Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Health plan

On Saturday, September 13, 2008, single payer advocates from across New York will meet in Albany to form a new statewide organization. Our aim: to build an unbeatable movement for a single payer public system that would fully fund comprehensive health care, including prescription drugs, for all. We invite all single-payer supporters to join us!

Private insurance has no legitimate role to play in the care of patients. We believe it must be replaced by a public program of health financing. Under a single-payer healthcare system, we'll spend our healthcare dollars on care, not on bureaucratic waste, profit-making and corporate gain.

Our grassroots movement has gained momentum in 2008. Healthcare-NOW and other groups organized a nationwide protest on June 19 in support of single-payer healthcare. The U.S. Conference of Mayors, the New York State Assembly, and a growing number of unions and central labor bodies have all endorsed HR 676, the National Health Insurance Act.

New studies found that a majority of physicians support national health insurance. And there is renewed support for single-payer among important groups like the League of Women Voters, the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Presbyterian Church USA.

Looking ahead, healthcare will continue to be a central issue in the presidential election. And New York State, with a new governor and a changing Senate, has initiated an official evaluation and discussion of proposals for universal healthcare. Now is the time to strengthen grassroots activism in support of a single national, publicly-financed healthcare plan.

Already a wide diversity of groups and individuals across New York are working for HR 676, and also for a New York state-based single payer system. We have worked together spontaneously, organically, and successfully. We also work with many other groups that promote
"universal healthcare" or "affordable healthcare," but not necessarily single payer. We are appreciative of their efforts. But the evidence is convincing that single payer reform is crucial for our state and our nation.

A formal statewide grassroots coalition will allow us to share resources, local news, publications, speakers and more. We have much to learn from one another - and from other successful state-based single payer organizations. Together we can build a vigorous single payer voice in every county in New York State—and, ultimately, a new healthcare system.

Please join us!

New York State Nurses Association ~ Mike Keenan, President, Troy Area
Labor Council, AFL-CIO ~ Kathleen Scales, Executive Director, Capital
District Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO ~ Healthcare-NOW ~ Health Care
Work Group of Otsego, Delaware & Chenango Counties ~ Mark Dunlea,
Executive Director, Hunger Action Network of New York State ~ Tompkins
County Health Care Task Force ~ Senior Legislative Action Committee of
Sullivan County ~ League of Women Voters of Saratoga County ~ Patricia
Friedland, member, Healthcare-NOW ~ Rev. Cass Shaw, Albany Presbytery
~ Long Island Coalition for a National Health Plan ~ Citizens for
Universal Healthcare, Kingston ~ Joel Schwartz, President, CSEA Local
446, Staten Island Council ~ Christy Staats, Clifton Park Single Payer
Committee ~ Barbara Warren, Executive Director, Citizens'
Environmental Coalition ~ Jeff Vogel, Delegate Assembly member, 1199
United Healthcare Workers East / SEIU ~ New York Metro, Syracuse,
Capital District, and Finger Lakes chapters of Physicians for a
National Health Program ~ Douglas Delong, MD, Physicians for a
National Health Program, Cooperstown ~ Richard Propp, MD, Capital
District Alliance for Universal Healthcare, Inc. ~ Doug Bullock, 8th
District Representative, Albany County Legislature ~ Rochester
Interfaith Health Care Coalition ~ New York Statewide Senior Action

Founding conference
Albany Medical College
Saturday September 13th
10am to Noon – Healthcare-NOW Roadshow, featuring Donna Smith of “Sicko"
Noon – lunch, please RSVP if you would like a box lunch
1pm to 4pm - organizing and strategy meeting

To join Single Payer New York, and for further details about September
13th, please contact one of the following:
Dr. Andy Coates pnhpcapitaldistrict ~ Rebecca Elgie healthylink@ earthlink. net
~ Mark Dunlea dunleamark@aol. com ~ Courtney Morrow pnhpmetro@nyc.