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News from SPAN Ohio


From Physicians for a National Health Program

Today’s [June 25] decision by the Supreme Court in King v. Burwell to uphold the Affordable Care Act’s premium subsidies in about three dozen states will spare more than 6 million Americans the health and financial harms associated with the sudden loss of health insurance coverage.

For that reason alone the decision must be welcomed: Having health insurance is better than not having coverage, as several research studies have shown.

That said, the suffering that many Americans are experiencing today under our current health care arrangements is intolerable, with approximately 35 million people remaining uninsured, a comparable number underinsured, and rapidly growing barriers to medical care in the form of rising premiums, copayments, coinsurance and deductibles, and narrowing networks.

The unfortunate reality is that the ACA, despite its modest benefits, is not a remedy to our health care crisis: (1) .it will not achieve universal coverage, as it will still leave at least 27 million uninsured in 2025, (2) it will not make health care affordable to Americans with insurance, because of high copays, deductibles and gaps in coverage that leave patients vulnerable to financial ruin in the event of serious illness, and (3) it will not control costs.

Read the rest of the article here.


Welcome to New State Council Members

SPAN Ohio welcomes nine new members of State Council:   Dee Chavez, Robin Deters, James Dyer, Pam Gardner, Alyx Kendzierski, Dennis Lambert, Sean Nestor, Melvin Scott and Ted Seuss.  The new members joined State Council at our state wide conference last May in Columbus.

We also welcome back former members of State Council who have returned, Mike Carano and Marty Kuhn.  

New Regional Coordinators elected at the conference are Dee Chavez in Region 4 (Adams, Brown, Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton, Highland and Warren counties) and Matthew Noordsij-Jones, MD in Region 7 (Champaign, Clark, Darke, Greene, Miami, Montgomery, Preble and Shelby counties).

SPAN is very excited to be working with our new members and new Regional Coordinators.   They have already injected new levels of enthusiasm and ideas and are making a great contribution to the organization.

Single Payer in Ohio by 2025

SPAN State Council members and local supporters have been working on the development of a ten year strategy to plan to achieve Single Payer health care in Ohio by 2025.   Single Payer in Ohio will require a constitutional amendment due to the passage of the Healthcare Freedom Amendment in November, 2011.

A constitutional amendment requires that the issue be placed on the ballot.  There are two ways to achieve that:  either the legislature can place the issue on the ballot or citizens can do so through the petition process.  Either process can be achieved, but both require the work of a large number of dedicated volunteers.  

SPAN has identified what needs to be done in the next few years in order to achieve this through either process.  


  • We must build a large strong base of active members.
  • We must continue and step up our efforts to educate the citizens of Ohio as to the need for continued health care reform and why single payer should be the path to follow.
  • We must create a true social justice network of allies to assist us.
  • We need to build the war chest of funds to carry on a campaign once the measure is on the ballot. 

While we like to think that our biggest obstacle in this campaign is the insurance industry and profit first medicine, the only thing that really holds us back is our own apathy and lethargy.   Everyone has something of value to contribute and now is the time to actively do so.   Contact your regional coordinator to get involved:

Region 1 (Northeast Ohio)

Dave Pavlick 
Phone: 216-502-7897
(Includes Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Lorain counties)

Region 2 (Northwest Ohio)

Dennis Slotnick
Phone: 419-704-1863
(Includes Allen, Auglaize, Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Hancock, Henry, Huron, Lucas, Mercer, Ottawa, Paulding, Putnam, Sandusky, Seneca, Van Wert, Williams, and Wood counties)

Region 3 (Southeastern Ohio)

Arlene Sheak
Phone: 740-592-1879
(Includes Athens, Belmont, Coshocton, Gallia, Guernsey, Harrison, Hocking, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Vinton, and Washington counties)

Region 4 (Southwestern Ohio)

Dee Chavez
Phone: 513-631-4335
(Includes Adams, Brown, Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton, Highland and Warren counties)

Region 5 (Central Ohio)

Marilyn Webster 
Phone: 614-870-7339
(Includes Crawford, Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Hardin, Knox, Licking, Logan, Madison, Marion, Morrow, Pickaway, Union, and Wyandot counties)
Region 6 (East Central Ohio)

Mary Nichols-Rhodes
Phone: 330-957-6167
(Includes Ashland, Carroll, Columbiana, Holmes, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Richland, Stark, Summit, Tuscarawas, Trumbull, and Wayne counties)

Region 7 (West Central Ohio)

Matt Noordsij-Jones
Phone: 937-321-8698
(Includes Champaign, Clark, Darke, Greene, Miami, Montgomery, Preble, and Shelby counties)

SPAN Literature

SPAN Ohio has developed literature about single payer health care that is specific to different interest groups.   We currently have the following available and are developing more!

  • SPAN trifold brochure:   Explains what SPAN is about and how to get involved.
  • Single Payer Primer:   Explains why further health care reform is needed and why single payer
  • Small Business Benefits:  Explains why single payer is good for small business
  • Labor and Publicly Funded, Universal Health Care:   of particular interest to labor unions, but also to any working person.
  • Universal Healthcare and the Faith Community:  What is the role of the Faith Community in the campaign for Health Care Justice?
  • The Conservative Case for Single Payer:   Single Payer is actually a centrist idea.  Why conservatives should support Single Payer.

You can find those flyers on our website at SPAN Ohio.   If you want multiple copies for presentation or distribution, please contact us at and give us at least two weeks. 

Recent Actions:

Toledo SPAN

SPAN Activists in Toledo recently spent two days tabling at the Old West End Festival where they had numerous conversations with future activists who are anxious to get involved.   
Cleveland SPAN
Cleveland SPAN members held a Healthcare Justice Walk and Fundraiser.   Participants completed a three mile walk from the West Side Market, through Public Square and across the Detroit-Superior Bridge to return to the West Side Market area for lunch and time for social interaction.   State Director Debbie Silverstein gave a brief update to the group...   Cleveland SPAN raised a little over $4000 
Athens SPAN

Athens activists celebrated Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security on May 13, 2015 at the Athens County Courthouse.  The event included testimony from individuals on how those programs have positively impacted their lives and proclamations were issued by the Athens County Commissioners, Athens City Council and Nelsonville City Council.  You can read the article in the Athens News by clicking here.
Dayton SPAN
Dayton activists tabled at the African American Wellness Walk.   This has been an annual activity for several years now.
Columbus SPAN
Columbus SPAN members held a fundraiser and informational gathering at the Savor Pint Craft Beer Garden in Columbus.  Besides raising funds for SPAN, they enlisted several new activists and were able to talk to patrons about the need for continued healthcare reform and a system of healthcare that meets human rights standards.
Upcoming Events:

Cincinnati:  Cincinnati SPAN Organizing Meeting, Sunday, June 28, 2015 from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm at the Redtree Gallery, 3210 Madison Road, Cincinnati, OH.   All are welcome to attend to find out more about SPAN and how you can help.

Cleveland:  Cleveland SPAN quarterly meeting on Monday, June 29, 2015 at 7:00 pm.   The meeting will be held at the Northshore AFL-CIO office at 3250 Euclid Avenue.  Parking is off Prospect Street.  Enter the back door and go to the second floor.  All are welcome to attend.

Dayton:  Remote Area Medical Documentary Showing on July 12, 2015 at 3:00 pm at the Neon Theater, 130 East 5th Street in Dayton. 

During the healthcare reform debate, the media failed to put a human face on what it means to not have access to healthcare. Over 3 days in April 2012, Remote Area Medical, the pioneers of “no-cost” healthcare clinics, treated nearly 2,000 patients on the infield of Bristol, Tennessee’s massive NASCAR speedway. REMOTE AREA MEDICAL affords us an insider’s perspective on the ebb and flow of the event. It is the extraordinary stories of the patients, desperate for medical attention, that create a lasting impression about the state of modern healthcare in America. A panel discussion will be held after the movie with local physicians and health policy advocates.

Cleveland:  Happy Birthday Medicare!   A celebration and march will be held on July 30, 2015 at Lakewood Park from 11:00 am until 2:00 pm.   The celebration will start with a "backyard" picnic including ice cream and a Dixieland band.  Speakers will follow, including state Senator Mike Skindell, sponsor of SB 137, the Ohio Health Plan, followed by a march to Lakewood Hospital.

Washington, DC:  Healthcare Justice March at West Potomac Park on August 1, 2015 starting at 10:00 am.  Contact for more information:

Follow us on Twitter, Join us on Facebook

If you tweet, please follow us on Twitter at Single-Payer@SPANOhio,

You can find us on Facebook at Single Payer Action Network (SPAN Ohio) at

Also, check out our YouTube channel and the videos we have available:

The above links can also be accessed through our website at SPAN Ohio.
Copyright © 2015 Single-Payer Action Network Ohio (SPAN Ohio), All rights reserved.

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