Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Opportunities to Learn about Global Warming and Much More!

It’s the first day of fall and the second day of the fall term.
It’s also not to late to register for a Community Ed class!

Did you know?PCC Employees can apply tuition waivers
to any Community Ed class! 

Bill Bradbury and PCC Community Ed
It is not to late to join my course on Global Climate Change. I recently
promoted the class at PCC when Bill Bradbury asked me to get him a room to
announce his candidacy for Governor of Oregon. The above link you will find
a YouTube video of this event and my personnal request for YOU to join in
the class.The course homepage is:


Thank you.


Plus, you can take this $25 class for free with your employee tuition waiver!

Click here for more information on how to use your waiver.

Bill Bradbuy announced his run for Oregon Governor last
week at Sylvania.  Not only is he running for Governor,
he is involved with teaching here at PCC!

Community Ed is on Facebook!
Check us out and become a fan at facebook.com/pccCommunityEd

Did you know Community Ed travel will visit
more than 12 countries in the next year?)

Check out this YouTube video as I take you around the world!
The video features amazing CGI, scenic scenery and fun music.
You can find Community Education’s YouTube channel by clicking here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Single Payer Action

The Single-Payer Solution
Public Citizens

and the Leadership Conference
for Guaranteed Health Care

"Our fragmented health care
system fails to cover nearly
50 million Americans, and
tens of millions more cannot
afford the care they need.

A single-payer national health
program, "Medicare for all,"
can provide coverage for
every American at no additional
cost by saving over $300 billion
a year from eliminating wasteful
administrative spending.

What is Single-Payer Healthcare?
Taken from Healthcare-NOW
Single-payer is a term used to describe a type of financing system.
It refers to one entity acting as administrator, or “payer.”

In the case of healthcare, a single-payer system would be setup
such that one entity—a government run organization—would
collect all healthcare fees, and pay out all healthcare costs.

In the current US system, there are literally tens of thousands
of different healthcare organizations—HMOs, billing agencies,
etc. By having so many different payers of healthcare fees,

there is an enormous amount of administrative waste generated
in the system. (Just imagine how complex billing must be in a
doctor’s office, when each insurance company requires a different
form to be completed, has a different billing system, different
billing contacts and phone numbers—it’s very confusing.)

In a single-payer system, all hospitals, doctors, and other healthcare providers would bill one entity for their services. This alone reduces administrative waste greatly, and saves money, which can be used to provide care and insurance to those who currently don’t have it.

Access and Benefits
All Americans would receive comprehensive medical benefits under single-payer. Coverage would include all medically necessary services, including rehabilitative, long-term, and home care; mental healthcare, prescription drugs, and medical supplies; and preventive and public health measures.
Care would be based on need, not on ability to pay.

Hospital billing would be virtually eliminated. Instead, hospitals would receive an annual lump-sum payment from the government to cover operating expenses—a “global budget.” A separate budget would cover such expenses as hospital expansion, the purchase of technology, marketing, etc.
Doctors would have three options for payment: fee-for-service, salaried positions in hospitals, and salaried positions within group practices or HMOs. Fees would be negotiated between a representative of the fee-for-service practitioners (such as the state medical society) and a state payment board. Government would serve as administrator, not employer.

We propose an equitable financing program in which everyone pays their fair share. Under this program, all employers and employees will pay a modest payroll tax. This will produce a dramatic savings for those responsible private employers and state and local governments which currently purchase health insurance for their employees. By drawing on the immense wealth that has accrued to the richest Americans and large corporations over the past 25 years, 95% of all Americans will pay less for their healthcare than they are currently paying. Some of the key components to financing HR 676:
Eliminates all employer contributions to private insurance premiums—replacing them with a modest payroll tax of 4.5% (in addition to the 1.45% currently paid towards Medicare).
Eliminates all individual premiums, co-pays, deductibles and nearly all other out-of-pocket costs—replacing them with a modest payroll tax of 3.3% (in addition to the 1.45% currently paid towards Medicare).
Relieves state and local governments of the immense burden of paying insurance premiums for medical coverage for their current and retired employees—replacing them with a modest payroll tax of 4.5% (in addition to the 1.45% currently paid towards Medicare).

Administrative Savings
The General Accounting Office projects an administrative savings of 10 percent through the elimination of private insurance bills and administrative waste, or $150 billion in 2002. This savings would pay for providing medical care to those currently under served.
Cost Containment
The Congressional Budget Office projects that single payer would reduce overall health costs by $225 billion by 2004 despite the expansion of comprehensive care to all Americans. No other plan projects this kind of savings.

Different Perspectives on the Benefits of Single-Payer Patients
Each person, regardless of ability to pay would receive high-quality, comprehensive medical care, and the free choice of doctors and hospitals. Individuals would receive no bills, and copayment and deductibles would be eliminated. Most people would pay less overall for health care than they pay now.

Doctors’ incomes would change little, though the disparity in income between specialties would shrink. The need for a “wallet biopsy” before treatment would be eliminated; time currently wasted on administrative duties could be channeled into providing care; and clinical decisions would no longer be dictated by insurance company policy.
Medical endorsements include PNHP (9,000), the American Public Health Association (30,000), American Association of Community Psychiatrists, Massachusetts Academy of Family Practice, American Medical Women’s Association (13,500), Alameda-Contra Costa Medical Society, American Medical Student’s Association, D.C. Medical Society, National Medical Association (6,500), American College of Physicians (Illinois Chapter), Long Island Dermatological Society, Islamic Medical Association, American Nurses Association, the Nurses’ Network for a National Health Program, and the D.C. chapter of the American Medical Association.

The massive numbers of administrative personnel needed to handle itemized billing to 1,500 private insurance companies would no longer be needed. A negotiated “global budget” would cover operating expenses. Budgets for capital would be allocated separately based on healthcare priorities. Hospitals would no longer close because of unpaid bills.
Insurance Industry
The need for private insurance would be eliminated. One single payer-bill currently in the House (H.R. 1200) would provide one percent of funding for retraining displaced insurance workers during its first few years of implementation.

In general, businesses would see Single-Payer limit their health costs and remove the burden of administering health insurance for their employees. Read more about how single-payer helps small business in the Healthcare Now
Small Business Brochure.
Single-payer would be the simplest and most efficient healthcare plan that Congress could implement. It would be based Medicare, one of the most successful national healthcare programs.
more resources
ArticlesBackground InformationDownloadable DocumentLettersPress ReleasesPublicationsReports

Articles in this issue of Peacework argue for single-payer health care.
Obama and others are proposing different approaches.
Posted March 5th, 2009 by sdiener

How should we go about working for universal health care access in the United States? As the health care debate heats up, and as more and more people lose their jobs and their health insurance, how should we go about influencing the debate? What kinds of activism are you engaging in, and what do you think might be effective?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Healthcare matters!

Is US Healthcare a Constitutional Right?
Healthcare pressrelease!

Is US Healthcare a Constitutional Right?
by Tim Flanagan, facilitator for

Preamble to the US Constitution
"We the People(1) of the United States,
in Order to form a more perfect Union,
establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility,
provide for the common defense,
promote the general welfare,(2)
and secure the Blessings of Liberty
to ourselves and our Posterity,
do ordain and establish this Constitution
for the United States of America."

The Preamble declares that:
"We the People of the United States ....
do ordain and establish this Constitution
for the United States of America."
The meaning is clear that all authority
originates from the People.

"General welfare," as used in the Constitution,
refers to: "health, happiness, or prosperity;
well-being. [Middle English wel faren, to fare well]"

Currently in America, we pay more for less.

Life expectancy for those born in Canada is two years
higher than for those born in the USA. Medical costs
as a percentage of GDP are 15 percent in the USA and
10 percent in the Canadian single-payer system.

American "health care" costs 2 trillion dollars and
leaves upwards of 50 million Americans uninsured:
24 million Americans are diabetic, 5.7 million have
forms of congestive heart failure, 17 million have
coronary artery disease, 22 million have asthma,
and 18 million suffer from depression.

Michael Morrow, (American Federation of Teachers
VP for Political Action, Local 2277) recently noted that,
"The right-wing has convinced people that these are
personal issues."

But lost work days, reduced productivity, and costs
for families, businesses, and communities makes
our failed system a national security issue.
The United States of America is the only western
industrialized country which does not provide
universal, government-supported healthcare for
the well-being of all citizens.

Ricardo Alonzo -Zaldiver, writing for the Associated Press,
reminds us that if the 50 million "uninsured were a political
lobbying group, they would be larger than AARP.” Yet too
many characterize going without health insurance as a
misfortune, or “a choice.”

When problems related to health and our healthcare delivery
system impact our nation’s ability to compete in the global
marketplace, this must not be seen as some unfortunate
personal choice. Many of the uninsured and under-insured
do not have the time or resources to lobby for solutions,
but there are advocates for these millions of uninsured Americans.

Unions and aging Americans are taking action.
Health Care for America Now plans to bring 15 thousand or
more Americans to Washington this year to lobby Congress
for guaranteed health insurance. This is a start.

Perhaps Health Insurance is the Problem. Some say health
insurance may be our biggest problem. Incremental reforms
in multi-payer financing systems, which require expensive
marketing and prohibitive administrative costs, will not help
the growing number of Americans who have no insurance and
no place to turn. Leonard Rodberg noted in The Portland
that "Multi-payer systems are unable to control costs.
The only way to assure cost containment is to adopt a unified
financing mechanism that has the leverage to negotiate lower
prices." A unified single payer system can provide the necessary
pool of people to lower costs, plus budgeting and planning tools
which will save money while protecting all of our people, all of the time.

40 percent of American working people (including those with insurance)
are struggling to pay medical bills. Yet most leading Democrats,
including President Obama, would continue to allow transnational
insurance cartels to define, control, and set the costs for our health
care delivery system.

The administrative cost savings of a single-payer system would
be enough to cover all of the uninsured as well as lower costs for
those who are currently insured. This approach is favored by
working people, labor unions, and medical doctors. This "expanded
Medicare” has majority support and more of our legislators are
taking a closer look.

A Man with A Plan: Dennis Kucinich.. and other legislators have
proposed a plan for reconstructing our health care delivery system
so that it is more in synch with the social, political,and economic
realities of today. Kucinich explains: "The underlying problem is
that we treat health care like a market commodity instead of a
social service. Health care is targeted not to medical need, but to
the ability to pay. Markets are good for many things, but they
are not a good way to distribute health care…"

Mainstream" writers, like Ph. D. economist and columnist for the
New York Times Paul Krugman, now agree with these doctors
and Dennis that "covering everyone under Medicare would
actually be significantly cheaper than our current system.
"They all recognize that we already spend enough to provide
national health care to all but lack the political courage to make
the tough decisions that doctors, nurses and medical professionals
must run our health care system, – not "for profit" insurance
companies who make money by denying health care.
It is time to recognize that all the other civilized countries have
a solution that we must adapt to this country. American businesses
can no longer be competitive shouldering the entire cost of health
care. Health care is a right that all Americans deserve."

The United States ranks 37th in the World Health Organization’s
rankings of the world’s health systems (below Malta, Iceland,
Saudi Arabia, and numerous other countries that might surprise
many) This means 36 poorer and less-developed countries take
better care of their people.

We can do better.

Take a look at this Healthcare Press-release on a PDX Heathcare
Forum and here is a place to explore
Universal Health Care Issues & OptionsOnward Oregon
More sources and resources include:
Site Map: Table of Contents: The Wordsmith Collection
WritingResource: An Index for War, Peace, and Activism....
at TheWordsmithCollection.org

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