Dear members and friends of Health Care Justice•NC,
Happy New Year! I hope this will be a good year for Medicare for All advocacy. While there’s still no chance of a bill being passed this year by our dysfunctional House of Representatives, there will be elections in November and we hope for some positive change. In the meantime, there’s still much to do and we invite your help.
As always, our principal effort is to educate the public about Medicare for All, which we most effectively do through in-person presentations to various groups. If your groups have not hosted us, please invite us, or invite us back! We'll go anywhere to spread the word about the many genuine advantages of Medicare for All.
As a chapter of our national organization, PNHP, we’re still laser-focused on the threat of corporate privatization of Medicare through Medicare Advantage (MA), which is neither Medicare nor an advantage except to its corporate profiteers. We expect that PNHP will soon announce additional tactics for reversing this destructive and costly trend that you can participate in. Check their new website, Heal Medicare, for information, updates and a petition you can sign.
Last year, the deceptively-named Better Medicare Alliance, a lobbying group for the private insurance companies selling MA plans, suffered a body blow when it failed for the first time to persuade enough Representatives to sign their annual MA “love letter.” By alerting our Representatives to the real problems with MA, we activists across the country literally shut down one of the industry’s major marketing tools. This year, we hope to get hundreds of Representatives to sign our letter pointing out fraudulent practices and demanding stricter controls on, if not elimination of, the MA program.
We hope that these developments may slow the tide of Medicare privatization but know that we need to stay on constant alert to avoid “Medicare Advantage for All” becoming our nation’s national healthcare system, with restricted choice of doctors and hospitals and unnecessarily high administrative costs, including big profits to corporations that would own and run it.
The 2023 Medicare for All bills (HR 3421 and S.1655) can always use more cosponsors. Please help us encourage more Members of Congress to add their names in support; use the list here to call their offices and email their healthcare Legislative Aides. Call your Senators and Representatives today to either thank them for already supporting Medicare for All or tell them why they should. Your voice matters!
I hope to see you in 2024 marching with us in parades, at festivals and health fairs, at presentations to your groups, and otherwise spreading the word about Medicare for All. I hope you have a happy and healthy New Year.
George Bohmfalk, MD