Medical Student National Actions For ‘Medicare For All’

| Resist!

Above photo: Members of the non-profit organization Physicians for a National Health Program rally in Chicago, outside Blue Cross Blue Shield, on April 12, 2014. They’re pushing for a nationwide single-payer health care system.

Citing the persistence of thousands of preventable deaths each year due to lack of health insurance, students at more than 25 medical schools will hold teach-ins, rallies and candlelight vigils on Oct. 1 (#TenOne) to bring national attention to ‘our failing health care system’ and the need for single-payer health reform.

United States – Students for a National Health Program (SNaHP) – working in coalition with the American Medical Student Association, WhiteCoats4BlackLives, the Latino Medical Student Association, Universities Allied for Essential Medicine, and Pre-Health Dreamers – will hold teach-ins, rallies, and candlelight vigils to remember the millions of people in our country who remain uninsured, underinsured and underserved by our current health care system. We will also underscore the need for a more fundamental health reform – a nonprofit, publicly financed, single-payer health system.

The United States is the only industrialized nation in the world that does not guarantee universal health care. Unfortunately, the Affordable Care Act is neither universal nor affordable. It will leave 30 million Americans uninsured and tens of millions underinsured, unable to afford needed care. Tens of thousands of people will continue to die every year just because they lack health insurance. Medical problems are the leading cause of bankruptcy in the U.S., and research shows nearly 80 percent of those declaring bankruptcy due to medical debt had insurance at the onset of their illness. Our patients need and deserve better.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Medicare. As medical students, part of our mission is to ensure that everyone who needs care gets it. One way to achieve this goal is by improving the Medicare program and expanding it to cover all Americans.

We urge our fellow students and the public to join us for this #TenOne: Medicare-for-All National Day of Action on Thursday, Oct. 1, to bring national attention to our failing health care system and the need for single-payer health reform.

For more of the thinking behind the #TenOne initiative, including patient stories, please read these posts on SNaHP’s official blog by medical students Vanessa Van Doren and Bryant Shuey.

#TenOne Local Events

*Participating campuses and their SNaHP chapter leaders are updated daily.

October 1, 2015 – All are welcome to participate in the following events:

CALIFORNIA

Touro University California: Matthew Musselman [matthew.musselman@tu.edu]

UC Davis School of Medicine: Umer Waris [uawaris@gmail.com], Keyon Mitchell [keyonrmitchell@gmail.com], Callum Rowe [callumjrowe@gmail.com]

FLORIDA

Florida Atlantic University College of Medicine: Timothy Ryan [timoteo.ryan@gmail.com]

ILLINOIS

Chicago Medical Schools Coalition:

UChicago: Scott Goldberg [sgoldberg28@gmail.com];

UIC:Kieran Holzhauer [kholzh2@uic.edu];

Rush Medical College: Jordan_Centers@rush.edu

Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine: Jillian Caldwell [jcaldwell49@midwestern.edu]

IOWA

University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine: Lisa Wehr [lisa-wehr@uoiwa.edu]

KENTUCKY

University of Louisville School of Medicine: Brandi Jones [brandi.jones@louisville.edu]

MAINE

University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine: Natasha Neal [nneal@une.edu]

MASSACHUSETTS

Boston University School of Medicine: Andy Hyatt [ashyatt@bu.edu]

MINNESOTA

University of Minnesota Medical School – Duluth: Tim Roos [roosx040@umn.edu]

NEW MEXICO

University of New Mexico School of Medicine: Bryant Shuey [bryantshuey@gmail.com]

NEW YORK

PNHP NY METRO (coordinators): Becca Mahn (becca@pnhpnymetro.org) and Katie Robbins (katie@pnhpnymetro.org)

Albany Medical College: Justin Pegueros [peguerj@mail.amc.edu]

Albert Einstein College of Medicine: Tauhid Mahmud [mahmud@mail.einstein.yu.edu] and Dahlia Kenway [kenawy@mail.einstein.yu.edu]

Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health: Michael Zingman [maz2127@columbia.edu]

Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai: Alice Shen [alice.shen@icahn.mssm.edu]

New York University School of Medicine: David Wang [david.wang@med.nyu.edu] and David Collins [david.collins@med.nyu.edu]

SUNY Downstate: Keriann Shalvoy [kshalvoy@gmail.com]

OHIO

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine: Vanessa Van Doren [vev5@case.edu]

PENNSYLVANIA

Philadelphia Medical Schools Coalition: Emily Kirchner [emily.kirchner@temple.edu] at Temple; Tony Spadaro [tspadaro50@gmail.com] and Dorothy Charles [dorothy.charles@uphs.upenn.edu] at Penn

TENNESSEE

University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine: Diana Alsbrook [dalsbro2@uthsc.edu]

VERMONT

University of Vermont College of Medicine: Kelsey Sullivan [khammon1@med.uvm.edu]

WASHINGTON

University of Washington School of Medicine: Darius Fullmer [darius.fullmer@gmail.com]

WISCONSIN

University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health: Sarah Zoutendam [zoutendam@wisc.edu] and Zeeshan Yacoob [yacoob@wisc.edu]

 

This project was initiated by Students for a National Health Program (SNaHP), the student arm of Physicians for a National Health Program (www.pnhp.org), an organization of more than 19,000 physicians, health professionals, medical and health professional students who advocate for universal, single-payer, improved Medicare for all.

  • Anyone reading this story or otherwise reacting to the slogan “Medicare for All” should realize that the proponents of so-called Medicare for All in the United States really want Medicaid for All in the U.S. There are only a few proposals in existence that turn the slogan “Medicare for All” into actual legal language but the ones I have seen — particularly HR 676 from the last Congressional session (but also one in Vermont that was abandoned by the Governor of Vermont in December 2014 and a proposal in Massachusetts that has been stuck in a legislative committee for about 20 years) — want a variation of current United States Medicaid with a little bit of the UK’s National Health Service mixed in.

    Almost all the “Medicare for All” campaigns I have seen are coupled with a general discussion on the subject of single payer health insurance. But United States Medicare is not single payer health insurance and never has been single payer in its many variations since 1965. Original 1965 Medicare began as three-payer insurance, supported by premiums and out of pocket spending by the beneficiary, general income tax revenue, and dedicated payroll tax revenue. Over time, there has been much more out of pocket spending by beneficiaries, less use of general income tax revenue and more use of dedicated payroll tax revenue. In addition, over the last 50 years, premiums — which were originally the same for everyone — have been made progressive via means testing (no premiums for the poor; much more expensive premiums than the normative premium for those with high incomes on Medicare)

    In addition to the fact that Original Medicare is three-payer insurance, this 1965-era monstrosity is such bad insurance (e.g., lifetime limits, high deductibles and co-pays, no annual OOP spend limit) that almost everyone on it has a fourth, fifth or sixth usually private payer involved in protecting themselves against financial catastrophe.

  • kevinzeese

    You do not seem to get what people advocating for improved Medicare for All want. They definitely do not want Medicaid for all because we recognize Medicaid is lousy healthcare for the poor. It is a disgrace and does not provide the healthcare people need.

    We call for IMPROVED Medicare for All because Medicare is being destroyed by increased out-of-pocket costs and the insurance program Medicare Advantage which should be abolished.

  • You can throw an adjective in your slogan if you want but what you are claiming the so-called Medicare for All proposals say is not what they say. I suspect you have not read the actual proposals but are depending on what some politician says they say. Go read the Vermont proposal or HR 676 from the last Congress. What they are proposing has nothing to do with Medicare… or Improved Medicare.

  • Margaret Flowers

    HR 676, which Kevin and I have both worked on, is all about creating an expanded and improved Medicare – a national publicly funded health insurance which is universal, more comprehensive than current Medicare and eliminates up front out of pocket costs. Medicaid is a state-based insurance for the poor which varies widely from state to state and is being undermined like current Medicare through privatization and shifting of the cost to individuals through premiums and co-pays.

  • kevinzeese

    The Vermont proposal was never single payer and we were critical of people who called it that. It was an attempt to get universal coverage through a multi-payer system. This was probably the best that could be done at the local level because of federal laws that would make a true single payer impossible to implement but it would not have had the efficiency and cost savings of a single payer system.

    HR 676 is single payer and it is Improved Medicare for All. The adjective “improved” is important because Medicare is being destroyed gradually by both parties. Out of pocket costs are increasing and Medicare Advantage is undermining it (as insurance companies always do).

  • If you’re intention is to illustrate complete ignorance of how United States Medicare works (and how it was intended to work), you are doing a good job. It was never intended to ever eliminate out of pocket costs (no one argues that doing so would make it improved). But I suspect you know you are lying to people about Medicare and I certainly understand from a propaganda perspective why you do not want your proposal associated with Medicaid Just please stop confusing people concerning Medicare while you are it. HR 676 makes all healthcare non profit; those of us concerned with Medicare reform could care less–whatever works. HR 676 completely controls health costs with Soviet-era like rules; when that has been tried with Medicare, it has failed badly and people have suffered. I think HR676 (it’s years old so I haven’t read it in a while) specifies that all administration of health care be done by government employees; Medicare is just the opposite (since 1965 Medicare law has specified that all administration of all four Parts of Medicare be done by private insurance companies; that is part of the success of Medicare despite its limitations) In almost every respect, HR 676 differs 100% from United States Medicare;to call it Medicare for All or Improved Medicare for All is a lie Goebells would be proud of

  • kevinzeese

    Do you sell Medicare Advantage or some other kind of insurance? You sure sound like a propagandists for the insurance and for-profit health care viewpoint.

    We are trying to improve healthcare for everyone, not just those without insurance, but those with insurance and even those with Medicare. That is why we call it “Improved” Medicare for All.

    Soviet-era rules? Give me a break. The system put forward by HR 676 still allows private doctors and hospitals. It allows doctors and patients to decide on their healthcare. Single payer is used in almost every advanced country in the world. It costs a lot les per person and covers everyone.

    Please stop posting insurance propaganda. We can see through it.

  • Margaret Flowers

    You have really exposed yourself as the one spouting propaganda and being untruthful. You are so fixated on the original intention of Medicare. Part of improving current Medicare is to remove out of pocket costs which are opposed by a large group of people, particularly those in the single payer movement, because up front costs have been shown to prevent people from seeking appropriate care. Studies also show that people are not able to distinguish between necessary and unnecessary care even across socio-economic status groups. Those who support HR 676, Expanded and Improved Medicare for All, seek simplified administration as it is done in other modern industrialized nations such as Canada. To do so would save hundreds of billions of dollars of administrative costs that would then be applied to paying for care. To learn more about the details and see the studies that support this approach, visit http://www.pnhp.org.