Welcome to New York’s Single Payer blogsite, a statewide clearinghouse for all single payer/medicare-for-all initiatives and events throughout our very active state. Through the sharing and cross-fertilizing of actions and ideas throughout our network, we hope to inspire you and others to keep growing our grassroots movement, for a true health care system that works for everyone.
Recently Dr. Oliver Fein , PNHP -Metro did a presentation in Ithaca, NY outlining the history of recent Health Care Reform, He dcussed the challenges facing the U.S. Health Care System and a comparison of Single Payer and the 2010 Health Reform. His presentation was enthusiastically received with comments that the slides were informative and convincing and his presentation was clear, factual, logical and very persuasive. I feel that Dr. Fein is a wonderful resource available to us and I would recommend that others invite him to speak in your community. At the event we were able to collect a number of signatures on our state petition and it generated interest in Single Payer New York. For a copy of his powerpoint slides go to http://www.pnhpnymetro.org/slide-shows.htm Rebecca Elgie
Recently Dr. Oliver Fein , PNHP -Metro did a presentation in Ithaca, NY outlining the history of recent Health Care Reform, He dcussed the challenges facing the U.S. Health Care System and a comparison of Single Payer and the 2010 Health Reform. His presentation was enthusiastically received with comments that the slides were informative and convincing and his presentation was clear, factual, logical and very persuasive. I feel that Dr. Fein is a wonderful resource available to us and I would recommend that others invite him to speak in your community. At the event we were able to collect a number of signatures on our state petition and it generated interest in Single Payer New York. Rebecca Elgie
Recently Dr. Oliver Fein , PNHP -Metro did a presentation in Ithaca outlining the history of recent Health Care Reform, He outlines the challenges facing the U.S. Health Care System and a comparison of Single Payer and the 2010 Health Reform. His presentation was enthusiastically received with comments such as the slides were so clear and his presentation was clear, factual, logical and very persuasive. I feel that Dr. Fein is a wonderful resource available to us and I would recommend that others invite him to speak in your community. We were also able to collect a number of signatures on our state petition. Rebecca
Single Payer New York is holding a mini-lobby day next Tuesday, Feb. 7th in Albany to meet with key legislative leaders to build support for a state single payer bill. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to participate. A main focus is to line up more Senate sponsors.
Our major statewide lobby day will take place in Albany on May 1. We would like to get 50 plus people to participate.
Assemblymember Gottfried has drafted an update to his single payer bill. A summary is below and attached. Continue reading
HEALTHCARE REFORM: NEW YORK STYLE
7 pm, Monday, January 23, 2012
Women’s Community Building
On the corner of Cayuga and Seneca Streets, Ithaca, NY
Guest speaker: Linda Smith, Aide to NY Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton
How does NY Assembly Bill A7860 promote a New York State Health Plan?
Guest speaker: Dr. Susan B. Soboroff, Ithaca Free Clinic
From a doctor’s perspective, what is Improved Medicare for All?
Guest speaker: Betsey Swan, President,
League of Women Voters of New York State
How does the League of Women Voters support healthcare
at national, state and local levels?
League of Women Voters of Tompkins County
Tompkins County NOW
- Social Justice Council of the First Unitarian Society of Ithaca
- Ithaca Health Alliance
- State Wide Action Council
- Single Payer New York
Please join us!
For more information contact:
Rebecca Elgie, email@example.com or Sarah Jane Blake, 607-319-4888
HARTFORD, Conn. – In the past decade, most states have turned Medicaid over to private insurance plans, hoping they could control costs and improve care. Nearly half of the 60 million people in the government program for the poor are in managed-care plans run by insurance giants such as UnitedHealthcare and Aetna.
Connecticut, the “insurance capital of the world,” is bucking the trend.
Beginning Sunday, Connecticut will jettison its private health plans from Medicaid, the state-federal health insurance program. Instead of paying the companies a set monthly fee to cover the health costs of more than 400,000 children and parents, the state will assume financial responsibility.
State officials say the companies, including Hartford-based Aetna, did not fulfill their promise of lower costs and better care.
“Connecticut has a 15-year history with managed-care organizations, and there has been a diminishing confidence in the value of what they are providing,” says Mark Schaefer, the state’s Medicaid director.
Nationally, managed-care plans oversee care for 27 million people enrolled in Medicaid and control $150 billion of the $400 billion in Medicaid spending — numbers likely to increase partly because of the influx of an additional 16 million people expected to be covered by the program beginning in 2014 under the national health care law.
Connecticut’s decision stands out at a time when a growing number of states are requiring more people in Medicaid to join managed-care plans. Florida, Texas and California are among nearly two dozen states planning expansions in 2012.
Whether Connecticut’s move turns out to be a blip in the industry’s growing control of Medicaid or the beginning of a backlash, officials in other states are watching closely. In any case, the reversal of the trend in the insurance industry’s home base has given managed care critics a rare, if mostly symbolic, victory.
“There is a cadre of people who hate for-profit health care, and this is another point of ammunition for them to point to and say that if they came to this determination in the insurance capital of the world, how can it be such great shakes?” says Joel Menges, a health care consultant who has worked with the state.
Connecticut has more of its residents employed in the insurance industry than any other — 2.1%, or more than 71,000 people, according to the U.S. Census.
Now, the state is betting that its employees, working with a private, non-profit company, can ensure that Medicaid patients get better care at lower cost.
Connecticut is only the second state in a decade to drop its for-profit managed-care plan. Oklahoma moved away from private plans in 2005, and officials there say they have no regrets. “While achieving very encouraging marks in both member satisfaction and quality, the cost per member has grown at a very low average annual rate of 1.2% over the last five years,” says Mike Fogarty, Oklahoma’s Medicaid director.
The Connecticut Medicaid managed-care business was worth more than $800 million this year to Aetna, UnitedHealthcare of Minnetonka, Minn., and Community Health Network of Connecticut Inc., a non-profit.
Aetna officials defended their record, saying they held down costs while ensuring patients’ access to care. “We continue to see strong interest in managed Medicaid from states that are looking to meet the health needs of this vulnerable population without crippling their state budgets,” spokesman Matthew Wiggin says.
“We do not see this as a trend,” says Tyler Mason, a spokesman for UnitedHealthcare, which covers more than 3 million Medicaid recipients in 19 states.
Critics of managed care hope Connecticut’s reversal will spur other states to look at alternatives. New Haven Legal Assistance Association, an advocacy group for the poor, had complained for years that managed care erected barriers to care and diverted too many resources to administration and profits. It pointed to a 2009 state-commissioned report showing Connecticut was overpaying insurers by nearly $50 million a year — about 6% of total expenses.
Other state reports found the plans were spending too little on health services and published networks of doctors that were misleading because many doctors refused to accept Medicaid patients when “secret shoppers” called for appointments.
Many doctors are happy to see the state’s experiment with managed- care plans end. Many had been frustrated with having to follow different rules for different plans. They also complained about payment delays and problems referring patients to some specialists.
Elsa Stone, a North Haven pediatrician who had refused to contract with the state’s two for-profit Medicaid plans owned by UnitedHealthcare and Aetna, cheered the decision.
“I don’t think there should be a profit motive in health care,” she says. “I think all the health care dollars should go to care.”
Heather Greene, 36, of Waterbury, Conn., has been on Medicaid for seven years, along with her husband and two children. She says her Aetna plan did not make it easy for her to find a urologist or for her daughter to find an ear, nose and throat specialist. She is cautiously optimistic: “I trust the state a little more than the plans, which are looking to make a profit and cut corners wherever they can.”
Contributing: Kaiser Health News is a news service covering health care policy and politics. It is part of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, which is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.
I am part of the Occupy Education Working Group and we have been trying to organize monthly teach ins. We held a successful two day health care event in conjunction with our Occupy Ithaca group. We had a rally on Saturday Dec. 10th on our public Commons area with speakers tying the need of Health Care to the Declaration of Human Rights as part of Human Rights Day. This was followed by a march to the park where our group has been Occupying since early November. We then had a heal in with some local healers providing messages and other healing exercises in 20 o weather. On Sunday we had a local doctor speak about how Medicare for All would benefit doctors and their patients. A long time resident of Toronto talked about the Canadian system and the myths which try to give their health care system a bad name when in fact all of her experiences there have been very positive. A third speaker who works at our free clinic spoke of the problems of the uninsured. This was followed by a lively question period and a discussion of ways to get health care for all New Yorkers by promoting Assemblyman Gottfried’s bill. We collected signatures on our petition to Governor Cuomo at all of the events and hope to get some of the participants more involved. Rebecca Elgie
Patient Need NOT Corporate Greed!
A Health Care Plan for the 99%
Saturday, December 10th
2pm RALLY on The Commons
2:30pm MARCH to
Dewitt Park- Buffalo and Cayuga St.
Taking care of each other: local healers will provide free services at the park. If you are healer, please join.
Sunday, December 11th
12-1:30pm HEALTH CARE TEACH-IN
Southside Community Center 305 S. Plain St.
Dr. Susan Soboroff – A doctor’s perspective
Anita Watkins – The Canadian system
Andrea Levine – Ithaca Free Clinic
Join us to discuss what’s wrong with the current system, models for a better health care plan, & services available for the uninsured.
We, the 99%, can work together to get accessible, affordable health care for EVERYONE.
Followed by :
Occupy Ithaca General Assembly
Sunday, December 11th 2- 4pm
Southside Community Center 305 S. Plain St.
Free and Open to the Public
Visit ithacaga.org/calendar for a full calendar of events
For more information contact Rebecca Elgie 607-272-0621; firstname.lastname@example.org
SINGLE PAYER-NEW YORK
ACTIVIST TRAINING PROGRAM
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Syracuse, New York
Le Moyne College
Bernat Special Events Room Conference Room
Noreen Reale Falcone Library
1419 Salt Springs Road, Syracuse, NY 13214
10:00 am – 4:00 pm
THE TIME IS NOW and THIS IS HOW
*Ten Myths about Single Payer Healthcare: How to Overcome Them
*Health Insurance vs. Health Care: Creating a Framework for Single Payer
*Targeting Your Message to Your Audience
*Tools for Building a Grassroots Campaign
*Coalition Building: Winning Over our Natural Allies
*Organizing for a State Single Payer Bill
*Designing a 1-Year Plan for Your Area
Alice Brody, Single Payer-New York
Bring your laptops, we are wired!
Co-sponsored by Single Payer-New York and Solidarity-CNY