September 13 2018 Waldo County Minutes

Maine AllCare: Waldo County Chapter Meeting Notes
Meeting location: Belfast Free Library, Abbott Room
Date: Thursday, September 13, 2018
Time: 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Attending the meeting:
Jan Dodge, Ellie Weaver, Diane Martin, Marshall Rolerson, Jennifer Hill,
Art Shea, Karen Young, Paul Robie, Jan Geller, Guest: Phil Caper, co-founder of Maine AllCare

MOTIONS: 3 motions were made during this meeting
1. Jennifer made a motion to elect Art Shea as our chapter’s sole leader (as Mike had to resign due to a job change), Diane seconded: Motion passed unanimously.
2. Jan Dodge made a motion to accept the minutes of our last meeting. Jennifer seconded and the motion passed.
3. Jan Geller made a motion to join the Cedar Street Yard Sale in May of 2019, and Jan Dodge seconded the motion. The motion passed.

ACTIONS: the following actions were agreed to at this meeting

  • Art will get receipt for meeting rent from library tomorrow and get to Karen, our treasurer, for payment
  • Art will pass Phil Caper’s daily blog along to those interested. His email is artshea46@yahoo.com
  • Members of Waldo County Chapter of Maine AllCare will start collecting stuff for an upcoming yard sale in May of 2019
  • This fall, Jan Geller will contact Caitlin Hills and ask if he can speak before School Board.
  • Maine AllCare members are encouraged to bring brochures about Maine AllCare with them and hand to their doctor.
  • Jan Dodge will go to Belfast City Hall and talk to registrar about having people at the polls on Election Day in November to fill out cards for Maine AllCare.
  • Jan Dodge will set out a schedule for Belfast Election Day in 3-hour increments (voting is from 8-8 pm).
  • Art will notify Phil, Abbie, and Chris and ask one of them to send out an email to organize Election Day throughout the County.

EVENTS:

  • Karen and Paul are having a Home Health Care party at their house on September 14, 2018, 5-7 pm, 220 Upper Bluff Road in Northport, RSVP robie.paul@gmail.com or 207-323-8144
  • Maine AllCare will have a table at the Common Ground Fair
  • Chris, organizer for Maine AllCare is holding a data entry party on October 18 at 6:30 in Brooks – bring your laptop – contact Art for more information

THE MEETING NOTES

financial report by Karen: Our chapter has $220.51 in petty cash. We owe $10 to Mike for payment of library fee for meeting space.

EVENTS

1. Karen and Paul’s Home Health Care party on September 14, 2018. Maine AllCare Executive Director Phil Bailey will be there. Beer and wine will be available.

  • Publicity – Karen and Paul reached out to their friends that they believed could donate to the cause. Phil Bailey sent out emails to all on the database.
  • Invitation – there is a list of co-hosts at the bottom, but none of these people will be there. When you give enough money to Maine AllCare, you are considered as a sponsor for house parties.
  • Fundraising – it is hoped that donations will start at $100 and go up. 3 people have said they will be coming.

2. Art is having a house party at the Brooks Co-op at some point. A discussion about holding house parties ensued:

MAINE ALLCARE STATE BOARD MEETING REPORT
Art: “I listened in. Geoff talked about LD1274 morphing into a task force. This grew out of the legislature and now has 3 subgroups:

  •  “A common form for paperwork for all health care – savings
  •  “Pharmacies in Vermont and Utah as models
  •  “Long term reform

i. “Joint select committee (2 years – legislature only) for long term reform
ii. “Blue ribbon commission meeting once a week for a year. (Dirigo started this way in 2002.) This commission, comprised in part of non-legislators, could recommend legislation to a joint select committee or the whole legislature (see i. above)”

Jan Dodge: “Will we be following:

  • “A successful model in X number of states?
  • “A regional plan, rather than Maine alone?
  • “Are there formulas for a plan of attack? For example, an overarching plan with small bits – pharma first or paperwork first?”

Phil Caper: “Maine AllCare is all about public education. We need public education because legislators can’t get too far ahead of their constituents. The national government isn’t functioning, so it’s up to the states to move ahead to set an example. People are demanding that legislators fix the system
“I’ve been on the MAC Board 10 years; and been working on the issue of universal healthcare for 50 years. A cautionary tale: this is not a sprint, but a marathon.
“Medicaid started out being for the poor, but now ¾ of the money goes to older white people living in long term nursing homes. After Medicare and Medicaid were passed, attempts to expand them failed.

  • “Clinton failed
  • “Obama only partially succeeded. The ACA squeaked by – significant social legislation these days must bribe corporations to allow them to pass

“Principles: Medicare is not insurance. Insurance companies assess risk, pricing policies accordingly. Medicare is funded by taxes. It doesn’t require medical underwriting, such as excluding pre-existing conditions; therefore, it doesn’t need irrelevant information like age, health status, employment status, place of residence, etc This saves a lot of irrelevant administrative work and money.
“Americans have a negative reaction to taxes, but aren’t getting the bigger economic picture. We pay for a lot of things we like with taxes – education, public roads, public safety, our legislatures and judiciary. But, we’re not very fond of paying for them.

Jennifer: “We need to craft a simple message, use PR people to help. The time is now. Candidates going door-to-door are hearing that health care is #1 on their minds.”

Phil: “Maine AllCare is now engaged in base building – identifying folks sympathetic to our cause. Most of those working on this cause are in Medicare already; many young people don’t have time since they are engaged in their jobs, raising families, etc.
“We have a new Executive Director and staff, and have already identified a list of 25,000 supporters. Their information goes into the database that will be used to influence legislators, or help with a referendum. We don’t know which yet.
“We expect the healthcare industry to fight back b y creating a so-called “FUD Campaign” (fear, uncertainty, doubt). People have bias for status quo. It is not necessary for our opponents to prove anything. We all have a bias towards the status quo, so all that is necessary is for our opponents to create fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Examples of successful FUD campaigns in the past are the campaign against the anti-smoking movement and the campaign against reducing greenhouse gases to try and stop global warming conducted by the fossil fuel industry.
“The legislative task force is probably not going to be able to make significant changes to our current healthcare system, but will (hopefully) lead to a more permanent effort in state government, after the coming election, to make significant changes. That won’t happen unless the people of Maine make it happen. The task force has conducted a very sophisticated discussion and done a lot to educate some influential legislators.

“Recent poll about popularity of expanding Medicare (approximate numbers) – a recent poll has shown that healthcare is the most important subject for a plurality of voters, regardless of political affiliation.

  • “48% of Republicans
  •  “85% of Democrats
  • “65% of Independents

“I write a daily newspaper blog from newspaper clippings that quickly morphed into 200+ readers. I work on it 2 ½ to 3 hours every day.”

Paul: “Criticism – report reacting was misreported to the point that it was untrue. We need to compare apples to apples to understand what was wrong. You didn’t refute the out and out lies.”

Phil: “The Mercatus study has created a public argument about the cost of the Sanders bill. We need to focus also on the bill’s benefits. Americans think the American health care system is normal by international standards, but it isn’t. Only in the US is healthcare is a business. We need to educate people about that. That’s what Maine AllCare is trying to do.”

COMMITTEE REPORTS

1. Events committee, headed by Jan Geller: Idea – group yard sale at well-trafficked place. Wouldn’t be a significant fundraiser but would raise awareness. Discussion followed about the idea and the group decided to join the Cedar Street Yard Sale in May of 2019.

2. Outreach committee, also headed up by Jan Geller (Bobbie and Karen are also on the committee): Tabling at elections – discussion about having 1 or 2 people in every town in Waldo County on Election Day. Jan Geller: we need to start attending the meetings of other groups and get into the schools with our message.

Jennifer: “Parades were really effective.”
Jan: “They were held in Searsmont and Rockland – we have a banner, thanks to Whitecap Builders”
Ellie: “We could hold an event at Troy Howard Middle school and invite the school board, teachers, and parents, but first make a presentation before the Waldo CAP meeting.”

Next meeting of this group will be Thursday, October 11, 2018 at 6:30 pm. Penny Peaslee, ACA Navigator at Waldo Community Action Program, will educate us on the ACA in Maine.
Respectfully submitted,
Jennifer Hill
for Maine AllCare