PNHP Capital City Chapter -- June


Dr. Ray Bellamy will be in Washington for the meeting of the Healthcare Committee of the Blue Dog Coalition* of Congressional Democrats on 18 June. Dr. Rob Stone, from Indiana, will be PNHP’s spokesperson at the session. Ray will attend the meeting, with Clint Cates of Allen Boyd’s office. While in Washington Ray will be visiting Sen. Nelson’s office. Nelson is a member of the Senate Finance Committee chaired by Sen. Max Baucus.

Neither Nelson nor Boyd has signed on to single-payer, S.703 & H.R. 676. Both need to be pressured, to hear from their constituents, that single-payer, Medicare for All, is the only proposal that can provide universal coverage and still be affordable. Boyd: 202-225-5235, Nelson 202-224-5274.

President Obama addressed the annual meeting of the American Medical Association in Chicago on 15 June. The AMA is once again opposing meaningful reform, which recalls its fight against Medicare, which was signed into law in 1966. The AMA, which could once claim to speak for a majority of physicians, has shrunk to a national membership of 245,000. Less than 19 percent of current AMA members are practicing physicians. (The writer is a >50 year member.)

The Democratic National Committee has been organizing neighborhood Health Care Kickoff Agendas, starting on 07 June. These meetings are designed to promote Obama’s Health Care Agenda, as yet unformulated. What was made clear, from a meeting attended by the writer, was that single-payer is not on the table. It is the writer’s assessment that this is a well organized campaign emanating from the DNC, to get the public to support Obama’s health care plans, which continue to include the for-profit insurers and to exclude single-payer, Medicare for All. This is diversionary, and much of it high-sounding nonsense, such as, “Blood drives make it possible for everyone to have access to affordable, quality health care.”

The Chapter’s Health Care Resolution was brought before the Leon County Board of County Commissioners on 26 May, where Dr. Ken Brummel-Smith’s Power Point presentation was very well received. The Resolution was referred to the Commission’s Health Care Advisory Committee, and will return to the Commission, with some alterations, at its July meeting. Further news to follow.

Chapter member and League of Women Voters activist Peggy Ramsey’s excellent letter to the editor on single-payer was published in Sunday’s (14 Jun) Tallahassee Democrat

For information on our chapter, and to be a part of the campaign to attain accessible, quality health care for all Americans,, and For contributions to anyone in government, go to where you will find that Sen. Baucus, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has received more money from the health care industry lobbyists than any Democrat in Congress.

Charles R. Mathews, M.D.,

*The Blue Dog Coalition, 37 conservative and moderate House Democrats. The Coalition is on record for “ensuring affordable health care for all Americans. These challenges threaten this country and must be addressed in a common sense, conservative and compassionate approach.”