York County Chapter Meeting
August 20, 2018
6:00 p.m., Kennebunk Free Library
Attendees: Abbie Ryder, Maine AllCare; Stacy McGuire, Mackenzie McGuire, Mike McGuire, Nat Whitney, Joyce Whitney, Martha Morrison, Patrick Carr, Julie Weiss, Jean Thompson, Pat Shalhoup, Bob Hamblen.
First Item was introductions. We spent a good portion of the meeting getting to know why we were all present and passionate about the issue. Bob Hamblen stepped into the role of chapter scribe.
Maine AllCare Background:
MAC started off as a round table discussion over 10 years ago amongst a passionate group of people who wanted to change the healthcare system. MAC is a 501(c)3 Nonprofit as a local chapter of the Physicians for a National Health Program. Over the years the board has rotated it’s board members to keep a fresh take on the issue at hand. Currently the board consists of 13 members and is always seeking new members.In 2017, MAC contracted with Abbie and Chris Cayer to grow the supporter base. They added over 18,000 new supporters, and 4 new chapters. After their contract ended, chapters across the state continued to grow the supporter base by attending and putting on events. There are about 25,000 supporters and growing at this time. York County makes the 10th chapter. July 2018, Chris and Abbie were hired on to continue the organizing efforts and for the first time ever an executive director, Phil Bailey was brought on. Maine AllCare is also part of a coalition that consists of the Maine State Nurses Association and the Maine State Nurses Association.
Maine AllCare Short/Long Term Goals:
MAC is likely to seek a citizens’ initiative, perhaps in 2020; an economic feasibility study will be needed first, in order to write up any type of bill language. If we are to seek an initiative, we need to broaden support for MAC. A citizens’ initiative would need signatures of 10% of the number of voters in the previous gubernatorial election. In this case it will be based off of the turnout from this November 2018 election. We have 18 months to gather signatures, but technically only 12, when we are ready to seek out the signatures and the bill language has been approved by the Secretary of States Office. The
MAC needs localized groups to talk to their communities. We need to get candidates and elected officials on board. We have videos that can be borrowed, including “Fix It,” which comes from a business angle. Other titles: Sick Around the World, Now is the Time, and The Health Care Movie. MAC participates in Hannaford’s Clynk program, with income from returnables being earmarked for the MAC account. Unitarian Universalist churches statewide have endorsed MAC. We also have donation envelopes.
Table at local events, polling locations,festivals to educate Maine residents. Hold house parties or host 1 event, also to educate Mainers. Have film screenings from our video collection. Recruit and grow the chapter. Meet once a month to discuss plan of action and updates.
- Chapter Chair, sets agendas, sends out meeting reminders: Need to identify
- Co-chair, assists with all Chair duties: Need to identify
- Scribe, would take meeting minutes, type them up and distribute: Bob Hamblen
- Data Czar, Enters supporter cards into database and learns how to pull lists: Need to identify
The Massachusetts model for universal health care is the best to date. Canada went province by province as it moved toward a nation-wide health care program. The majority of support comes from the healthcare field. Mike: it’s a morality thing, but dictated by dollars. Reportedly there are more pharma lobbyists than congressional representatives.
On Election Day (Nov. 8) MAC will be at polling locations, and will have a table at the Common Ground Fair on Sept. 21-23. MAC has been reaching out to candidates for public office in past months. People seem to be educated to some extent. How will it be paid for is the biggest question we hear. 60% of bankruptcies in the U.S. are health care related. 22% of health care costs in Maine are administrative. The current system is essentially a “private tax” we’re paying to insurance companies, as compared to a “public tax” if we transition to a universal system. We have heard that adopting the current system used in the UK would save the U.S. $2 trillion per year over our system. See kff.org, the Kaiser Family Foundation, for info. An October 2017 poll found that 53% of the U.S. favors a national health plan. A Bangor Daily News poll found that a universal health care system is the #1 issue in Maine. It is estimated that $100-300 billion annual costs are generated by meds not being taken, or not being correctly taken.
Events we need Help With:
September 7th, 4pm-7pm, tabling at Congress Square Park during Portland Art Walk
September 15th, 6pm-8pm, tabling at a We Recover Event, Biddeford Middle School
September 21st-23rd, tabling at the Common ground Fair in Unity
November 6th, Tabling at polling locations across in York County
Next Meeting: September 18th, McArthur Library, Biddeford at 6pm
Meeting adjourned at 7:35 p.m. Next meeting will be scheduled the week of Sept. 17.
Bob Hamblen, Scribe