November 23, 2015 by Stephanie
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NOTE: Relevant links to the Single Payer Strategy Conference Wiki are included in this article.
On the weekend of October 30 – November 1 we hosted our most successful Single Payer Strategy Conference ever! More than 300 attendees converged on Chicago from Healthcare-NOW, the Labor Campaign for Single Payer Healthcare, and One Payer States. We joined with Physicians for a National Health Program in rallying against Blue Cross Blue Shield, pooled our organizing experiences, learned new skills, and focused on the fights ahead in 2016. The conference was the first national convergence of every national group organizing for single-payer healthcare: labor, patient activists, and healthcare providers — all of the core constituencies that this movement needs to win.
Some key themes rose to the top at this year’s Single Payer Strategy Conference:
For state movements approaching victory, different tactics and new resource are needed to cross the finish line.
Some of the most important organizing stories in our movement recently have revolved around states knocking on the door of implementing public, universal healthcare – some through ballot initiatives, others through legislation. Workshops on “New York: Beyond the Breakthrough” and “Progress Report on State Single Payer Campaigns,” as well as a plenary on “Getting Past the Finish Line: The Single-Payer Movements in Vermont and New York” analyzed what our movement will have to do – at the state level and nationally – so withstand serious pushback from the health insurance industry and others invested in the status quo. We’ll need to prepare ourselves for divisions in our movement when real proposals are on the table, and have an escalation plan in place for mobilizing greater resources when we face a heavily-funded opposition campaign.
National single-payer reform is unlikely to pass in isolation from broader movements for social and economic justice, just as Medicare and Medicaid passed in the wake of the Civil Rights movement.
A range of workshops and a central plenary focused on outreach and coalition-building strategies at the intersection of health care justice and related social movements, including “The ACA at 5 Years: Medicaid Expansion and Immigrant Inclusion”, “Organizing Students and Youth for Healthcare Justice”, and “LGBT Access to Healthcare: An Issue for All Single Payer Activists,“ and the plenary “Single-Payer and the Movements for Racial Equity and Immigrant Justice.”
The release of a new documentary, FixIt: Healthcare at the Breaking Point, is lighting a fire under efforts to reach out to the business community.
The documentary project was launched by Richard Master, CEO of a frame company, who was running up against the difficulties of providing adequate healthcare to his workforce while remaining competitive in the frame industry, and decided to do something about it. The film debuted for the first time at our conference, and the documentary team hosted a workshop on using the film as a tool for reaching out to business people in your community. See the film website for more information: fixithealthcare.com
Finally, the election cycle will structure much of our movement-building work in 2016, and this upcoming election offers particularly important challenges and opportunities for our movement. The Bernie Sanders campaign is putting single-payer on the table within the Democratic base in a way rarely seen before, and even the early success of the Donald Trump campaign is elevating the issue of single-payer. But activists must find ways to translate mass involvement with the candidates’ campaigns into movement-building for single-payer, or enthusiasm for our issue will die as quickly as it started. 2016 offers us a tremendous opportunity, but only if we organize effectively!
You can read more notes from conference speakers, workshop facilitators, and attendees on the Single Payer Strategy Conference Wiki page.
September 24, 2015 by Stephanie
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National Strategy Conferences
Ohio 2015 – Wiki
Friday, October 30 – Sunday, November 1
Chicago Hilton, 720 South Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL
The agenda below is still in-formation and subject to change! Check back at this page for agenda updates.
Agenda for Friday, October 30th
2:30PM-4:30PM – Registration at the Hilton (Hilton Lobby)
4:00PM-5:00PM – Single-payer rally targeting Blue Cross Blue Shield! (Download a map to the rally here. Meet at “The Bean” sculpture in Millennium Park at 4PM, March to Blue Cross Blue Shield, which is at 300 E. Randolph St. at 4:15PM)
6:00PM-7:00PM – Continued registration at the Hilton (Outside the Boulevard room, Hilton)
7:00PM-8:00PM – Reception with live music from labor singer Anne Feeney (Outside the Boulevard room, Hilton)
8:00PM-8:10PM – Welcome to Chicago from Alderwoman Susan Sadlowski Garza (Boulevard room, Hilton)
8:10PM-8:30PM – Keynote by Leo Gerard, President, United Steelworkers (Boulevard room, Hilton)
8:30-PM-9:00PM – Opening Plenary: Introduction & moderation by Jean Ross, National Nurses United. Respondents: Richard Gottfried, Chair of the NY State Assembly Health Committee; Claudia Fegan, MD, Physicians for a National Health Program. (Boulevard room, Hilton)
Agenda for Saturday, October 31st
(All in the Boulevard room, Hilton)
Plenary: A Winning Strategy for the Single-Payer Movement:
9:00AM-9:10AM – Welcome by Congressman Jim McDermott
9:10AM-9:25AM – Framing Questions for the Conference: Mark Dudzic, Labor Campaign for Single Payer Healthcare; Donna Smith, Health Care for All Colorado.
9:25AM-9:45AM – Movement Action Planning for Single Payer Organizing: Benjamin Day, Healthcare-NOW!
9:45AM-10:00AM – The Strategic Moment: Michael Lighty, Director of Public Policy, California Nurses Association/National Nurses United.
10:00AM-10:30AM – Audience Q&A.
10:30AM-10:45AM – BREAK
10:45AM-11:45AM – First block of workshops:
- Telling Your Healthcare Story – Facilitator: Benjamin Day, Healthcare-NOW!
- Workers Compensation & Healthcare Justice – Facilitator: Joel Shufro, NYCOSH
- New York: Beyond the Breakthrough – Facilitator: Gene Carroll, NYS AFL-CIO/Cornell Union Leadership Institute
- Winning Support from the Business Community – Facilitator: Chuck Pennacchio, Healthcare 4 All PA
- National Legislative Initiatives – Facilitator: Vijay Das, Public Citizen
11:55AM-12:55PM – Lunch (Served outside the Boulevard room, Hilton)
1:05PM-2:05PM – Second block of workshops:
- The Cadillac Tax & Attacks on Workers Healthcare – Facilitator: Jim McGee, Transit Employees Health and Welfare Plan
- Progress Report on State Single Payer Campaigns – Facilitator: Sonja Rotenberg, Illinois Single-Payer Coalition
- Advancing Single Payer During the Election Season – Facilitator: Rand Wilson, SEIU Local 888
- When Your Legislator Says No – Facilitator: Benjamin Day, Healthcare-NOW!
- 2 Lessons from the Most Successful Campaign in Modern History – Facilitator: Tom O’Brien, United Steelworkers
2:15PM-3:15PM – Third block of workshops:
- Organizing Students and Youth for Healthcare Justice – Facilitator: Troy Neves, United Students Against Sweatshops
- Healthcare is a Human Right Model – Facilitator: Healthcare Is a Human Right Collaborative
- Online Organizing for Single Payer Activists – Facilitator: Stephanie Nakajima, Healthcare-NOW!
- The ACA at 5 Years: Medicaid Expansion and Immigrant Inclusion – Facilitator: Martha Livingston, SUNY Old Westbury
- LGBT Access to Healthcare: An Issue for All Single Payer Activists – Facilitator: Donna Cartwright, Pride at Work
3:15PM-3:30PM – BREAK
3:30PM-4:20PM – Plenary: Getting Past the Finish Line: The Single-Payer Movements in Vermont and New York. Facilitator: Paul Song, Courage Campaign. Speakers: Keith Brunner, Vermont Workers Center; David Sterrett, Sterrett Law PLC; Annette Gaudino, PNHP NY Metro; Marva Wade, NYSNA. (Boulevard room, Hilton)
4:35PM-5:25PM – Plenary: Single-Payer and the Movements for Racial Equity and Immigrant Justice. Facilitator: Paul Song, Courage Campaign. Betzabel Estudillo, California Immigrant Policy Center; Living Hope Wheelchair Association, Texas. (Boulevard room, Hilton)
5:25PM-5:30PM – Film trailer for “FixIt: Healthcare at the Tipping Point” – a documentary on business & the single-payer movement (Boulevard room, Hilton)
5:30PM-7:00PM – Full showing of “FixIt: Healthcare at the Tipping Point” documentary – Q&A with filmmakers and discussion of outreach and organizing. (Boulevard room, Hilton)
Agenda for Sunday, November 1st
(All in the Boulevard room, Hilton)
9:00AM-10:30AM – Small Group Strategy Sessions: Answering the Framing Questions for a Winning Strategy. Facilitator: John Lozier, National Healthcare for the Homeless Council.
10:30AM-11:00AM – Closing plenary: Donna Smith and Sonja Rotenberg, One Payer States; Mark Dudzic, Labor Campaign for Single Payer Healthcare; Benjamin Day, Healthcare-NOW.
Single-Payer Strategy Conference, Oct. 30 – Nov. 1, 2015
Join Us in Chicago, IL!
You are invited to join hundreds of activists from around the country for a weekend of inspiration and strategy to win single-payer national health insurance! For the first time ever, we will be hosting a joint conference of Healthcare-NOW, the Labor Campaign for Single Payer Healthcare, and One Payer States that will have significant overlap with Physicians for a National Health Program’s annual meeting. The conference includes a joint reception with United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard, National Nurses United Co-President Jean Ross, music by labor singer Anne Feeney, and joint strategy workshops.
When: Friday, October 30 at 7:00PM – Sunday, November 1 at noon
(A rally & action will also take place in downtown Chicago on Friday at 4:00PM)
Where: Chicago Hilton, 720 South Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60605
Conference Wiki: Click here to go to the Conference Wiki site, where you can find slideshows, handouts, and presentation notes for every plenary and workshop. You can also upload your own notes, photos, and video when you attend!
Text updates: To get Conference updates, text @conference2015 to 23559 or sign up for updates online here.
Agenda: Click here for the conference agenda.
Food: Registration includes a Friday night reception and lunch on Saturday, attendees are responsible for finding breakfast on Sat and Sun morning as well as dinner on Sat evening. Click here for the conference breakfast & restaurant guide.
Registration: Registration for the conference is closed.
STEP 1 – Please Register for the Conference
Registration for the conference is closed. Please contact Ben if you would like to attend but missed the registration deadline.
STEP 2 – Book Your Hotel Room
Due to unprecedented early booking for the conference, Healthcare-NOW’s block of rooms at the Hilton Chicago has sold out! We are listing alternative lodging solutions here:
- You can check if any market-rate rooms at the Hilton are available by calling 877-865-5320 and referencing NSC/Single Payer Strategy Conference (“NSC” is our group code).
- There are four other union hotels within a few blocks of the Hilton, two of which offer more affordable room rates at the time of this posting: visit the Travelodge Downtown Hotel Chicago (1 block away) and the Hotel Blake (3 blocks away) for lower room rates, and the Blackstone Renaissance (1 block away) and the Essex Inn (1 block away) for room rates comparable to the Hilton.
- Hostelling International Chicago is a large modern hostel two blocks from the Hilton that offers private rooms at $109/night as well as shared rooms at $34-$40/night.
- You can apply for solidarity housing (staying with an activist in Chicago), and we will match applicants to available hosts while we have capacity. You can do this by contacting Ben, or indicating on your registration that you are seeking solidarity housing.
We apologize for the extra steps this will require on your part if you are not already booked for a room, but we are also excited that demand to attend the conference has vastly exceeded our previous conferences! We’re committed to helping you find affordable lodging, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you run into any difficulties.
STEP 3 – Support the Conference With an Ad or Name Listing in the Program Book!
The deadline for purchasing ads in the program book has passed.
October 1, 2015 by Ben
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