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"Of all the forms of inequality,
injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane."

–Martin Luther King, Jr.

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SPAN State Council

The following individuals were elected by their respective constituencies to serve on the SPAN State Council for a one-year term ending in April, 2017:

Executive Committee
Deborah Silverstein — SPAN Ohio State Director
Vann Seawell — SPAN Ohio Secretary
Barbara Walden — SPAN Ohio Treasurer
Brad Cotton, M.D. — At Large
Bob Krasen — At Large
Sean Nestor — At Large
Johnathon Ross, M.D. — At Large
Marcia Hartman — At Large
 
Regional Coordinators
Region 1 — Ted Seuss
Region 2 — Dennis Slotnick
Region 3 — Patty Mercer
Region 4 — Dee Chavez
Region 5 — Marilyn Webster, R.N.
Region 6 — John Gordon
Region 7 — Matt Noordsij-Jones, M.D.
 
Labor
Bob Fry
Dave Pavlick, Sr.
Melvin Scott
  
Health Care Community
Richard Bozian, M.D.
Dee Chavez
Alice Faryna, M.D.
Alexandra Kendzierski
Katherine Lambes, M.D.
Joan Matyskella
Matt Noordsij-Jones, M.D.
Don Rucknagel, M.D., Ph.D.
Kelsey Starr
 
Community Organizations
Connie Hammond
Diana King
Logan Martinez
Kendall Mays
 
Faith Groups
Bill Davis
Dennis Lambert
Dorsey Stebbins
April Stoltz
 
Other Organizations / Individuals
Robin Deters
Marcia Hartman
Bob Parker
 
Business Community
Freeda Flynn, M.D.
Robert Kemp

Links

Wiki Page for 2015 SPAN Annual Conference

Healthcare Is a Human Right
Healthcare-NOW! A national grassroots advocacy organization in support of single-payer health care with a network of activists in 42 states.
Illinois Single-Payer Coalition
Kaiser Family Foundation: State Health Facts
Kentuckians for Single-Payer Health Care
Labor Campaign for Single Payer Healthcare
Maryland Chapter PNHP is a chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program, a nonprofit research and education organization of 16,000 physicians, medical students, and health professionals who support single-payer national health insurance.
Maryland Citizens Health Initiative
Massachusetts Campaign for Single Payer Health Care (MASS-CARE)
MEDICARE for ALL
Minnesota Citizens Organized Acting Together (COACT)
National Nurses United
Our Ailing Health Care
Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP)
Physicians Working Group Proposal for Single-Payer National Health Insurance
Public Citizen
Single-Minded for Single-Payer: An Interview with Kevin Grumbach
Single-Payer: Answers and Facts About Health Care for All
Single-Payer Action A nonprofit activist-fueled organization based in Washington, D.C.
Single Payer Central
Single Payer New York
Single Payer NOW
Tennessee Health Care Campaign (THCC)
Unions for Single Payer Health Care
United for National Health Care
Universal Health Care Action Network (UHCAN-National Office)
Universal Health Care Action Network Ohio (UHCAN-Ohio Office)
Vermont Health Care for All
Working America - Community Affiliate of the AFL-CIO

About Us

WHO WE ARE – The Single-Payer Action Network Ohio (SPAN Ohio) is a statewide coalition of organizations and individuals in Ohio seeking fundamental health care reform in our state and country so that every resident is guaranteed full and comprehensive coverage. This includes the full range of medical services, hospitalization, prescriptions, vision care, dental care, mental health care, home care, long-term care, and care for all injuries and illnesses. 

We advocate the establishment of a public fund that would pay all health care bills without co-payments or deductibles. Funding would come from the savings realized by eliminating the administrative waste and profits of the 1,500 private insurance companies and HMOs, savings from greater utilization of preventive medicine, and from additional mechanisms deemed necessary to ensure that the public fund has the necessary financial resources, with adequate reserves. The plan we call for is known as a single-payer health care system.

SPAN Ohio is a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)4 organization.

Contributions to SPAN are not tax deductible.

WHAT WE DO – We carry out a variety of programs designed to educate and inform on the need for single-payer. A focus of our activities is to win enactment of the Ohio Health Care Plan, either through direct legislative action or by an initiative petition sponsored by SPAN Ohio.

SPAN Ohio functions democratically and those who attend its meetings decide what the group's activities shall be. We distribute educational materials, organize public meetings featuring physicians and others with expertise on health care issues, circulate petitions, and introduce single-payer resolutions to organizations and legislative bodies. While campaigning to win single-payer health care in Ohio, we see this as a stepping stone toward achieving a national single-payer health care system, which is our ultimate goal.

HOW TO REACH US — Voice mail: 216-736-4766 — Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. — Web site: www.spanohio.org

WHEN WE MEET – SPAN Ohio meets quarterly. Check the SPAN Ohio website calendar for dates, times and locations. Join us!

Origins and Development of SPAN Ohio

When the Clinton health care plan collapsed in 1994, many people active in the movement to reform the system concluded that national health care was way off in the remote future and that the emphasis should be on attempting to win "small victories" and incremental reforms.

Actually, the Clinton plan never called for true universal health care. It specifically rejected eliminating the private health care insurance companies from the system. It was basically a plan for managed care or, more accurately, managed costs.

A broad coalition of forces actively fighting for a single-payer system in the early 1990s disappeared after the 1994 debacle. By the year 2000, increasing numbers of people had come to understand that an incremental approach could not solve the country's health care crisis and that only a fundamental reform of the system would. Indeed, when Clinton left office, there were eight million more people without health care insurance than on the day he was inaugurated. The single-payer movement began to experience a revival.

In February, 2001, six people met at a union office in Cleveland and constituted themselves the Single-Payer Universal Health Care Organizing Committee (SPUHCOC). Their goal was to educate the public about the advantages of a single-payer plan and to build a movement at the grass roots calling upon the Ohio General Assembly to establish such a system.

The founding group was diverse in composition and included unionists, a physician, community activists and retirees. SPUHCOC decided as its initial function to organize a public meeting to be addressed by Claudia Fegan, a Chicago physician who was a past president of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) and co-author of Universal Health Care: What the United States Can Learn From the Canadian Experience. The meeting was held April 10 and drew an audience of 130 at Case Western Reserve University.

In subsequent months, SPUHCOC concentrated on drafting a model single-payer resolution and getting political bodies, other health care groups, health care providers, unions, community organizations and faith groups to endorse it. In relatively short order, the Cleveland City Council approved the model resolution with only minor modifications and other cities and town councils followed suit. Many physicians, nurses, local unions, and a variety of others endorsed a statement which simply said, "We endorse the campaign to get the Ohio General Assembly to act without delay to pass publicly funded health care guaranteeing coverage for all Ohioans." This statement was unanimously approved by the Cuyahoga County Commissioners, three members of Congress — Sherrod Brown, Dennis Kucinich and Stephanie Tubbs-Jones — and a number of state legislators.

In November, 2001, at the insistence of growing numbers of activists, SPUHCOC changed its name to Single-Payer Action Network Ohio (SPAN Ohio). Meanwhile, single-payer groups in Toledo and Cincinnati had begun to form and they affiliated with SPAN.

In early 2002, thousands of steelworker retirees from LTV in the Greater Cleveland area lost health care benefits they thought had been guaranteed for life. They were among 600,000 steel retirees confronted with the same drastic loss. The anguish of this situation and the constantly growing numbers of the uninsured from all walks of life created further disillusionment with the market-driven, for-profit system and much greater openness to the single-payer alternative.

By mid-2002, SPAN had become the established organizing center for the single-payer movement in Ohio. By then, SPAN had established a web site at www.spanohio.org, which in its first six months received over 10,000 hits.

It became clear that SPAN needed to branch out and become a genuine statewide coalition. In the summer of 2002, SPAN activists began discussing the possibility of organizing a statewide conference which could be the springboard for forming an Ohio coalition that could mount an effective campaign for single-payer. In September, 2002, the Ohio AFL-CIO, representing 850,000 workers and meeting in convention in Cleveland, voted unanimously to endorse SPAN's campaign for a single-payer health care system in Ohio. The UAW, on a statewide basis, had also endorsed. These developments helped propel momentum for the state conference, which was held in Columbus on January 18, 2003.

This conference was a great success with keynote speeches by Dr. Claudia Fegan and Dan Martin, representing Steelworkers District 1, a panel discussion and workshops for constituency groups. The upshot of the conference was a call for a March 1 meeting to formally launch a statewide single-payer coalition.

The March 1 meeting brought together organizations representing a million Ohioans and a number of dedicated individuals. It was agreed that "Single-Payer Action Network Ohio (SPAN Ohio)" would be the name of the coalition formed at the meeting. An Interim Steering Committee of 29 was elected, pending the adoption of bylaws.

While SPAN continued to gather endorsements for its campaign, the March 1 meeting exhibited increasing interest in the idea of an initiative petition ballot campaign to put the single-payer issue on the ballot. Bob Smiddie, of Pomeroy, had long been urging an initiative and, now that SPAN Ohio had the affiliation of major forces, the idea seemed eminently reasonable, despite Ohio's highly restrictive constitutional provisions on initiatives.

In the months following that meeting, SPAN fleshed out its structure, approved bylaws, changed the name of its governing body to State Council (retaining as members on that body those previously elected to the Interim Steering Committee while adding others), convened periodic meetings of the State Council and moved forward in the drafting of the initiative petition. After months of meetings, discussions and plain hard work, a petition upon which all could agree was finalized and approved by a statewide meeting of SPAN supporters. The petition summary and 201 signatures were filed with the Attorney General's office on July 14, 2004. (The state requires that 100 or more qualified electors sign to begin the process of proposing a law to the Legislature.) On August 5, 2004, the Attorney General certified the petition, and by August 20, five thousand copies, each accommodating 65 signatures, had been printed for distribution. Within five days, nearly 2500 had been picked up by chapters, unions, and individual supporters, all volunteering to help SPAN reach its goal of 140,000 valid signatures. (To be valid, a signature must be that of a registered voter, and must be personally witnessed by the petition circulator.)

SPAN State Council meetings are often characterized by robust debate, reflecting the internal democracy and diversity of views within the coalition. Throughout, it has maintained unity and continues to attract more and more organizations and individuals fed up with the current system and wanting a new one guaranteeing quality and comprehensive health care coverage for all Ohioans. If you are interested in recruiting SPAN supporters in your area, please call 216-736-4766 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 

Bullet Points for Legislators

  • Single Payer saves money.  For the past 20 years, states have commissioned studies on different types of health care systems.   In EVERY case, single payer was shown to be the only way to cover everyone and the only system that saved money and controlled costs.

  • Publicly financed does not mean government run health care.  YOU have publicly finance health coverage, but the government does not make decisions regarding your health care.

  • Cost conscious patients often don't get the care they need.   Most decisions are made by the doctor in concert with the patient, but the patient relies on the doctor's knowledge to make a decision.  Expensive tests and treatments cannot be ordered by the patient, only the doctor.

  • Lifestyle choices are not what is fueling high costs in health care.   The United States ranks low in general health indicators, but high in good health habits.  We smoke less, drink less and consume less animal fat that many other countries with better health indicators and much lower health care costs.

  • Businesses can accurately determine their health care costs and are not subject to unanticipated large premium increases.

  • It will reduce labor costs due to a more efficient way of financing health care, eliminating much wasteful administration.

  • Workers' Compensation costs will be reduced, likely by half, due to the fact that everyone has health coverage and there is no need for the medical portion.

  • It reduces the need for part time employees and provides easier recruiting.  There are no pre-existing conditions or Cobra issues.

  • Eliminates the oversight of health benefits and bargaining health coverage with employees.

  • It creates healthier personnel and more stable employees, reduces absenteeism and eliminates employer health coverage complaints.

  • It reduces employee health related debt and personal bankruptcies.

  • It frees up family income that can be spent on other goods and services, thus stimulating the economy.

Tips for Writing Letters to Editor

Follow guidelines for your local paper (word count, submission instructions, etc.)

Frame your letter in relation to a recent news item Use state specific data whenever possible (let us know if you need help finding some!)

Address counter arguments

Be aware of your audience and emphasize how Medicare for All is good for ALL residents of the state

Criticize other positions, not people Include your credentials (especially if you work in the healthcare field)

Avoid jargon and abbreviations

Don’t overload on statistics and minor details

Cover only one or two points in a single letter

Avoid rambling and vagueness

DONATE HERE

Donations to SPAN Ohio help cover operating and lobbying expenses and ARE NOT tax deductible.

Donations to HCFAO go to our education fund and ARE tax deductible.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • Health Care Justice Walk Fundrai... Sat. 13 May, 2017 (10:00 am - 12:00 pm) Meet at 3500 Lorain Avenue in the basement Conference Room at Organize Ohio, NE corner of Fulton and Lorain Avenues. &nbs...
  • Cleveland SPAN Meeting Mon. 22 May, 2017 (6:00 pm - 7:30 pm) Agenda: Reports  and updates.  Discussion of opportunities and plans for the summer     Location:&nb...
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