Illinois Single-Payer Coalition
For upcoming single-payer events in Illinois:
Illinois Universal Health Care Act — HB 108 (link)
The Illinois Universal Health Care Act (HB 108, formerly HB 311 and HB 942) establishes a statewide single-payer health insurance plan to provide comprehensive health benefits to all Illinoisans equally.
Speakers and Media Contacts
DAVID ANSELL, MD, MPH, FACP
Dr. David Ansell is an internal medicine physician currently serving as chief medical officer at Rush University Medical Center and associate dean and senior vice president for clinical affairs and the Michael E. Kelly MD Presidential Professor at Rush Medical College.
Dr. Ansell has much of his career as a physician leader and social epidemiologist, focusing on the dual evils of poverty and racism and their role in health care inequality in Chicago. He continues his service to the medically underserved in his volunteer activities at the Community Health Clinic, a free clinic in Chicago, and with his medical relief work annually in the Dominican Republic.
Before coming to Rush, Dr. Ansell was chairman of the department of internal medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital Medical Center in Chicago and executive vice chairman of internal medicine at the Chicago Medical School. Dr. Ansell performed his residency at Cook County Hospital, and worked there until 1995 in various positions. He has served on the board of directors for the Cook County Health System where he was chair of the Quality and Patient Safety Committee.
Dr. Ansell has a masters in public health from the University of Illinois School of Public Health and has written extensively about health disparities. Most recently, he wrote “County: Life, Death and Politics at Chicago’s Public Hospital,” a memoir about his years spent working at Cook County. The book speaks to the U.S.’s failure to address the most unjust of all the inequities present in the world’s richest society – that of health inequity. “County” received critical acclaim in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and National Public Radio’s “Fresh Air” program, and it was recognized by the Wall Street Journal as one of the top five books on health in 2011.
CLAUDIA FEGAN, MD, CHCQM FACP
Dr. Claudia Fegan is national coordinator of Physicians for a National Health Program. In her current and past leadership roles in PNHP she has appeared on national television and radio programs on behalf of the organization, and has testified before congressional committees on a wide range of health care issues. She has lectured extensively to both medical and community audiences on health care reform in the U.S. and Canada, and is a co-author of the book “Universal Healthcare: What the United States Can Learn from Canada" and a contributor to "10 Excellent Reasons for National Health Care.”
Dr. Fegan is executive medical officer for the Cook County Health and Hospital System and chief medical officer at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County. She is also president of the Chicago-based Health and Medicine Policy Research Group. In 2016, Modern Healthcare named Dr. Fegan one of "10 Minority Executives to Watch," noting her achievements in the medical profession and her single-payer activism.
Dr. Fegan received her undergraduate degree from Fisk University and her medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine. She is also certified in health care quality and management and is a diplomate of the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians.
PAMELLA GRONEMEYER, MD
Dr. Pam Gronemeyer is a PNHP member, co-president of PNHP-IL (southern division), board member of Missourians for Single-Payer, and vice president of the Illinois Single Payer Coalition board. She is a board-certified anatomic and clinical pathologist. She received a biology degree from Washington University in St. Louis; attended Tufts University School of Medicine; and completed her pathology residencies at New England Deaconess Hospital in Boston, Barnes-Jewish Hospital of St. Louis, and St. Louis University Hospitals.
Dr. Gronemeyer is the director and a woman small business owner of SEMC Pathology, LLC in Highland, IL, a pathology business that provides services to six critical access hospitals in southwestern Illinois - St. Joseph's Hospital (Highland, IL), Red Bud Regional hospital (Red Bud, IL), Washington County Hospital (Nashville, IL), Pinckneyville Community Hospital (Pinckneyville, IL), Marshall Browning Hospital (DuQuoin, IL) and Community Memorial Hospital (Staunton, IL). The service also runs a CAP accredited cytology laboratory with testing for sexually-transmitted diseases and gynecologic and nongynecologic cytologies.
She is actively involved in directing the infection control committees in the hospitals as well as working on quality assurance activities and advocating for patient safety. She believes "healthcare is a human right" and provides healthcare insurance to her employees and their dependents. She is an activist in her community and in the healthcare arena. As the child of a late union laborer, she knows that our safety net is vital to the preservation of our democracy.
SUSAN ROGERS, MD, FACP
Dr. Susan Rogers, recently retired, is a volunteer attending hospitalist and internist at the John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County. She previously was co-director of medical student programs for the Department of Medicine. She is also assistant professor of medicine at Rush University, where she is active on the committee of admissions, and assistant professor of medicine at Rosalind Franklin University. She has received numerous teaching awards from Stroger Hospital, Rush University, and Rosalind Franklin University.
Dr. Rogers received her medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine and completed her residency at Cook County Hospital, where she served as chief resident. She is a past co-president of Health Care for All Illinois, and she previously served on the boards of the Near North Health Service Corp, a FQHC in Chicago, and Ancona School. Dr. Rogers is a member of the American College of Physicians, the Society of General Internal Medicine, and the National Medical Association.
PNHP Illinois Steering Committee
Saad Alvi, MD, FACP
David Ansell MD, MPH, FACP
Nahiris Bahamon, MD, Resident Representative
Kathy Bottum, MD, PhD
Duane Dowell, MD, Past Co-President
Ray Drasga, MD
Claudia Fegan, MD, CHCQM, FACP
Pamella Gronemeyer, MD, FCAP, Co-President for Southern Illinois
Arielle Hirschfeld, MD, Resident Representative
Carol Krohm, MD
Alex Neuman, DO, Resident Representative
Peter Orris, MD, MPH, FACP, FACOEM
Simon Piller, MD
William Reed, MD
Anne Robin, MD
Susan Rogers, MD, FACP, Past Co-President
James Ronayne, MD
Anne Scheetz, MD, FACP, Organizer
Alap Shah, MD, Co-President for Northern Illinois
Phil Verhoef, MD, PhD, Immediate Past Co-President
Daniel Yohanna, MD
Organizations Supporting Single Payer Health Care
Illinois State News
By Phil Arvia | Daily Southtown, April 17, 2017
Obamacare, Trumpcare, I don't care. There is no fixing U.S. health care as it now teeters, a festering bureaucracy that spends more money on patients than any other country in the world yet lets them die faster than many nations supposedly our lesser siblings.
By Bill Knight | Morton (Ill.) Times-News, Oct. 31, 2016
Illinoisans who don’t have health insurance through their jobs or from individual policies they bought face premium hikes as sign-up starts this week for the Affordable Care Act, and those who fault President Obama for everything from Bears quarterback Jay Cutler to another danged week of Daylight Saving Time aren’t hesitating to blame Obama.
By Mark Neahring, M.D. | The News-Gazette (Champaign, Ill.), Letters, Oct. 25, 2016
The News-Gazette editorial board accurately expressed the frustration of many when it critiqued President Obama's signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act. But it got a very important point wrong. The ACA is not an "all-encompassing government-run health care program."
By Johanna Ryan and Anne Scheetz | Fox Valley (Ill.) Labor News, Oct. 7, 2016
In Illinois and around the nation, big business has labeled workers’ compensation a system in crisis. Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has depicted it as a millstone around the necks of Illinois employers, who he claims are shelling out too much money to treat injuries that might not even be work-related.
By Anne Scheetz, M.D. | The State Journal-Register, Oct. 12, 2016
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel may seem like political adversaries, but they've made common cause on at least one issue: public employees' health insurance. Unfortunately, they haven't acted to relieve employees from rising premiums, sky-high deductibles, and unconscionable drug prices.
By Pamela Brick | Chicago Tribune, Aug. 26, 2016
The money collected from insurance premiums should not contribute toward the profit of a company, but instead should be applied to the health care needs of those covered.
By Craig Klugman, Ph.D. | Bioethics.net Blog, Aug. 24, 2016
In Illinois, Land of Lincoln insurance and Aetna announced that they are pulling out of the health insurance Marketplace. In other states, United HealthCare and Humana have announced pulling out of the exchanges. As a result, many newspaper headlines and political pundits have declared the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as Obamacare) to be in a “death spiral.”
By Ameet Sachdev | Chicago Tribune, July 15, 2016
Bill Kottmann, president and CEO of Edward Hospital in Naperville, said the current mix of private insurance and government insurance programs is "mind-boggling" for hospitals to figure out, let alone consumers. Moving to a health system fully funded by the government would be compassionate because it would be there for everyone...
By William Reed, M.D. | Lake Geneva Regional News
The reality is that in our country private, investor-owned insurance plans have proven over 25 years that they have no power to control costs or prices. Yet, they are one of the most profitable sectors of the economy. Other counters spend one-half to one-third less on total national health care, cover all citizens and have better outcomes that we do.
By Anna Zelivianskaia | Chicago Medicine, April 2016
In a world with rapid news cycles and constant updates, medical students have found a way to make lasting change. Through the Chicago Medical Society they are introducing and advocating for resolutions on issues that are important to them.
By Anne Scheetz, M.D. | The New York Times, Letters, May 23, 2016
Our health care costs more because our administrative costs, a result of a financing system that relies on for-profit insurance companies, are so high. Some of those costs are borne by physicians, who must pay for complex billing systems, denial management, preauthorization requirements, collections management and bad debt, as well as devoting patient time to discussing insurance coverage rather than medical issues.
By PNHP staff | PNHP Spring Newsletter, May 2016
The Chicago Medical Society has voted to create a “research committee to analyze the benefits and difficulties with instituting and maintaining a single-payer health care system in Illinois … and the United States, with consideration of both economic and health outcome and health disparity improvements.”
By Mark Chee, Rebecca Gieseker and Rachel Stones | Chicago Maroon, March 31, 2016
As medical students, we have chosen a profession dedicated to treating illness and helping people live healthy lives. Yet, early on during our training, we learn about the unequal access to care, unaffordable treatments, and medical debt that patients face because of our current private, for-profit health insurance system.
By Anne Scheetz, M.D. | Illinois Single-Payer Coalition
Health professions students from five Illinois universities rallied in Chicago and Rockford on October 1 as part of a Medicare for All National Student Day of Action, also called TenOne Day of Action.
By Jordan Centers | Illinois Single-Payer Coalition
Despite the Affordable Care Act’s undeniable success in extending health coverage to more people and in curbing some of the health insurance industry’s worst practices, recent reports show our nation still has 33 million people who are uninsured, a comparable number who are inadequately insured, sharply rising deductibles and copays, and skyrocketing pharmaceutical drug prices. The 2010 health law clearly did not go far enough.
By Anne Scheetz, M.D. | The State Journal-Register (Springfield, Ill.)
People with severe forms of the disease require a lot of care. But current U.S. policy systematically erects barriers to care.
By Scott Rappaport | Hyde Park Herald
On Oct. 1, students at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine will join thousands of other medical students across the country in rallying for universal, single-payer health care reform.
By William R. Reed, M.D. | Lake Geneva (Wis.) Regional News
I am writing about the difficult situation of health care in the United States.
By Anne Scheetz, M.D. | Illinois Single-Payer Coalition
So proclaimed approximately 200 representatives of National Nurses United (NNU), the Illinois Single-Payer Coalition (ISPC), Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), Students for a National Health Program (SNaHP), and more than twenty Chicago labor and community groups on July 30, the 50th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid.
By Anne Scheetz, M.D., and Hale Landes | Fox Valley Labor News
Multi-employer or Taft-Hartley plans — a “made-in-America” source of health coverage and other benefits for more than 20 million U.S. workers, retirees, and their families — are under serious threat.
Single Payer News, July 19, 2015
Thomas Cleary, Secretary-Treasurer of Stagehands Local 2 in Chicago, reports that his local has wholeheartedly endorsed HR 676, Congressman John Conyers' national single payer health care legislation, Expanded and Improved Medicare for All.
National Nurses United, July 23, 2015
CHICAGO -- Registered nurses and other community leaders will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid Thursday July 30 with a festive event and action in Chicago.
By James Ronayne, M.D. | Chicago Sun-Times
Medicare has become one of our nation’s most beloved social programs. Today it’s part of the U.S. tradition, as American as apple pie.
By Pamella Gronemeyer, M.D. | St. Louis Post-Dispatch
As a physician, I felt compelled to write a letter concerning the King v. Burwell case decision announced last week. The Supreme Court upheld the right for citizens of all states to benefit from the federal subsidies.
Single Payer News, April 29, 2015
At its regular meeting on April 15, 2015, the Champaign County AFL-CIO unanimously endorsed H.R. 676, national single-payer health care legislation sponsored by Congressman John Conyers (D-Mich.).
By Anna Zelivianskaia, MS3 | AMSA On Call blog
I am currently on the general medicine wards — the bread and butter of a medical student’s training. As I started the roller coaster of inpatient care, I expected long hours, difficult patients, and even spending a substantial amount of time documenting my every move. What I did not expect was talking about medical insurance ten times a day.
By Rick Miller | Olean (N.Y.) Times Herald
OLEAN — The U.S. health care system is more costly and less effective than many other developed nations, a Chicago physician told members of the Cattaraugus County Healthy Liveable Communities Consortium on Thursday.
By Anne Scheetz, M.D. | Illinois Single Payer Coalition
On Jan. 14, 2015, Representative Mary Flowers of Chicago introduced the Illinois Universal Health Care Act in the 99th Illinois General Assembly as House Bill 108.
By Scott Goldberg | Chicago Sun-Times
On December 10, medical students at more than 70 schools across the country held “white coat die-ins” in response to the lack of indictments in the police killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in New York.
By Anne Scheetz, M.D. | Chicago Tribune
Some of the newly insured have joined the ranks of those who can't afford to use their health coverage because their out-of-pocket costs are so high. This is an inevitable problem in a system in which people's total costs -- premiums plus deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance and non-covered expenses -- are related poorly if at all to what they have left after paying for food, housing, utilities, transportation and other necessities.
By Pamella Gronemeyer, M.D. | St. Louis Post-Dispatch
We are thrilled to help celebrate Medicare's 49th anniversary this week. Medicare, which was passed into law in 1965 under President Lyndon B. Johnson, provides the elderly and disabled health care benefits that would not be available to them in our profit-driven (and -ridden) fragmented insurance market.
By Anne Scheetz, M.D. | State Journal-Register (Springfield, Ill.)
Forty-nine years ago, on July 30, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare and Medicaid into law. ... The contrast between the ways in which people become eligible for Medicare and Medicaid is instructive for the next transformation that American health care needs so urgently: expanded and improved Medicare for all.
Single Payer News, June 22, 2014
The Chicago chapter of Jobs with Justice has endorsed H.R. 676, national single-payer legislation sponsored by Congressman John Conyers of Michigan. H.R. 676 is also called “Expanded and Improved Medicare for All.”
By Pat Barcas | Fox Valley Labor News
CHICAGO — Discussion about single payer, universal health care has been ongoing for the last 100 years. Now, Dr. Andrew Coates says the fight is about to come to an impasse — this country needs universal health care to move forward.
By Scott Goldberg | Chicago Tribune
Nominally nonprofit health insurers are reaping huge financial gains by employing the same practices as for-profit insurers (claim denials, restrictive networks) and paying for as little actual health care as possible.
By Pat Barcas | Fox Valley Labor News
CHICAGO — Single-payer health care, or universal health care, is care paid for by the government through taxation. The United States does not offer this, falling woefully behind other industrialized nations in health care, and advocates want to change that through legislation.
By Carol Krohm and Scott K. Summers | Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, Ill.)
Health care for the poor is another dimension warranting comment. Fortunately, the new Affordable Care Act will help some of our neighbors in need. Under the ACA, community clinics are expanding. Medicaid eligibility has been broadened.
By Bill Knight | Pekin (Ill.) Times Americans for years have been annoyed and angered by escalating health-care costs, declining insurance coverage and millions of neighbors who haven’t been able to get health insurance, and the Affordable Care Act has started to cope with the latter problem.
By Brandon Sandine | Rockford Register Star
The Illinois General Assembly agreed to accept federal monies to expand Medicaid in our state beginning in 2014.