Action in the Network

January, 2016

Poverty and Health 
Poverty remains a critical issue in Ohio.  Since the 2008 recession, Ohio has seen growth in educational levels attained and employment.  


Year Percent Employed
2008 58.7%
2014 60.1%
Level 2006 2014
High School Diploma 86.2% 89.4%
Bachelor's Degree 23.1% 26.6%

Normally, growth in education and employment decrease poverty levels, but in Ohio we are losing ground..

  2005 2014
Children 18.6% 22.9%
All Ohioans 13% 15.8%
As in most social issues, African Americans and Latinos are over-represented.  Poverty rates are as follows:

African Americans:  34.7%
Latinos:  28%
Non Hispanic White: 12.2%
Cutting poverty in half at the present rate of growth would take until 2040.  The economy alone is not sufficient to lift people out of poverty.
From 2010 to 2014, the top 5% saw incomes rise an average of 6.4% while those in the bottom 20% saw their incomes drop 3%.
Poverty drags down economic growth and causes poor health, failing grades in school, and less productivity at work. 
Instead of investing in our people, we have been cutting programs.  Cuts were deep, but sequester made it worse. 
Congress' proposed budget would send 16 million people into poverty or deeper poverty than what they already experience.
Housing:  Only 1 in 4 qualifying applicants receive rental assistance.  One in five pay 50% of their income for housing.
Ending tax breaks for hedge fund managers would save $1.4 billion that could be used for domestic programs.
Why is Ohio increasing in poverty while employment is higher?
Only one of the top ten jobs in demand pays a truly living wage - Registered Nurses.  

“There is strong and growing evidence that higher social and economic status is associated with better health. In fact, these two factors seem to be the most important determinants of health.”  - Public Health Agency of Canada
As health care advocates, we need to be concerned about poverty in Ohio.   Children raised in poverty often have lifelong health consequences and childhood poverty is linked with higher death rates in adulthood.   Poverty results in higher rates of cardiovascular disease, asthma, diabetes type II and worse outcomes for cancer, all of which contribute to the high cost of health care for all of us. 
SPAN Ohio Adopts Strategy Plan to Achieve Single Payer in Ohio

At the November meeting of the SPAN Ohio State Council, a strategy plan for achieving single payer in Ohio was adopted.  
There are three possible methods to achieving single payer health care in Ohio:
  1. Passed by Congress as Federal Law - not likely in the near future
  2. Passed by State Legislature as State Law - would most likely be ruled unconstitutional due to the passage of the Healthcare Freedom Amendment in 2011.  For the legislature to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot would require a three fifths vote by the legislature, again seen as highly unlikely.
  3. Passed by citizens as Constitutional amendment
It is clear that if we are to achieve our goal, we must take charge of the issue.   Therefore, SPAN Ohio is proceeding with a plan to get on the ballot in 2020.  We chose 2020 as our goal because other states are also contemplating a ballot campaign for that year and that will increase the momentum and exposure the issue will receive.

The Roadmap for Achieving Single Payer:
  • SPAN Ohio will engage in an intense period of base building and public education.
  • SPAN Ohio will work to build a supportive network of social justice organizations that will support and actively assist in getting petition signatures and a ballot campaign.
  • SPAN Ohio will build a strong network of volunteers to help with signature gathering.
  • SPAN Ohio will seek the funding necessary to supplement volunteers in signature gathering.
  • SPAN Ohio will develop a strong campaign to help pass the issue.
  • SPAN Ohio will develop a strong Get Out The Vote campaign to make sure voters are engaged and participate.
  • After the measure is passed, SPAN Ohio will remain vigilant and involved to make sure implementation is smooth and standards are maintained.
What You Can Do to Help Right Now:
  • Encourage those you know to sign up on the SPAN webpage to be part of the network:  SPAN Ohio
  • Set up educational forums in your community and invite a SPAN speaker.  You can contact us for a speaker here.
  • Get active in your local movement.   Contact  your regional coordinator:  Regional Coordinators
Representative Tim Ryan Signs on as a Co-Sponsor of HR 676
Representative Tim Ryan, (D, OH - 13) is a new co-sponsor of HR 676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, introduced by Representative John Conyers.   We thank Representative Ryan for joining with Representative Marcy Kaptur (D OH - 9) and Representative Joyce Beatty (D OH - 3) as co-sponsors.   

Now, where is Representative Marcia Fudge???  You can contact her Washington, DC office here:
2344 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC  20515
Local Offices:
Cuyahoga County:   216-522-4900
Summit County:  330-835-4758

Fix It: Healthcare at the Tipping Point
Fix It is a new documentary that crosses the political and ideological divide to look at health care from the business point of view. 

The film was two years in the making, with more than forty voices advocating for reform, including: activists, health policy experts, economists, physicians, nurses, patients, business and labor leaders. 
This documentary takes an in-depth look into how our dysfunctional health care system is damaging our economy, suffocating our businesses, discouraging physicians and negatively impacting on the nation's health, while remaining un-affordable for a third of our citizens.
The film is the work of Richard Master, founder and owner of MCS Industries, a world leader in the picture frame and decorative mirror business. Like most US companies, he faces relentless annual cost increases to provide health insurance for his employees.

He decided to tackle the problem of healthcare using best business practices... doing an in-depth analysis, finding the right diagnosis and then determining the fix.

Fix It, the movie, is a result of his journey to find a solution to the dysfunctional US healthcare system.

SPAN Ohio is sponsoring showings of the movie around the state.   If you are interested in holding a showing, contact us at   We will get you a copy of the DVD along with a guide on how to make your showing a success.
Upcoming Events:

Hops for Health
January 16, 2016
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Black Cloister Brewing Company
619 Monroe Street
Toledo, OH
A donation of $30 buys you a flight of beer.  Join SPAN activists for a fun evening and help support SPAN Ohio.  Advanced tickets available.  Contact Dennis Slotnick at 419-704-1863 or 
Fix It:  Healthcare at the Tipping Point
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Studio 35
3055 Indianola Avenue
Columbus, OH
The movie and discussion are free.  Come and bring a friend to see a fresh perspective on our nation's health care system.  What is the overall impact on our economy?  How does our health care system affect your income, jobs and business? 
SPAN State Council Meeting
Saturday, February 6, 2016
10:00 am to 1:00 pm
AFSCME Local 8
6800 North High Street
Worthington, OH
Guests are always welcome!
SPAN Annual State Conference
Saturday, April 30, 2016

10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Quest Business and Conference Center
8405 Pulsar Place
Columbus, OH
We are working to put together a great program for you.  Please save the date.  Registration will open soon.
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Copyright © 2016 Single-Payer Action Network Ohio (SPAN Ohio), All rights reserved.

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