The Single Payer Shout Out Newsletter Vol. 1 Issue 1 (July 2018)
Updated: Jul 9, 2018
Visit us online at: https://www.michigan4singlepayer.org/
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Visit us on Twitter at: @Medicare4AllMI
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Welcome to the first of our monthly M4SPH newsletters!
Winning Single Payer healthcare may be the most urgent socioeconomic issue of our times. Economic inequities inherent in our health care delivery system intersect with a multitude of other pressing and distressing social issues. Health care costs impact all of us equally because health care is an essential human need. We are the only developed country without a Single Payer system, and our health care is delivered not as an essential human need and basic human right, available equally to all - rather, health care in the US is delivered based on our ability (or our employers’ ability) to pay insurance premiums to companies who mediate healthcare delivery. Under a system driven by insurance companies and their desire for profits, consumers have experienced nothing but rising costs over many decades, while insurers and drug companies have experienced rising profits. Single Payer health care will remove the multiple-insurers (who are the drivers of the profit-motive) from the system, putting actual health care providers back in charge of how healthcare is delivered, thus restoring the true relationship between provider and patient.
Single Payer health care delivers many benefits - on both an individual and a societal level - in all other countries using it. We will look at those benefits and how they might help Americans in upcoming issues of the Single Payer Shout Out.
To win single payer healthcare, we must actively engage in Educating, Advocating, and Agitating. There is a role for each one of us in this effort, and it will take all of us acting together to create changes in an unfairly rigged healthcare delivery system dominated by the profit-driven motives of insurance companies. A single payer healthcare delivery system in Michigan - or the U.S. - won’t be possible unless conscientious citizens get involved and participate in advocating for it. So please, visit our website, share our links, download or print the information meant for learning and sharing, and talk with family, friends, and neighbors about your enthusiasm for achieving Single Payer Healthcare in Michigan! We need YOUR participation (and donations count as participation, too!), suggestions, input, and enthusiasm. We need to work together with as many people as possible across the state to achieve this dream. Learn how you can take steps to ensure that we have Single Payer Healthcare in Michigan by reading and acting on the suggestions, below!
Visit the Michigan For Single Payer Healthcare Website here
Please click here to share the newsletter and encourage others to join our email list. Discover what we’re doing and how YOU can become involved in winning the battle for Single Payer on the “Get Involved” page!
EDUCATING about Single Payer
We have suggestions for how you can help educate others about Single Payer at this link. Each of us can invite a few friends and family members to a discussion group at a coffee shop, or to an in-home film screening of the free online movie Fix It: Healthcare at the Tipping Point (find the film and discussion guides here). To lead general guided discussions, download and print resources from the Michigan for Single Payer Powerpoint, Flyer, and Top Ten Talking Points printables found here.
Links to other useful sites and resources are also available on this page and on the Fix It! website. The more we learn and teach about our failing healthcare delivery system and the better option represented by Single Payer, the better!
NOTE: If you choose to screen Fix It! or lead a discussion group, please get contact information from your invitees, and share that information with us! The more people we are able to reach out to who are friendly to the cause, the faster our movement will grow! In addition to sharing contacts, we invite you to do a write-up of your group’s experience, take photos, or do an audio-recording. You can share this documentation by submitting it for publication in the Things We’ve Done/Things We’ve Won section of our newsletter. Remember, the more active involvement we can document and share, the faster our movement will grow!
Additional Ways to Help Educate Others About Single Payer:
Inform friends and family about your involvement with the effort to win Single Payer. You can do so easily by forwarding the email newsletter, or sending the links to our website, and social media pages to friends and family. To inform non-Michiganders about Single Payer efforts in other states, send them the link to Healthcare-NOW’s state/local group list, available here.
Inform your union member friends and the leaders of any unions and associations (including churches, mosques, synagogues) you belong by sharing information from the sources listed above.
Form a Research Study Circle and ask 3-5 friends to do a One Hour Research Blitz, researching and gathering materials that can be shared with others about the importance of Single Payer. Document your efforts, and send to: firstname.lastname@example.org for sharing through our website or newsletter. Reach out to librarians, researchers, historians, or teachers who may be able to put together the information in a form that helps us more easily educate about the importance of Single Payer.
ADVOCATING for Single Payer
Each of us can advocate through Canvassing. M4SPH held canvassing events throughout the month of June and will continue to do so in the future. Keep your eye on the website’s Canvassing page and our Facebook page for announcements about canvassing events. Email us with your questions (email@example.com) or just show up to the event, where we will gladly answer questions.
Contacting Elected Officials is another easy form of advocacy. You can learn about different ways of contacting our elected officials here .
Having a calling party or postcard-writing party is a fun and easy way to engage in advocacy. No matter how you choose to contact your elected officials about the beauty of Single Payer, please document your efforts with photos or a write-up to share with others here.
Additional Ways to Advocate for Single Payer:
Join - and contribute to the efforts of - our partner organizations, as you are able. A list of our partner organizations can be found here . We can and must be alliance-builders amongst affiliated groups if we hope to win Single Payer. Such alliance-building strengthens both our groups and our movement.
Contribute financially to Michigan For Single Payer Healthcare. Donations will be used to lobby and advocate under the rules and regulations governing 501 (c)(4) nonprofit corporations.
Create a Messaging Campaign Group that works to provide messaging for flyers, posters, and artwork. We need appropriate, eye-catching, thought-provoking messaging to re-frame the debate and win converts. Graphic and fine artists, craftspeople, teachers, and musicians are particularly adept at creating the kind of material that can be shared on cars, on t-shirts and hats, in town halls, and at marches and other events.
Join with friends to create a month- or week-long Time-Limited Advocacy Action wherein you set and reach an easy Advocacy Goal. Artists and musicians often aim to create one simple piece per day within a selected time-frame as a goal and a discipline. Perhaps you and your friends (individually in competition, or cooperatively, as a group) could do something similar by, for example: 1) calling or emailing one personal friend about Single Payer 2) talking with an acquaintance in person about Single Payer 3) writing to an elected official anywhere in the state of Michigan about Single Payer each day for a week. Debrief with each other, document your efforts, and share your Advocacy Action results with the rest of us through the newsletter!
Create a Brainstorm Group to brainstorm ideas (or send us your individual thoughts and ideas) about creative education, advocacy, and agitation. Debrief, document, and share!
AGITATING for Single Payer
There are probably as many forms of creative action as there are individuals! When done well, these creative actions have an “agitating” effect on those around us. We’ve certainly seen an abundance of creative “agitating” in recent years!
Learn about bird dogging here and here. The first link is a general introduction to bird dogging; the second contains many excellent and comprehensive ideas to apply to Single Payer bird dogging specifically.
Prep for bird dogging with your friends, and look for suggested opportunities (or create your own!) to bird dog elected officials at town halls and other community meetings. Record (audio, video, or written transcript) your efforts to share in our “Things We’ve Done/How We’ve Won” section of the newsletter and on our FB page. Meet to debrief and refine your techniques for future bird dogging opportunities.
Each time you write a check to your health care providers, write the phrase “I Support Single Payer” and the website link (michigan4sph.org) on the comment line.
Gubernatorial candidate Dr. Abdul Sayed’s plan for Single Payer for Michigan can be found here. Through graphic comparisons, Dr. Sayed explains how his MichCare Plan will save thousands of dollars annually for individuals and businesses in Michigan. Most people will save between $1000 - $7000 in insurance costs!! To read the complete plan, click here. Please read all sections of this plan to learn more about how the only gubernatorial candidate who openly promotes Single Payer proposes to move us to a Single Payer system in Michigan!
Top Issue in the Elections is Healthcare. Read here.
The Next Healthcare Wars. In-depth description of the multi-front “wars” being fought between the two parties over the multifaceted, metastasizing “cancers” in our healthcare delivery system. Read here.
A podcast (It’s My Party, and I’ll Try if I Want To) containing great insights about election politics and the challenges facing progressive candidates who champion causes like Single Payer/Medicare for All. To listen, click here.
THINGS THAT ARE GOOD
● State Representative Yousef Rabhi (Dist. 53) unveiled his MICare Plan for a single payer system for Michigan on Monday, July 2 at 11 a.m. on the Capitol Steps in Lansing! Read about it here. Roughly 35 members of M4SPH were in attendance. M4SPH Board President and founding member Eli Rubin and M4SPH activist and founding member Sarah Rosenthal, R.N. spoke at the rally. Links to video of the event may be found here, here, here and here. For reports from michiganradio.org, go here and here. Mlive.com coverage (with over 300 reader comments) may be found here. For the MiCare Explainer (a 2-page Pdf flyer) click here
● T-shirts (white on blue) promoting M4SPH’s ideas about the importance of Single Payer are available here. These t-shirts have several different reasons for Single Payer listed on the back of the shirt. See examples here. The t-shirts were designed by M4SPH member Mary MacLeod of Muskegon (Kudos and Thanks, Mary!!), and are available for purchase ($15) by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
● Michigan United’s campaign for Universal Family Care in Michigan has recently achieved a very significant goal (on the road to other related health care reforms). HB 4647, “The Long-Term Care Study Bill,” received widespread bipartisan support, was co-sponsored by 40 members of the House, and will be passed into the State Budget, allowing it to receive funding and move forward with required research and analysis. Introduced by Rep. Hoadley (D-Kalamazoo) in 2017, the study will complete a rigorous needs assessment of long-term care in Michigan and run an actuarial analysis of potential solutions. Michigan United founded the Michigan Coalition for the Long-Term Care Study Bill Commission and has been leading a grassroots lobbying strategy around the study for the past several months. Over a dozen Michigan organizations signed on in support of a letter the coalition sent to members of the Appropriations Committee in May. Please contact Laura De Palma at email@example.com if you want to get involved in the campaign's next steps.
THINGS THAT ARE NOT GOOD
Recent efforts to undo ACA protections jeopardize the health of millions of American girls and women. Read more here.
America’s health care prices are out of control. These 11 Charts Prove It. Click here
Most insurers requested double-digit increases for ACA in coming year. Read more here.
Congressional Budget Office (CBO) expects average increase of 10 percent in individual market premiums in 2019. Read more about that, and anticipated state by state premium increases here.
THINGS WE’VE DONE/HOW WE’VE WON
We’ll use this space to share about member activities and accomplishments.
Get in touch with us and tell us about your experiences, your teams and your teamwork, your actions, and your successes! Notify us of news that is important, and events we can promote and celebrate! Together, WE make the MOVEMENT! Contact Newsletter Editor at: firstname.lastname@example.org
FIELD NOTES with Michigan for Single Payer Activists (a monthly feature)
This Month’s Featured Activist: Eli Rubin
Note: This is an excerpt of an interview with Eli Rubin about M4SPH and social activism. The entire interview may be found here.
LW: Eli, could you please talk about the projects you are currently most heavily involved with?
ER: I’ve been very involved in the set up, and was one of the founders of the group. Right now in Michigan For Single Payer Healthcare, I’m doing the heavy lifting administrative work of finding funding, and getting the website up and running. I recognize the importance of getting structures in place, so that’s taking away from other things I’d like to be doing. I want to be working toward getting mass contact lists, programs, even paid volunteers, for M4SPH - like Michigan United has.
LW: How can M4SPH members help the effort?
ER: Finding funding and raising money, canvassing and phone banking, visiting legislators, and holding or participating in community meetings (where we explain Single Payer and answer questions about it) are other aspects of organizing for Single Payer that we need community support with.
LW: How did you get started with M4SPH?
ER: Michigan for Single Payer Healthcare started as an outgrowth of Michigan United, but now is split off from it. M4SPH still supports Michigan United (and vice versa), and works with them and with Michigan People’s Campaign on goals that overlap. I’m really excited that Michigan for Single Payer Healthcare is now a 501(c)(4) - because this non-profit status allows us to engage in unlimited lobbying and promotion of candidates, as related to our efforts to realize the goal of achieving single payer health care in Michigan.
LW: So what motivated you to begin work on Michigan for Single Payer Healthcare and make that your primary focus?
ER: It’s terrifying to see the health care system as it is. I’ve always been pretty healthy, and my family members are too - but this system is designed in such a way that it can and will - without remorse - bankrupt people, and ensure they don’t get the care they need. MLK said: "Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking." I will work on this issue no matter what. I’ve had a lot of privilege, and I’ve been trying to fight back in any way I can - but this is the issue which most calls to me and one I can do most effectively.
LW: What are your hopes for M4SPH? What is your greatest hope?
ER: That it will become an organization that politicians have to reckon with and seek endorsements from, and that it will mobilize voters to vote for politicians who support single payer.
LW: As an organizer and activist, what do you believe to be the three most critical things needing our focus?
ER: 1) more community engagement 2) become and stay more engaged and don’t worry about people showing up. Not everything has to be a home run 3) have faith that your efforts will lead to something someday. It’s the sum total of everything we do that will lead to change.
LW: What is your greatest hope for other activists with regard to this work we’re doing?
ER: That we create lasting structures and relationships that will eventually be more powerful than corporations.