START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
Mar 4, 2009

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

Not just what Senator Baucus pre-determines to allow.

What are they afraid of?  

Let there be a honest and open debate, comparing all the true total costs all proposals!

As we know, the many prior analysis, recently by Lewin Group for many state single payer proposals, and older for national bills by both the GAO and CBO, all suggest that only single payer can control total costs and costs to individuals while providing coverage that is both truly universal and comprehensive.

The most recent comparison by Lewin for Commonwealth was very revealing in comparing who pays what:  Neither "Building Blocks" standing in for Baucus/Obama nor Wyden-Bennett could control total costs, which skyrocket under both. Wyden disengenuously shoves costs from the Federal side, to States, employers and individuals.  Of the plans compared, only Stark's non-single payer verion of "Improved and Expanded Medicare for Most" (which Commonwealth/Lewin says they used to represent all such proposals including ours) actually controlled total national costs and total direct costs to individuals, while also providing universal and comprehensive coverage.

Here is how it looks:

Total Change in National Health Expenditures, in 2010 (in Billions) Under Different Health Reform Proposals:

Total Change in National Expenditures on Health Care


Change in Health Spending by Stakeholder Group, Billions of Dollars, 2010

Who Pays by Stakeholder Under the Different Plans

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.

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

[Thanks to DrSteveB of PNHP for this.]

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Posted: Mar 4, 2009 4:22pm
Mar 3, 2009

Helena Independent Record

Sick of health insurance costs? Then pay attention. Some in Congress want to perpetuate the power of insurance corporations over our health care and what we pay to get it. There is an alternative. The U.S. National Health Care Act: Expanded and Improved Medicare for All, HR 676 could be implemented within 13 months (like Medicare was) and unlike the Wall Street bailout, would be funded by eliminating waste while providing a real hand up for every American family and business — except the insurance industry.

HR 676 would save billions annually by eliminating the high overhead costs and profits of the private health insurance industry and HMOs. According to the Government Accountability Office, the Economic Policy Institute, and others a single-payer system saves enough to offset the costs of providing the health care, about $1.1 trillion. That is how other countries are under-spending, yet out-performing us in health care.

HR 676 would expand an improved Medicare as the publicly accountable "insurance" payer for all of us. Doctors would remain in private practice providing our care. Patients would be free to seek care with the doctor or hospital of their choice.

HR 676 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.

In the 110th Congress, HR 676 had 93 co-sponsors in addition to its sponsor Rep. Conyers.

HR 676 has been endorsed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Physicians for a National Health Program, 480 union organizations in 49 states including 118 Central Labor Councils and Area Labor Federations and 39 AFL-CIO's (including Montana).

HR 676, as part of its funding, calls for a modest increase in payroll taxes to replace insurance premiums, and economists estimate that both businesses and individuals would pay less than they do now.

Is there support for such reforms? Oh yes! In 2008, the National Federation of Independent Business survey found a majority of businesses polled preferred a payroll tax to fund employee health care rather than our current insurance system. Large independent polls also find a majority (64-65 percent) of Americans support a federally funded single payer approach to health care (AP/Yahoo, CBS News/New York Times, Harvard School of Public Health, and CNN, 2007-2008). People are ready for reform — now for the politicians!

Senator Baucus needs to hear that we don’t need or want a health care plan like the expensive and complicated Medicare drug plan. Ask Senator Baucus to put the greatest public good ahead of corporate profits — ask him to set aside his white paper and sponsor HR 676 in the Senate. Call him at: (800) 828-0498 or (800) 332-6106 [...]

Beth Sirr is a family nurse practitioner in Helena.
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Posted: Mar 3, 2009 10:51am


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