Health Care for All Colorado - NEWS – April 2015 

Index

  1. 1.      A message from Donna Smith, Executive Director, HCAC/HCACF.
  2. 2.      HCAC Denver Chapter Meeting – presentation by CHCC (Sen. Irene Aguilar)
  3. 3.      Colorado Cost Commission meetings
  4. 4.      Colorado legislature bills
  5. 5.      HCAC Annual Meeting
  6. 6.      HCACF Education Meeting/Fund Raiser – May 2015 – CANCELLED
  7. 7.    Medicare 50th Anniversary celebration – July 30, 2015   . 

A Message from Donna Smith:  Over the past weeks my health condition has resulted in a disability that does not allow me to work as fully on the work for which I have a passion.  I am now recuperating with in-home nursing care following a GI bleed and a bloodstream infection with MRSA that caused septic pulmonary embolisms and surgical removal of an arm vein from my wrist to my shoulder.  In the coming weeks I anticipate returning to part-time work to support the needs of both HCAC and HCACF, and then I hope to return to my usual schedule of work within the month, barring any relapse.  

HCAC Denver Chapter Meeting – Report from April 11, 2015:  Senator Aguilar presented her observations regarding health care reform on Saturday April 11, 2015.  The presentation includes a recent history of health care reform in Colorado, the progress of the Colorado Health Care Cooperative (CHCC), and a response to questions posed by the audience of HCAC members and others.  For a You-tube of the presentation please go to the HCAC website (http://www.healthcareforallcolorado.org/)  or at this link: https://youtu.be/AtwO5D9cVP0

Colorado Commission on Affordable Health Care meetings:  The CCAHC was created through bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senators Irene Aguilar, D-Denver, and Ellen Roberts, R-Durango.  The commission's three-year mission is to analyze health care costs and make policy recommendations to the Legislature and the governor for lowering health care costs in the state.  The meeting will be held on the second Monday of each month with the meeting locations to be determined each month.  The last meeting was held on Monday April 13, in the Mountain View Room, Claver Hall, Regis University, Northwest Denver Campus​​

            Most important during these meetings is the opportunity for community and citizen comment.  Please try to attend these meetings as they proceed over the next three years.  These meetings are to be held not only in the metropolitan area but throughout the state.  For more information refer to the website at (https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/CCAHC). 

Hospital Bills for consideration by the current legislature:  The HCAC website maintains an up-to-date record of the status of the health care bills being navigated through the legislature.  Please refer to this website (http://www.healthcareforallcolorado.org/hcac_legislative_com).  

HCAC Annual Meeting:  Save the date - for late June 2015 (currently looks like Saturday, June 13th will be the day) for the HCAC Annual Meeting.  The planned fund raiser for HCACF in early May 2015 is now cancelled due to Donna’s illness and the need for a longer planning time.  The planned keynote speaker, Michael Lighty, has graciously agreed to reschedule for the HCAC Annual Meeting.  

Medicare 50th Anniversary Celebration:  Save the date – for July 30, 2015.  Since 1965, Medicare has opened doors to health care and increased economic security for hundreds of millions of older people, people with disabilities, and their families.  Plans both nationally and locally are being made by a number of organizations to celebrate the 50th Medicare anniversary on July 30, 2015.  HCAC is now actively planning an event, yet to be determined where and what.

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News from our brothers and sisters on the Health Care for All Colorado, advocacy, side of the house:

After Hearing Testimony From HCAC Leader, CO Senate Bill 15-197 Passes Out of Committee

HCAC has taken the position to support SB 15-197, a bill that reduces the number of hours required for Advance Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) oversight from 3600 to 1000 hours, an amount that is still higher than the requirement in most states.  Although years of research and the most recent Institute of Medicine Study conclude that APRNs provide safe, high quality access to care at a lower cost, this bill faces strong opposition from physician groups.  


030115_Judy_Burke_(2).jpgOn March 12,  Judith Burke, HCAC secretary, provided the following testimony to  Senate Health & Human Services Committee on behalf of HCAC. 

Chairman Lundberg & Committee Members, 

My name is Judith Burke.  I am the secretary for Health Care for All Colorado, which is the Colorado Chapter for Physicians for a National Health Program.  On behalf of my organization, I am speaking in support of SB 15-197.  Health Care for All Colorado has a diverse membership from across the state including physicians, nurses, other healthcare providers, individuals from other professions and occupations, retirees, and students.  Many of our members have been advocating for increasing access to health care services for decades. 

Our mission is to promote social welfare by achieving single-payer, comprehensive health care for all Coloradans.  To achieve this, we believe that the health care delivery system must be based on primary and preventive care, with coordination of specialty care. 

Colorado must have an adequate number of providers to create a delivery system based on primary and preventive care.  (Note:  80% of APRNs are trained in primary care and the majority of those serve the uninsured and patients on Medicaid and the uninsured).  At the present time, the demand for care exceeds the capacity to provide that care.  Based on workforce estimates, to meet the current and increasing demand, Colorado will need more than 1000 new physicians, advance practice registered nurses, and physician assistants every year for the next ten years.  

Currently, Colorado’s professional schools graduate half the number of providers needed, and based on the current restrictions on practice, many of the newly graduated advance practice registered nurses are leaving our state.  We cannot afford to lose these providers if we want to provide access to health care to Coloradans across the state. 

We believe that training and credentialing adequately prepares APRN care givers for independent practice.  Unfortunately, some members of Colorado’s  physician community continue to build barriers, and their arguments are not based on the principles of high quality care at a reasonable cost to create healthy communities.   APRNs have abundantly demonstrated their abilities in these three areas. 

Our members in rural areas can attest to the value of APRNs and other licensed independent practitioners' value and essential functions on behalf of Colorado’s citizens.  To quote one of our physician members, “We are long past the days when physicians should impose practice barriers to well-educated and licensed advance practice nurses.  Over the years, much to the detriment of the community we serve, we have seen this same resistance to licensing of psychologists, chiropractors, alternative medicine providers, naturopaths, podiatrists, etc.  Gradually this resistance has eroded, resulting in a diversity of opportunities for access to care with only beneficial results.” 

Although there is no evidence to support the requirement for even 1000 hours of supervised practice before receiving full prescriptive authority, Health Care for All Colorado honors the work of the nurse physician task force that analyzed the current requirements, reached conclusions, and made recommendations that have been included in this bill. 

In summary, Health Care for All Colorado supports SB 15-197 as written. 

Thank you for this opportunity to testify. 

The bill passed out of committee unamended on a 3/2 vote and will now go to the full Senate for consideration.  This bill has not yet been calendared for debate by the Senate.

 

More news from our brothers and sisters on the Health Care for All Colorado, advocacy, side of the house:   

Colorado House Bill 1029 and the Extension of Telemedicine

Notes from PNHP-CO member:  Shelley Dworet Cohen, MD, FAAP, chair of the HCAC legislative committee and former HCAC presidentShelley_Dworet_Cohen__FAAP.jpg

House Bill 1029 Health Care Delivery via Telemedicine Statewide is wending its way through the legislature.  The bill has been amended to read "telehealth" and insures payments to providers with the same rules, regardless of location, according to the PPACA regulations. Elizabeth Arenales of the Colorado Center on Law and Policy wrote in a blog that the amended bill is acceptable, but cautions that profits must not override quality of care. 

HCAC does support this bill in the current medical environment.  To quote our esteemed President of HCACF, Dr. Tom Gottlieb,  "The history that includes physical, social, and environmental issues remains the major diagnostic tool in both diagnostics and therapeutics." In addition, I would add that a "picture is worth 1000 words", but it is but one tool in our medical armamentarium.  It is up to the provider, with input from the patient, to do what is best for the patient. 

Health Care for All Colorado's mission is to see health care as a human right, publicly funded for the public good through a single payer mechanism.  All economic analyses show that single payer assures care for all at lower cost because the savings come from cutting administrative overhead, not patient care.  If you don't believe me,  just look here:https://theconversation.com/infographic-comparing-international-health-systems-30784

That said, we continue to build the grassroots movement to change the system that is run by the monetary interests of the rich and powerful that treat health care as an industry amassing "consumers", and not a human right affecting people.  The myriad of "health care bills" that go through the legislature are tourniquets to stop the bleeding. Fixing a very broken system is the ultimate treatment.

Just in from PNHP President Robert Zarr as SNaHP Hosts Largest Conference Ever

from Dr. Robert Zarr

I had the great honor and thrill of participating in last Saturday’s annual summit of Students for a National Health Program (SNaHP) – on the theme of “Healing the Heart of Medicine” (on Valentine’s Day) – on the University of Illinois-Chicago medical campus.

And what a summit it was! More than 170 medical and other health professional students fr

zarr_with_student_board_members.jpg

om over 50 institutions and 26 states came together to hear evidence-based, provocative talks and to participate in more than a dozen workshops with titles like “Single Payer 101,” “Building a Social Media Presence,” "Intersections of Race, Health and Social Justice," and “Myth Busters: Answering Difficult Questions about Single Payer.”

It was SNaPH’s biggest summit ever – about twice the size of last year’s.

I was deeply moved, and the students clearly were too: “This is the single-most motivating event of my year,” wrote one in a roundup. “There is nothing like being in a roomful of motivated, energized students who are committed to seeing single payer through within our lifetimes.”

Other students used terms like “inspiring,” “extremely informative,” and “galvanizing.” Still another said the experience had changed her from being a relatively passive supporter of improved Medicare for All to “a fire-starter” who will “light matches in every dark, unreached mind” about single payer.


The students were extremely animated in their discussions. They strategized about the way forward, including how to establish more SNaHP chapters across the country and to otherwise ramp-up their single-payer advocacy. And they raved about the keynote address by Dr. Linda Rae Murray, past president of the American Public Health Association.
 

You’ll find a selection of the summit presentations and handouts here, and a selection of photos of the day’s activities here, which will give you a sense of the upbeat mood.

First organized in 2012 by PNHP medical student members, the SNaHP Summit is PNHP’s only national program completely led and organized by students, for students. Emily Henkels, PNHP’s national organizer, once again provided key logistical support prior to and on the day of the event. Other PNHP staffers pitched in to make the summit a success, too.

Pictured above:  PNHP’s student board members and Dr. Robert Zarr. From left, Xin Guan, Scott Goldberg, Zarr, Joshua Faucher and James Besante

HCAC Joins in Largest Denver MLK, Jr., Marade -- Supports Health Equality

011915_MLK_Marade_HCAC_Patty__Donna_and_John.jpg

From the Denver Post -- Denver Mayor Michael Hancock estimated 30,000-plus gathered at City Park on Monday morning and marched downtown as part of the city's annual Marade. The crowd called — or rather bellowed — for more than just progress in race, marching also for social justice, education reform and healthcare equality.

 


Published on Tuesday, January 20, 2015 by Common Dreams

Single-Payer: It's What the People Want

New poll shows majority of Americans support such a system.

common_dreams_single_payer.jpgA majority of Americans support a single-payer, Medicare-for-all healthcare system, a new poll shows.The results showed that just over 50 percent of the 1,500 likely voters surveyed indicated support for a single-payer system. Almost 80 percent of Democrats supported such a plan, while 25 of Republicans did.The findings were first shared with The Hill by the Progressive Change Institute, an arm of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.The new poll comes on the heels of Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin's abandoning what was seen as a trailblazing plan to create a single-payer healthcare system in his state. The move was derided by Dr. Andrew D. Coates, president of Physicians for a National Health Program, who said, "Vermonters throughout the state understand that an equitable health care system must be truly universal and must remove all financial barriers to medically necessary care. They recognize that a public single payer is an essential incremental step toward these goals.""The time for a single-payer system is now. Our patients in every state urgently need it," Coates added.That sentiment is widely shared.  To read the entire article, including quotes from HCACF executive director Donna Smith, CLICK HERE.


The Health Care for All Colorado Foundation supports achieving health care justice and equality through an improved and expanded Medicare for all for life model. The Health Care for All Colorado Foundation provides education and research support for achievement of a truly universal, public, single-payer plan that covers everyone without financial barrier.

As we watch the beginnings of the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), we know there will be many who are left without access to needed care or the coverage to secure that care. Current estimates are that even after ACA implementation, 400,000 Coloradans will remain uninsured. Many thousands more in Colorado will be underinsured and ill-prepared for an illness or injury as bare-bones policies that meet the minimum requirements of the new federal reform may not supply adequate coverage.

We invite you to be a part of our efforts.


Additional information about the Health Care for All Colorado Foundation

Health Care for All Colorado Foundation is the education and research sister to the HCAC advocacy organization. Founded in 2003, it addresses the need for creating and disseminating accurate information about health care reform.As a 501c3 organization, the HCAC Foundation allows contributors to make tax deductible donations and become engines of a most worthy cause--quality, accessible health care for all Coloradans.

The Foundation Board is made up of concerned citizens dedicated to making sure that every Coloradan is informed about the healthcare options available now and possibly in the future.

The Health Care for All Colorado Foundation is an IRS-certified 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

Please consider supporting our mission. Correspondence and donations by mail may be sent to:
Health Care for All Colorado Foundation
789 Sherman Street, Suite 300
Denver, CO 80203

Or click here to donate online.

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