Action in the Network!

Happy Birthday Medicare and Medicaid!
"No longer will older Americans be denied the healing miracle of modern medicine.

No longer will illness crush and destroy the savings that they have so carefully put away over a lifetime so that they may enjoy dignity in their later years.

No longer will young families see their own incomes, and their own hopes, eaten away simply because they are carrying out their deep moral obligations to their parents and their uncles and their aunts."

President Lyndon Johnson on July 30, 1965 as he signed the Medicaid and Medicare Acts.

SPAN activists across the state spent many hours planning and preparing for the 50th anniversary celebration of Medicare and Medicaid.  Celebrations were held in Columbus, Lakewood and Toledo.  
In Columbus, SPAN collaborated with the Alliance for Retired Americans and held a press conference in the Ladies Gallery at the Ohio State House followed by a visit to Senator Rob Portman's office.
State Director Debbie Silverstein addresses the crowd in Lakewood.  SPAN collaborated with National Nurses United and Cleveland Jobs with Justice for a program that included Senator Mike Skindell, sponsor of SB 137, the Ohio Health Plan.  Read more here.
Toledo SPAN activists collaborated with Toledo Jobs with Justice and held their program at a free clinic.  Supporters secured proclamations from Representative Marcy Kaptur and Senator Sherrod Brown.  
........always keeping in mind that our goal is an expanded and improved Medicare for ALL, which was the original intent when Medicare was passed.

Medicare was a compromise:
“…all of us who developed Medicare and fought for it had been advocates of universal national health insurance.   We all saw insurance for the elderly as a fallback position, which we advocated solely because it seemed to have the best chance politically.  We expected Medicare to be a first step toward universal national health insurance, perhaps with Kiddiecare as another step.
Robert M. Ball, Social Security Commissioner under Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon, 1995

SPAN activists in Toledo joined with Jobs with Justice and Move to Amend to march in the Labor Day Parade.
Strategy Development
SPAN is in the process of developing a strategic plan to get single payer health care passed in Ohio.  As a part of that development, we are studying what other states are doing and what has worked for them.  Two states stand out to us right now:  Oregon and New York.
Oregon has a very active state organization and campaign.  They have a goal of putting single payer on the ballot in the next couple of years.  SPAN Ohio will host a conference call with members of Health Care for All Oregon on Sunday, September 27th at 7:30 pm.  All are invited to participate. 
Sunday, September 27, 7:30 pm
Call in number:  1-605-781-1000
Access pin:  879130

New York recently passed their single payer bill through the Assembly by a 2-1 margin.  It still has to go through the Senate, which will be more difficult, but that has not deterred New York Single Payer activists.  Join us to hear how New York achieved that victory.
Sunday, October 4, 7:30 pm
Use the same numbers as above.

High Deductible Health Plans

Ohio ranks number three in the nation for the most high deductible health plans sold through the marketplace exchanges, according to an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.  That really is no surprise, as they are the most affordable option for mandatory insurance, but they don't provide the most affordable option for health care. 

Many people, after paying the premiums, have little left to pay for care and a high deductible plan certainly discourages one from seeking care, even when it is urgent. 
Have you had trouble accessing care because of a high deductible?  Have you declined care because of a high deductible?  We'd like to hear your story.  Contact us at and tell us your story. 

I'll start by sharing mine:

A year ago I had a kidney stone.  It wasn't the first one I've had and I knew what it was and what it would cost me.  The first one cost me a month's income out of pocket with insurance.  I delayed going to the ER for two days, rolling on the floor in pain, hoping that I could flush out the stone on my own.  No such luck.  But, I knew I couldn't afford the ER either with a deductible of $1750 and co-insurance of 20% after that, along with a co-pay of $150 that doesn't count towards the deductible. 

People shouldn't have to suffer because they can't afford care.  But, they do.  You can read the whole article here.
Health Care Human Rights Collaborative

The Health Care Human Rights Collaborative launched last week with a webinar that focused on how the collaborative came together and the principles of Health Care is a Human Right.  The collaborative was formed by the Vermont Workers Center, the Southern Maine Workers Center, Health Care is a Human Right - Maryland, Put People First Pennsylvania and the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative (NESRI). 

The campaign is centered on the human rights standards a health system should meet:
  • Universality:  A society that satisfies the principle of universality will no longer exclude people from access to healthcare or any other rights. It will no longer worship the market or withhold public goods.
  • Equity:  A society that meets the principle of equity will not tolerate the concentration of power and wealth that secures excellent care for some but shortens the lives of others. 
  • Transparency, accountability and participation:  A truly democratic society that develops transparent, accountable, and participatory processes will no longer suppress the power of the people to decide what healthcare system best meets their needs and rights.
Visit their website at Health Care is a Human Right
Upcoming Events:

#TenOne is a Medicare for All National Day of Action hosted by Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine Students for a National Health Program.  The event starts at 5:00 pm on October 1st in front of the School of Medicine.  You can check on updates at #TenOne

National Single Payer Strategy Conference

A national conference which brings all major single payer organizations together at once will be held in Chicago on October 30-November 1, 2015.  Participating are Healthcare-NOW!, the Labor Campaign for Single Payer, One Payer States and Physicians for a National Health Program.  Because of the collaboration of the organizations, the conference should be one of the best ones ever held. 

If you would like to attend, you can register through Healthcare-NOW! 

Or, you can register through PNHP here or the Labor Campaign for Single Payer here.
Save the Date!

SPAN's annual state conference will be held on April 30, 2016 at the Quest Business and Conference Center in Columbus.  Planning has begun to provide you with an exceptional program.  Please plan to attend.
Volunteers Needed:

Volunteers are needed in the Akron/Canton and Youngstown areas to organize a network of local supporters to carry out SPAN work.  If you can help out, please contact Debbie Silverstein, State Director, at  
Also, if you are interested in getting involved in a more active way, there is an opening for a Regional Coordinator in Region 6.  Region 6 includes Ashland, Carroll, Columbiana, Holmes, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Richland, Stark, Summit, Tuscarawas, Trumbull, and Wayne counties.  Again, contact Debbie Silverstein at
SPAN Ohio exists through the generosity of individual donors.  Please consider making a donation by visiting our webpage at  You do not need to have a PayPal account to donate.  

You can also send a donation to SPAN Ohio, c/o Barbara Walden, Treasurer, 31100 Cedar Road, Pepper Pike, OH  44124.

SPAN Ohio is a 501(c)4 non-profit organization.   Donations to SPAN Ohio are not tax deductible.
Copyright © 2015 Single-Payer Action Network Ohio (SPAN Ohio), All rights reserved.

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