Showing posts with label HealthCare 4 All PA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label HealthCare 4 All PA. Show all posts

Friday, May 30, 2014

Healthcare is a Human Right Concert, June 7

State board member Mike Stout (pictured below) and the Human Union Band will be holding a Health Care is a Human Right concert on June 7. The press release is below with a preview of their new song.

PRESS RELEASE: Legendary Rock Concert for Social Justice in
Mike Stout and The Human Union in Concert to
debut song “Health Care is a Human Right” (previewed below)
and shine a light on the single-payer movement
8:30pm on June 7th 2014 @ First Unitarian
Church of Pittsburgh
605 Morewood Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
"In the Woody Guthrie tradition, his songs reflect contemporary issues without resorting
to journalism. They're more like partisan op-ed columns that grab political opponents by
the throat and don't let go." - John Hayes, Pittsburgh Post Gazette
On Saturday, June 7th, 2014, the legendary rock band, Mike Stout and the Human
Union, will perform a politically-charged show at the First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh.
Known for drawing large crowds to Pittsburgh venues such as Club Cafe and Frick Fine
Arts, he also tours internationally to festival-sized audiences. On the evening of June
7th, he’ll debut a special song to his hometown crowd entitled, “Health Care is a
Human Right.”
The song is perhaps the world’s first single-payer universal health care anthem and
appropriately, all proceeds of the show go to Health Care 4 All PA – a nonprofit devoted
to achieving a single-payer health care system in PA. The group has been recognized
nationally for their promotion of a PA single-payer system in places such as Huffington
Post and The New York Times.
Stout’s June 7th concert will also premiere a brand new music video for the featured
song at the start of the show. Other songs performed will include social justice anthems
around anti-fracking, jobs, and peace.
For advanced tickets, reservations, or inquiries, contact Mike Stout at:
(412) 461-5650 or


You can see Mike Stout and the Human Union Band performing a tribute to the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire of 1913.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

State of Working PA: Slowing Job Growth, Falling Wages Impede Recovery (and The Drop in Uninsured)

This is a repost from the Healthcare for All PA/PUSH Website.

The Keystone Research Center is a great resource for economic data on Pennsylvania.  They have come out with a report on the state of wages in PA.  Above is a graph from their report showing how wages have declined since the recession began in 2009 and a map from them showing where unemployment remains the highest in the state.    You can read their full report and listen to a podcast about it at the link below.  The impact of UMPC on wages is even discussed.

State of Working PA: Slowing Job Growth, Falling Wages Impede Recovery

The drop in median wages since 2009 is not as large in PA as the US as a whole is not necessarily cause for celebration.  The rate of uninsured in Pennsylvania has also been historically lower than the nation's.  The median wage is the wage that would be placed right in the middle when all the wages of all citizens are ranked from highest to lowest.  The Census Bureau has come out with the newest Small Area Health Insurance Estimates for the year 2011.  The state rate has declined from 12.1% in 2010 to 12.0% in 2011 (the change is within the margin of error of +/- 0.2% so it's really no change).  I will be doing future posts on the county level estimates and seeing how they correlate with other county level variables such as unemployment.  

The small to nonexistent statewide drop is troubling as certain parts of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) have taken effect such as parents being able to keep their kids on their insurance until age 26.  Once the individual mandate (the least popular part of the Act) takes effect on Jan 1, 2014, wage decline could have a serious confounding effect on purchasing insurance and keeping up with co payments.  This is especially exacerbated since Gov. Corbett has refused to expand Medicaid.

**Related Posts**

Economic Impact Study Press Release

National, State, and County Uninsured Estimates

CBS This Morning Report on UPMC

Pennsylvania's New Fiscal Year Without Expanded Medicaid

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Press Release at the Healthcare for All PA/PUSH page

The Healthcare for All PA/ PUSH page has posted a press release from the state wide organization announcing the release of an economic impact study showing how a Single Payer healthcare system can cover everyone in Pennsylvania while controlling costs for businesses.  It is reprinted below.  There are many excellent posts on single payer at the Healthcare for All PA/ PUSH page and at the statewide organization site.

Add caption

For immediate release
Health Care 4 All PA
Contact: Scott Tyson
Phone: 412-421-4242

Study Proves That Single-Payer Health Care is Best for Pennsylvanians  And For the Commonwealth’s Economy
Erie, Pennsylvania February 26, 2013 -- Health Care for All PA, a statewide non-profit organization today released an economic impact study.  The results prove that a single-payer health care plan will save families, businesses and tax payers  $17 billion annually while at the same time providing comprehensive health care to all. 
This study was done by University of Massachusetts – Amherst professor of economics Gerald Friedman, Ph.D.   It compares the cost of the current for-profit health insurance model in Pennsylvania whereby provider choice is limited and health services are rationed by health insurance companies to that of a consumer-driven health care system which lets people have the freedom to choose their own doctors, hospitals and health care providers. 
Some of the important advantages of a single-payer system are:
·         Comprehensive coverage for every  resident of Pennsylvania,  including  dental, vision and mental health services;
·         Eliminates the need for hospitals to absorb the cost of care for the uninsured;
·         Reduces bureaucracy for private physicians resulting in reduced administrative costs and improved compensation for private physicians;
·         Reduces or eliminates health insurance over-costs for small business, allowing for more job creation, greater reinvestment of profits, and reduced workers’ compensation costs.
·         Radically reduces the total cost of health care to levels more consistent with costs in the rest of the industrialized world.

**Related Post**


Friday, September 14, 2012

Uninsured and Income Gaps in the US and Pennsylvania

The Census Bureau has two estimates of the uninsured that comes out every year.  One for the national and state level which is based on the Current Population Survey and the other for the State and County level which is the Small Area Health Insurance Estimates or SAHIE that I've written many posts about here.  The bureau has just some out come out with national and state estimates as well as SAHIE.  The national under 65 year old uninsured rate went down from 18.4% in 2010 to 17.9% in 2011 which reflects an estimated total of 47.9 million in 2011 and of 49.1 million in 2010.  Former Gov. Jennifer Granholm (born in Canada) on her Current TV show was stressing how the total number of insured  increased from 256.6 million in 2010 to 260.2 million in 2011 but that increase is mostly due to increases in population.

The estimate for Pennsylvania was 12.7% in 2011, 12.9% in 2010, 12.7 in 2009, and 11.1% in 2008.  This difference is not statistically significant for 2009 thru 2011 which means that we should conclude that there are no differences for those years.  The SAHIE uses a different survey for 2008 to 2001.  2011 will be out next summer.  The estimates won't always agree but the general trends should be close.  The top 10 counties for 2010 and 2008 can be seen below. 

Counties with larger populations have smaller margins of errors or MOEs. the counties with large MOEs such as Bedford (rate 14.4% +/- 1.2%) should have rates that differ from Philadelphia (16.5% +/- 0.7%) but maybe not Sullivan (15.9% */- 1.6%).  We can be confident that the top 10 counties are all significantly higher than the state rate of 12.1% (+/- 0.2%). 

Below are the rates for 2008.  We can see that except for Sullivan County, whose rate and MOE hardly changed, the other top counties significantly increased in the rates of uninsured since 2008.  At the bottom is a table with the state and county trends for all 67 counties in Pennsylvania from 2007 to 2008.   The 2007 estimate are based on the Current Population Survey.  I do this to show what impact the recession is having on Pennsylvania's uninsured.  C3 board member Mike Stout often says we need to "strike while the metal is hot."  Looking at these statistics can show us where the metal is hot.  


The Census Bureau came on C-SPAN's Washington Journal to discuss the national numbers with poverty results and information on how it relates to the widening income gap in the US.  You can see the 48 minute segment here.


**Related Posts**

New Census Uninsured Data Out: White & Female Rates Getting Worse in PA


Most Recent County Level Uninsured Estimates for Pennsylvania


Mike Stout & the Human Union Band Concert

Sunday, July 8, 2012

PUSH-Healthcare for All PA SCOTUS Posts

I have been posting less on this blog lately partly because things have been heating up on the Pennsylvanian's United for Single Payer/Healthcare for All PA site in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare).  For example our new blogger Scott Tyson, MD has posted articles by state organization President Dave Steil and state executive director Chuck Pennacchio on the One Payer States Meeting.  Lloyd Stires has posts on the day before and after the SCOTUS decision and one where he comments on the effect of propaganda on the public's understanding of the Act.  MaryPat Donegan has written an announcement of an upcoming strategy meeting for the organization this Saturday July 14.     Finally I have written posts on polling before the decision on some polls which ask about the reasons for the laws unpopularity show that a stronger bill would be more popular.  Post SCOTUS decision I wrote on what the implications of Gov. Tom Corbett's (R-PA) decision to expand Medicaid could be in light of past decisions.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Healthcare Poll Insanity

Last Friday I did a post on the PUSH site showing how healthcare polling has remained consistent in the weeks leading up to the Supreme Court's Decision on the Affordable Care Act.  Last night I came across a tweet by Michele Bachmann stating:
The tweet was retweeted by 130 of her 137,300 followers and favorited by 12.  These followers have hundreds to thousands who can pass this on to their followers.  This is what is meant by going viral.

I did follow the link above to the report and found that it came from the Doctor Patient Medical Association which faxed or mailed 16,227 forms to doctors nationwide and 4.3% were returned or a total of 699.  I have worked on mail surveys of physicians and getting a large response rate can be a problem unlike phone surveys.  Mail in surveys are cheaper than phone but incentives are often needed to increase response rates.  Even with a small incentive a response rate of 25% is typical.  Small response rates may not be a problem if those who respond are representative of those who did not.  For this poll, with a response rate that low it may be hard to justify that it is representative.  They do provide demographics but do not compare it to national physician demographics. 

It's so tempting to jump to conclusions on research findings when it's supports what one already believes.  It's tempting to rip on congresswoman Bachmann because of her past statements, as Jon Stewart does below.  I'll stick to this statement and her comment above.  Others who haven't made as many outrageous statements can just as easily make the same mistake without reading the results more carefully.  This is also meant to show the power and peril of social media like Facebook and Twitter. . Remember the hysteria caused by Sarah Palin's death panels post on Facebook? How many people still believe her?


Sarah Palin has resurrected her 'death panels' claim on her Facebook page to her 3.4 million followers.  It has been shared by 369 and "liked" by 1,479 since being posted on Monday.  The LA Times debunks it here.

**Related Posts**

Healthcare Polls in Anticipation of SCOTUS Decision 


Health Care Law - New Rasmussen Poll Down the Memory Hole


Overall Health System Performance - The Commonwealth Fund


Questioning Effectiveness


What is Sanity?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

PUSH: WaPo Interactive International Cost Graphic

My PUSH post is up on their website explaining this Washington Post interactive graphic comparing the cost of medical procedures in the US to eight other countries.  To see it in full click on the link below.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Santorum: No One Has Ever Died Because They Didn’t Have Health Care |The New Civil Rights Movement

This is my first cross post on my two blogs (this one and PUSH-Pennsylvanians United for Single Payer Healthcare) because it fits in so nicely with what I've been talking about on both of them, Rick Santorum and the uninsured. As the former Senator from our state is quoted in the story linked below stating that no one has died due to a lack of health insurance while campaigning in Iowa in early December while he was still polling in the single digits. The exact quote can be read here.  This statement is consistent with his later statement right before the caucus regarding African-Americans and entitlement programs which preceded his strong showing on Jan 3 (only 4% in the CNN entrance poll said health care was the most important issue in the Caucus).

This one claim about health care is so demonstrably false with the study I discussed in my previous post on the PUSH website where 45,000 excess deaths in the US each year were estimated from a lack of insurance after adjusting for smoking, obesity, and poverty.  It would only be necessary to show one death from a lack of insurance to prove Santorum's statement wrong.  Josef Stalin once infamously said "one death is a tragedy, a million deaths are a statistic."  It is important to supplement the statistics with narratives from those who are affected most by the problem of the lack of insurance.  That is why we included testimonials like the ones below from Healthy Artists on this webpage from the uninsured.

Michael Moore's film Sicko has the stories of several individuals who are underinsured including a few who died as a result of their situation.  The website Names of the Dead has testimonials from families of those who died as a result of a lack of insurance.  It gives the names and cities of each story so they can be checked for veracity.  This is one from Altoona, PA.  Senator Santorum says he wants to save America from fascism as his grandfather escaped it in Italy.  The first step in fighting it is acknowledging the truth.

Uncle Abe

64, Altoona PA
Cindy Lovell writes:
My Uncle Abe worked as a self-employed plumber. Some years he could afford insurance, and some years he couldn't. He came down with congestive heart failure, and he could not afford insurance. He kept waiting to see a doctor until he turned 65 so he would have Medicare. He waited and hoped. Finally, he got so sick that my other two uncles went and got him. They intended to take him to the emergency room and pay his bill. Both are retired and on fixed incomes, yet their baby brother was so sick, and they were so scared, that they figured they would come up with some way to pay his hospital bills. However, Uncle Abe died in the emergency room... waiting to turn 65!


Stephen Colbert takes Uncle Abe to task (he's really satirizing right wing thinking about health care and the uninsured).  I hope you're not offended.  It's meant to be satire.

 **Related Posts**

Santorum's "Bounce"


Making Sense of the Pat Toomey-Joe Sestak Senate Race


STOP Obamacare in Pennsylvania and the Uninsured


Teapartiers sandbagged by health insurers | MollyRush's Blog and a calculation mortality rates for lack of insurance

Saturday, December 31, 2011

PUSH: STOP Obamacare in Pennsylvania and the Uninsured

My new guest post is up at the Pennsylvanians United for Single Payer Healthcare (PUSH) website on a Facebook group which seems to have the opposite goal.  I take apart their analysis of the uninsured.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

Pennsylvanians United for Single Payer Healthcare

The local Pittsburgh chapter of Healthcare 4 All  PA is launching it's own site with several talented authors.  The link with the first post on gender and racial differences in Pennsylvania's uninsured can be seen here.

year % uninsured white MOE +/- % % uninsured black MOE +/- % % uninsured hispanic MOE +/- %
2008 9.10 .20 15.10 .70 21.50 1.00
2009 10.10 .20 16.20 .70 22.60 1.00

Monday, October 24, 2011

News Health Care for All Pennsylvania

My new guest post is up on the Health Care 4 All PA as the new Small Area Health Insurance Estimates or SAHIE are out for the years 2008 and 2009 for each county in the United States.  I reported the county estimates for the years 2007, 2008, and 2009 in the 67 counties in Pennsylvania to get an idea of the impact of the recession on the uninsured at the local level in the State.  There is a strong correlation in the rates of uninsured and median housing income for each county accounting for 42% of the variability as can be seen in the above graph.  The full report is summarized in the link below.

For 2009 the top 10 counties in uninsured rate for the state are:


I realize that many do not know where the state's 67 counties are located so I've added a Pennsylvania map for reference.  For example Forest is in the Northwest, Union is in the center and you should be able to find Philadelphia.  The three year trend in the uninsured can be seen below.