"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 Ohio Presentation

Bob Krasen

Columbus Plumbers & Pipefitters Hall

January 15, 2017


News about health care in the US is now pretty dismal.

            ACA-Obama Care, Medicaid, Medicare, SCHIP are under direct attack.

            VA – not exempt from privatization

Not a time to become “weak kneed.”

            Hold up a Medicare Card.

This is what SPAN Ohio wants for everyone, a card that enables everyone to get enhanced Medicare, not just at 80%, but without copays, deductibles, out of pocket costs. Health care would be free at the point of delivery. Medicare needs to be enhanced. This means dental and eye care, long term care. You can choose your own doctors. Care can be received from anyone who is a licensed health care provider.

While we are striving to make this happen for Ohioans, we really want it for everyone in the Nation.

Some may say, “It costs too much.” You understand that 31% of health care dollars are spent on administration. 31% that has nothing to do with helping people get better. You know that a hospital has as many people in their accounting departments as it has beds. You know insurers complain that they can take only 20% of premium dollars for administration. You know that the VA saves at least 40% on it drug costs, by negotiating prices and purchasing in bulk. We can actually spend far less on health care while covering everyone, and join the countries all over the world which have had systems in place for years, and spend half of what we do, either per capita or as a measure of GDP.

I do not have a lot of hope about the prospects of this Legislation, as all inclusive and inexpensive as it is, either on a National or State level. As long as law makers are dependent upon the campaign contributions of corporations, i.e. health insurance, PhRMA, and hospital conglomerates, that is whom members of Congress and State Legislators will listen to. It is tragic that the need for health care services cost the American people so much, they receive so little, and many remain excluded all together. Healthcare in the U.S. has come down to the line spoken in an old western film during a train robbery, "Your money or your life."

To this end, SPAN Ohio is planning a state constitutional amendment –referendum in 2020. We will need every woman and man in the State to accomplish this, talking to friends, collecting signatures, raising money.

Please go to to become a member, and learn more what we are doing.

You can sign a letter today that we will deliver to Senator Portman’s office, or that of your legislators.

You can also Join us on Facebook and Twitter

This is a struggle for our survival…literally.

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


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.



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