HCACF History

Educating and advocating for single-payer health reform has a rich history in Colorado.  As the national political environment related to health reform has ebbed and flowed through various political and societal influences, the drive to achieve a universal, public, single-payer system on both the state and national levels continue to grow.  But this path has not been without its challenges.

2006 HCACF convened hearings and two panels in April of 2006 that examined failures of health care access experienced by many in the community. Read Citizen Health Care Hearings & Panels

2008 Ron Forthofer, Ph.D., shared a history of single-payer advocacy in Colorado. You can access that here.  Michele Swenson wrote an evaluation of the Colorado Blue Ribbon Commission for Health Care Reform. 

2011 A timeline recounting the long, rich history of HCAC and the HCAC Foundation was also added to the record. 

 Major changes in HCAC membership and leadership occurred. A serious split in pursuing the mission of the advocacy group evolved during the first six months. As a result, two organizations were formed. The Colorado Foundation for Universal Health Care (CFUHC) was formed with the leadership of Irene Aguilar, Ivan Miller, and Lynn Gullette, with a focus of providing education, research and advocacy for a state health reform initiative. HCAC and HCACF continued as before. HCACF, together with PNHP CO, provided education and research for a public national health insurance.

Education: HCACF/HCAC continued to focus on a public national health insurance while not opposing incremental reform on a state-based level.

Research: Our research suggested that a state-based public health insurance (aka single-payer) reform was not politically or financially feasible. Ann Molison provided the leadership as president with Tom Gottlieb as VP.

This is a year in which discussion of the differences in strategy and tactics for health care reform took most of our energy. HCACF president Thomas Gottlieb captured more recent history surrounding single-payer advocacy and the challenges of health reform work over the last several months. 

Education: HCAC Advocacy work focused on developing a State of Colorado “single-payer” plan. The work of HCACF was directed towards a public national health insurance. Many conversations this year focused on the differences between these two “sister” organizations. The HCACF board agreed that although it could not support a Colorado “single-payer” reform, it would not oppose this work. Multiple presentations were offered which concentrated on the problems with our current health care organizational structure and delivery systems.

Research: No original papers were authored, however several opinion documents were written.

Organization: Donna Smith was hired as executive director of HCACF and HCAC, bringing both a local and national healthcare perspective to our cause. NationBuilder is chosen as our website and communication software.

Education: Our message to define the failings of the American health care system is improved with Donna’s leadership. Revision of the PowerPoint presentation is led by Vince Markovchick. Multiple presentations occurred statewide.

Research: The board agreed to move forward with a research effort focused on the financing of the insurance function of health care reform. Research related to the problems with the American health system is accomplished with support by Physicians for a National Health Plan (PNHP) since duplicating this work was not found to be productive

Organization: Website development continued this year.

Advocacy: HCACF and HCAC combine efforts to define health care as a human right utilizing a people’s constitutional ballot initiative. Unfortunately, this initiative did not reach the signatures needed to be placed on the Colorado ballot.

Education: We succeeded in bringing awareness to the need for healthcare reform. Continued education regarding healthcare reform included multiple presentations such as OLLI (Oscher Lifelong Institute – Denver University), the national and local presence of Donna Smith, plus presentations to local service organizations. Donna led HCACF to define a Strategic Plan that included the work of both HCAC and HCACF. Goals were established for the next two years. Education included materials that define the American health system.

Research: The HCACF Board agrees that research should focus on how to finance the health reform enterprise. We agree that “health finance drives health care equity”. The structure for this initiative is discussed including consideration of working within HCACF or outside of HCACF.

Organization: HCACF president, Vince Markovchick, leads the education and research agenda. The Research and Education Committee is formed and includes four members who meet two times per month. The work of the committee includes the development of the website.

Education: Continues without new innovation.

Research: The Center for the Study of a Public National Health Insurance (PNHI), is formed. Eldon Van Der Wege and Tom Gottlieb lead this initiative.

Organization: Donna Smith resigns as executive director of HCACF. HCACF hires a new office manager. Bailiwick Media is hired to develop the NationBuilder capability. Oversight for this work is administered by the Research & Education Committee and the office manager.

Education: HCACF continues to have the guidance of Donna Smith as a HCACF Board member. Much of the work includes being aware of the changing political healthcare reform climate. Education regarding the continuing problems caused by the private commodification of healthcare services continues unchanged. Caution is used so the “grassroots” movement by progressive organizations is not called into question. Improvements to our website allow us to reach a more widespread audience.

Research: The academic research efforts are initiated with the production of a document, U.S. Healthcare Financing Reform: The Consolidation of the Health Insurance Industry – EVDW and TBG.

Organization: Tom Gottlieb and Vince Markovchick function as co-presidents. The HCACF Board of Directors meet on a monthly basis. In 2019 we plan to have our business meetings on a quarterly basis (January, April, July and October) and educational meetings the other eight months.

Education: HCAC Foundation Board members have been speaking with politicians, business officials, community members and fellow healthcare advocates. We have been interviewed, attended conferences, created videos and presentations, and written numerous papers and articles.  Most of our activities have been posted on the HCACF website, so please take a look at what we have been doing.   One example is a summary paper of our position on Healthcare Financing.  Read our fact sheet which illustrates who we are, what we do and how you can support us.

Research: HCACF and The Center for the Study of a PNHI produces two new documents: Public Takings of Private Insurance, EVDW and TBG (January 2018) and Expanding and Improving Medicare, EVDW and TBG (July 2018).

2019 Updates Coming Soon

HCAC Foundation provides education and research regarding a national single-payer, comprehensive healthcare system for all. 


For questions or comments please email us at info@hcacfoundation.org

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