease, Representative Charlie Priest, sponsor of LD 1345, Dr. Phil Caper and Senator Geoff Gratwick, MD, with reporter Patty Wight of Maine Public Radio at the Maine AllCare press conference.

Maine AllCare board president Dr. Julie Pease, Representative Charlie Priest, sponsor of LD 1345, Dr. Phil Caper and Senator Geoff Gratwick, MD, with reporter Patty Wight of Maine Public Radio at the Maine AllCare press conference.

Patients and doctors, nurses and therapists, business owners and labor leaders, retired military and state employees, all came to testify in support of single payer health care. "I want everyone to have what I have", said one retired military person, access to comprehensive health care without fear of going broke.

Please write to us if you want to share a comment or an idea about what we might do together to enact health care for all, here in Maine. Thank you.



Maine AllCare Press Conference

When: Tuesday October 19th, 11:15 a.m.(approx.) immediately following testimony before the Joint Select Committee on Health Care Reform Opportunities and Implementation

Where: Welcome Center, Maine State House, Augusta

Subject: Health Care Reform - Lessons and Challenges for Maine

Video: Watch a video of the press conference

On Tuesday, October 19th 2010 Dr. Phil Caper of Portland, Maine and Alice Knapp, Esq. of Richmond, Maine, together with Professor William Hsiao of Harvard University, testified before the Maine Legislature's Joint Select Committee on Health Care Reform Opportunities and Implementation in Augusta on ways to improve, at the state level, the newly passed national health care law.

Dr. Hsiao (pronounced "shao") is an internationally recognized authority on health care financing. He was the chief architect of the Taiwan National Health System, implemented in 1995. The percentage of those covered by the Taiwan health care system exceeds 99 percent and costs in per person spending are one third of costs in the United States. The Health Care Reform Commission of Vermont has chosen Dr. William Hsiao to design options for a Vermont state healthcare system that includes a single-payer option.

After Dr. Hsiao's testimony, Maine AllCare held a press conference about the health care reform challenges and prospects in Maine.

Participants included the following. To read their statements, click on their names:

  • William Hsiao, Ph.D.: Dr. Hsiao spoke on the lessons that Taiwan's health reforms hold for Maine.
  • Ms. Donna Smith: Donna was featured in Michael Moore's movie SiCKO, when health care bills brought her family to financial ruin, even though they were fully insured. She spoke on behalf of the Maine State Nurses Association.
  • Philip C. Caper, M.D.: Dr. Caper is a physician and health care policy analyst. He spoke about the promise and the shortcomings of PPACA, with a road map for further reform.
  • Alice Knapp, Esq.: Ms. Knapp is an attorney in solo practice in Richmond, and former state health insurance regulator. She spoke about those left behind by PPACA reforms, and about the inequities of Maine's present insurance system.
  • Mr. Jim Miller: Jim is the general manager of Wooden Boat Publications, a small business with 33 employees in Brooklin, Maine. He spoke on the effects of the uncontrolled costs of health insurance on Maine's small business community.
  • Mr. John Newton: John spoke on behalf of the Maine AFL-CIO, which has been a supporter of a universal publicly financed health system for over 30 years, national leader in the movement for single payer health care.