President John Adams – from The Human Face of Obamacare by John Geyman MD
Maine AllCare back in Unity at the Common Ground Fair
Phil Caper MD and Lynn Cheney are two of the many Maine AllCare volunteers who staffed our booth at the 2016 Common Ground Fair. They handed out fact sheets about the business advantages of universal, publicly funded healthcare, signed up new subscribers to our e-newsletter, and visitors shared personal health care stories that invariably focused on the unrelentingly high costs of health insurance and prescription drugs.
If you have a health related story to share that may help others, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Statewide Field Organizing Wanted!
Help us to build a statewide movement for healthcare for ALL Mainers
Maine AllCare is looking for an engaging and organized individual who is passionate about universal healthcare and is excited to help us grow the movement for universal coverage here in Maine. Maine AllCare is seeking a consultant for a six-month project to develop and lead the start-up phase of a grassroots organizing and fundraising strategy across the State. The ideal candidate has a track record of working independently, will have little or no direction from Maine AllCare, and will be in charge of all aspects of the start-up phase of the operation. For more information about the position and the application process, please review the request for proposal HERE, and send this email on to any prospective candidates.
Proposals may be submitted to Hiring@VisionandStrategy.com
Our new bumper stickers are here and ready to be mailed to you!
Please show your support for universal health care by making an online contribution of $4 or more and we’ll mail to you one of these bright, colorful 10x3 inch bumper stickers. HEALTH CARE FOR EVERYONE IN MAINE is a clear message to your community. It affirms that you support a transition to a publicly funded system of comprehensive care accessible to every person in our state – one that will improve both individual health and business productivity, and will costs less overall than what we are paying today.
We welcome contributions in any amount – they are tax deductible – but our main goal is to increase visible support in each community throughout our state.
'Maine' reasons for universal health care
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What Can Maine Doctors Do?
Return medicine to its healing roots — help educate and advocate for universal, single-payer health care that covers every Maine resident
- Join Maine AllCare mailing list, and volunteer to help, including supporting financially
- Join PNHP — www.pnhp.org
- Visit our websites regularly — www.maineallcare.org & www.philcaper.net for more information
- Organize and make your voices heard through the Maine Medical Association
- Doctors have lost influence during the past 30 years or so, but we are far from powerless – they don’t have much of a business without us!
- Doctors are still influential – make your views known
- Write op-eds and letters to the Editor of your local paper
- Testify in person and in writing before the relevant legislative committees when legislation affecting health care is being considered. MAC can help organize these efforts
- Organize speaking events directed at professions and lay audiences for Maine AllCare speakers
- Grand rounds
- Local and specialty medical societies
- Community forums, church groups, Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs, Chambers of Commerce
If you have ideas about how else we might advance the cause of universal health care here in Maine, please write to us at email@example.com and and put "Idea" in the Subject line. Thank you.
How a bite from a stray dog shows the sick state of U.S. healthcare
By David Lazarus
September 6, 2016 in the LA Times
Jan Kern was bitten by a stray dog while traveling abroad and ended up with a jaw-dropping illustration of why the U.S. healthcare industry is completely sick.
That’s because she underwent a series of rabies shots in three countries at four medical facilities. What that revealed, and which will surprise no one, is that Americans pay way more for the exact same treatment than people in other nations.
Moreover, her experience highlights the lack of uniformity for drug prices, including commonly used medications. One facility might charge a few bucks for the same drug that costs thousands of dollars at a U.S. hospital.
“There’s no rhyme or reason to our medical system,” said Rick Kern, 61, who contacted me about his 62-year-old wife’s global healthcare adventure after reading my recent column on drug prices.
What’s great about his story as well is that, after I shared it with about a dozen healthcare experts, the consistent reaction was one of utter disbelief. We’re accustomed to shaking our heads at U.S. healthcare costs. Things become significantly more absurd when a couple of overseas medical facilities are stirred into the mix.
“It’s obvious that our system is unlike any other health system,” said Uwe Reinhardt, a healthcare economist at Princeton University. “Other systems were set up to care for patients. Ours was set up by the providers — the hospitals and drug companies — for their own benefit.” ( Read more)
Pharmaceutical Price Gouging
Editor’s Note: Remember “parma bro” aka Martin Shkreli, the “most hated man in America"?
In a recent case of price gouging, Mylan, a pharmaceutical company, acquired EpiPen, a tried-and-true injection device for people suffering from severe allergy attacks. Mylan raised the price of a two-pen set containing the generic ingredient epinephrine from less than $100 in 2007 to over $600 today.
The solution? All drugs no longer under patent protection should become a public good, re-licensed and made available to patients at cost. A broader solution: universal health care. Here is the story from the NYTimes.
EpiPen Price Rise Sparks Concern for Allergy Sufferers
By Tara Parker-Pope and Rachel Rabkin Peachman
August 22, 2016, The New York Times
A steep increase in the price of the EpiPen, a lifesaving injection device for people with severe allergies, has sparked outrage among consumers and lawmakers who worry that parents won’t be able to afford the pens for children heading back to school.
With a quick stab to the thigh, the EpiPen dispenses epinephrine, a drug that reverses swelling, closing of the airways and other symptoms of a severe allergic reaction to bee stings, peanuts or other allergens.
Mylan, the pharmaceutical company, acquired the decades-old product in 2007, when pharmacies paid less than $100 for a two-pen set, and has since been steadily raising the wholesale price. In 2009, a pharmacy paid $103.50 for a set. By July 2013 the price was up to $264.50, and it rose 75 percent to $461 by last May. This May the price spiked again to $608.61, according to data provided by Elsevier Clinical Solutions’ Gold Standard Drug Database.
Doctors advise allergic patients to carry two EpiPens with them at all times in case an extra dose is needed to quell a severe reaction. Most parents buy multiple EpiPens for home, in the car and school and may replace them annually, depending on the expiration date.
Mylan has declined to comment on the price hike, issuing a statement pointing the finger at high-deductible health plans that require consumers to pay much more out of pocket for many drugs. The company said a $100 coupon they offer for the product means most people don’t pay anything for the pens.
But how the price hike affects consumers varies widely, depending on the prices charged by their local pharmacy and the details of their insurance plan. People without insurance or with high-deductible insurance plans can’t always use the coupon and are paying about $640 a set, said Michael Rea, the chief executive of Rx Savings Solutions in Overland Park, Kan. Other patients say that even with good insurance, their copayments are as much as four times higher than in the past. (read more)
Editor’s POSTSCRIPT: The CEO of EpiPen maker Mylan increased her compensation 671% in 8 years, from $2.4 million in 2007 to $18.9 million in 2015.
FIX IT – Healthcare at the Tipping Point a must see documentary for all Americans
This documentary takes an in-depth look into how our dysfunctional health care system is damaging our economy, suffocating our businesses, discouraging physicians and negatively impacting on the nation's health, while remaining un-affordable for a third of our citizens. Produced by Richard Master, owner and CEO of MCS Industries, an Easton PA company.
My company now has to pay $1.5 million a year to provide access to health care for our workers and their dependents. When I investigated where all that money goes, I was shocked. I found that the first three cents of every premium dollar goes to the insurance agent who helps MCS select an insurance plan and negotiate rates with our insurer. The next 20 cents goes to the insurance company to help pay for its sales and marketing and other administrative functions, which includes the work of a huge staff that does nothing more than approve or deny care. Another 10 cents (at least) goes to cover what it costs doctors and hospitals to handle the massive amount of paper work and phone time made necessary by my insurance company’s pre-approval demands, denials and other payment issues. That’s 33 cents of every premium dollar, 33 cents that has nothing to do with the delivery of health care.
Excerpt from a introductory letter by Richard Master
For arranging a FREE screening of this one hour documentary please email us.