Action in the Network
We are Winning!

No matter who your favorite candidate is, the primary season has increased interest in transforming our healthcare system into one that is more just.  A recent Gallup poll shows that the majority of Americans favor a publicly funded national health plan.

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Presented with three separate scenarios for the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), 58% of U.S. adults favor the idea of replacing the law with a federally funded healthcare system that provides insurance for all Americans. At the same time, Americans are split on the idea of maintaining the ACA as it is, with 48% in favor and 49% opposed. The slight majority, 51%, favor repealing the Act.

To read the rest of the article and see the results of the polling click here.
State Conference a Success!

The 13th Annual SPAN Ohio State Conference, held April 30th, was a great success.  We learned a lot from Ben Palmquist's keynote speech about leading with our values.   Ben reminded us of the campaign that got Vermont's bill passed, which was a huge victory despite Governor Shumlin's backpedaling this January.
Attendees rated the workshops very highly.  Michelle Mahon, RN was superb in her advice on how to organize around health care issues.   Jeffrey Susman, MD gave a wonderful talk about what NEOMED is doing to help reduce health care disparities.   His information about northeast Ohio was eye opening.  Those who attended the showing of Fix It left with their own copy of the movie and a path on how to use it most effectively.
Dr. Brad Cotton, an emergency room physician and a prolific writer, was awarded the Bob Smiddie Healthcare Justice Award.  Dr. Cotton writes op ed articles often about our dysfunctional health care system and draws upon his experience as a physician, former EMT and nurse. 

Narrow Networks, High Deductibles and Premium Rate Increases

Toledo SPAN supporter, Penny Gentieu, has taken a deep look into premium increases and network sufficiency in the Toledo area.   She began by investigating insurance plans on the Marketplace for her husband and herself and found most had very narrow networks.  One plan had 50 doctors listed as being in network, but when she called all 50, she only found two who were accepting that plan.
Part of the problem is that Ohio has no effective tool for rate reviews and no ability to govern them.  There is very little that compels insurance companies to keep network lists up to date, which can be very injurious to patients seeking care and finding they have out of network providers.  Check out Penny's information on her website:   Ohio Citizen Rate Review Info.
SPAN Ohio Adopts Membership Structure

Everyone In!  Become a SPAN Ohio Member

As of June 1, 2016, SPAN Ohio will become a membership-based organization.  SPAN made the move in hopes of realizing a more predictable source of revenue and as an organizing tool. With the big goal of realizing a single-payer health care system for Ohio citizens, we all need to jump in! 

Membership has been kept affordable.  Nobody will be prevented from becoming a member due to the inability to pay.  A regular annual membership is $40. A senior (over age 65) or student membership is $20 a year.  Anyone who needs a further reduction in price can contact the Membership Committee Chair, Marcia Hartman at 740-624-8803. Organizational memberships are available for $100.

Membership brings benefits: a discount on the registration price for the annual SPAN Ohio conference along with organizational voting privileges.

Join Us Today!  To pay online, go to the SPAN Ohio website and under BECOME A MEMBER, click on “Individual Membership” and complete the online form, or download an Individual Membership application form and send it with a check to the address given on the form. If representing an organization, click on “Organization Membership” and complete the online form, or download the Organization Membership application form and send it with a check to the address given on the form.
Cleveland Holds Healthcare Walk

Cleveland SPAN activists held their annual Walk for Healthcare Justice on May 14th.   The group braved the wind and rain and walked a 3-mile loop from the West Side Market through Public Square and back across the Detroit Superior Bridge to come down W. 25th Street back to the market.   The walk is held annually for several reasons:   to demonstrate healthy habits, to gain visibility in the Cleveland area for SPAN Ohio and as a fundraiser.  Following the walk, a luncheon was held.
Pizza and Health Care Join Forces in Athens, Ohio

SPAN Ohio and Della Zona Pizza in Athens, Ohio are joining forces to bring awareness of SPAN's efforts to create a health care system that meets human rights standards and also raise a little money for the cause.  If you're in the Athens area on Friday, June 10th, enjoy pizza and friendships with the gang:

Della Zona Pizza
270 E. State Street
Athens, OH
Cost:  $28, $20 goes to SPAN Ohio
RSVP required: by June 8th.
Many thanks to Christine Hughes, the owner, for offering this opportunity!
All are welcome to join us for the “People’s Convention” and
End Poverty Now March in Cleveland

By Greg Coleridge, director of American Friends Service Committee of Northeast Ohio
There’s been a lot of attention on what may happen at the Republican National Convention (RNC), which takes place in Cleveland in July. There are also concerns about what will happen outside of the convention, since the federal government is spending $50 million to militarize Cleveland’s police force, which has a long history of brutality.

In Northeast Ohio, however, AFSC is part of a local coalition looking at the RNC as an educational and organizing opportunity to promote justice, peace, and nonviolence through an alternative gathering—the “People’s Justice & Peace Convention."

Current public policies disproportionately benefit corporations and the wealthiest individuals. They tend to promote and expand U.S. militarism, while the concerns of the vast majority of people are ignored, distorted, and manipulated for political and economic gain. 

Our People’s Convention will take place from July 15 to 17—in the days leading up to the RNC—and will include a diversity of voices and experiences, from local to national, transcending any one political party or perspective. Its purpose is to lift up issues that the RNC is not likely to address and to collectively develop solutions to achieve just, nonviolent, democratic, and sustainable results.
Read the rest of the article here.
Healthcare-NOW! Offers Single Payer School

Healthcare-NOW!, a national organization supporting single payer health care, has started an online Single Payer School.  The goal is to provide participants with all the health policy expertise, organizing skills and mentoring needed to become an effective leader in the healthcare justice movement.
The first endeavor of the school is a reading of Gerard Boychuck's book, National Health Insurance in the United States and Canada.  Let's see what you know: 

While other countries were instituting national health insurance systems from the 40's through the 70's, attempts to pass such legislation here in the U.S. failed. What is the primary reason this happened?

  A. The U.S. has a more individualistic ethic than other countries.
  B. The rise of voluntary private health insurance created steep political barriers to the enactment of a public plan.
  C. The American Medical Association's fierce opposition swayed public opinion against "socialized medicine".
  D. The desegregation of hospitals and medical staff that would have taken place under a federal plan split the country and prevented legislation from passing.

According to Boychuck, the answer is D.

To join the school and discussion, click here.
Upcoming Events
SPAN Ohio Region 4 Organizing Meeting, Cincinnati, OH:  June 1
SPAN Ohio Region 4 will meet on June 1st, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the home of Don Rucknagel in Cincinnati.  Please call Dee Chavez for more information:  513-413-1178. 
Old West End Festival, Toledo, Ohio:  June 4th and 5th
Join SPAN Ohio and march in the parade on June 4th, help man the literature table at the festival or visit the Eyes Wide Open Healthcare Display.  Contact Dennis Slotnick for more information:   419-704-1863 or
Pizza and Healthcare, Athens, Ohio: June 10th
See article above for more information.
SPAN State Council Meeting, Columbus, Ohio:  June 11th, Guests are welcome
State Council will meet on June 11th from 10:00 am till 1:00 pm at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbus, Room 7, 92 W. Weisheimer Road, Columbus.   Those who would like will gather for lunch at Panera's after the meeting.
Region 7 tabling activities, Dayton, Ohio and Yellow Springs, Ohio:  June 11th
Help region 7 table at the African Americans Wellness Walk in Dayton or the Yellow Springs street fair.   For more information, call Matt Noordsij-Jones at 937-321-8698 or email
Cleveland SPAN Meeting, Cleveland, Ohio:  June 27th, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm.
Help plan for participation in events surrounding the RNC this summer.  Meeting is at the Northshore AFL-CIO building, 3250 Euclid Avenue.   Enter the parking lot at the rear of the building off Prospect Street.  
Copyright © 2016 Single-Payer Action Network Ohio (SPAN Ohio), All rights reserved.

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