The Health Care Committee (HCC) has been stable in its membership this year, but had a minor re-organization. We started out (through February) in a continuing affiliation with the Amherst Area Hub of Western Mass Medicare for All. Then WMM4A announced that they were re-thinking the strategy of local hubs by geography and are opting for hubs by constituency (working through such venues as faith-based organizations, (medical) provider groups, universities). At that point, the LWVA HCC regrouped and committed to continuing with our local activities to promote health care reform in Amherst, specifically for "Single Payer/ Improved Medicare for All" on behalf of the League. We collaborate with WMM4A (and Masscare) when appropriate.
The website https://www.wmmedicareforall.org/ and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/WMM4A/ of WMM4A continue to be good resources for us, and an LWV-US Toolkit is also becoming available at https://my.lwv.org/arizona/healthcare.
The committee received support from the LWVA steering committee, in addition to an annual line-item in the budget, for co-sponsoring the Health Care caucus at the National Convention, co-sponsoring the Pioneer Valley Women's March (where we tabled for both Health Care and Voter Registration), and endorsing the WMM4A "wake-up call" letter to Gov. Baker.
Members: Barbara Pearson, chair; Alice Swift, Diana Stein, Joan Rabin, Rosemary Kofler, Ann Kieser, Leslie Nyman, Anita Page, Colleen Duroshea (MAL), (Trish Farrington, taking a break), and Jackie Wolf (honorary).
Two of our members Alice Swift and Diana Stein are on the board of Masscare, and Barbara Pearson is an active volunteer with the national LWV Health Care Reform network, HCR4US (steering committee) and a national state-based Single Payer organization, One Payer States.
Canvassing: Farmer's Markets, approx. once a month until sequester
Public programs: By-Line ACTV, Amherst Club, Senior Center (2) https://amherstmedia.org/content/s2e9-byline-stan-rosenberg-medicare-all
Self-education: participate in educational programs of the LWVUS Health Care Reform Network (BP member of steering committee and chair of Convention Caucus subcommittee), contributed as major content provider for the Toolkit linked to LWV-org,; attend portions of LWV New England States Leadership Development Conference; participate in activities of Masscare.org
Town Council Resolution (in process): worked with WMM4A and most of the Town Councilors. Calculated more than 10% savings to the town if current state bills are enacted. Stalled in Nov.; beginning new strategy for FY2021.
Allying group with other (non-partisan) civic initiatives: Racial Justice rally, 9/21/19; Activist Fair of Pioneer Valley Women's March, M4A Caucus in state Legislature (L. Sabadosa, 1st Hamp especially).
Letter to the editor: published in Gazette April 20, 2020 (Pearson); noted on PNHP website.
Submitted by Barbara Pearson