April News

DavidBartonSmith.jpgTickets are selling fast for the Maryland PNHP Annual Dinner - register now!

We invite you to join us for the annual dinner for the Maryland chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program on Tuesday, April 24 2018 from 6-9 p.m. in support of Healthcare is a Human Right Maryland.

To purchase your ticket for the dinner on Tuesday, April 24 at the Turn House in Columbia, click here.

Our special guest for the evening will be David Barton Smith, author of The Power to Heal: Civil Rights, Medicare, and the Struggle to Transform America's Health Care System. He will be presenting on the topic of race relations in the U.S. health care system.

David Barton Smith is Emeritus Professor at Temple University and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management in the Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University. He is the author of seven books, more than forty journal articles, and numerous research projects. He was awarded a 1995 Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Research Investigator Award for research on the history and legacy of the racial segregation of health care and continues to lecture widely on this topic. His most recent book, The Power to Heal: Civil Rights, Medicare and the Struggle to Transform America’s Health System (Vanderbilt Press 2016 in press) received the Goldberg Prize for the best book in the area of medicine this year. Prof. Smith is also assisting in the development of a companion documentary supported by the National Endowment for Humanities, produced by Barbara Berney. Currently in the editing process, it will air on PBS stations later this year.


This Month in the Fight for National Improved Medicare for All (NIMA)

Image: A CVS advertises bottled water during the Elk River chemical spill that poisoned the drinking water of 300,000 West Virginians

We Have Much to Learn from the West Virginia Teacher's Strike

Brittany Shannahan
Statewide Organizer

The West Virginia Teacher's Strike inspired a number of articles from single payer advocates inside and outside the state. Writing for JacobinCathy Kunkel said:

"The underfunding of public employee health insurance is not a problem unique to West Virginia. Labor militancy around this issue could ultimately pave the way for a national Medicare-for-All solution. West Virginia teachers and service personnel have not focused on federal policy yet, but the PEIA issue will not be going away as long as medical and drug costs continue to skyrocket."

The surprise victory of the teacher's strike against a Trump-like governor shows us that we have more to learn from our sister state than the other way around. As an organizer, I have a long history with social movements in West Virginia. In 2011, I wrote my Master's dissertation on the strength of a decades-old environmental movement in remapping Appalachian labor history and identity. The 2014 Elk River chemical spill that contaminated the drinking water of 300,000 people brought the struggles that rural West Virginians had faced for decades to white-collar families in Charleston. Continue reading on our Campaign Blog

Remembering Dr. Richard Humphrey, 1934-2018

We are sorry to share the news that Dick Humphrey passed away last week. A passionate and dedicated Oncologist and Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins Hospital for 56 years, Dick was a lifelong campaigner for human rights. A true citizen doctor, his activism spanned from issues including racial justice, gun control, worker's rights, environmental justice, and nuclear disarmament. He also played a foundational role in the development of the Healthcare is a Human Right Maryland campaign. 

There will be a private burial and a memorial service will be held later this spring at the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore. We will be sharing the details on our calendar and our Facebook page.


Healthcare is a Human Right Maryland featured on AJ+

AJ+ interviewed Dr. Eric Naumburg and Brittany Shannahan about the prospects of universal healthcare in Maryland.

Watch the video here.

Read more about House Bill HR-676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, here and the prospects for universal healthcare in Maryland here.

Other key moments in March:

March 7
HR-676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, has more cosponsors than ever! After signing on in January 2017, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) announced that he would be taking on the role of lead cosponsor following the retirement of Rep. John Conyers (D-MI):

“The United States is the outlier among large industrial countries. Everybody else has decided that healthcare is a right and they’re working to make sure that it is. We as a nation need to move in that direction for the welfare of our people.”

March 9
Healthcare is a Human Right and the Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition participated in a packed town hall event on the Opiates crisis in Easton, hosted by Talbot Rising. It was a lively evening discussion about racial justice, access to care in rural areas, overcoming stigma and the urgency of a universal (i.e., single payer) healthcare system in providing treatment. 

March 21
National Nurses United is teaming up with nurses at Johns Hopkins Hospital to hold a ballot on whether to form a union. With Chase Brexton staff having formally unionized last month, nurses and staff at other hospitals in the state are likely to follow suit. 

March 24
It is time for Americans to move away from celebrating our ability to harm one another through wars and weapons and towards caring for one another. With this in mind, Healthcare is a Human Right Maryland members from across the state participated in the March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C. We stand in solidarity with all people resisting gun violence, from the streets of Baltimore to Parkland survivors. 

March 29

David Shulkin, the former secretary of the Department of Veteran's Affairs writes an op-ed for the New York Times, alleging that he was fired by Donald Trump for refusing to implement an agenda of privatization:

"They saw me as an obstacle to privatization who had to be removed. That is because I am convinced that privatization is a political issue aimed at rewarding select people and companies with profits, even if it undermines care for veterans."


April Events

Saturday, April 7 – Tuesday, April 10, Washington, DC
Health over Profit for Everyone Action Camp
First Trinity Lutheran Church
309 E St NW, Washington DC 20001

Health Over Profit for Everyone, in partnership with the Backbone Campaign, is offering the first Single Payer Action Camp to build participant’s skills in strategy, messaging and direct action to win National Improved Medicare for All. The camp will include workshops in tools for developing strategic campaigns, how to make your message visible, creating media, nonviolent direct action and more. We will put those skills to use on Monday and Tuesday through actions in Washington, DC on the Monday and Tuesday.

Visit http://healthoverprofit.org/spring-2018-single-payer-action-camp/ for more details and to register. You must register to participate. Lodging is limited - reserve your space when you register.

Monday, April 9, Washington, DC
March for National Improved Medicare for All
Washington, DC Area (location TBC)

Health Over Profit for Everyone is holding the first National Improved Medicare for All Action Camp in Washington, DC from April 7 to 10. You can learn more about the camp hereWhether or not you can participate in the camp, you are invited to the community march for National Improved Medicare for All on Monday, April 9 in downtown Washington, DC. We will gather at noon.

More details will be released as we get closer to the date, but we can say that it will be a fun, festive and child-friendly march.

Tuesday, April 10, Columbia 
Howard County Chapter Meeting
7:30 PM, Home of Dr. Eric Naumburg
6163 Devon Drive, Columbia, MD 21044


Thursday, April 12, 7pm-9pm
Carroll County Chapter Meeting
Carroll County Public Library
50 E Main St
Westminster, MD 21157

For more information, contact [email protected] or call 410-310-4589.

Tuesday, April 24, 6pm-9pm
Maryland PNHP Annual Dinner
The Turn House
11130 Willow Bottom Drive
Columbia, MD 21044

We invite you to join us for the annual dinner for the Maryland chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program on Tuesday, April 24 2018 from 6-9 p.m. in support of Healthcare is a Human Right Maryland.

To purchase your ticket for the dinner on Tuesday, April 24 at the Turn House in Columbia, click here.


Thursday, April 26, Baltimore 
Baltimore City Chapter Meeting
7:00 PM, Episcopal Diocese Center
4 E University Parkway, Baltimore, MD 21218

Members, friends, newcomers all welcome. Free ample parking (enter from N. Charles St.). (Come early for snacks/social time at 7:00 PM!). For more info, email [email protected]yer.org.



Get Involved!

Baltimore Healthcare Students and Professionals for Single Payer
Our first happy hour was a massive success! BHSPSP aims to bring together people who study and work in healthcare fields from across different disciplines to meet one another and plug into the movement for human rights in healthcare. In the near future, we will be hosting more happy hours as well as lectures and other special events. For more information, join our Facebook group or contact [email protected].

Media training – share your story!
We occasionally are approached by news outlets looking for people to interview about their experiences in struggling with healthcare in the US. Is that you? Please get in touch! [email protected]

Donate to HCHR-MD!
Healthcare is a Human Right Maryland relies on your donations to support our work. All contributions are tax-deductible and you can make a one-time donation or sign up as a monthly sustainer by clicking here. We accept credit cards and check payments.

Contact your Representative about HR-676, National Improved Medicare for All! 
Steny Hoyer, Andy Harris, John Delaney and Dutch Ruppersberger have not signed on to HR-676. Click here to locate your congressperson and to send them a message that it's time for them to become a champion for Medicare for All!

Business for Single Payer Campaign 
Single Payer works for business! If you are a business owner and would like to talk to us about how National Improved Medicare for All can save you money, or if you'd like to join us in reaching out to gain business support for our campaign, contact [email protected]