Upcoming Events, Recent Events
Over 200 enthusiastic people attended Congressman Ellison's Health Care Forum on Wednesday July 1st to voice opinions and ask questions about the hotly debated federal health care reforms. Congressman Ellison opened with impassioned support for single-payer, but with the admonition that we can't "let perfect be the enemy of the good". He cautioned that single-payer was not going to be enacted but that a "robust public plan" could be a stepping stone. He encouraged the health reform movement to be unified because, he warned, the opposition is unified and they will win if we are fractured. Panelists included Julie Schnell, President SEIU Health Care MN; Eliot Seide, Executive Director AFSCME Council 5; Elizabeth Frost MD, Co-Chiar PNHP-MN and Steering Committee MUHCC; John Kolstad, Metropolitan Independent Business Alliance; Val Overton Nurse Practitioner; Michael Harristhal, Vice President, Public Policy and Strategy at HCHC. An entire hour was devoted to comments and questions from the audience. There was overwhelming support for single-payer and a public option. Both Elizabeth Frost and John Kolstad spoke about the Minnesota Health Plan and the need for federal reforms to allow for state single-payer plans. Many attendees stopped the MUHCC table to sign up and get materials on the MN Health Plan.
MUHCC tabled at the Annual DFL Senate District 56 family picnic on Monday, June 22nd at Tartan Park in Lake Elmo. About 200 people were in attendance. Community Organizing Committee volunteers Ellen Lafans and Joan & Steve Janusz discussed health care reform and the Minnesota Health Plan. They met with people from the district, several gubernatorial candidates, and other state government leaders. Many present were familiar with the bill and others were interested in getting information. Though the support for single-payer was mixed, all agreed on the need for serious health care reform. Says Steve: "It was a fun time, and the brats and bean were excellent." Ahhh, the days of summer as an activist...
Thirty attentive individuals attended a Health Policy discussion on Tuesday June 16, 2009 at the I.B.E.W. Building in Rocheser, MN. Sen John Marty and Mark Liebow, M.D.
On May 30th, 2009 "Guaranteed Health Care for All" was the focus of a National Day of Action. Events occurred across the nation to spread the message that all citizens must have access to affordable health care.
There was a gathering in Northfield sponsored by the Northfield Area Citizens for Universal Health Care to convey this message. The intent of the national event was to advocate for improved "Medicare for All", a single-payer national health system. President Obama has clearly stated three core principles that must be achieved in health care reform: reduce costs, guarantee choice, and ensure that all Americans have quality, affordable health care. The majority of Americans and physicians in the U.S. agree that the only way to truly achieve affordable, equitable health care for everyone is through a single-payer system. This solution is being ignored by Congress as a viable option. So, thousands of health care activists publicly conveyed the message across the country to mobilize a grass roots movement for improved "Medicare for All".
The Northfield Area Citizens for Universal Health Care has their next meeting scheduled for June 15th (Monday) at the Just Food Backroom at 7pm. Join us to discuss the current health reform status and actions to pursue. Contact Joan or Steve Janusz at 507-645-0094 for information.
Over 120 people participated in a "Courageous Conversation about Health Care", a forum hosted by Senator John Doll (SD 40) and organized by a dedicated group of South Metro community organizers fro
Single-payer supporters gathered at the home of Board Chair, Susan Hasti MD in Minneapolis on Sunday, May 31, from 4-6 PM, to recognize the contributions of activist volunteers over the past year.
The legislative session ended as required on May 18th at midnight. Many people are wondering- what happened and what does it mean? The Minnesota Health Plan had three hearings; it passed two committees in the Senate and was tabled in the House. We gained new co-authors and won votes from some unexpected legislators. A status update is available on the MUHCC website.
EDINA / WEST BLOOMINGTON DEMOCRATS PRESENT
Health Care Reform-Fact and Fiction
MUHCC & PNHP-MN
Nearly 200 guests attended the Single Payer Summer Celebration at the magnificent University Club on Summit Avenue in St. Paul on Thursday, June 18th. The clubhouse, built in 1913, set the stage for an idyllic summer evening. Big Sunflower jazz quartet provided music as guests dined and browsed through the silent auction items on the Terrace - an enclosed porch with views of the St. Paul skyline and the Mississippi River Valley.
The program then moved into the wood-paneled Summit Room with a 5 song musical set by Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard. Their impeccable vocals, virtuoso piano playing and lively accordion music perfectly captured and amplified the mood of the evening - a sultry summer evening dedicated to the movement for universal health care. Their set included "Summertime", "It Ain't Necessarily So", "Too Darn Hot", and closed with two sing-a-longs, "Enjoy Yourself", and "Only Remembered".
Senator John Marty received thunderous applause and a standing ovation after his talk that recapped the ongoing decline of our health care system, and the hope and momentum that is behind the single-payer solution for Minnesota, The Minnesota Health Act. Dr. Oliver Fein, President of Physicians for a National Health Program, regaled the crowd with stories of his recent "front-row" experiences in Washington, D.C., and concluded with the sentiment that the grassroots movement has moved single-payer from being "off the table" in the current national debate, to being "the elephant under the table." Emcee Glen Peterson kept the program flowing and our whimsical auctioneer Elizabeth Frost peppered her sales pitch of the live auction items with reminders of the need for money to move the movement!
The evening was a success on all counts. It was indeed a celebration of single-payer, and we exceeded our financial goal to support the work of the Minnesota chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program and the Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition. Thanks to all who made the evening a success - the planning committee (Amy Brockman, Elizabeth Frost, Susan Hasti, Lisa Nilles, and Ann Settgast), our volunteers, and our guests.
A group of health care advocates from Minnesota traveled to Des Moines, Iowa for one of President Obama's 5 regional Health Reform Forums.
View photos from the forum and and single-payer rally here. View a video of the forum below. Go to minute 54:12 to see some great comments by Dr. Jess Fiedorowicz of PNHP!
- KCCI Des Moines - Iowans offer ideas on health care improvements
- Reuters - Protests at White House healthcare hearing in Iowa
- WHOtv - Iowans share ideas for health care reform - The video includes some good shots of Minnesotans!