Friday, June 27, 2008

June Update is a non-partisan, not-for-profit membership organization engaged in research, public education, and advocacy to guarantee universal high-quality health care for all Maryland residents. We're working with our friends and allies--other organizations, elected officials, and concerned individuals--to bring high-quality universal health care to Maryland in 2008. We're planning town halls, summits, and conferences, as well as organizing legislative efforts. We welcome your help!

Study group on single payer health insurance system
SEVENTH SESSION: Tuesday, July 8, 2008 7:30 PM
St. John's United Methodist Church
St. Paul St. at 27th St., Baltimore

WHAT: One time study sessions on what a single payer health insurance system could look like in the United States. Each month the topic will be the same and we'll cover pretty much the same ground.

THE TOPIC: "Single payer" is a technical sounding term that simply means that only one agency will pay for medical services- this in contrast to the roughly 1500 insurance companies now operating in the US. Private insurance companies would be effectively eliminated from the medical market. The rough model for most single payer advocates in the US is the Canadian system. Another way of simplifying: An expanded and enhanced "Medicare for All."

County Must Help Improve Latino Health, Report Says
In Growing Group, More Than Half Are Uninsured
By Donna St. George | The Washington Post

Latinos have emerged as the fastest-growing population group in Montgomery County, and more needs to be done to boost their health and well-being, including improving access to medical care and expanding transportation and bilingual services, a new report says.

The report noted that the best estimates, from 2005, suggest that more than 50 percent of Latinos in the county are uninsured, and about half do not have a primary-care doctor. Among Latinos who had not seen a doctor in the past year, the primary reason was the high cost of care.

Healthcare Reform/State Advocacy
The National Mental Health Association reform efforts

For over five years, the National Mental Health Association (NMHA) and its affiliates have worked with coalitions of consumer, family and advocacy groups in 45 states and the District of Columbia to assist them in their policy efforts and train them to become more effective voices for change in the public and private mental health systems.

Consumer’s Checklist: How To Overturn Managed Care Treatment Denials
Thanks to the National Mental Health Association (NMHA)

As insurance companies continue to use managed care techniques such as utilization review--where your insurance company works with your provider to determine if a treatment plan is necessary for your well being--to control health and mental health expenses, consumers must become increasingly knowledgeable of the utilization review and appeals processes in order to effectively fight for the treatment they need and deserve. By following the steps listed below, consumers, family members, and advocates will increase the likelihood that necessary treatment is provided.


Excerpted from the report by The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured THE UNINSURED AND THEIR ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE--link opens as a PDF file using Abode Reader.

While the majority of people in the U.S. under the age of 65 receive health insurance coverage through their employers and almost all the elderly are covered through Medicare, 46.5 million nonelderly Americans lacked health insurance in 2006. Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) play an important role by covering millions of nonelderly low-income people, especially children. However, limits to these public programs and gaps in employer coverage leave millions of people uninsured and create substantial barriers to obtaining timely and appropriate health care.

The Uninsured: Access to Medical Care
Patient Center | Issues in EM

Main Points

* Emergency departments provide an essential community service and are vital to the nation's health care safety net, caring for everyone, regardless of ability to pay or insurance status.
* Inadequate coverage of the uninsured, cutbacks in Medicare, declining payments by health plans and a medical liability crisis are threatening the ability of emergency physicians to continue to provide high-quality care to everyone.
* ACEP advocates for expansion of health care coverage for the uninsured and underinsured and has taken a leadership role in building a national consensus for universal health coverage.
* The Institute of Medicine in 2006 recommended that Congress consider providing greater reimbursements to large, safety-net hospitals that bear the burden of taking care of uninsured patients.

Majority of U.S. Doctors Back National Insurance Plan
Survey finds 59% feel fragmented system is obstructing good patient care

By Robert Preidt | HealthDay

A majority of American doctors now support the concept of national health insurance, which represents a shift in thinking over the past five years, a new survey finds. Typically, national health insurance plans involve a single, federally administered social insurance fund that guarantees health coverage for everyone. In most cases, these plans eliminate or substantially reduce the role of private insurance companies.

Want to Help Stop the ICC? Learn more! June 28

When Bob Ehrlich and George Bush teamed up in 2003 to fast-track the
ICC, oil was selling at about $40 a barrel, and the nation's
consciousness of global warming was only dawning.

But now oil costs more than $130 a barrel, and gas costs more than $4 a
gallon. The Federal Highway Trust Fund is forecast to be bankrupt in
2009, and Maryland faces its own fiscal crisis. The Chesapeake Bay is
decades behind in its recovery, and most of Maryland still fails to meet
the federal clean air standards for smog and fine particle pollution.
And there's growing evidence that climate change is accelerating and
that Maryland and the Bay are especially vulnerable.

Isn't it time for Maryland to rethink its transportation priorities and
pull the plug on the ICC?


Please Forward This Invitation Far and Wide!
Join Us Saturday -- June 28
Come Hike the Beautiful Upper Paint Branch Watershed.
Come see for yourself how close the ICC would pass to Drew Elementary.
Hear expert presentations on critical issues and share your ideas.
Come be inspired! See what so many people are working so hard to protect!

This is easy terrain and can be managed by children, so bring the kids!
And bring your friends, neighbors and colleagues, too!

Time: 10:00am to Noon

Join us for an easy educational hike of the Paint Branch Stream Valley
Park beginning at Charles R. Drew Elementary School Please arrive by

Noon Lunch, slide show presentation, Q & A, and discussion at Drew

Join us for one or both!

Place: Charles R. Drew Elementary School
1200 Swingingdale Drive
Silver Spring

The forests that shelter the Upper Paint Branch and two of its
healthiest tributaries -- Gum Spring and Good Hope streams

Directions are below. So is a list of things to bring.

Hike and Presentation Sponsors Include
The Anacostia Watershed Society, Audubon Naturalist Society, Clean Water
Action, Coalition for Smarter Growth, Community Research, Eyes of Paint
Branch, Friends of the Earth, Maryland Native Plant Society, Neighbors
of Northwest Branch, Sierra Club

About Drew Elementary, Air Pollution and the ICC

The ICC would pass within about 90 yards from the playing fields of Drew
Elementary School, exposing children and staff, and the neighboring
community, to air pollutants that have been linked to a wide array of

About the Hike and the Upper Paint Branch Special Protection Area

The forested stream valley we'll hike borders on the playing fields of
Drew Elementary and shelters the Gum Springs and Good Hope tributaries
of the Paint Branch. This wonderful natural area is a true ecological
gems and ground zero for the ICC.

Good Hope and Gum Springs are two of the healthiest streams in the
Anacostia Watershed and the Washington region, thanks largely to the
survival of wetlands and large tracts of mature forest in the area that
we'll hike..... and thanks to the tireless efforts of Eyes of Paint
Branch and other groups to save those forests and wetlands.

These streams and the forest that shelter them are so vital to the
Anacostia's recovery that Montgomery County established the Upper Paint
Branch Special Protection Area -- and designation that State Highway
would like to ignore.

The forests we'll hike abound with oaks, hickories, tulip poplars,
sassafras, sycamores, mountain laurel, spice bush, native azaleas,
dogwoods and honey suckle, and many others native species.

Standing among hardwoods that soar more than 100 feet from the forest
floor, listening to the stream and to the sweet, flute-like song of the
wood thrush, you might like you're in nature's cathedral and gain a
deeper sense of how precious this area is.

The Paint Branch is the only stream in the region to shelter a
self-sustaining trout population. Trout thrive only in cool, clean,
healthy streams and are considered a sensitive indicator species.

About the Lunch Time Slide Show and Discussion

Experts will be on hand to present information and answer questions on
this $3+ billion highway's potential impacts on the environment, public
health, working families, and Maryland's ability to invest in wiser

We'll cover:

• Energy
• Global Warming
• Public Health
• Transportation Finances and Priorities
• Watersheds and the Bay

The slide show will be followed by question-and-answer and discussion.

Please RSVP ASAP and....

* Spread this invitation far and wide!
* Bring family, friends, neighbors and colleagues!
* Bring still cameras, video cameras.... and a sense of wonder.
* It's fine to show up without RSVPing, but we would like to know
roughly how many folks to expect.

For More Information or to RSVP

Write or call Suchitra Balachandran at:

Things to Bring

* Plenty of water or other liquids to drink.
* Lunch or substantial snack. Please avoid or minimize disposables.
* Binoculars.
* Cameras -- still and video (Help us a create a beautiful display of
the natural beauty threatened by the ICC!)
* Guides to local flora and fauna.
* Note pads or note books.

Directions to Drew Elementary

Driving North on New Hampshire Avenue....

* Roughly 1.1 miles north of Randolph Road, turn right onto Cape May
Road. Cape May will dead end into Good Hope Road.
* Turn right onto Good Hope Road.
* Just past Good Hope Union United Methodist Church, turn right onto
Twig Road.
* Turn right onto Cavendish Drive.
* Take the first right onto Swingingdale Drive.
* You'll then be looking at Drew Elementary and the forests that shelter
Paint Branch's Good Hope tributary.


Want to Help Stop the ICC?

Whatever you skill or interest, chances are, we have a job for you!

Write to:

Be sure to type "Volunteer" in the subject line.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Foreclosing on the American Dream: The Story Behind the Housing Market Collapse and the Sub-Prime Mortgage Scandal

Please attend the event in Rockville TOMORROW NIGHT:
Foreclosing on the American Dream: The Story Behind the Housing Market
Collapse and the Sub-Prime Mortgage Scandal

7 PM to 9 PM Tuesday June 24
Rockville Library, 21 Maryland Avenue, Rockville
Short walk from Rockville Metro (Red Line)
Light refreshments served. / Free--Donations Accepted.

DEAN BAKER – Author and one of the few economists to predict the housing
bubble and collapse – taking the national perspective
SARAH BLOOM RASKIN: Maryland's Commissioner of Financial Regulation for
the state and regional perspective

Sponsor: Democracy for Montgomery County
Contact Mike Hersh 301-933-7169

Want to know how the sub-prime mortgage scandal got started?
And what is behind the demise of Bear Stearns and perhaps more banks to
And just how much further the housing market will likely crash?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Update for Montgomery County / District 8

Update for Montgomery County / District 8
We have 3 events and a big victory to celebrate!

Congratulations to Donna Edwards, her campaign staff, and volunteers for
a great victory. Donna won the special election Tuesday, was sworn in
Thursday and began casting progressive votes that afternoon.

Please attend Foreclosing on the American Dream: The Story Behind the
Housing Market Collapse and the Sub-Prime Mortgage Scandal this Tuesday
Evening in Rockville (details below).

Please attend PDA's Montgomery County chapter meeting:
July 1, 2008 7:30 PM at the Saigonese Restaurant
11232 Grandview Ave Silver Spring (Wheaton),+MD+20902

Short walk from the Wheaton Metro / Red Line. Parking in the lot across
the street

Save the date: Sunday July 27 for the 4th Annual DFMC Community Picnic
in the Wheaton Regional Park, Wheaton


Foreclosing on the American Dream

Join us for a conversation on this unprecedented housing and credit
crisis that is affecting households across the country.


DEAN BAKER: Author and one of the few economists to predict the housing
bubble and collapse – taking the national perspective

SARAH BLOOM RASKIN: Maryland's Commissioner of Financial Regulation for
the state and regional perspective
Date and Time: Tuesday, June 24th, 2008 7PM
Place: NEW Rockville Library (2nd Floor Meeting Room)
21 Maryland Ave. Rockville, Maryland,+Maryland

Free Parking Garage across from the Library
Short Walk from Red Line Metro / Rockville Station

Sponsored by Democracy for Montgomery County

Light Refreshments provided.

Bring a friend and find out how this mortgage crisis affects all of us.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Donna Edwards won the special election in Maryland's 4th

Donna Edwards won the special election in Maryland's 4th Congressional
District held Tuesday June 17th.

By a nearly four-to-one margin, Donna Edwards defeated Republican Peter
James to serve the remaining few months of Rep. Albert Wynn's final
term. Edwards defeated Wynn 59% to 37% in the Democratic Primary held
February 12th. Wynn resigned effective June 1st, setting up this special
election. Donna will face James again this November in the regular
election contest for a full term. PDA supported Donna's run in 2006, in
which she narrowly missed beating Al Wynn. PDA made Donna's victory a
major priority in 2008, mobilizing area volunteers, working on a
"virtual phone bank," and bringing in National Board Chair Mimi Kennedy
for the home stretch. Donna appreciates PDA's help, as she wrote to PDA
members after the primary:

"[W]ith the help and support of PDA, we earned an historic victory not
only for our district, but also for progressives across the country. The
residents of Maryland's 4th Congressional District did their part to
change the ways of Washington D.C. and I am proud to now be the
Democratic congressional nominee in this great district. I want to thank
the hardworking PDA activists across the country who helped with the
predictive phone bank and contributed to my campaign, as well as, those
people throughout the district who worked as human billboards,
distributed campaign literature, made phone calls, and performed other
forms of voter outreach. I want to especially thank Tim Carpenter, Diane
Shamis, Tom Pallow, Mike Hersh, Steve Shaff and Steve Cobble for their
extraordinary leadership. I was honored to have PDA National Chair Mimi
Kennedy join me in Maryland for the final days of the primary campaign.
She, with other PDA members, attended a volunteer rally and spent the
last several days visiting metro stops, supermarkets and street corners
all over the district helping to get out the vote."

PDA volunteers worked to help Donna's campaign get out the vote today,
with visibility efforts and email. Donna's victory--earlier than
expected--gives her the chance to live up to the high expectations many
have placed on her. John Nichols and Katrina vanden Heuvel of the Nation
magazine both touted Donna as a strong candidate who could help lead
congressional Democrats in a more progressive direction. PDA
congratulates Donna, her campaign leaders, Maryland PDAers and others
who contributed to this great victory.

June 19n National Day of Action for Single-payer Healthcare

What is a Life Worth? Join patients, nurses, doctors, and your neighbors

June 19, 2008 National Day of Action for Guaranteed, Single-payer
Healthcare Now! Health Care YES!!! For Profit Health Insurance NO!!!

JOIN your fellow supporters of single-payer, universal healthcare on
Thursday, June 19, 2008; 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm; 100 S. Charles Street;
Baltimore, MD. Bring you signs and banners.
This demonstration is part of a National Day of Protest against health
insurance companies (

For more information, contact UHCAN of Maryland at or call (410) 235-3504. If you need a ride,
please call (410) 889-0329.

We HOPE to see you THERE!

Vote for Donna Special Election TODAY in Maryland's 4th Cong. Dist.

Reminder: Vote for Donna Edwards

The Special Election is TODAY June 17th in Maryland's 4th Cong. Dist.

Turnout has been extremely low--as expected--in this election. Please
vote and bring friends to the polls as well.

Mike Hersh

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

See Senator, Rob Garagiola, District 15, June 16

Rockville/Mid-County Democratic Breakfast Club
Telephone 301-340-8300

Monthly Breakfast Seminar Program June 16, 2008

SPEAKER: State Senator, Rob Garagiola, District 15, Deputy Majority
Leader and Chair, Democratic Caucus
TOPIC: Energy and the Environment
TIME: 7:30 am to 8:45 am
PLACE: Original Ambrosia Restaurant
12015F Rockville Pike
Rockville, Maryland 20852

The Original Ambrosia Restaurant is in the southernmost building in the
of parking places in its immediate proximity. Ingress/egress by car is
either via Rockville Pike or Randolph Road. WHITE FLINT METRO RAIL
station is exactly one half mile south of the restaurant.

SPECIAL BULLETIN!!!! Char Rosnick of Congressman Chris Van Hollen's
staff is collecting canned goods/non-perishable foods for MANNA FOOD
Center and she has offered to receive any items that RMCDBC guests bring
with them to our seminar. So if you can put a few cans and/or packaged
foods together for donation, Char will run them over to the Manna Food
Center after our meeting.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Single-Payer Demonstration, Baltimore, 6/19

From: Ryon, Roderick
Sent: Monday, June 09, 2008 11:56 AM
Subject: Single-Payer Demonstration, Baltimore, 6/19

Please circulate widely.

Protest! Demonstrate!

Health Care YES!!!

For Profit Health Insurance NO!!!

JOIN your fellow supporters of single-payer, universal healthcare on
Thursday, June 19, 2008; 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm; 100 S. Charles Street;
Baltimore, MD. Bring you signs and banners.

This demonstration is part of a National Day of Protest against health
insurance companies (

For more information, contact UHCAN of Maryland at or call (410) 235-3504. If you need a ride,
please call (410) 889-0329.

We HOPE to see you THERE!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

TOMORROW, Healthcare NOT Warfare Benefit with Mimi Kennedy


TOMORROW, Monday June 2nd 6 to 9 PM
Healthcare NOT Warfare Benefit with Mimi Kennedy

Actress / Activist Mimi Kennedy will join the Host Committee--Maryland Senator Jamie Raskin, Delegates Roger Manno, Tom Hucker, and Heather Mizeur, PDA Vice Chairperson Steve Shaff, Board Member Joe Libertelli, Members of Maryland PNHP (as individuals), Democracy for Montgomery County--welcoming Native American Activist Jay Nightwolf Winter, other progressive leaders and the public to a Healthcare NOT Warfare Benefit. Come for dinner or dessert. Raffle and rally, plus coffee, cookies, salads, sandwiches, and other delicious food from the menu.

$20.08 per ticket. $200 to join the Host Committee--10 tickets.
Pay online here. You may also bring a check or cash to the event.

Public Transportation: Six blocks from Silver Spring Metro (Redline)
Walk down East West Highway (410) / Ride On Bus 28 (towards Silver Spring) or free VanGo bus.

Proceeds to help elect Donna Edwards and a more progressive Congress in 2008.

When: 6 PM - 9 PM Monday, June 2, 2008

Where: Mayorga Coffee Factory
8040 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910

You may also bring a check or cash to the event.

Yours in the movement,

Mike Hersh
PDA Maryland State Coordinator

P.S. Please sign the Healthcare NOT Warfare petition and ask your friends to sign as well.

This message was not paid for or coordinated with any candidate.

Progressive Democrats of America is a grassroots PAC that works both inside the Democratic Party and outside in movements for peace and justice. Our goal: Elect a permanent, progressive majority in 2008. PDA's advisory board includes seven members of Congress and activist leaders such as Tom Hayden, Medea Benjamin, Thom Hartmann, Jim Hightower and Rev. Lennox Yearwood.

Spread the Progressive Word--Shop PDAstore!