April 14 2018 Downeast Minutes

Maine AllCare Down East Chapter

4/15/18 meeting minutes

Blue Hill Library, 4 – 5:30

Attending: Betsy Braunhut, Lynn Cheney, Jeff Milliken, Liz Solet, Oscar Ruiz, Randi Neblett, Peter Neblett, Diana Page, Linda Hoskins, Bonnie Preston, Jeanne Shea, Art Shea, Michael Grillo, Anne Hayes Grillo, Robert Grant, Caryl Heaton, Betsy Armstrong. Minutes: Liz Solet

Approve minutes Lynn Cheney Motion to accept minutes sight-unseen, if no objections before next meeting; second; passed.
Treasurer’s Report Lynn Nothing to report since last meeting.
Legislative Task Force fourth meeting (4/2) report Lynn Four from our chapter attended (Jeff Milliken, Diana Page, Oscar Ruiz, Lynn Cheney). Around 40 in the audience.

13 of the 16 task force members have responded to the questionnaire, included in the meeting materials (see link below). Note, the answers show substantial unanimity, the comments do not.

The three study groups reported. The “Cost Containment” and “Structure of the Health Insurance” reports are attached in the meeting materials.

Geoff Gratwick reported for the Public Options study group which consists of Geoff, Kevin Lewis (Community Health Options), Rep. Sen. Foley who was away for a staff medical emergency), and Daniel Kleban (small business). They did not provide anything in writing.

Lynn’s notes: The group believes that a “public option” needs to be: Simple/predictable, have a preventive care emphasis, able to control excessive costs, address rural vs. urban issues and political realities.

Points where there appears to be agreement: Everyone in, nobody out; everyone pays; a base plan—same for all; ability to buy additional coverage if desired; cost containment; value-based system, not fee for service.

Next task force meeting: May; date and time TBD.

Link to Task Force materials:  http://legislature.maine.gov/doc/2235

School Union 93 Annual Meeting (4/10) report Lynn This was the School Union 93 joint board’s annual meeting. MAC showed the Washington State PNPH video, which worked well in the time allowed. It was an attentive audience with good questions. Healthcare benefits account for 8.5% of the Union 93 budget. I think they would be willing to endorse our mission if the Maine State School Board Association led the way. I pointed out that Anthem BCBS (Union 93 insurer) was the 3rd largest DC lobbyist in 2016 and its CEO earned $18.6M last year.) There were several individual cards of support.

The American Federation of Teachers is in favor of single payer. NEA? ME Educ. Assoc.?

Approach individual school boards? Approach at state level, and local level.

Guns & Public Health Jeff Milliken What does this have to do with single payer? The recently passed federal budget allowed some research into gun violence. Physicians have been prohibited from asking about guns at homes of patients, yet this is a health/public health issue.

Article 5 of the US Constitution: allows the Constitution to be ‘plastic,’ with a high bar for changes (75% of state reps); there have been 27 amendments to the Constitution.

Military vs. civilian deaths: avg 4,000 casualties/year in military; avg 14,000/year civilian deaths from gun violence.

The Dickey amendment to an omnibus spending bill in the late 1990s prohibited the use of federal funds by the CDC to study gun violence. The gun lobby pushed the amendment, precipitated by research in the early 1990s that indicated that having a gun in house increased risk to family and for suicide. In 2012 after the Sandy Hook massacre, Dickey recanted, and said that if research had been able to go on, we would likely have found a solution by now.

Researchers are precluded from getting info from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

What is the intersection of gun violence as a public health issue, and the question of how do we provide health care as public good?

Focus on local, not national—Maine is a heavily armed state, but also a place where people take care of each other and help their neighbors.

CDC ban does not apply to states, which have been studying gun violence in many cases.

Downeast Chapter goals for 2018 Status of Business Recruitments (goal – 50; so far—21):

Lynn will send business recruitment forms and info via email again.

Documentary Showings (goal – 6; so far—4)

Set Tabling goals (not addressed)

Upcoming events (see list below) Lynn Sign up sheet for June primaries circulated. In cases where we don’t have emails for people—send postcards? (Cull names via NationBuilder.) Combine with phone calls? Also have printed newsletter(s) and other materials at primaries.

At primaries: ask people who’ve already signed up/filled out yellow card, ‘Have you been hearing from us?’

Summer events—Fishermen’s Day in Stonington, St. Francis Fair, Blue Hill Fair, Congo Church, Flash in the Pans?

Belfast chapter: May 12 Open House, with food, music, at boathouse.

  Reach out to ME Municipal Assoc.? (Many municipalities and organizations offer health insurance through MMA).
  Communications Committee for Downeast chapter? Will put on agenda for May meeting.


UPCOMING EVENTS Date & Time Organizer Notes
Fixit Showing – College of the Atlantic Tues. 4/24, 4:10 pm Ells/MDI chapter Lynn will attend
FixIt Showing – Deer Isle Town Hall Sunday 4/29,

4 pm

Betsy Braunhut Jeff and Joe Lendvai will attend, with Walter Kumiega
Downeast MAC meeting Sunday 5/20, 4-5:30 pm Lynn  
5th Legislative Task Force Meeting May–TBD   In Augusta
6/12 All day – Tabling at Primaries 6/12, all day    




What will get done? By whom? By when? Notes: Status:
Set up monthly donation to MAC All Before next meeting If financially feasible; can be any amount–$5/month helps.
Seek business endorsements As noted in BH CoC list Before next meeting Can also go to businesses not on the list!
Make sure that Downeast chapter meetings are listed via Weekly Packet and Jeff Next meeting


Next scheduled meeting:

Sunday, May 20, 2018, 4 – 5:30 pm, Blue Hill Library, Howard Room

Meeting adjourned 5:35 pm