September 2023 Events and Newsletter


Join National Single Payer Wednesday, September 13 at 5pm PT / 8pm ET as we welcome Linda Phenix, co-chair and co-founder of the Texas Task Force to Protect Medicare from Privatization. This group succeeded in getting the Texas Alliance for Retired Americans and the Texas Democratic Party Executive Committee to pass resolutions against ACO REACH. No small potatoes in Texas!

The title of this month’s Educational Session is “Civil Rights, Medicare, the Desegregation of American Hospitals, and the Menace of ‘Value-Based’ Care.” The 30-minute presentation describes the little-known, yet extremely important connections between the Civil Rights Movement and the passage of Medicare, and how Medicare desegregated every American hospital in less than one year. But Linda does not stop there. She carefully dissects “value-based” payment models peddled by CMS/CMMI, including ACO REACH, how CMS/CMMI are selling traditional Medicare to corporations, threatening to end a beloved public program, Medicare.

About Linda Phenix
Linda Phenix is a grassroots activist in Houston and a lifelong Texan. Her interest in health care justice started as a performing artist. During her 30-year career as a dance educator, dance company director, and a resident director of a theater company, Linda heard countless stories from artists who couldn’t afford health care. Linda also witnessed how ‘managed care negatively impacted her husband’s mental health practice.

Linda is co-chair and co-founder of the Texas Task Force to Protect Medicare from Privatization which educates and activates groups to join the fight to save traditional Medicare. She is a member of National Single Payer, Physicians for a National Program, Health Care for All Texas, the Houston based PNHP chapter, and a member of the candidate endorsement committee of Our Revolution Harris County.


Do you want to get down to the joy of working for National Single Payer? Join us September 27 for the NSP Working Group Session! This is where the work of educating, activating, organizing, and mobilizing happens!

You must register in advance for the Working Group meeting on September 27.

After registering, you will also receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

We hope to see you soon!

News From CMS / CMMI

Our Educational session this month will shine a light on the continued struggle to oppose ACO REACH, which enrolls traditional Medicare subscribers in accountable care organizations run by for-profit corporations. This stealth enrollment happens without the permission of Medicare beneficiaries based on the affiliation of their primary care doctor.

Opposition to the profit-driven managed care ACO REACH program was swift and was led by NSP, PNHP and groups of retired Americans. In response, CMMI rebranded and added an “equity” program but allowed the program to go forward in 2023. This technical bulletin describes changes to CMMI’s ACO REACH program, designed to “stabilize future participation” and changed some benchmarks for identifying “underserved beneficiaries.” These updates indicate that CMMI is committed to the privatization scheme that is ACO REACH. As Linda will describe on September 13, it will take courage to oppose the privatization of Medicare, and we must continue the fight.

Medicare (Dis)Advantage

It’s that time of year, prepare to be SOLD (OUT) on Medicare Advantage during Medicare open enrollment (otherwise known as “open season”)! This article by NSP member Doug Stephenson gives a comprehensive overview of the privatization of Medicare that is reaping billions for private health insurers. We need to demand an end to Medicare Advantage!

Whipping Egg-Whips: Retirees Are Winning Battles Against Medicare Advantage

In a country inundated with ads falsely praising the benefits of MA plans, it is amazing that grassroots organizations have cut through the gibberish, exposed the lies, and are fighting to keep their traditional Medicare with promised supplementary coverage. This article, by NSP Steering Committee member Kay Tillow, recounts what happens when we organize and fight back! This is a must read, and don’t you want to know what eggs have to do with it?

Hidden fees just to get paid electronically?

This article chronicles the relentless quest by a self-employed physician to get paid by insurance companies for his services without having to pay a fee. ProPublica has exposed a story of a lobbyist who “convinced a federal agency that doctors can be forced to pay fees on money that health insurers owe them”.