September 17, 2017 – Maine AllCare Downeast Chapter Meeting Minutes

Maine AllCare Downeast Chapter

September 17, 2017 meeting Minutes

Howard Room, Blue Hill Library


Attending: Lynn Cheney, Joe Lendvai, Liz Solet, Betsy Braunhut, Robert Grant, Jeff Milliken, Jon Albrecht, Hunt Gressitt, Kevin Ross, Phil Caper, Ruth Ryan, Bonnie Preston, Ted Fletcher, Barbara Eaton, Barbara Presson, Betsy Armstrong. Minutes: Liz Solet


Approve August minutes All Motion; second; carried
Treasurer’s Report Kevin absent Betsy has rec’d $109 in reimbursement.
Brief recap of recent events and discussion of protocol for coordinating future events Jeff, Betsy, Lynn Blue Hill Fair: No table; did canvassing to gather sigs/cards—gathered 116 cards. Volunteer experiences: people hesitant to sign cards, even if they strongly supported universal healthcare. Lots of good conversations—good to hear people’s questions and concerns—how would it be funded was a big one. Confusion over premium vs. tax. Some dissenters: ‘I’m paying for myself, why can’t other people?’ Most people seemed at least open, even if they didn’t want to sign. A small subset were near hostile. Discussion of tabling vs. canvassing—and approaching people at an event that is supposed to be “fun.” Some members would prefer canvassing, some would prefer tabling—no reason not to do both, if possible. Noted that many vendors signed, and many didn’t have insurance. For leaders: be clear about goals, purpose; good catch phrase or two to get conversations going; ideas for how to approach—even ahead of time (via email, etc.). Ted Fletcher was at Dems table, they gathered 20 cards.

Re: financing: Sanders’ recently introduced bill has associated white paper with some financing options, and several other pieces coming out recently about financing—Phil will include in upcoming blog.

Another advantage of tax vs. premium is that premiums are based on health underwriting, but taxes are not. Admin costs of underwriting and gathering health info would go away—helping with financing and beaurocracy. Also, premiums are generally paid after taxes, so people are basically paying twice.

Data entry pizza party: 6 people, homemade pizza, entered over 200 cards; helped state effort as they have lots of cards to be entered. All are now trained on NationBuilder—easy to use. Lots of cards to still be entered.

Report from MAC Board Meeting on 8/7 Lynn Chapter leaders are invited to all state Board meetings. Impressive group, very hard-working. Two main things covered: 1) Sen. Gratwick still lining up Task Force members (Dems have, waiting on Repubs). Geoff will pressure to make minutes and work on Task Force public, and Lynn will keep up pressure for that as well. 2) Fundraising, PeachTree presentation: They have methodology, which will be used for the first time on Tuesday at fundraiser at Phil’s house, co-hosted by Lynn.

MAC has run for 7 years or so on volunteers efforts. Time for funds, and for some paid staff. Task Force would not have happened without all efforts to date—finally got the attention of legislators. Also Task Force funding—nothing from government, all from small donations from citizens—this also impressed legislative council.

Financing is complex, and won’t have one right answer. Need to get people on board with health care as public good (as do most other industrialized nations). Then, what is the best way to finance, via taxes?

Also need to be able answer criticisms/concerns about viability and sustainability of Medicare (people confuse with Social Security?).

Discussion of Workman’s Compensation and Universal Health Care system Ruth Ryan What Workers’ Comp does: designed as “no-fault” system for individuals who are injured in course of employment, around since 1930s/40s, to get workers needed care as soon as possible. No-fault means whether injury is from negligence, recklessness, etc., care is paid for. Pays lump sum for injury, and pays for lost wages, up to cap. Huge amount of data reporting. System is designed to incentivize employers to run safe business—keeps premiums lower. Look at industry at state level, and compare individual businesses’ track record. Nationwide, small percentage of health care overall, but still in billions of $. Basically, health insurance that covers ‘workplace conditions.’ US system originated in Germany, which still maintains national health system and national workers’ comp system. Canada has national health system and provincial workers’ comp system. UK: national health system but no workers’ comp. Health system covers care but not lost wages, etc. Workers end up suing. Creating another health insurance product called Employers Liability. CA universal healthcare effort: ‘workplace comp will be addressed separately.’ CO was “silent” on workers comp. VT went for Medicare for All, with no work comp. NY: don’t know if it addresses work comp. In US, have another for-profit insurance industry, in work comp, that is connected to universal healthcare. Should work comp go away? Continue in parallel, as in Germany? Or go the way of Canada? If medical is separated from lost wages and disability, can get messy. Want to incentivize prompt and effective care, resolved as quickly as possible, and for employers to provide safe workplaces. In US, if universal healthcare covers medical needs of work comp and for-profit insurance companies would only cover lost wages and disability, they would get out of the business. Ruth’s personal preference: like Germany, with two systems running in parallel. Ideally, national work comp system. In current system, as with Medicaid, providers can be reluctant to serve work comp patients. France: thinks it’s more liability based, but maybe not as much via lawsuits as in UK. Via unemployment compensation? Current system is very heavily bureaucratic, state by state. Better, cost effective to have all medical care under one umbrella? Looked at from workers point of view, so much paperwork and bureaucracy to wade through.
Letters to the Editor/House Parties/Signing up Businesses All Two house parties before next meeting: 1) at Phil Caper’s—fundraising and informational, with Sen. Gratwick, Lynn as co-host; 2) Belinda Reach (?): co-hosted by Lynn and family members.
Final planning for the Stonington Opera House event  Lynn, Betsy Lots of publicity—letters to the editor, flyers, newspaper ads. And more to come. Need more volunteers—some who had signed up can’t make it. Need to make calls to people who’ve indicated interest in event, have received email blast from Chris Cayer, and may have gotten snail mail note from Betsy. ‘Inoculating people against misinformation’ Important to listen. Kevin Hunt will be there and can respond to ACA/navigation related questions.

hris Cayer, and may have gotten snail mail note from Betsy.

‘Inoculating people against misinformation’

Important to listen.

Kevin Hunt will be there and can respond to ACA/navigation related questions.



Follow up/To do:


What will get done? By who? By when? Notes: Status:
Write LTE All Next mtg
Send email to Joe with any questions or issues that are crucial for 9/24 All
Spread the word about chapter and meetings and events All


Next scheduled meeting: October 15 , 4-5:30 pm

Meeting adjourned 5:30 pm