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Good Things Happening on Single Payer National Healthcare
8 years ago
Dear Healthcare Organizers: Many good things are happening across the nation as the single payer movement continues to develop. People ask the question, “How could this have happened? How is it that there is only one healthcare plan in the nation that has a huge constituency of support? And we know the answer. It is because of your work. Here are some of the exciting developments in the single payer movement: 1. We now have 62 co-sponsors of H.R. 676 in just two months following its reintroduction in this new Congress -- as a result of your efforts. 2. The AFL-CIO has joined us as an endorser of single payer. How did this happen? It happened because of the movement of local unions from the bottom up who studied the bill, endorsed it, and urged the AFL-CIO to join us over the past eighteen months. One volunteer, Kay Tillow, has worked tirelessly to make this happen. 3. Act-Up has joined us – one of the most militant organizations in the U.S. –the group that challenged Congress and the healthcare agencies to do the research and help to stem the tide of the AIDS epidemic in the 80’s and 90’s. Now they have made single payer, national healthcare their #1 issue. 4. The National Organization for Women has formally endorsed. 5. Newspapers all over the country are studying the issue, and many are endorsing. City councils are signing on. Two state democratic parties, New Hampshire and Washington State have endorsed single payer and will be pushing the national Democrats to move forward toward single payer in the coming election. 6. We met with the New York Times this week in a very good exchange on the issue. 7. And Congressman Conyers is planning a briefing for Congress members and the public on April 24th in Washington, D.C. YOU ARE INVITED. Be in touch with joel.segal [at] mail.house.gov for more details. One of the friends of single payer in the U.S. Congress is Maurice Hinchey. In addition to being a strong endorser of H.R. 676, he has introduced legislation that has forced the FDA to create new rules to protect us from the drug profiteers. When we achieve a national single payer system in the United States, we will have a system where the single payer (probably Medicare) will negotiate the cost of all drugs for all of us and have a strong mechanism for protecting our people. We will have several elements of good business practices as a part of our national healthcare program including “negotiating prices,” “eliminating the unnecessary middle man (the insurance companies)” and “purchasing in bulk” both durable medical equipment and prescription drugs since there will be 300 million of us in one large purchasing pool. This will be another of the great savings that will provide us with a quality healthcare system for all without spending any additional money. Businesses, employees and employers will all save money. No more co-pays or deductibles and no more denials and out-of-pocket expenses for necessary medical care. Hinchey’s legislation and the FDA’s response are described in today’s story. F.D.A. Rule Limits Role of Advisers Tied to Industry. The new rules would bar government advisers who receive money from a drug or device maker from voting on that company's products. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/22/washington/22fda.html?th&emc=th As the story notes, this is not the ultimate solution to the problem of FDA complicity with the drug profiteers, but it is a start. H.R. 676, Conyers’ United States National Health Insurance Act, is the only bill in Congress that pushes for a non-profit national healthcare system that will serve us all. It is the only bill among the many that have been introduced recently and among the state bills that are being considered that eliminates the role of the insurance companies, both in government-funded programs such as Medicare and SCHIP (the child healthcare program) and in the healthcare fund that will provide excellent healthcare to all of us. As a result of the elimination of the insurance companies’ role in healthcare, we will be able to cover one-third more healthcare. In other words, we could cover one-third more children if we didn’t have insurance companies in the middle of the SCHIP program. We can cover one-third more people in the United States and provide 100% better benefits for all of us with H.R. 676. Under single payer, H.R. 676, we will eliminate the waiting lines that keep about 50 million of our people suffering and dying, and we will be able to provide much better benefits, doctors who don’t have to spend their time satisfying hundreds of insurance companies, hospitals that don’t have to spend billions of dollars on exacting payment for hundreds of insurance, government and individual payers, mental health care, drug and alcohol treatment for all who need it; payment for prescription drugs; long-term care (how many of us have no long-term care insurance now?) and more. Everybody in; nobody out!”
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