Know your nonprofit: The Nevada County Chapter of Health Care for All |

Know your nonprofit: The Nevada County Chapter of Health Care for All

Editor’s note: The Nevada County Chapter of Health Care for All is hosting an event next Monday, “Mad as Hell Doctors,” in Nevada City to offer an entertaining education about the group’s only issue: Pass legislation in California providing single-payer health care coverage.

What is your mission statement?

To educate the public about single-payer health care and the California legislation that creates this system.

What is your yearly budget, and how many paid employees do you have?

We are volunteers and keep our costs low – spending on average of about $400 yearly – working with money we get from memberships, donations and occasional fundraisers.

What is your nonprofit’s history?

Health Care for All was founded in 1995. Our work has put single payer at the center of the debate about fixing California’s broken health care system.

In 1998, we helped draft the original single payer bill, Senate Bill 2123, and have been instrumental in its success as SB 840, which passed in the Legislature in 2006 and 2008, but vetoed by the governor each time.

Who is your primary audience?

Anyone who wants to see real reform. Most people we speak with do not have any health insurance and are very concerned about the new mandate that will come into effect in 2014. Many of our members are Medicare recipients who fear for their children and grandchildren.

List your biggest achievements.

In addition to helping create single-payer legislation, our statewide campaign, California One Care, produces educational videos and innovative Internet ads.

Our local chapter has more than doubled its membership in the last four months. We have started doing home parties to educate people in the comfort of their homes with friends they invite. Raising awareness of this legislation and its benefits is essential to achieving our goal.

List your biggest challenges.

• The misinformation put out by the insurance industry. The system we are proposing is basically improved Medicare for all. Once people understand that, they are on board.

• Finding political leaders with a moral backbone to do the right thing. Universal coverage happened in other countries only when they first addressed the moral issue. We need to have this discussion.

• People who agree, but think it’s hopeless. Evil triumphs when good men and women remain silent. Civil rights, women’s vote – these weren’t accomplished by people giving up.

What is your No. 1 short-term goal?

Keep educating the public about single-payer and its legislation.

What is your No. 1 long-term goal?

Get single-payer passed in California, and the rest of the nation will follow.

What is your major fundraiser and date?

“Mad As Hell Doctors” at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 11, at the Nevada Theatre, downtown Nevada City. A group of West Coast doctors who toured the country last year to educate the public about single-payer are now focusing on California with a 20-city tour.

They will present music, video, a panel discussion and a question-and-answer period. The event is free. We are dedicating this in memory of our friend and avid single payer advocate, the late Terry Fieldhouse, who inspired this event.

What is the best way to help?

• Join our organization.

• Donate.

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