4th Annual Universal Health Care Conference

Thanks to those of you who attended and volunteered for our 4th Annual Universal Health Care Conference June 29 in Denver! Your enthusiasm and participation helped make this event the best one yet. Click here to view conference photos
“If we keep at it and work together, we will see improved and expanded Medicare for All in the next few years.” ~Wendell Potter

Master of Ceremonies T.R. Reid and Wendell Potter both said Saturday it’s a matter of when, not if, we get improved Medicare for All.

To get there, every single one of us has work to do.
“It will only happen through grassroots groundswell across the country being demonstrated day in and day out to say health care is a human right,” said Rep. Emily Sirota at a breakout session on Engaging Elected Officials she led alongside Rep. Sonya Jaquez Lewis, a pharmacist, and pediatrician Rep. Yadira Caraveo, MD.
“Show up, show up strong, show up often,” Sirota said.
At the June 29 Universal Health Care Conference in Denver, Master of Ceremonies T.R. Reid welcomes keynote speaker Wendell Potter to share his knowledge gained as an insider in the health care industry to help activists overturn that industry’s control over our health care system for the good of all. Photo by Darral Freund.
Sen. Dorothy Rupert, Elaine Branjord, RN, and Josie Heath smile together June 29 after Branjord awarded the women the “On the Shoulders of Giants Award” for their role fighting for universal health care. Photo by Darral Freund.
For those who missed the conference, check out this special Facebook Live broadcast Patricia Rice hosted Saturday with our guest and keynote speaker Wendell Potter, the former health insurance company spin doctor turned whistle blower and author.
For those who attended Saturday’s conference and didn’t already fill out an evaluation form, let’s hear from you: http://bit.ly/FeedbackUHC2019
Wendell Potter speaks June 28 at the Pavilion at Central Park on “Improved Health Care at Lower Cost.” Photo by Sara Wright

Thanks also to the participants and volunteers who helped with the Friday night event, “Improved Health Care at a Lower Cost,” and a special fundraising event Saturday night in the home of fellow bestselling author T. R. Reid.

Throughout his weekend in Colorado, Wendell Potter shared an in-depth understanding of the health care industry’s propaganda machine, used by groups like the so-called “Partnership for America’s Health Care Future.” Big Pharma, the health insurance industry, for-profit hospitals and the American Medical Association are spending huge sums to get Americans to distrust Improved Medicare for All and the mainstream media to use buzzwords like “government-run health care.”

“We’ve got to get them and others to call our system a corporate-run, Wall Street-run system,” Potter said. “We really can have the best health care system in the world. Imagine a system that doesn’t have someone in an insurance company calling the shots, getting between you and your doctor.”
“Imagine a health care system so simple you don’t have to think about it,” said Lyn Gullette, accepting the conference dedication. “You just get health care when you need it.” Photo by Darral Freund.

State Senators Irene Aguilar, MD and Jeanne Nicholson, RN, MS, announced the conference dedication to Lyn Gullette, who led the citizen’s initiative to get ColoradoCare on the 2016 ballot out of her living room in Louisville, CO. The Foundation also recognized Josie Health, Sen. Dorothy Rupert and Elinor Christiansen, MD in the “On the Shoulders of Giants” awards. Patricia Rice, social media director, took the first-ever Wendell Potter award for whistleblowing for her ongoing work calling out health care injustice on social media.

Reps. Sirota and Jaquez Lewis and Sen. Mike Foote won Legislators of the Year for sponsoring and ushering the Health Care Cost Savings Act through the legislature.

And the Health Care For All Fremont County team, led by retired rural

Madi Jacobs, MD, and her team from Fremont County, Colo. took the award for Outstanding Grassroots Team. Photo by Darral Freund.

physician Madeleine Jacobs, MD, took the award for Outstanding Grassroots Team. Mary-Ellen Maynard and Burl McCullar videotaped the conference keynote (coming soon), and Darral Freund took photos.

Partner sponsors Health Care for All Colorado and Arvadans for Progressive Action helped make the conference possible, as did countless volunteers. Ranger Miller and the Duke Street Kings wrapped up the day with rousing dance music and helped activists rejuvenate —   a conference theme.
Improved Medicare for All: Accept no substitutes! Jim Potter speaks June 29 on why only true improved Medicare for All legislation like Sen. Bernie Sanders’ and Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s bills will make health care simpler, cost less, and cover everyone. Check out our handy comparison chart of national reform ideas.Photo by Darral Freund

Breakout sessions on the Foundation’s Candidate Liaison Program; efforts with Public Citizen and partners to urge cities, counties, and school districts to sign resolutions in support of universal health care (it will save them and their taxpayers huge sums); Coalition Building and Grassroots Organizing; Self-care for Activists; Health Care Cost Savings Act Next Steps; and Engaging Elected Officials all laid the ground work for action through 2020.

“Stay in this fight,” Wendell Potter said. “We’re getting closer than ever. I want you all to support candidates working for Medicare for All. Recruit and find candidates who support this at all levels. Through the state legislatures or federal level, I don’t know how it’s going to happen or when, but it’s just a matter of time.
“If we keep at it and work together, we will see improved and expanded Medicare for All in the next few years.”