Progress Report on State Single Payer Campaigns

Date and Time:
Saturday, October 31, 1:05PM-2:05PM

Facilitator: Sonja Rotenberg, Illinois Single-Payer Coalition

Presenters: TBA

Description: Many states are proceeding with their own state single-payer campaigns considering the stalemate in Congress and the fact that Democrats seem satisfied with the ACA, while Republicans want to repeal the law altogether. Panelists in this workshop will talk about the bills in their respective state’s legislature, the support they are getting, how their campaign is progressing and how/if the ACA has changed their approach to the single-payer campaign. Panelists will make a short presentation followed by Q&A facilitating further discussion about the various states campaign.

Notes from Conference Participants:

New York:
Alice Brody
Bill passed in Assembly. Democrats overwhelmingly outnumber Republicans
After ACA, movement set back. Speaker indicted. New speaker. Unions at core, with power, resources, numbers. Some unions supported behind the scenes, not publicly. Lobbying, education, hearings held across the state. Hearings included small businesses. Upstate NY is severely depressed. Need upstate senators, but they are mostly Republican. IDC=Independent Democratic Council. Next: grassroots movement. Cadillac tax will impact tremendously

David Sterrett
Act 48—only half the state was going to be in the pool. Medicaid and Medicare were in a separate pool. Now movement is seeking an all-state waiver, to include Medicare and Medicaid.
Health care compact: waivers from federal government for state innovation
Folks on right don’t like crony capitalism, so there is a left-right coalition

Jody Reid
CA has been working for 30 years on single payer. Having a Democratic majority doesn’t mean you get single-payer. We passed single payer twice and vetoed by Schwarzenegger. Brown told Democratic legislature not to pass, because he didn’t want to sign it. Lesson learned: don’t attach goal to a particular party. Medicare 50th Birthday event was a move for coalition to work together.
Strategic question: Will we move forward with a bill, to use as an organizing tool. Or try to get an initiative.
Coalition now of immigrant rights groups and communities of color. Once people are part of systems, then we can talk about improving. Expanded Medicaid coverage to undocumented children in 2015. CHC goal: bring labor into the movement.
Mandate to require employers to cover employees with health care was passed and signed, then defeated by initiative. Now: need to do study, build base;

Deb Silverstein, State Director of Single Payer Action Network
Legislature is deep, dark red.
Looking at reorganization of organization. In 2011, we passed the health Care Freedom Amendment, which does not allow us to do anything about health care. So, it will have to be an amendment on the ballot in 2020.

John Tollefson, govt affairs person for Nurses Association
2015: Internal education, working with PNHP on nurse-doctor presentations
2016: Launch nurses and doctors into electoral campaign, simplifying candidate endorsement form, with simple questions (single payer, right to work)
2017: Apply for 1332 waiver and get public support, to implement plan for Minnesota Health Plan, introduced each year by a Senator.
United Health is located in MN.
Commissioning focus group; investing great deal in campaign

Bob Mason, President Of Healthcare for All-PA
Focused on focusing single payer in state. Gov. is somewhat receptive
Quarterly strategy meeting around the state; monthly e-newsletter; 1800 email addressed; facebook, twitter, website; Calculator on website, how that
5th version of PA Health Care Plan will be introduced. Group is non-partisan, and has Republicans in group. Conservative, overwhelmingly Republican legislature.
Monthly half-hour radio program on Union-owned station. Focused on moderates, big-tent strategy.
Reached out to folks opposed to fracking, TPP; low-wage employees, fight for 15;
Taking advantage of special events: Healthcare Movie
All-volunteer organization.

Ivan Miller, ColoradoCare
Purple state, so at PNHP National meeting, Irene Aguilar ran for legislature and helped get symbolic vote through the legislature.
156,000 signatures (99,000 needed) turned in to put ColoradoCare on the ballot.
Will cover Coloradans with comprehensive policy; wraparound supplemental insurance; every resident is covered, even undocumented
State collects money; it would be democratic, ombudsman, as a political subdivision. Funded by a 10% tax. 2/3 Employer (ER) and 1/3 Employee (EE). Cap on amount. People eligible for Medicaid. No peak in the middle. Everyone gets full coverage. $2-3 Billion in reserves to get started.
Politicians who have lost their seat have been recruited to this movement.

Slideshows, Photos, and Video:

Download the Strategy Update from Health Care for All Pennsylvania

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