Copy                                                                                                                                              Fall 2016


Working to pass the Health Care for All Ohioans Act
1 - A free screening of the new movie, Now is the Time: Healthcare for Everybody, a sequel from the producers of The Healthcare Movie will premiere in two Ohio locations:
OSU Medical School
Wednesday, Nov. 16
5:30-7:30 PM
Room 112 Meiling Hall,
370 W. 9th Ave
Columbus, OH
Cedar Lee Theatre
Thursday, Nov. 17
7:00-9:00 PM
2163 Lee Rd
Cleveland Heights, OH
2 - The annual meeting of Physicians for a National Health Program will be held November 18-19, 2016 in Washington, D.C.
Registration Information
Non-members are welcome
3 - The annual meeting of SPAN Ohio will be held Saturday, April 29, 2017 at the Quest Conference Center in Columbus Ohio

I'm Coming to See You!

The state council of SPAN Ohio voted over a year ago to set a goal of putting a constitutional amendment on the ballot in 2020.   In order to do that, we need to do the groundwork first: build a network that can get this job done on a shoestring budget.  
I have asked all Regional Coordinators to set up local summit-type meetings that I can attend.   Regions have been tasked to invite all local SPAN supporters as well as representatives from local organizations that are/could/should be allies with SPAN Ohio.
The purpose of the meeting is:
  • to define our strengths and weaknesses, as seen by our supporters, current allies and future allies. 
  • to use this information to create the structure needed, define the roles that need to be filled and the work that needs to be done to meet our goal.
  • to define what SPAN Ohio needs to do in order to engage supporters and allies in a higher level of activity in the organization 
  • to define how to best match SPAN volunteers with the work that needs to be done in order to build the network needed to achieve our goal of Health Care for All.
I look forward to meeting you then.  These meetings, should take place between the election and our next spring conference, April 29, 2017.   If you would like to help your Regional Coordinator plan this meeting, you can find contact information here.

Debbie Silverstein
State Director
Did Martin Shkreli Do Us a Favor?

Martin Shkreli got headlines by raising the price on Daraprim, a drug used to treat toxoplasmosis, a potentially fatal disease in HIV patients. 

Then Heather Bresch, CEO of Mylan, made a huge increase in the price of EpiPen, a life saving device for those with severe allergies. The price skyrocketed shortly after Mylan convinced Congress to pass legislation requiring schools to stock the item for emergencies.  Then, insurance giant Aetna announced it was pulling out of the ACA exchanges due to financial losses in that market.  Was this related to the Justice Department's refusal to approve the Aetna and Humana merger?

Public attention is now focused on the greed in our healthcare system.  But, as Ben Palmquist from the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative points out:

These companies are doing precisely what they are designed to do: make money. In an interview with the The New York Times, Bresch was quoted explaining, “I am running a business. I am a for-profit business. I am not hiding from that.” The larger health insurance and drug markets that Aetna and Mylan are part of, are operating precisely as markets are supposed to.
Going after the individual villains won't solve anything.  The single largest driver of healthcare costs is unit pricing fueled by market power, according to Consumers Union, an arm of Consumers Report.  It is the system, built on profit seeking businesses and a commodity that 
is sold to those who can pay, that is the problem.  Healthcare is an essential human need, not an optional commodity. Fundamental change is needed.

The 2016 primary campaign and Colorado's Amendment 69 have created a crack in the marketplace ideology, and the actions of Shkreli, Mylan, Aetna and others have fueled a conversation about the system as a whole.  It’s time for action that results in a healthcare system that meets the needs of people, not Wall Street. 

You can read Ben Palmquist's entire article here.   You can access the Consumers Union information here.

SPAN Ohio joins rally on Sep 12th
Deb Silverstein, State Director for SPAN, addresses a coalition of activists who marched to the statehouse as part of a national Moral Monday Movement, noting that health care is a human right.
Regional news
Region 2: Each year, SPAN members march the Labor Day Parade with the Jobs with Justice organization in Toledo.  This year was no exception on Labor Day Sept 5th
Region 3: Our goals are to: 1) Expand Membership base, 2) Promote Circulation of Fix It Movie, 3) Plan a Fundraiser Walk, 4) Have six attendees at Dec. 3rd State Council meeting

Region 5: On September 30, Bob Krasen and Alice Faryna participated in a panel following the showing of FIXIT at the Whetstone Library. The event was organized by Mayda Sanchez, Executive Director of the Ohio Sustainable Business Council. She is committed to bring the Single Payer message to small businesses. Contact her at:

Region 7: Stop by to say hi or help volunteer at the Yellow Springs Street Fair on Saturday October 8th from 9am to 5pm! Our booth will be near the corners of Dayton and Corry streets. Look for us in our red SPAN shirts. Our next monthly region 7 organizing meeting is on Sunday, October 30th, 3 pm at 517 McLain St in Dayton. All are welcome.

Become a Paid Member
Why join as a paid member? Because we don’t have a state government that will take action on establishing a health care system for all Ohioans, the only way open to us is by constitutional amendment. That takes commitment, and that takes money. A little bit of work by a lot of people takes care of the commitment, and a little bit of money from lots of citizens will take care of the money.

You can help.  A SPAN Ohio membership is affordable. Nobody will be prevented from becoming a member due to 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 cost 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 fee for the annual SPAN Ohio conference along with organizational voting privileges. Find the appropriate form under BECOME A MEMBER at
The Root Cause of Patients’ Suffering

My professional association, the American College of Emergency Physicians, reports that fully 80-90% of its members have seen patients who have suffered because they could not afford their medicines or that prohibitively high deductibles and/or co-pays prevented them from accessing the medical care they required.

As I am proud to work in the one place in our profits- before-patient’s health care system that tries to care for all comers, tries to care before we know your insurance status or even who you are, I submit that the 10-20% of ACEP members who do not report such patient suffering either work in incredibly affluent areas or are simply so task-oriented they don’t see the root cause of their patients’ suffering—that cause being our “your money or your life” non-care system. This is a moral stain on our nation. We shall appear barbarians to generations hence.

Brad Cotton, MD

From our friends at Healthcare-NOW!

Recently, Senate Democrats introduced a resolution calling for a public option. The proposal comes, somewhat suspiciously, after Bernie Sanders nearly staged a coup within the Democratic Party running on a platform of single-payer reform, but subsequently agreed to support Clinton and her call for a public option during the general elections.
Read and respond to our full statement on the public option
We believe that the public option is limited as a solution to the problems that ail the Affordable Care Act, and even more problematic as a vehicle for building a social movement over the next 2 years when, in all likelihood, neither Democrats nor Republicans will be able to advance major legislation through Congress. In the current political context, it offers neither vision nor political pragmatism. 
The upsurge of national support for improved Medicare for All generated by the Sanders campaign has created a tremendous opportunity to advance the movement for healthcare justice in the United States, regardless of the posturing that will continue to take place during the general elections. Now is the time to build on that momentum through organizing and outreach for single payer!
Read our full statement here
Based on our informal Facebook poll, it seems that many of our supporters are in agreement; however, we want to hear from all of you, not just those active on social media. So please join the discussion!
Yours in solidarity,
Ben and Stephanie
Healthcare-NOW! National Staff
Copyright © 2016 Single-Payer Action Network Ohio (SPAN Ohio), All rights reserved.

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