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You’re invited! Forums 3/17, 3/18 and 3/20 follow White House healthcare summit (MC)

You’re invited! Forums 3/17, 3/18 and 3/20 follow White House healthcare summit

Thank you to everyone who has taken action recently to advance meaningful health care reform, including making calls to the White House last week and signing various online petitions to make sure ordinary people’s voices are heard alongside the enormous amount of lobbying that is taking place. 

Your efforts are having a very positive impact; below are details on 2 sets of public dialogues underway, 3 health reform forums in next week in New England and 1 excellent public television documentary "Sick in Amca" to air on March 31st, plus a bonus item at the end!eri

2 sets of public dialogues are being scheduled to follow last week’s White House Healthcare Summit on 3/5/09.

White House Regional Forums are:

Dearborn, Michigan on March 12th
Burlington, Vermont on March 17th
Des Moines, Iowa on March 23rd
Greensboro, North Carolina on March 31st
Los Angeles, California on April 6th


"Summit conversations" are being held in various cities. These are not sponsored by the White House.  America’s Agenda Health Care Education Fund has launched a year-long series of 10 "Summit Conversations on American Health Care for the 21st Century" in 10 cities across America, the first took place 3/10/09 in St Louis, MO.


#1 Regional Forum Tues. March 17 from 1-3pm, Burlington, Vermont, Davis Center, UVM Campus. Limited seating, possibly invitation only, for more details check this Vermont group’s website   Questions for the panelists may be submitted online at White House website


#2 Public Forum Wed. 3/18/09 7pm at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

Health Care Reform: Fixing a Broken System.  The forum will be held on Wednesday, March 18th from 7-9pm at Brown University’s Starr Auditorium (MacMillan Hall 117), 167 Thayer St., Providence, RI.  The forum is being sponsored by the Rhode Island Progressive Democrats of America (RIPDA) and the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) at Brown University.
·Joel Segal, Legislative Asst. to Rep. John Conyers from Michigan
·Dr. Tim Cavanaugh, Family Health Services
·Rachel DeGolia, Universal Health Care Action Network
·Katie Robbins, Healthcare-NOW!
·Donna Smith, National Nurses Organizing Committee
We’re all well aware that the current system is failing to ensure access to quality medical care for millions of Americans and that it must be corrected.  In this spirit, we have assembled a fantastic group of panelists with diverse backgrounds, each able to address unique aspects of the current health care system and offer specific solutions to the myriad problems.  They will speak with a unified message: that something major has got to be done now to correct America’s failing health care system.
For questions contact Brian Hull at Rhode Island Progressive Democrats, email, tel 401-580-3321, website


#3  Public Forum Fri. 3/20/09 7:30pm in Northampton, Massachusetts

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI, Congressional sponsor of HR 676, the National Health Insurance Act) and The Nation’s John Nichols to Appear

TURNING HOPE INTO ACTION: A Forum for the Community on Healthcare & the Economy


JOHN NICHOLS, Political reporter for The Nation

CONGRESSMAN JOHN CONYERS, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Author of HR 676 – United States National Health Care Act
ROBERT POLLIN, Professor of Economics, UMass, Co-director of Political Economy Research Institute
JACKIE WOLF, PhD, Co-chair of MassCare
DONNA SMITH, National Co-chair of Healthcare NOT Warfare Campaign, Featured in Michael Moore’s film SiCKO



#4 Premier Broadcast of "Sick Around America" Tues. March 31 at 9pm
Not to be confused with the excellent public television special "Sick Around the World" that aired in 2008.  Please tell others to mark their calendars for this important documentary; knowledge is power!  Program description below.

America is home to some of the most advanced medicine in the world. Not
everyone, however, has access to it. While almost two-thirds of Americans
under age 65 receive health insurance through their employer, unexpected
life changes such as a job layoff, divorce, or major illness leave millions of
Americans uninsured, underinsured, or uninsurable each year.

Last year, more than 2.5 million Americans lost their jobs and, along
with their livelihood, their health insurance. As the economy continues to
spiral downward and a new administration promises to deliver comprehen-
sive healthcare reform, FRONTLINE correspondent T.R. Reid investigates
the failures and future of the private insurance industry, examining the best
and worst of U.S. healthcare by telling the gripping and sometimes tragic
stories of ordinary Americans.

As the national debate around healthcare reform intensifies, Sick Around America lays bare the flaws in the system and examines the critical choices Americans face in changing a system that all sides agree needs a fundamental overhaul.


Cutting through the cost-shifting BS

from Health Care For America Now
posted on March 12th, 2009 by Jason Rosenbaum in Profits Before People (Jason also says FYI, I’m participating in a "debate," more of a friendly discussion, on about the differences between President Obama’s health care plan and single-payer. Check it out.)

"Before they pull out the lie about "socialized medicine," the insurance industry, the drug industry, and the business interests who are against health care reform will use seemingly rational arguments to explain why their against providing quality, affordable health care for all.

By reasonable, I mean complicated, official-sounding, and at the end of the day, untrue. Like the argument about something the industry calls "cost-shifting."

Cost-shifting, according to the industry, is what happens when you have more people enrolling in public health insurance plans like Medicare. Their arguments is because Medicare pays so little to doctors (not quite true, their payment rates are now the industry standard), doctors have to raise their rates for people not on Medicare, shifting the cost from those on public insurance to those on private insurance… " read full post–and comments–here