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End Tax Loopholes For Drug Companies
1 year ago

62% of all bankruptcies in America are caused by medical bills.  Yet big drug companies get a $230 billion dollar tax loophole that prohibits Medicare from negotiating lower prices.  The laws that allow this must stop.


End Tax Loopholes For Drug Companies

Petition to Support Single-Payer in Vermont
3 years ago

Please note this article on C2NN & sign petition:

Petition to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius: Let Vermont Implement Their Single-Payer Health Care System
Petition to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius: Let Vermont Implement Their Single-Payer Health Care System


This post was modified from its original form on 27 May, 4:02
John Nichols: We need ‘Medicare for all'
3 years ago
John Nichols: Ryan’s wrong — we need ‘Medicare for all'

House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan proposes to undermine the integrity of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, with an eye toward enriching the insurance companies that so generously fund his campaigns.

 

The American people are not amused. They have sent clear signals that they want to maintain Medicare and Medicaid.

 

Ryan’s town hall meetings in April featured noisy opposition in communities such as Milton and Kenosha, and tough questioning even in the most conservative communities of Walworth County. Likewise, Republican House members from Pennsylvania, Florida and other states got earfuls at their town meetings.

 

The protests at the meetings were just the tip of the iceberg of objection to the plan championed by Ryan, R-Janesville.

Polls show that roughly 80 percent of voters think it is a bad idea to try to balance the budget by gutting Medicare and Medicaid as Ryan proposes — with a scheme to force seniors to buy coverage from private, for-profit insurance companies that happen to be major contributors to his campaign fund. Overwhelming majorities say that they would prefer that Congress end tax cuts for wealthy Americans and reduce Pentagon spending before making any changes to Medicare and Medicaid.


Read more:

http://www.readersupportednews.org/off-site-opinion-section/83-83/5984-paul-ryan-is-wrong-we-need-medicare-for-all

Fight the Insurance Lobbyist Army
4 years ago

I know this isn't a Universal Single Payer Health Care petition, but I feel we must act on this:

The HMO and insurance industries have spent a breathtaking $769 million since 2007 to influence federal public policy and elected officials. In 2010 they have not let up, despite passage of the new health reform law. They're now trying to undermine the law with intense pressure on state officials to water down the federal provisions and interfere with their implementation.

Click here and fight back against the insurance industry's army of lobbyists.



This post was modified from its original form on 13 Aug, 15:19
5 years ago

PUT HR676 in EVERY WINDOW IN THE COUNTRY NOW!!!!

 

 

ADVERTISDE!!!!

 

I'll get pictures here soon

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=293263660251&index=1

6 years ago

Health Care Reform Hits the Road The health care reform battle is heating up on several fronts. While the president takes his reform message the people, the volunteers who powered his campaign are listening to Americans and gathering their stories. USAToday:"Organizing for America, the Democratic group drawn from Obama's campaign e-mail lists, is busy collecting chronicles about the existing health care system: People who have lost their insurance, can't pay their medical bills, or see their businesses threatened by rising costs. The hope is that the weight of testimony will pressure Congress into translating Obama's vision for health care reform into legislation."

Campaign for America's Future's Bernie Horn heard some of those stories and shared them (including his own), as he continued the discussion on single-payer health care reform.

Even as he raises the stakes on health reform, President Obama is also lowering expectations, telling Americans that a complete overhaul could take years. AP; The president is calling on Americans to support his health care reform proposal.

Volunteers are calling on Americans to share their health insurance horror stories. But wait, here come the number crunchers. MSNBC: "Whether President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats succeed in crafting health insurance legislation may depend as much on faceless analysts in the Congressional Budget Office as it does on the political calculus of the situation. That's because the CBO's determination whether a specific proposal's revenue and cost projections add up will go a long way toward determining if it will fly."

WaPo's Ezra Klein says "Don't Overestimate the Congressional Budget Office": "Its estimates are, by definition, conservative, because the CBO can only give you numbers based on old ideas that we've tried and studied, not new ideas that we're preparing to implement. As a senator once said to me, it's like a navigator who tells you where you're going by staring into the rearview mirror."

Robert Parry of Consortium News says that to understand the financial stakes involved in health care reform, the two most important numbers to keep in mind are 50 million and 119 million.

Not that there was any doubt, but the insurance industry knows the financial stakes involved, if their increased spending on lobbying is any indication. USAToday: "The largest medical insurers and drug companies spent 41% more on lobbying this year as Congress began debate on an overhaul of health care, which may include a public insurance plan the industries oppose."

Spending more on lobbyists may pay off for the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. Senate Democrats are offering to scrap the public plan option as a "compromise" on health car reform. McClatchy: "Baucus emerged from a morning session with key Republicans and Democrats saying he was "inclined toward" jettisoning the proposed government insurance program, which President Barack Obama endorsed last week, in favor of a new proposal to create national, state and regional health care insurance cooperatives. ..Baucus said that the public insurance plan option is "so opposed at this point by Republicans" that "it's basically the question of, well, gee, what do we have to do to compromise to get health care passed this year?"

Well, gee. Senator, what's it worth to ya? OpenSecrets counts pharmaceuticals, HMOs, health professionals, hospitals, and the insurance industry the top 20 industries contributing to Baucus' campaign coffers - to the tune of more than $2 million for 2005 - 2010.

The financial stakes in health care reform are pretty big for small business, according to a recent study. Reuters: "Small businesses would benefit significantly from an overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system even if they were required to help pay for the medical coverage of their employees, a study release on Thursday said."

What proressives knows and some Senate Democrats don't, when it comes to health reform (among other issues), ePluribus Media's Carol White sums up as she concludes a three-part seires of posts on the America's Future Now! conference. "The sweeping Democratic party victory in the last election signalled that a majority of Americans were no longer willing to buy the into the illusion pedalled by right-wing ideologues, that the magic of the market place and greed constituted the American Dream, now that more and more people were faced with a nightmare reality. ...President Obama may or may not rise up to the challenge but much will depend on how successful grass-roots organizing will be in strengthening the clout of the Progressive Caucus in the House and Senate. As the polls show Americans are looking to the President and Congress to enact progressive legislation."

 


Write to the President, every day, let him know we're backing him up:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/



Click Here For Contacting Congress State by State.


Look up your members of Congress and call them now:http://my.barackobama.com/callcongress



This post was modified from its original form on 12 Jun, 10:46
Toll-free numbers to the Congressional switchboard
6 years ago

Here are the toll-free numbers to the congressional switchboard:

  • 1-800-828-0498
  • 1-800-459-1887
  • 1-800-614-2803
  • 1-866-340-9281
  • 1-866-338-1015
  • 1-866-220-0044
  • 1-877-851-6437
Pressure is having an impact
6 years ago

I just heard from one of Conyers' aides that Waxman and Conyers were talking and said that the "Single Payer Vehemence" is apparently serving to weaken Repubs & insur co objections - they think it is one reason the Blue Dogs in the Senate decided they needed to stake out a starting negotiating place. And this demonstrates the importance of making calls even if your reps are Republicans.

 

Action needed ASAP!

So we need to expand our networks and keep up the pressure.

Lots of things to do - numbers to call, etc. here:

http://www.care2.com/news/member/748310254/1162678

 

Also important to note - Baucus excluded Single Payer advocates from the table.  Kennedy, when asked to include, said "come sit here...." for his hearing on the 11th (think that is right).  

 

One other note - I know people at this site love petitions - but having worked for a state legislator and for a congressperson on the hill and on national staff for a presidential campaign I will tell you that they are useless - they make people fell like they did something while accomplishing nothing.  The only time they work is when they are hand delivered in a face to face meeting by real advocates for the issue who can speak well on the issue.  Only then, when the rep believes that organization can harness the power of all those contacts to action, will the signatures have any impact at all.

 

You need actual phone calls, faxes, snail mail and face to face meetings to effect change.

 

 

 

 

 

 



This post was modified from its original form on 09 Jun, 7:27
Your vote needed ASAP
6 years ago

 

"For June 4, 2009 the members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus will be having a conversation with you about the details of a public plan as part of healthcare reform. What questions - about the politics or about the policy - would you like them to answer?"

 

Comment and/or vote here:

 

http://feedback.progressivecongress.org/pages/19810-healthcare-public-plan-criteria-june-4-2009

 

These sessions are covered by CSpan at the end of the day's biz in the House - but not listed on the CSpan schedule seperately - just as part of their routine House of Representatives coverage.

 

You can see a transcriipt of the last session on healthcare here:

 

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/record.xpd?id=111-h20090521-72

 

Please share this information with other friends you know are interested in Health Care Reform - and especially those in favor of single payer or at least a public option.

 

Thank you!

 

~Claudia

May 5 and May 14 Healthcare Roundtables
6 years ago

Action AlertTell Congress:  Include Single-Payer in Health Reform Debate!

 

The Senate Finance Committee, led by Sen. Max Baucus, is holding important roundtable discussions on health care on May 5 and May 14. The list of witnesses includes Blue Cross Blue Shield and the private insurance lobby group America's Health Insurance Plans but not one single-payer supporter.

We need to tell Congress that this is unacceptable.

Take Action

Break Their Fax Machines Update - nearly 2800 faxes in 48 hours
6 years ago

Pelosi admitted that reps reported back that during town hall meetings over the spring break all they heard were cries for public plans and single payer - but then added that we were not going to get single payer. One of her aides went so far as to say that they just were not getting emails and faxes and calls demanding it.  Laura posted an action item here about an effort to fix that.

So we started faxing over the weekend and by Sunday night had burned out the paper and/or ink on all the fax machines. We started again this morning after giving them a chance to reload.

If you have not been a part of this aciton, I hope you will visit this site and start sending one of the 3 faxes set up there each day (all linked on the page).

It costs you nothing but a moment in time. If you know of others sympathetic to the cause - please share the link with them.

http://www.1payer.net/action-alerts.html

 

Thanks so much for Laura for posting the information here for all of us.

 

 

Thanks for the action alert, Laura
6 years ago

I sent my fax and have posted the info to a couple of additional groups here and on my blog.

Break Their Fax Machines
6 years ago

A call to action from Clark Newhall, MD

 

It appears that Congressional leaders are being deliberately dismissive of single-payer to the point of ludicrous statements. It's like they have put their fingers in their ears and are yelling "I can't hear you, I can't hear you." Here they are in all their Congressional "member" glory:

 

Baucus a few days ago: 'Everything BUT single payer is on the table. Single payer if off the table'

 

Pelosi: "In our caucus, over and over again, we hear single payer, single payer, single payer. Well, it's not going to be a single payer."

 

Pelosi's aide: "Where are the phone calls, e-mails and faxes in support of single-payer? Speaker Pelosi has been in favor of single-payer for a long time. Now make us do it."

 

OK. We are up to the challenge. He wants to see the faxes. Let's break their damn fax machines with the faxes.

You can send a fax right now to Pelosi, Baucus, the aide and the White House.

Send one now and send another in a few minutes. Give them enough faxes that they have to run get more paper (or electronic ink, as the case may be.) Then when they have received all of these, we will do it again. And again. And we will print them out and dump them on Pelosi's office desk.

So let them see what happens when they ask for faxes. Then maybe they will have to take their fingers out of their ears.

Thanks

Clark.Newhall@Health.Justice.org

 

 

6 years ago

John W. Knapp has sent you an invitation to sign the petition "Don't Let Private Insurance Dominate the Senate Finance Committee Hearings" on Change.org

 

.

Click the link below to view the petition.
http://healthcare.change.org/actions/view/dont_let_private_insurance_dominate_the_senate_finance_committee_hearings

 
Call Charlie Rangle on Monday April 20
6 years ago

House Ways and Means Chairman Charles B. Rangel (D-NY) announced that the Committee will hold another hearing in a series on reforming the health insurance market.

 

The hearing will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 22, and will focus on strategies to reform the health insurance market to ensure greater accessibility and affordability.

 

Healthcare-NOW! and allied organizations have been requesting fair hearings that include the single-payer perspective.

 

Help us make sure that Chairman Rangel hears us loud and clear. Call his office now (toll free at 866-338-1015) to request they invite expert single-payer witnesses to testify.

 

If you can't call, you can easily email him here.

 

To date, single-payer is the only reform that will cover everyone and contain healthcare costs. Anything less will not achieve these goals.

 

Here is a sample message:

 

I am calling as a part of a nationwide effort with Healthcare-NOW! (or affiliate organizations) to urge Chairman Rangel and the Ways and Means Committee to contact Physicians for a National Health Program to request an expert witness for the upcoming hearing on health care on April 22nd.

 

PNHP's national office number is 312.782.6006.

 

Please note: In view of the limited time available to hear witnesses, oral testimony at this hearing will be from invited witnesses only. However, any individual or organization not scheduled for an oral appearance may submit a written statement for consideration by the Committee and for inclusion in the printed record of the hearing. In addition to calling, feel free to submit your testimony to official Congressional Record. Details on how to do this can be found here.

 

HR 676 Week of Action: April 18 - 25 | Plan an event or join in one near you!
6 years ago

The healthcare insurance corporations--who have bought access to elected officials through generous campaign contributions--have secured their place at the healthcare reform table. But the majority of Americans and healthcare providers who support single-payer healthcare, along with the 500+ local labor unions, the 40 cities and towns and the Conference of Mayors and other endorsers and activists, have been shut out of the debate.

 

That why PDA is sponsoring a week of actions promoting HR 676, the single-payer solution! Click here for a listing of our events. If you don’t find one near you, let us know what you plan to do in your community.

Order professionally printed flyers to distribute, for just the cost of shipping!

 

PDA remains committed to the single-payer solution. The HCAN plan, which many others are buying into, is not a single-payer plan nor will it lead to single-payer healthcare-- just more profits for healthcare corporations and their wealthy CEOs. It’s a government give-away of our hard-earned money. It will leave many Americans uninsured, and it will not contain costs in the same way the single-payer solution will.

 

Single-payer healthcare is among our founding issues and PDA will continue to push for it inside and outside the beltway. Healthcare corporations exist to make profits for their shareholders, not to provide healthcare; as long as they are part of the equation, real reform will elude us.

(Don't forget to order flyers!)

 

Tell your member of Congress to co-sponsor HR 676, the one solution that will provide healthcare for all, provide savings and truly reform the healthcare system in the U.S. Click here.

 

PDA will never say die when it comes to the health and welfare of Americans.

 

In solidarity,

Tim Carpenter
National Director

 

Laura Bonham
Deputy Director

 

Conor Boylan
Field Coordinator

 

P.S. Get a DVD of An Intimate Conversation with John Nichols  to show your neighbors and friends!

A star, videos, faxes, and a million letters
6 years ago

Big news from Clark Newhall today...

Yesterday, April 6, the first of five videos featuring Mike Farrell, who played Dr. BJ Hunicutt on MASH, will be unveiled at the demonstration protesting singlepayer exclusion from the White House Regional Health Care Summit in Los Angeles.  Mr. Farrell is a committed human rights advocate and author.  In the first video, he appears alone, exhorting President Obama to separate health insurance from health care and to "do the right thing" with Medicare For All.  Later video releases will show Mike discussing aspects of Medicare For All with doctors and nurses, all of whom are medical professionals with no acting experience.

The videos will be widely disseminated through the usual video sites such as YouTube.  They can be shared and embedded.  They have the unique protperty of having clickable hyperlinks within each video.  Clicking on a link enables the viewer to immediately send a fax to the White House.  This is a new technique in political advocacy, called integrated instant response video.  YouTube does not support this feature, but it is supported on many other videosharing sites, and also works when videos are embedded in the viewer's own socialnet pages.

Please go to the first Mike Farrell video at this location.  View it and share it widely. The menu in the bottom frame of the video makes sharing and embedding easy.  Move your cursor around the video to see the links.  When you click on the fax sending link, you will also have the chance to invite your friends to see the video.  Please help make this video and others viral, and spread the word about Medicare For All.

Thanks

clark.newhall@health-justice.org

 

The Million Letters Campaign...

Please visit  www.medicareforall.org to learn more, sign up to take part in the million letters campaign, and help to spread the word.

 

 

Single Payer Bill Introduced in Senate
6 years ago

As many of you know already, Bernie Sanders of Vermont has introduced int he Senate his version of a singlepayer bill.  The bill is S. 703 and the text is not yet posted on thomas.gov.  It is different from HR 676 in that it provides a national framework for States to administer singlepayer.  While I prefer the HR 676 framework, at least there is now a focus of discussion in the Senate.  Even thought he single payer movement seems divided over whether to support Sanders' bill, I think it is worth a call to a few key senatorial offices to experss your thanks to Sanders.  So call Sanders' office at 202-224-5141 and say "thank you for bringing singlepayer to the senate."  Then call Baucus' office at 202-224-2651 and Kennedys' office at 202-224-4543 and say 'please hold hearings on sen. sanders' single payer bill in your committe.

clark


And from Howard Dean and DFA



First, I want to say thank you. The outpouring of support and excitement over my return to Democracy for America has been incredible. I am honored to work with you and the rest of the DFA community again.

Last night, I announced our biggest and perhaps most important campaign yet on an issue very close to my heart: Healthcare Reform.

We can guarantee healthcare for all if we give every American the freedom to choose between keeping their private insurance - if they have any - and a universally available public healthcare option like Medicare.

CLICK HERE TO ADD YOUR NAME

President Obama campaigned on a healthcare plan that included a public option, but for-profit insurance companies and HMO's are already working hard to strip it from any upcoming healthcare bill. They don't want Americans to have a choice and they will stop at nothing to kill real reform.

Today, we draw a line in the sand.

A public option is the only way to guarantee healthcare for all Americans and its inclusion is non-negotiable. Any legislation without the choice of a public option is only insurance reform and not the healthcare reform America needs.

This is just the start. We need your help to generate broad based support for a public option. We will need to canvass our neighborhoods, call our elected leaders, and arrange meetings with members of Congress in the coming months.

We need 250,000 signatures by the time this bill is introduced in Congress. As a start, can you help me get to 10,000 by the end of the day today?

ADD YOUR NAME RIGHT NOW

After you add your name, you can sign-up to volunteer or make a contribution. You can also spread the word to your friends, family, and co-workers. Send a personal email and include a lin

The Summit will be covered on CSpan3
6 years ago

which can be watched online.  Link.

Thanks to everyone who made calls
6 years ago

to get single payer advocates into the summit tomorrow.

 


As of now we know that among the 120 people invited to the White House Health Summit there are two single payer advocates: Representative John Conyers the lead sponsor for HR-676 and Dr. Oli Fein the president of PNHP.

So far as we know, CNA/NNOC are still being shut-out, on the basis that they are already represented by the AFL-CIO, according to a Congressional Quarterly report from this afternoon. No word about HealthCare-Now or Progressive Democrats of America or Public Citizen, or the dozens of other groups that are part of the leadership coalition for single payer.

 

Next Steps:

 

"There must be a complete, honest, side-by-side comparison of all proposals, including HR-676, by the Congressional Budget Office"

 

Single payer wins, when given a honest hearing.

What are they afraid of?
The truth.

 

Other proposals including Baucus and Wyden cannot stand the full light of day and a thorough honest comparison.

 

So they have to try to take single Payer off the table without full and honest numbers.

 

Keep telling them: Let there be a complete and honest debate with real numbers and real side-by-side comparisons.

Suggestions to call:

The White House (202) 456-1414 or (202) 456-1111.


Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee:

  • Max Baucus, Chair, (202) 224-2651
  • John D Rockefeller IV (202) 224-6472
  • Kent Conrad (202) 224-2043
  • Jeff Bingaman (202) 224-5521
  • John Kerry (202) 224- 2742
  • Blanche Lincoln (202) 224-4843
  • Ron Wyden (202) 224-5244
  • Charles Schumer (202) 224-6542
  • Debbie Stabenow (202) 224-4822
  • Maria Cantwell (202) 224-3441
  • Bill Nelson (202) 224-5274
  • Robert Menendez (202) 224-4744
  • Thomas Carper (202) 224-2441
  • Edward Kennedy (202) 224-4543
  • Harry Reid (202) 224-3542

 

More Info

Thank you for sharing that Margi
6 years ago

I think Obama will allow, and even encourage, single payer, if the people make very clear that it is what we want, that we are ready. We must do so in the media and in congress. That is the challenge. We are being shouted down and sidelined by insurance propaganda and thier 'useful idiots' (their term, not mine).

 

Between Obama's speech, and the congressional hearings on MassCare (which you can watch live here) there will be lots of news stories out there to comment on. Please do. Confront the propaganda, present the logic, be heard.

Transcript from the State of the Nation speech
6 years ago

"

This is a cost that now causes a bankruptcy in America every thirty seconds. By the end of the year, it could cause 1.5 million Americans to lose their homes. In the last eight years, premiums have grown four times faster than wages. And in each of these years, 1 million more Americans have lost their health insurance. It is one of the major reasons why small businesses close their doors and corporations ship jobs overseas. And it's one of the largest and fastest-growing parts of our budget.

 

Given these facts, we can no longer afford to put health care reform on hold.

Already, we have done more to advance the cause of health care reform in the last thirty days than we have in the last decade. When it was days old, this Congress passed a law to provide and protect health insurance for eleven million American children whose parents work full-time. Our recovery plan will invest in electronic health records and new technology that will reduce errors, bring down costs, ensure privacy, and save lives. It will launch a new effort to conquer a disease that has touched the life of nearly every American by seeking a cure for cancer in our time. And it makes the largest investment ever in preventive care, because that is one of the best ways to keep our people healthy and our costs under control.

 

This budget builds on these reforms. It includes an historic commitment to comprehensive health care reform -- a down-payment on the principle that we must have quality, affordable health care for every American. It's a commitment that's paid for in part by efficiencies in our system that are long overdue. And it's a step we must take if we hope to bring down our deficit in the years to come.

 

Now, there will be many different opinions and ideas about how to achieve reform, and that is why I'm bringing together businesses and workers, doctors and health care providers, Democrats and Republicans to begin work on this issue next week.

 

I suffer no illusions that this will be an easy process. It will be hard. But I also know that nearly a century after Teddy Roosevelt first called for reform, the cost of our health care has weighed down our economy and the conscience of our nation long enough. So let there be no doubt: health care reform cannot wait, it must not wait, and it will not wait another year."

 

He didn't use the phrase "universal health care coverage", but he did say "for every American", so maybe . . .?

 

Who has been represented at those
6 years ago
Massachusetts Labor Leaders Write to Obama Urging Passage of HR 676
6 years ago

As some of you are no doubt aware, things are developing in Washington. Senator Kennedy has been holding closed door meetings with lobbyists (not good, see above), and congress is going to be holding a hearing on the Massachusetts system of mandatory insurance on Feb 25th.

 

500 practicing physicians have signed a letter speaking of the failure of mandatory insurance, and in favor of HR 676, to be presented at that hearing. (See Claudia's host announcement for action you can take on this)

 

And more good news...

from Lynn Huidekoper, RN

Legislative Liaison

Health Care for All Californians- Silicon Valley Coalition ...

 

Forty Massachusetts labor leaders have written President Obama to inform him of the failure of the much touted ‘Massachusetts Plan’ and to tell him that the passage of HR 676 is the best way to implement his own healthcare goals.

The labor leaders state, “The chief problem with the Massachusetts plan is that it leaves private insurance companies at the center of the system through an individual mandate and expensive public subsidies….” The letter quotes AFL-CIO President John Sweeney’s statement at the time the Massachusetts Plan was enacted saying, “Forcing uninsured workers to purchase health care coverage or face higher taxes and fines is the cornerstone of Mr. Gingrich’s health care reform proposals. And it is unconscionable that Massachusetts has adopted this misguided individual mandate.”

The Massachusetts labor leaders tell President Obama: “The best way to achieve your goals of universality, quality, and cost effectiveness is a national program based on improving and expanding Medicare to cover everyone. This would be accomplished by passing HR 676, the ‘Medicare for All’ legislation.”

FULL TEXT OF LETTER

MASSACHUSETTS LABOR FOR HEALTH CARE
c/o Jobs with Justice, 3353 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02130
Phone: (617) 524-8778, Fax: (617) 524-8996

February 18, 2009

Honorable Barack Obama, President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama,

We applaud your commitment to enact legislation that will improve health care in the United States. Health care continues to be a critical issue for workers at the bargaining table and — as the crisis in the auto industry shows — without a real solution responsible employers lose their competitive edge while employees suffer.

The undersigned labor leaders from Massachusetts, ask that you pursue a strong agenda for national, universal, publicly-funded health care as the best solution to address out-of-control health care costs and unacceptable levels of health care disparities.

The best way to achieve your goals of universality, quality, and cost effectiveness is a national program based on improving and expanding Medicare to cover everyone. This would be accomplished by passing HR 676, the “Medicare for all” legislation.

Although much-touted by some policy makers in Washington, the Massachusetts Plan has failed to address our concerns about costs and disparities and in some cases, has even made them worse.

The chief problem with the Massachusetts plan is that it leaves private insurance companies at the center of the system through an individual mandate and expensive public subsidies supported by taxes for plans that still don’t provide enough coverage.

The law is too expensive for many individuals forced to buy health insurance. It has failed to control costs and it has cost the state far more than initially projected. As a result, many critical health care facilities that serve low-income communities are facing huge cuts, while health care premiums continue to rise by double digits year after year. The Massachusetts Plan is widely recognized as unsustainable and now that we are facing an economic crisis, it is even more problematic.

As John Sweeney, President of the AFL-CIO has said, “Who would have thought that Massachusetts …would take a page out of the Newt Gingrich playbook for health care reform? Forcing uninsured workers to purchase health care coverage or face higher taxes and fines is the cornerstone of Mr. Gingrich’s health care reform proposals. And it is unconscionable that Massachusetts has adopted this misguided individual mandate.”

We are part of a growing number of labor leaders in the labor movement who support HR 676, the “Medicare for All” bill, that is very similar to previous efforts sponsored by our own Senator Edward Kennedy. We believe that, given the lessons of Massachusetts, this approach is the most fiscally prudent and morally imperative direction for successful health care reform.
We thank you in advance for your commitment to health care reform and look forward to working with you to make it a reality.

Sincerely,

Action and News
6 years ago

Dear Healthcare-NOW! Supporter:

Please tell your Representative to attend:

National Lessons from State Health Reform: The Massachusetts Case Study"
February 25, 2009, 2pm 4pm, 2226 Rayburn House Office Building

The "Massachusetts model" includes many of the policy features currently being considered in national health care reform, including individual mandates, subsidized private insurance for low-income individuals, employer "play or pay" provisions, and the creation of an insurance exchange designed to promote competition and encourage insurers to offer adequate and affordable coverage.

Given that in the last two decades over a dozen state health reform acts have attempted to provide universal health care coverage and failed, we feel it is especially important to consider the lessons of the "Massachusetts model" before incorporating any of these features into a national health care reform bill.

This is a rare opportunity for your Reps. to hear from physicians, nurses, patients, labor leaders, insurance brokers, and state legislators who are living with the impact of the Massachusetts reform everyday. Urge your Congressperson to represent you and all of those suffering in our healthcare crisis.

Ask your Representative to listen to the witnesses testimony and ask the tough questions. We cannot afford to repeat the mistakes of the past--too much is at stake.

Contact your Rep. now and tell them to attend. We have partnered with Change.org to send your letters. Once you fill out your informaion and click "send letter," it will give you a phone number to directly call your Rep.

Volunteers are need at 10am, the same day in Washington, DC, to distribute materials to every member of Congress. If you can take part in delivering materials to Congress or attend the event, please RSVP to Katie Robbins at info@healthcare-now.org or 1-800-453-1305. For more information and a map of where to meet, go here.

Thanks for all you do!
Healthcare-NOW! National Staff

 

Now the news...

Senator Kennedy has been holding closed door meetings with many lobbyists and, supposedly, people, about where to go next on health care. It looks to me like the insurance lobby is heavily represented and winning the argument for a mandate, without any mention yet of a government insurance plan. You can read the story here.

Please contact Senator Kennedy by mail or phone, tell him we need health care, not high overhead, government mandated for profit insurance...

Senator Kennedy
2400 JFK Building
Boston, MA 02203
p (617) 565-3170
p (877) 472-9014

Thank you Claudia
6 years ago

I think that writing to Jeanne Lambrew, given her powerful position of summarizing our wishes and ideas for Obama and Congress, may be the most important thing we can do right now.

Democrats.com has a petition/letter sending page which is a quick easy way to contact all 3 reps, but for those who have time, writing your own letters, even if just as email, is more effective (thank you Claudia).

Also very important, and perhaps even more effective, is commenting on news stories on the net and writting letters to the editor. This puts our thoughts and ideas before the people, where they are harder to ignore and can sway public opinion. I try to target national news, and areas/states where the reps are either opposing/obstucting 676 (Baucus of Montana, Pelosi of California), or where they are supporting it, to lend them more power. Tip: On any google news search you can sort the results by date, and add location:state or town to the search field.

Thanks for your action notes
6 years ago

Laura,

I really appreciate what your are doing here.

Will get my letters written tomorrow and will make some calls next week.

6 years ago

From Dr. Newhall today...

Last week I urged you to contact Jeanne Lambrew in the White House Office of Health Reform   She is in charge of compiling the results of the December Health Reform house parties that were so skewed toward mandatory insurance aka "guaranteed affordable care."  As we have all been hearing, the house parties nationwide spontaneously and almost unanimously supported single-payer instead of the Daschle agenda.  LET'S HOLD JEANNE'S FEET TO THE FIRE AND MAKE HER PUBLISH THE RESULTS.  I am urging a continuing effort to call, write or email Jeanne Lambrew to publish (fully and honestly) the results of the December house parties ASAP.  She said last weekt hat she had 20 volunteers working on compiling the results.  Let's make sure the results are are TRUE results and not somebody's twist.

REMEMBER: snail mail is better than fax is better than phone call is better than email.

Contact info:           Fax  202 690 7203
White House Office of Health Reform
jeanne.lambrew@hhs.gov
Ms. Jeanne Lambrew, Deputy Director

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201

Attention: White House Office of Health Reform

Feb 12 national call-in day is coming up.
6 years ago
  Here is the message:

The Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Healthcare is encouraging everyone to participate in the next National Call-in Day for HR 676. Mark your calendars…

Please note the corrected telephone number for the Congressional switchboard: 202-224-3121.

February 12, 2009: Call Congress, and the President
Congressional switchboard: 202-224-3121
(ask for your representative’s office)


If your member is a current co-sponsor, thank your rep. and ask him or her to stand firm for HR 676 and actively seek additional co-sponsors.

If your member was a co-sponsor in the last Congress, ask him or her to sign on immediately as a co-sponsor in this Congress.

If your member has yet to co-sponsor HR 676, ask him or her to please become a co-sponsor, select one or two talking points here.

In a letter to Col. William F. Elkins written November 21, 1864, Lincoln wrote:

"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."

In celebration of Abraham Lincoln's birthday, remind your member of Congress to honor his words and heed his warning as we look to reform his precious nation's healthcare system.  Urge your member to accept testimony from panelists to explore the serious flaws in the Massachusetts health plan and examine why it cannot serve as a national model for providing universal and comprehensive care, on Wednesday, February 25, 2009, 2:00-4:00pm, 2226 Rayburn House Office Building.

Healthcare-NOW and Change.org
6 years ago

2-5-09
Dear Healthcare-NOW! supporter:

A few weeks back we asked you to vote for single-payer healthcare on Change.org. Well, it got enough votes to become one of their ten “Ideas for Change in America,” and we couldn’t be happier.

Change.org presented these ideas two weeks ago at an event at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Macon Phillips, Director of New Media for the White House, formally accepted the ideas and said that “I can speak with authority that a lot of people in the transition were paying attention to the competition.”

Because of all your support, Healthcare-NOW! was asked to be the official sponsor of Change.org’s single-payer healthcare campaign. This partnership will help spread the single-payer message, and we’re asking that you help us again.

Through the Change.org site, we get our own blog that will reach a new and broader audience. Please give feedback and comments.

TakePart.com has generously donated Flip video cameras to each of the campaigns so that participants can easily document their work and feature it on the “Ideas for Change site.” In addition, Change.org will compile videos from all of the campaigns into serial shorts that will show, from the inside, how advocacy campaigns are built and create real social change. So, let us know about your upcoming events so that we can send you this camera and you can show off your hard work.

You can also help us organize campaigns. Right now, we’re asking people to support HR 676 by signing a petition and emailing their congress people. Change.org easily allows you to sign the petition, email your representative, and recruit people into this campaign. It even gives you your Rep’s phone number after you sign the letter! It couldn’t be easier.

You can also help us fund raise. Check out our Change.org page, become a supporter, leave a testimonial, invite your friends, and start a fund raising campaign for us.

All of your support has made this partnership possible. Now that we won, let’s use this opportunity to its fullest by being the most active “Idea for Change in America.”

Email Jeff Muckensturm, at Jeff@Healthcare-Now.org, if you want to help or have any questions.

Thanks for all you do!

Sincerely,

National Staff, Healthcare-NOW!
More union endorsements
6 years ago

Teacher unions in Vermont and Oregon have endorsed HR 676, single payer healthcare legislation introduced by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI). This bring the total number of Union endorsements to 483, in 49 states including 118 Central Labor Councils and Area Labor Federations and 39 state AFL-CIO's.

HR 676 would institute a single payer health care system in the U.S. by expanding a greatly improved Medicare system to every resident. It would cover every person in the U. S. for all necessary medical care including prescription drugs, hospital, surgical, outpatient services, primary and preventive care, emergency services, dental, mental health, home health, physical therapy, rehabilitation (including for substance abuse), vision care, chiropractic and long term care. HR 676 ends deductibles and co-payments, and would save billions annually by eliminating the high overhead and profits of the private health insurance industry and HMOs.

For further information, a list of union endorsers, or a sample endorsement resolution, Union members are encouraged to contact:
Kay Tillow
All Unions Committee For Single Payer Health Care--HR 676
c/o Nurses Professional Organization (NPO)
1169 Eastern Parkway, Suite 2218
Louisville, KY 40217
(502) 636 1551
Email: nursenpo@aol. com
http://unionsforsinglepayerHR676.org

HHS Secretary
6 years ago

Let's bombard the White House with our unified suggestion for HHS Secretrary:  Marcia Angell MD. Contact page here.

Quentin Young, PNHP, is suggesting Dr. Marcia Angell, former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, who wrote a book on the pharmaceutical industry and is pro-Single Payer. Marcia Angell, M.D. (born 1939) is an American physician, author, and the first woman to serve as editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). She currently is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, in Boston, Massachusetts.

Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414
FAX: 202-456-2461

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Actions and Updates
6 years ago
| Action Items

I thought I should share this with the group...

A blog from Dr. Clark Newhall
Obama Believes That Americans DON'T Support SinglePayer
Please write to President Obama here.

A letter from Dr. Newhall...

I am at the National Health Policy conference where I just heard Jean Lambrew speak. She is Deputy Director of White House Office of Health Reform It is clear from her talk that this Administration has NO intention of enacting single payer or doing anything at all to upset the insurance companies--even going so far as to advance the idea that Medicare is nothing but a 'safety net.' Try telling that to seniors who depend upon it. In any case, it appears that Obama has about 20 people working on compiling the result of the December health care house parties. I suggest a concerted effort to force them to divulge the information fully to the public. Here is a suggested letter:

Dr. Jeanne Lambrew
Office of Health Care Reform
By fax to 202 690 7203
By email to Jeanne.lambrew@hhs.gov

Dear Dr. Lambrew,

Thank you for speaking at the National Health Policy Conference. My friend, Dr. Clark Newhall, was anxious to ask you a question but did not get the chance. You were understandably anxious to return to your sister and her new baby. I will ask the question for him: You said that the results of the December Health Care House Parties would be reported to President Obama. How about reporting these results to the people who participated as well, and perhaps even to the nation as a whole. Certainly we deserve to know what you learned from us. Moreover, it is my understanding from speaking to participants across the country that government-funded health care, similar to Medicare, far outstripped any plan that required people to purchase insurance from private insurers. If that is true, it is certainly contrary to the obvious (and puzzling) administration bias toward preserving the status quo as much as possible. Does the administration have the courage to publish those results?

And News at Care2

Medicare for All (Single-Payer) Reform Would Be Major Stimulus for Economy 2.6 Million New Jobs,$317 Billion in Business Revenue

From Blue, who has posted several stories on this.