Notes from Our May 11 Meeting with John Marty
Indivisible Meeting Notes May 11, 2020
31 Members Signed in for Zoom Meeting
6:30 Networking and Conversations
There was a good turn out for the car protest at the Cold Spring meat packing plant. Several of our members participated.
Lori explained there would be a June meeting on Enbridge (Caustic Replacement Pipeline through MN issue) with various groups including Northern MN group and MN Power and Light. We will also discuss the coal burning plants and watch the film Honor the Earth by Winona LaDuke.
90 Second Sharing
1. Sue said our Indivisible group has earned $1000 through our matching fundraising. We used some for mask making supplies, the price of Zoom and Facebook.
2. Roger recommended the book The System by Robert Reich. Millions of Americans have lost confidence in their political and economic system. After years of stagnant wages, volatile job markets, and an unwillingness by those in power to deal with profound threats such as climate change, there is a mounting sense that the system is fixed, serving only those select few with enough money to secure a controlling stake. The elite (American oligarchs) want more power at the cost of Democracy in America.
3. Renee reported that the Monticello Diversity group received a grant that will be used for a book read at the start of next school year on how to interrupt racism and addressing unconscious bias.
4. Joe Rosh, recently endorsed by the DFL in his run for State Representative for SD29B, thanked people for their support and said his campaign team was established and getting active.
5. Lee Morgan announced a presentation on Wed. on Racism to the League of Women Voters.
6. Lani announced that next Monday, May 18 she and Lori Cocking will continue exploring the Healthcare System by defining the various healthcare labels and the role of the Pharmacy Benefit Managers. You will get an invitation for a Zoom meeting at 7:00pm. Please join us.
The following presentation was recorded and is available on YouTube:
Minnesota Health Care: Presented by Senator John Marty
Renee introduced our speaker for the meeting: Minnesota Senator JOHN MARTY has been a Minnesota State Senator since 1987. For the past 30 years Marty has been a strong advocate for government ethics, environmental protection, and universal health care. He has served as chair of the Senate Health Committee and currently serves as chair of the Environment & Energy Committee.
Senator John Marty’s Presentation:
Our Healthcare system is sick.
Obama Care (ACA) did not address the problems.
Our system is dysfunctional in our access to care and how we pay for it.
Coronavirus is showing how sick it is.
People do not seek care when needed.
There are too many barriers, copay, lower tier of insurance coverage, denied treatment by insurance co., loss of job/loss of coverage, high costs.
No logic to our healthcare system.
No one oversees planning or coordinating services.
Profitability Drives Our Healthcare System Not Public Health.
Hospitals and states are in an eBay bidding war for personal protective equipment (PPE), test kits, and ventilators.
Big Pharma is preparing to price gouge even during this pandemic.
Bureaucratic paperwork from insurance companies bog down the system.
Hospitals have more billing clerks than beds.
What must be fixed?
Coordinate providers and supplies.
Enable better preparation.
In the Scarcity vs. Abundance Model, our healthcare is built on scarcity.
Medical care is expensive; the solution is to make it more difficult to get.
Limit your Networks
Restriction in Coverage
Require “prior authorization”
For 40 years we have allowed this.
We spend twice as much as any other nation on healthcare, yet we have 5 times as many covid-19 infected people as any other country and 2 ½ times as many deaths.
Compare our Healthcare System to our Police and Fire Protection Model.
To access police or fire protection nobody must:
Apply for new “fire and police” coverage each year.
Worry if they will accept our “police insurance” plan.
Pay $3000 deductible before fire department responds.
We need to design a new system for healthcare that would keep people healthy and allow them to get care when needed.
Principles of a Good Healthcare System
1. Cover everyone.
2. Cover all medical needs: dental, vision, hearing, mental health, prescriptions, drug and alcohol treatment, long term care.
3. Let patients choose their doctors and hospital.
4. Reduce costs by cutting administration.
5. Affordable to all.
6. Preventive care included.
7. Enough healthcare providers to avoid waiting lines.
8. Maintain leadership in research, technology.
9. Pay bills in a timely fashion.
10. Simple, understandable funding and payment system.
The MN Healthcare Plan meets all 10 principles.
How can we afford this plan?
Economic Analysis and Evidence shows it costs less than our current system.
All bills would be paid by MN.
It would cost less because doctors and hospitals would negotiate prices (unlike what President Bush and Congress did with Medicare in 2003 prohibiting any drug pricing negotiations).
Compare this disparity for a knee replacement under our current system.
They range from $3,400 to $55,800 or 16 to 1 price differential.
Compare this to buying a new car.
For the same model/year you might find a $500 difference from car dealer to dealer, but not a 16 to 1 difference.
We can cut bureaucracy by eliminating billing and collections departments.
Currently powerful interests manipulate political systems.
Insurance companies tell the US government what they can do not the other way around.
The Pandemic has changed the politics. Now Democrats and Republicans support Medicare For All, but just for this pandemic.
Insurance companies would lose 40,000 in MN under this plan.
We would need to address these dislocated workers, retrain.
Big Pharma leveraged the language out of the bill that would prohibit price gouging for coronavirus treatments, vaccines.
Call it taxes or premiums, but it would be collected through our income system. It would be based on how much you earn.
We would prefer a national system, but a state system is possible.
We may move to this single payer system in MN in the next 4-5 years.
That is not so fast, since President Truman in the late 1940’s introduced it.
This bill is 27 pages long; ACA (Obama Care) was 2000. It is simple and easy to understand.
What can we as Indivisible members do?
Believe in a single payer system. It works!
Work for incremental changes but stay focused on the big change.
Work with other groups to promote this plan such as Healthcare For All MN (Anne Jones spoke to our group).
Elect legislators who support single payer system.
Thank you, Senator John Marty.
Next Monday, May 18 Lori Cocking will present on the various types of healthcare plans, and Lani Brown-Worley will talk about Pharmacy Benefit Mangers at 7:00 Zoom meeting. Watch for your invitation to join.
Next regular Indivisible meeting June 15. 6:30 Network and Conversations; 7:00 meeting.