Meeting Minutes from InspireSeattle Social on November 6, 2010

Health Care Reform

Our speaker for the evening, Dr. Bob Crittenden is the Executive Director of the Herndon Alliance (, a coalition of over ninety national and state organizations focusing on affordable health care for all people in America. The Herndon Alliance focuses on expanding the base of people supporting affordable health care for everyone by assessing and addressing the values people hold and improving communications and policies that address those values. He has worked for the state legislature, been a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow with Senator George Mitchell, was special assistant to Governor Gardner for health, and is chief of Harborview Medical Center�s Family Medicine Service. Bob has practiced as a Family Physician and been involved in health reform for over thirty years in Central and Southeast Seattle with urban underserved people.

During the evening discussion Dr. Crittenden emphasized why we need to support the Democrats plan for health care reform. Among the points discussed:

  • For the first time Congress has provided a comprehensive framework for extending coverage and increasing efficiency. We have further to go but remember that in the beginning Social Security failed to cover most women, African-Americans and the disabled.
  • The U.S. ranked #1 in health outcomes in 1950 but now the U.S. ranks below every other developed nation in health outcomes (#37 to #47 depending on the criteria used). This drop in ranking has come in spite of an annual 7% increase in health care costs in recent years.
  • About 50 million Americans currently have no health insurance coverage.
  • Despite their cry to repeal the Democratic health care reform, Republicans have previously proposed about two-thirds of its provisions.
  • Contrary to opponents' rhetoric, the current health care reform does not reduce Medicare coverage. It actually introduces cost-saving preventative care and fills the donut-hole in prescription coverage. The reform does eliminate Medicare Advantage coverage, a failed free-market alternative which costs 17% more than traditional Medicare while offering no additional benefits.
  • The United Kingdom has demonstrated that costs and outcomes can be improved by emphasizing primary health care and providing incentives to physicians for preventative care and for maintaining wellness in their patients.

This month we lost a friend, a devoted member and a tireless advocate for children.

Jule Sugarman

You will be missed!


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Thank you to
Carrie Bogner for hosting (left)
and speaker, Dr. Bob Crittendon (right)


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