posted 3/28/2018 COMMENTARY We don’t see much about health care in the news these days. That means there are other issues that the news business deems more important in the highly competitive news cycle. It does NOT mean that healthcare is not still one of the biggest problems this country has to solve. (See below for a letter to the Washington Post from March 28, 2018.) Nothing else costs as much: nearly $3.5 trillion a year. Nothing else so directly affects every single person living here: your health. 28 million Americans have no health insurance. Tens of millions more are under-insured: huge deductibles and expensive copays. Does that mean you? Or a family member? And medication costs? We already spend enough to cover everyone: we just don’t spend it wisely. Switching from our disjointed multiple payer system to a single payer will free up huge sums of money we now waste on administrative costs. This money can now give real care to real people. Our politicians lack the will. So we the voters must have the will. Please call/email/visit your Congressman or Senator to say that you support health care for all. Write your newspaper. Tell your friends and family Say that single payer is the way to get this done. Thanks for your help. Let’s do this.
Jay Brock, MD We Are For America Fredericksburg, Va
Washington Post "Democracy Dies in Darkness" Letter to the Editor by Jay D. Brock March 27, 2018 Regarding the March 23 editorial “Maryland’s ingenious plan to fix Obamacare”: Under our current multiple-payer system of health care, we have two major problems: Too many people have no (or unaffordable) health coverage, and we spend too much for the health care we get as a nation. Our incomprehensibly complicated and costly health insurance system diverts hundreds of billions of dollars into wasteful administrative costs rather than providing real care to real patients. Politicians can interfere with the system at will, causing more disruption that results in poor health outcomes as well as medical bankruptcies for hundreds of thousands of hard-working families each year. Our current multiple-payer system doesn’t work well for many people or many providers — just ask patients and physicians. But it does inure to the benefit of the health insurance industry. The editorial can recommend a little trimming here, and maybe even a little real change there, but the underlying problems remain: The current system is unwieldy, unworkable, overpriced and ultimately out of control, because in our system no one is really in charge. No one is ultimately responsible for getting everyone the health care they need rather than the health care they can afford. Anyone have a better idea on how to solve these problems other than single-payer, national health care, which would still give Americans the best health care available? Jay D. Brock, Fredericksburg LINK TO Washington Post website version of this letter to the editor
COMMUNITY FORUM ON MEDICAID EXPANSION AND THE VIRGINIA STATE BUDGET Monday, April 9, 2018 7:00-9:00 p.m. Fredericksburg Branch Library Theater 1201 Caroline Street, Fredericksburg, VA 22401
This is an educational forum with an expert panel of stakeholders, who will make presentations addressing (1) the General Assembly’s current efforts to pass Medicaid expansion and (2) the budgetary impasse between the House and Senate that it has caused. It will be followed by a Q&A session that is open to audience questions and comments.
MODERATOR University of Mary Washington Professor Stephen Farnsworth
PANEL 1) HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE: Delegate Bob Thomas (R) (28TH District) 2) HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE: Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy (D) (2nd District) 3) LEGAL ADVOCATE: Jill Hanken, Virginia Poverty Law Center health attorney 4) PHYSICIAN/PATIENT REPRESENTATIVE: Dr. Patrick Neustatter, Medical Director, Lloyd Moss Free Clinic 5) CONSUMER ADVOCATE: Melissa Walker, Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Navigator with Enroll Virginia Fredericksburg office
CO-SPONSORS Healthcare for All Virginians Legal Aid Works NAACP Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy Virginia Organizing Virginia Poverty Law Center We Are For America
FACT SHEET FOR 4/9/18 COMMUNITY FORUM ON MEDICAID EXPANSION & VIRGINIA STATE BUDGET Medicaid Expansion 1) Provides access to affordable comprehensive healthcare for as many as 400,000 uninsured Virginians (including 25,000 veterans and spouses) currently in the Medicaid coverage gap and addresses the state’s 46th ranking in per capita Medicaid spending. 2) Brings $2.1 billion of our annual federal tax dollars back to Virginia. 3) Creates an estimated 15,700 in good-paying healthcare jobs & $68 million in annual tax revenues. 4) Helps address a state budget deficit estimated at $266.3 million. 5) Saves rural hospitals & helps other hospitals who must currently provide uncompensated care to those in the Medicaid coverage gap. Some hospitals (e.g., Lee Regional Med. Ctr.) have already closed. 6) State officials estimate that expanding Medicaid in Virginia will cost $351 in state general revenue funds for FY 2019 & FY 2020 but will generate savings of $489 million for a net savings of $138 million. 7) Virginia’s Medicaid program uses many of the same insurance companies that sell private health insurance and recent Medicaid reforms have meant that costs are controlled better than private insurance and with a payment error rate (less than 0.5%) below the national average. 8) The House Medicaid expansion proposal contains personal responsibility requirements and funds job training and development initiatives for able-bodied Medicaid recipients. State Budget 1) Unlike the Senate budget, the House budget not only includes Medicaid expansion but also funds a number of initiatives made possible by the adoption of Medicaid expansion. 2) The House budget is $400 million greater than the Senate budget because Virginia saves $371 million at the 90% federal /10% state rate under Medicaid expansion as compared to the 50%/50% rate for the current Medicaid program and because expansion generates jobs and tax revenue. 3) The House budget also fully funds the state’s 10% share through a hospital-accepted provider assessment that is recouped through reduced uncompensated care costs that have long served as a hidden tax on insured consumers. 4) Unlike the Senate budget, the House budget funds the following initiatives: a) 1% increase for Home Health Care services ($4.9 million) b) 2% salary increase for public school positions ($87.6 million) c) No Loss Funding for localities who would otherwise receive less funding this year than last ($11.5m) d) 2% salary increase for state employees and university faculty ($86.4 million) e) 1% merit adjustment for classified state employees ($24.6 million) f) targeted salary increase for some law enforcement & direct care staff in DBHDS facilities ($35.2 m) g) 2% bonus for state employees pending revenue ($32.8 million) h) Port of Virginia capital outlay to deepen/widen Hampton Roads shipping channels ($330 million) i) Children Services Act: additional $13.1 million over Senate proposal j) creates Commonwealth Cyber Initiative ($40 million) k) $42.2 million in higher education funding to increase degrees in Science& Tech, Science & Engineering, Healthcare and Education l) 36 state court judgeship vacancies 5) The House budget also adds $247 million to Virginia’s Rainy Day Fund.
Town Hall #1 - The Affordable Care Act and the Future of Health Care in Virginia April 19, 2017, WAFA co-sponsored the educational forum The Affordable Care Act and the Future of Health Care in Virginia at the Fick Conference Center at the Lloyd F. Moss Free Clinic part of the MaryWashington Hospital Complex in Fredericksburg, VA.
MODERATOR: Susan Larson, publisher of Fredericksburg.Today https://fredericksburg.today/fredericksburgtoday-online-news CONSUMER ADVOCATE: Jill A. Hanken, Esq., Virginia Poverty Law Center’s Health Law Attorney HOSPITAL REPRESENTATIVE: Dr. Michael P. McDermott, CEO and President of Mary Washington HealthCare PHYSICIAN/PATIENT REPRESENTATIVE: Dr. Timothy Powell, Medical Director of the Fredericksburg Christian Health Center BUSINESS COMMUNITY REPRESENTATIVE: Susan Spears, CEO and President of Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce HEALTH CARE FOR ALL ADVOCATE (Medicare for All/Single Payer): Dr. Jay Brock, Family Physician (retired), past President Fredericksburg Area Medical Society
Part 1: Panelist presentations and the start of the audience Q&A (continued on part 2)
PART 2: the remainder of the audience Q&A session.
Dr. Jay Brock's section about Single Payer / Healthcare for All. Here is the research link Dr. Brock mentions in his presentation: Physicians for a National Health Program http://www.pnhp.org