Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

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Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Get Involved: Health Care Demonstration; Health Care Forum

Get Involved: Health Care Demonstration; Health Care Forum

See pictures at bottom right of article.
This is an e-mail I distributed widely, please feel free to copy and paste any or all of this into an e-mail to distribute---

This is the kind of story on single-payer, universal health care that should be distributed widely, and reprinted often and everywhere…

This is an excellent article to post to websites, blogs, do newspaper articles from, to reprint for inclusion in newsletters… it would make a good leaflet; print and post on refrigerators; bulletin boards at work, school, churches, community centers, senior centers, union halls… anyone working in the health care field should distribute this widely… please click forward and pass this e-mail on to family and friends as well as your state and federal legislators.

Someone might want to pass this article on to Congressman John Conyers the proponent of H.R. 676 in Congress; we don’t want single-payer, universal health care derailed like what has happened with impeachment proceedings.

The Roseau County DFL Convention passed a resolution calling for, “comprehensive, all-inclusive, no-fee, single-payer, universal health care that is publicly funded and publicly administered.” The delegates to the State Convention of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party overwhelmingly passed a resolution in support of single-payer, universal health care. The Minnesota AFL-CIO also supports single-payer, universal health care as does Minnesotans for Peace and Social Justice and the Red Lake Casino, Hotel, and Restaurant Employees’ Union Organizing Committee…

All of which begs the questions:

Why are Minnesota DFL legislators dragging their feet on getting single-payer, universal health care legislation passed?

Why are some DFL legislators like Senator Linda Berglin and Rep. Bernie Lieder and Tom Huntley trying to undermine our efforts for single-payer, universal health care by putting forward all kinds of legislative schemes and scams aimed at insuring the profitability of the insurance companies and HMOs rather than putting the health care needs of Minnesotans first?

Minnesotans are fed up with seeing their hard earned tax-dollars wasted on death and destruction in Iraq when those funds should be used here in Minnesota to finance single-payer, universal health care.

Hopefully the Minnesota DFL State Central Committee will put ending this war in Iraq and getting legislation for single-payer, universal health care as their two top priorities and send a strong message to all DFL elected officials; they have a mandate from Minnesotans and their own convention to prioritize these two issues.

Following this news article is a notice of a public forum on “Health Care” in Stillwater, Minnesota that is free and open to the public.

What you can do:

> Organize demonstrations and vigils like the one below
> Write letters to the editor
> Write letters to state and federal legislators
> Meet with public officials
> Initiate petition campaigns

For more information, contact:

All Unions Committee for Single Payer Healthcare--HR 676
c/o Nurses Professional Organization
1169 Eastern Parkway, suite 2218
Louisville, KY 40217
(502) 636-1551
email: Nursenpo@aol.com


Marchers rally for single-payer health care

by Lorna Benson, Minnesota Public Radio
January 15, 2007

Single-payer health insurance advocates recalled the words of Dr. Martin Luther King on Monday as they made their case for health care reform during an annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day march in St. Paul. They also called on state lawmakers to take a bolder approach to fixing Minnesota's health care system.

St. Paul, Minn. — Single-payer supporters say this is the first time they've paired their cause with St. Paul's annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day march from Central High School to Concordia University. But the Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition says the pairing actually makes perfect sense.

The organization's vice chair, Dr. Jim Hart, says King was deeply troubled by health care inequality. To prove that point, single-payer marchers carried banners quoting King that said, "Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane."

Hart says, like King, single-payer advocates believe that all Americans could and should have health care. But he says the U.S. will never achieve that goal with its current market-oriented system.

"We spend about 20-percent of our health care dollar on insurance functions, both at the insurance companies and at the clinics and hospitals that have to deal with this complicated system. So there would be ways to save but it would take a bolder approach than what we're seeing so far," he said.
Hart says single payer is that bolder approach. Often the mere mention of that model elicits groans from people who see it as leading to the rationing of health care. But fellow marcher Dr. Chris Reif says the definition of single payer is not necessarily what people assume.

"Single payer doesn't mean it always happens the same way," Reif said. "It just means that you try to get the economies of scale and try to get better care. Right now there's a move, like in Utah, to have single application forms for insurance. That's one step toward single payer. There's also a move to have our electronic medical records be the same or talk to each other. That's a move toward single payer."

If those arguments don't win over skeptics, single-payer advocates believe the eroding health insurance market will.

Eric Angell is with the Universal Health Care Action Network, another single payer organization that also marched at the King Day rally. Angel points to a recent vote by thousands of Twin Cities janitors who agreed to walk off the job if they don't get a more affordable health-care package.

"This is not an anomaly," according to Angell. "A lot of other unions have decided to go on strike for the exact same reason: the rising health care costs. Employers are not able to provide health care to their employees the way they once did and the obvious reason is the rising health care costs."

Angell says he's skeptical about lawmakers' willingness to look seriously at a single-payer system. But Dr. Jim Hart says he's impressed by at least one bill at the Capitol this session that would extend health care coverage to all children in Minnesota. Hart says the bill uses a single-payer approach to making health care affordable for kids.

Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville, who also participated in the march, says if lawmakers passing the "cover all kids" bill, it would be a huge step. But he says he's already detecting some backtracking among people who originally supported the idea.

"It's certainly a tough fight," Marty said. "We're not used to thinking this way. Much of the rest of the world does think that way but in the U.S. the health care industry is set up in a way that doesn't cover people and I think there's been a lack of vision in the political system." Rep. Keith Ellison campaigned on a single-payer system before getting elected to Congress. He says he still believes in the approach and will push the idea in Washington. But he says Minnesota lawmakers need to do their part too.

"Everybody should do what they can do. We're not putting the brakes on any effort," Ellison said. "If we can get a single-payer program in the state of Minnesota, great. If we can do it at the federal level, great. Ultimately it has to be a nationwide thing. But maybe a step toward that goal is a statewide program."

Ultimately single-payer advocates would like to see the state take over the way health care is financed. They admit there are plenty of obstacles to that goal. But they believe Minnesotans are more receptive to the idea now than they've ever been.

• All Things Considered, 01/15/2007, 5:23 p.m.


Obtained From: "Progressive Calendar"
< David Shove [shove001@tc.umn.edu] >

From: Dr. James Hart
From: Lee Salisbury [mailto:leesal@comcast.net]
Subject: Health care forum 1.18 7pm

River Valley Action

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Time: 7-9pm

Trinity Lutheran Church (Garden Room)
115 4th St. N.
Stillwater, MN 55082

Phone: 651-439-7400

Citizens and area legislators are invited to attend this informative health care forum to learn more about our options for future health care coverage across our state and nation.


JIM KOPPEL, from Children's Defense Fund-MN, will discuss solutions for covering all the children in our state.

KIP SULLIVAN, from MN Universal Health Care Coalition, and author of The Health Care Mess: How We Got into It and How We Can Get out of It, will present ways to address the current situation.

GEOFF BARTSCH, from HealthPartners, will look at insurance industry alternatives and perspectives.

Each panelist will have 30 minutes to present their ideas and solutions. The final half hour is reserved for audience participation and questions.

For more information:

contact Karen Fitzpatrick at karenjimfitz@msn.com or 651-426-3530

This event is FREE and OPEN to the public.

Distributed by:

Alan L. Maki
58891 County Road 13
Warroad, Minnesota 56763
Phone: 218-386-2432
Cell phone: 651-587-5541
E-mail: amaki000@centurytel.net

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