-----Original Message-----
From: Scott McLarty <smclarty@graypanthers.org>
To: tfuller@graypanthers.org
Date: Monday, March 27, 2000 4:07 PM
Subject: Gray Panthers Action Alert, Monday, March 27, 2000
 Gray Panthers
Action Alert

Monday, March 27, 2000


1.    Beware "Citizens for Better Medicare" and "Flo"!
2.    Take Action! Protest the media's misleading reports about universal health care!
3.    Announcements

(Print this out and give copies to friends and family who might not be plugged in to the e-mail circuit!)

BEWARE "Citizens for Better Medicare"!

Tell your friends and neighbors that "Flo" is a phony!

The Medicare Rights Center cautions Medicare consumers and consumer organizations that an outfit calling itself "Citizens for Better Medicare" is really a front group for the pharmaceutical industry, and its purpose is to mislead older Americans into supporting "bipartisan" legislation that would destroy Medicare and make health care more expensive.

The pharmaceutical industry has been running ads with "Flo" to persuade seniors that we should dump Medicare and adopt a voucher system that would limit choice of physicians and hospitals and drive up the cost of medicine.

The Medicare Rights Center notes that "Medicare pays for care from almost any doctor or hospital in America.;. But, because Medicare does not cover prescription drugs, older Americans pay twice as much for their prescription drugs as people who are covered by employee health plans. Older Americans also pay more for their medications than people living in other industrialized nations."

The pharmaceutical industry does NOT want older Americans to get their drugs for lower prices, which is why they hired Flo to confuse people in their TV ads.


FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting) has monitored US media coverage of universal health care, and exposed recent mis-reporting on the "failure" of the Canadian system. Recent broadcasts of ABC News and issues of The New York Times have emphasized long waits in Canadian hospitals and suggested that Canadians would prefer an American style system.

What they failed to report was that, even with problems, Canada's system remains much more efficient and accessible than US care. American health costs per capita were $4,000 last year, compared with $1,800 for Canadians. Over 14% of domestic spending goes to US health care, compared to 9% in Canadian. 24% of American spending goes to administrative costs, compared to 11% for Canada. Meanwhile, ALL Canadians are covered, while over 44 million Americans remain uninsured.


The next time you see biased reporting by American news sources, call and complain! Tell them privatization and managed care have ruined American health care.

FAIR urges readers to ask "ABC News and the New York Times to take another look at the issue of Canada's health system. Urge them to cover the full range of debate in Canada on how best to improve the system -- not just the views of those who favor privatization."


*    Peter Jennings, ABC World News Tonight, netaudr@abc.com
*    James Brooke, New York Times, brooke@nytimes.com

Please "cc" letters to fair@fair.org. (See the reprinted FAIR announcement below.)

Get more information at FAIRs web site: http://www.fair.org/activism/canada-health.html



Send us your announcements! Let other Gray Panthers know about news and upcoming events in your chapter and your city!


National: April 1

On Rescue Health Care Day, Americans will have the opportunity to stand together to proclaim their vote of "No Confidence" in corporate managed health care and to support and learn from a national dialogue on alternative systems of health insurance so that we can soon replace managed care with something better. All Americans are invited to attend, organize, and/or participate in:

1. Day of Teach-Ins on April 1

2. Hour of Protest: Arrange for a designated location in their community for an Hour of Protest between 11:30 am and 12:30 pm on Rescue Health Care Day.

3. Minute of Silence, beginning at 12 Noon on Rescue Health Care Day, to mark the death of quality care and the deaths of and harm done to patients at the hands of managed care.

Date: April 1, 2000. Why April 1st??? Because April 1st is April Fool's Day and many Americans feel they have been fooled by the promises of the managed care industry.

More information: http://www.rescuehealthcareday.com, or contact Karen Shore, Ph.D., President of the National Coalition of Mental Health Professionals and Consumers, Inc., 1-888-SAY-NO-MC or 516-424-5232, e-mail NCMHPC@AOL.COM, web site http://www.NoManagedCare.org.


Washington, DC, April 1

Right to Health Care Day, Saturday, April 1, at 1 pm: Rally on the west steps of the Capitol in Washington, DC.

As part of a national, grass-roots organizing effort, some 35 cities are mounting individual actions against HMOs and corporate health care on the first of April. In solidarity with the national effort, the local Washington, DC initiative will offer a "Right to Health Care Day!" For more information, contact Ayo Handy Kendi, 202-291-8813. Organized by Patients United for a National Health Plan.


National, April 3-10

Candle Light Vigil For The Uninsured

April 3-10, 2000

44.3 million people lack health insurance. 100,000 Americans lose their health insurance every month. On the first week of April, the American Medical Student Association will hold candle light vigils for the uninsured in cities across the United States. If a city near you is not listed here and you would like to organize a vigil, please contact Simon Ahtaridis the legislative affairs director, at lad@www.amsa.org.

Participating Cities:

Baltimore, Maryland: April 3rd
Boston, Massachusetts: April 15th
Houston, Texas: TBA
Nashville, Tennessee: TBA
New York, New York: TBA
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: TBA
American Medical Student Association

(703) 620-6600    (800) 767-2266    amsa@www.amsa.org


Washington, DC, April 3

Mental Health IS Public Health!

Day long (8 am to 5 pm) conference and exhibits at the George Washington University Marvin Center, Monday, April 3, 800 21st Street NW (Foggy Bottom Metro) in Washington, DC. For complete program info: http://www.dc.net./tomkelly/mwpha. Registration (includes Box Lunch): $40 members/$50 non-members, $35 Retirees, Unemployed, Seniors, $15 Students. Scholarships available for Consumers & Family Member.

CEU credits in Health Education, Social Work and Nursing. Deadline for registration March 27. CoSponsors: GWUSPHHS; IMHI; PAHO; DC NAMI; PH Nurses Interest Group.


Washington, DC, April 15

Just Health Care Health Fair and Teach-in on national health insurance, with workshops on what we can do to achieve national coverage. Saturday, April 15, organized by the Just Health Care coalition. Georgetown University, McNeir Hall, 37th and O Streets NW in Washington, DC, from 8:30 am to 5 pm.

Registration and more information: Just Health Care Coalition, 3400 18th Street NW, Washington, DC 20018, (202) 636-0003, http://www.freespeech.org/justhealthcare

There will also be a candlelight vigil organized by Patients United for a National Health Plan as a follow-up to the Fair and Teach-in.


Whats happening across the country? Send us notice of your events and let other Gray Panthers know what you're up to!


Gray Panthers

733 15th Street, NW, Suite 437
Washington, DC 20005

Contact:   Tim Fuller or Scott McLarty,  202-737-6637, 1-800-280-5362