Health Care for All Colorado - NEWS – April 2015
- 1. A message from Donna Smith, Executive Director, HCAC/HCACF.
- 2. HCAC Denver Chapter Meeting – presentation by CHCC (Sen. Irene Aguilar)
- 3. Colorado Cost Commission meetings
- 4. Colorado legislature bills
- 5. HCAC Annual Meeting
- 6. HCACF Education Meeting/Fund Raiser – May 2015 – CANCELLED
- 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/) 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.
SUPPORT HEALTH CARE FOR ALL COLORADO: Go to the HCAC website and contribute so that the mission can move forward. (http://www.healthcareforallcolorado.org/)
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.
On 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.
Colorado House Bill 1029 and the Extension of Telemedicine
Notes from: Shelley Dworet Cohen, MD, chair of the HCAC legislative committee and former HCAC president
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.
HR676 -- Improved and Expanded Medicare for All for life Re-Introduced!
Rep. John Conyers, D-MI, has re-introduced HR676 -- and on Tuesday, February 3, 2015, HR676 had 44 co-sponsors. Not one of those co-sponsors is from Colorado even though the single-payer movement is alive and well here. Please get on the phone and call your elected officials.
Let's demand that they support HR676 by signing on as co-sponsors. One of our partners, Healthcare-NOW!, has provided this easy way to find your Congressional members. CLICK HERE.
Pictured at the right are Rep. John Conyers and Donna Smith, executive director of HCAC/HCACF. Click on the photo for a fun video look back at one of the many times Mr. Conyers and Donna came together to push for HR676. Let's keep on going.
HCAC JOINS IN LARGEST DENVER MLK, JR., MARADE -- SUPPORTS HEALTH EQUALITY
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.
"Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”
~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In Memory of Dr. Gary Parks,
Our Single-Payer Friend and Advocate
Dr. Gary Lee Parks, 64, of Pueblo, passed away on Wed. Sept. 3, 2014, after battling a rare cancer. He was at home with his family by his side.
Gary was born December 25, 1949 in Lindsborg, Kansas, to James and Betty (Johnson) Parks. A proud University of Kansas graduate of both English and medicine, Gary retained his love for all things Jayhawk, including his wife of 41 years, Pamela. She was his partner in traveling, sailing, sharing great food, better wine, game nights, beating everyone in trivia and showing their children, Eric (Rachel), Ann, and Bethany, how to spoil their grandchildren (Aurora, Ben and Nellie.) Gary’s individual interests included painting quietly, loud music and louder karaoke, and simultaneously golfing and cursing. Forever a student of the world, Gary was never without a new book, from classic literature to modern satire.
He supported many local interests: Pueblo City-county Library, Sangre de Cristo Arts Center, Healthcare for All Colorado, Steel City Artworks, Pueblo creative corridor, and ReVolt. He would encourage you to do so as well. You may find the link for donating in Gary's memory by clicking here: Memorial and Honor Giving to HCACF.
This would is a great time to bring your membership dues current.
To pay your dues: CLICK HERE
All HCAC events/actions advance our vision of a more just world that includes
health care as a human right in a system and provides health care to all without financial barrier
financed by a public, universal, single-payer model.
Visit and like our Facebook page for more information on the week's activities sponsored by the
Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign of Denver
Health Care for All Colorado (HCAC) is a nonprofit organization in Colorado working to:
- inform Coloradans about advantages of the (public) single-payer system of financing health care,
- create a coalition that will develop strategies for achieving comprehensive, affordable and high quality health care for all Coloradans, and
- build a grassroots movement that will campaign for the single-payer system in Colorado, including work to support citizens ballot initiative for 2014 supporting health care as a human right and a public good in Colorado.
If you would like to join a local chapter of HCAC, click on the "Get Involved" link on the menu bar, click on the HCAC chapters option, and choose a chapter near you. We're always interested in starting new chapters where they are needed, so if you don't see one that meets your needs, let's talk about forming one.
The Health Care for All Colorado Foundation is a 501(c)(3) and works to educate Coloradans about single-payer health care and also supports the Colorado chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP).