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Why Healthcare Can't Wait

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: Health Care, Obama Health Care, Obama State Of The Union, Pfizer, Seiu, healthcare, universal health care, single payer health care, State Of The Union, Politics News )

- 3523 days ago -
The President of SEIU and the Chairman and CEO, of Pfizer: "...we are proud to stand together with President Obama as he reinforces the urgency of health care reform in the State of the Union speech before Congress."


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Blue Bunting (855)
Tuesday February 24, 2009, 1:36 am
Through the years, there have been many issues where labor and business don't see eye to eye. Here's one where we firmly agree: the need to fix healthcare, now, not in spite of the economic crisis, but because of it. For this reason, we are proud to stand together with President Obama as he reinforces the urgency of health care reform in the State of the Union speech before Congress.

America's economic recovery depends upon solving the healthcare emergency that is bankrupting families and eroding our competitiveness in the global economy. Bringing healthcare security to every American will help jump-start the nation's recovery and provide a foundation for new economic opportunity, innovation and job growth.

The evaporation of nearly 600,000 jobs in January alone makes the need for healthcare reform more urgent than ever. Each one percent rise in the national unemployment rate strands a million more people without health insurance. Even for many of the employed, healthcare costs are outpacing income and forcing hard choices, such as taking care of a family's health or keeping a roof over its head.

President Obama is firm in his resolve to create a fair and sustainable healthcare system and millions of Americans stand behind his vision. Congress must take swift action to enact comprehensive healthcare reform today.

Taking the right steps to reform and rebuild our healthcare system--now--will put us on the road to a healthier, economically robust America. There are rapid gains to be made. America loses an estimated $207 billion every year due to the poorer health and shorter lifespans of those lacking good coverage. Another $1.3 trillion is lost through easily preventable and treatable chronic conditions, such as hypertension, asthma and heart disease. Right now, we spend only four cents of every healthcare dollar on prevention and public health, opening the gates for the most expensive chronic diseases, and paying heavily for the inevitable results.

Solving our healthcare crisis will do more than help rebuild this economy. It will set the stage for the next. Our teaching hospitals and medical centers educate and train the world's most advanced healthcare workforce, accounting for one out of every ten jobs in the United States. A comprehensive approach to healthcare reform will remedy workforce shortages, spur innovation, and add new job opportunities in areas such as prevention, wellness and home-based care. Helping Americans stay healthy will pay off now and for generations to come. For example, reducing deaths from cancer or heart disease by just one percent--readily attainable through universal coverage--would be invaluable on a human level and worth nearly $500 billion to current and future Americans.

With so much at stake, we must begin the work today to create a new healthcare system that:

* Provides affordable, comprehensive coverage for every man, woman, and child in America
* Builds on the strong foundation of employer-based coverage
* Encourages continued innovation in prevention, wellness, and disease treatment, and
* Lowers overall costs, and increases the value of each healthcare dollar spent.

At this critical moment for our nation--with jobs eroding month by month--we can no longer afford a system that costs way too much, excludes too many people, and fails to meet the most essential need of American families--staying healthy.

A new healthcare system is within our reach. With the future of our economy and the future of the American dream at risk, there's no more time to lose. We can change healthcare from what it is now--a quagmire of expense and frustration--to what we know it can become--a source of greater health, innovation and opportunity.

Andy Stern is President of the Service Employees International Union, North America's largest and fastest-growing union.

Jeff Kindler is Chairman and CEO of Pfizer, the nation's largest research-based biopharmaceutical company.

Blue Bunting (855)
Tuesday February 24, 2009, 1:38 am
Tell your healthcare and insurance horror stories at Guaranteed Healthcare

Blue Bunting (855)
Tuesday February 24, 2009, 1:42 am

Medicare for All (Single-Payer) Reform Would Be Major Stimulus for Economy 2.6 Million NewFirst-of-Its Kind Study: Medicare for All (Single-Payer) Reform Would Be Major
Stimulus for Economy 2.6 Million New Jobs,$317 Billion in Business Revenue, $100 Billion in Wages

The number of jobs created by a single-payer system, expanding and upgrading Medicare to cover everyone, parallels almost exactly the total job loss in 2008.

Blue Bunting (855)
Tuesday February 24, 2009, 5:52 pm
Obama Flips: Now Calls For Universal Healthcare Coverage Mandate

Claudia S (62)
Tuesday February 24, 2009, 9:42 pm
Bluegrass Central Labor Council Endorses HR 676

"The Bluegrass CLC, which represents workers in nine counties in Central
Kentucky, is the 119th CLC to endorse HR 676. Six out of eight central
labor councils in Kentucky, in addition to the state AFL-CIO, have endorsed HR 676."

"HR 676 has been endorsed by 482 union organizations in 49 states including
119 Central Labor Councils and Area Labor Federations and 39 state AFL-CIO's (KY, PA, CT, OH, DE, ND, WA, SC, WY, VT, FL, WI, WV, SD, NC, MO, MN, ME, AR, MD-DC, TX, IA, AZ, TN, OR, GA, OK, KS, CO, IN, AL, CA, AK, MI, MT, NE, NY, NV & MA)."

Kit B (276)
Wednesday February 25, 2009, 9:38 am
Because of lies and misunderstandings there are still those who believe that a single payer health system will result in 1)health decisions made by Washington DC and not a doctor 2)people would not have the right to choose their own doctors 3) important and needed medicine would be withheld 4) operations would be postponed - could result in unnecessary deaths 5) cost of single payer would bankrupt America. Many other issues are veiled as truths, when in fact they are not. The most important thing we can do is educate and offer true and factual information about health care as it really is in this country v what it could be.

I recommend that people view the Frontline investigation on health care in America v other developed countries ( Michael Moore's film "Sicko" though it does not give much insight it does offer the audience a look into what is happening in other countries. For too many years Americans have been fed the single idea that to change our system is a slippery slope into socialism, rather then a truly open and healthy discussion of facts, that now must be our focus facts and education, in an effort to support this needed change.

Blue Bunting (855)
Wednesday February 25, 2009, 1:54 pm
True, Kit, that's a good place to start watching the Frontline investigation on heatlh care. People need to do some research on health care in other countries: Canada, U.K., France, Germany and Cuba all have better health care than in the U$A.

That b.s. about "we are number one, we're the best in the world, we hve the best health care" is just another ReTHUGniCON lie.

Blue Bunting (855)
Wednesday February 25, 2009, 2:05 pm
2.6 Million New Jobs, $317 Billion in Business Revenue, $100 Billion in Wages

First-of-Its Kind Study: Medicare for All (Single-Payer) Reform Would Be Major Stimulus for Economy

Establishing a national single-payer style healthcare reform system
would provide a major stimulus for the U.S. economy by creating 2.6
million new jobs, and infusing $317 billion in new business and public
revenues, with another $100 billion in wages into the U.S. economy,
according to the findings of a groundbreaking study released today. It
may be viewed at

The number of jobs created by a single-payer system, expanding and upgrading Medicare to cover everyone, parallels almost exactly the total job loss in 2008.

"These dramatic new findings document for the first time that a single payer system could not only solve our healthcare crisis, but also substantially contribute to putting America back to work and assisting the economic recovery," said Geri Jenkins, RN, co-president of the National Nurses Organizing Committee/California Nurses Association, which sponsored the study.

"Through direct and supplemental expenditures, healthcare is already a uniquely dominant force in the U.S. economy," said Don DeMoro, lead author of the study and director of the Institute for Health and Socio-Economic Policy, the NNOC/CNA research arm.

"However, so much more is possible. If we were to expand our present Medicare system to cover all Americans, the economic stimulus alone would create an immense engine that would help drive our national economy for decades to come," DeMoro said

Expanding Medicare to include the uninsured, and those on Medicaid or employer-sponsored health plans, and expanding coverage for those with limited Medicare, would have the following immediate impacts:

* Create 2,613,495 million new permanent good-paying jobs (slightly exceeding the number of jobs lost in 2008)--and jobs that are not easily shipped overseas
* Boost the economy with $317 billion in increased business and public revenues
* Add $100 billion in employee compensation
* Infuse public budgets with $44 billion in new tax revenues

Further, moving to the new system comes with an unexpectedly low price tag, given the economic benefits and the far-reaching consequences of genuine healthcare reform, DeMoro noted.

Healthcare for all far less than the Wall Street bailouts

Adding all Americans to an expanded Medicare could be achieved for $63 billion beyond the current $2.1 trillion in direct healthcare spending. The $63 billion is six times less than the federal bailout for CitiGroup, and less than half the federal bailout for AIG. Solely expanding Medicare to cover the 47 million uninsured Americans (as of 2006 data on which the study is based) could be accomplished for $44 billion.

The IHSP projections build from an econometric model of the current face of healthcare – applying economic analysis to a wide array of publicly available data from Medicare, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and other sources.

It is the first known study to provide an econometric analysis of the economic benefits of healthcare to the overall economy, showing how changes in direct healthcare delivery affect all other significant sectors touched by healthcare, and how sweeping healthcare reform can help drive the nation's economic recovery.

Healthcare presently accounts for $2.105 trillion in direct expenditures. But healthcare ripples far beyond doctor's offices and hospitals. Adding in healthcare business purchases of services or supplies and spending by workers, the total impact of healthcare in the economy mushrooms to nearly $6 trillion.

Overall, every direct healthcare dollar creates nearly three additional dollars in the U.S. economy. In current form, healthcare:

* Generates 45 million jobs, directly and in other industries.
* Accounts for 10.5 percent of all U.S. jobs and 12.1 percent of all U.S. wages.
* Totals 9.2 percent of the nation's Gross National Product.
* Contributes about 25 percent of all federal tax revenues. Federal, state, and local taxes from the healthcare sector in 2006 added up to $824 billion.

All those numbers would rise dramatically through comprehensive healthcare reform. But a single-payer system would produce the biggest increase in jobs and wages. The reason, DeMoro said, is that "the broadest economic benefits directly accrue from the actual delivery and provision of healthcare, not the purchase of insurance."

Medicare for all has numerous other benefits, of course, noted Jenkins, from a streamlined system with tens of billions less in private insurance administrative waste, guaranteed choice of physician and hospital, no loss of coverage when unemployed, and no one denied coverage due to age or health status.

"Only a single-payer, expanded Medicare-for-all approach ends the current disgraceful practice of insurance companies refusing to pay for medical treatment or engaging in rampant price gouging that discourages patients from going to the doctor, seeing specialists, or getting diagnostic procedures in a timely manner," said Jenkins.

The IHSP has conducted research for members of Congress and state legislatures as well as NNOC/CNA, and received international renown for research studies on cost and charges in the hospital industry, the pharmaceutical industry, hospital staffing, and other healthcare policy.

Robert Fountain, a frequent economics consultant for the California Public Employees Retirement System (Cal-PERS), served as a consultant on the study.

Claudia S (62)
Wednesday February 25, 2009, 5:30 pm
Blue - you are amazing. So glad you are on my side in this campaign. Or I am on yours. Or something.

Kit - you are so right - the disinformation seems to be much louder that our facts. On the positive front, I think our voices are getting stronger. We do, after all, have the facts on our side.

Lots of work to do and it feels good to know you both are on the front lines with me.


Blue Bunting (855)
Wednesday February 25, 2009, 8:44 pm
Claudia, the "disinformation campaign" enabled te RepubliCON$ to win during the Clinton era, but that dog won't hunt any more since HOWard Dean rallied the activists in cyberspace.

The Health Care Fight Begins: Obama Budget Creates $634B Health Fund

Jill P (64)
Friday February 27, 2009, 12:42 pm
In addition to creating jobs it will finally allow millions of disabled Americans to work again. People who need home health care cannot afford it. To get assistance with the cost the disabled person, many times with a Bachelors degree or even a Masters degree, has to promise never to work or earn money in order to be eligible. Now they have someone to help them get up in the morning but nowhere to go. They have to take a vow of poverty. When they die the government takes everything away from them, their home, their property. The government wipes them out and leaves nothing to the person's family. It's called Medicde Estate Recovery.
There is a petition fighting this
HR 676 would put an end to this all together. People with disabilities would be ALLOWED to contribute to society, whereas now they are forbidden and even punished for doing so.
We have got to make Obama do what he is so opposed to - single payer healthcare HR 676!!!!
His opposition just shows he cares nothing for the American people, this country, or our economy!! He's just like all the rest before him!

Blue Bunting (855)
Friday February 27, 2009, 2:19 pm
Jill, isn't it true that people with disabilities who are collecting SSDI are allowed to earn up to $1200/month before their disability checks are affected.

Blue Bunting (855)
Friday February 27, 2009, 9:28 pm
At Firedoglake: Ian Welsh is explaining the things that a workable "universal" health insurance plan
must have. (I say it still sounds like there's too much administration
and too much, well, insurance industry, in the plan. Let's call for an

Blue Bunting (855)
Monday March 9, 2009, 3:49 pm
Tell Max Baucus he must put single-payer reform back on the table:


Blue Bunting (855)
Monday March 9, 2009, 5:23 pm
The solution? The United States National Health Insurance Act, H.R. 676. You can read about it here:

Blue Bunting (855)
Wednesday March 11, 2009, 12:03 pm

EFCA's Opponents Received Millions Upon Millions From Business PACs

Blue Bunting (855)
Tuesday March 31, 2009, 10:28 am

Tuesday, March 31, 2009, at 9 P.M. ET on PBS

As the worsening economy leads to massive job losses—potentially forcing millions more Americans to go without health insurance—FRONTLINE travels the country examining the nation’s broken health care system and explores the need for a fundamental overhaul. Veteran FRONTLINE producer Jon Palfreman dissects the private insurance system, a system that not only fails to cover 46 million Americans but also leaves millions more underinsured and at risk of bankruptcy, in Sick Around America, airing Tuesday, March 31, 2009, at 9 P.M. ET on PBS (check local listings).

Blue Bunting (855)
Monday May 4, 2009, 4:34 pm
Join the March on Washington

Join us in a 'CyberMarch' on Washington on May 30, 2009. We want
Medicare for All -- health care for every American! Sign Up today and
choose your avatar who will go to Washington for you on May 30. Your
avatar will join others to demand that insurance companies be removed
from health care.
The Virtual March on Washington is an important and fun way to show your support for universal single payer health care.Click here to be a part of it!

Blue Bunting (855)
Saturday June 13, 2009, 7:41 pm

President Obama: Yes, We Can... Pay for Healthcare

President Barack Obama said Saturday he had found more than 300 billion dollars that could help his government make health care available to all Americans.

Blue Bunting (855)
Monday June 29, 2009, 7:57 pm
A polite way of saying that Mitch McConnell lied about wait times for surgery in a Canadian hospital.

Blue Bunting (855)
Thursday July 2, 2009, 5:51 pm
Republican Senator Jim DeMint Inadvertently Concedes That Public Health Insurance Option Won’t Take Over The Market

Blue Bunting (855)
Thursday July 16, 2009, 10:57 pm
AMA backs House heathcare bill.

Blue Bunting (855)
Thursday July 16, 2009, 10:58 pm
What is so hard about using some logic here????

47 million un insured
20 million under insured
fast food companies and insurance companies making profits hand over fist. Bushes tax cuts for the rich still in effect

Subtract 10 million poor/indigent/mentally ill, etc, who are uninsured and will have to get free care = 37 mill un-insured who can pay.
18.5 million can pay $50/mo = 925,000,000
18.5 mill can pay $100 = $1,850,000,000
20 mill under insured will switch and can pay $100 = 2,000,000,000
That is a grand total of $47,750,000,000


That does'nt count the millions who'll switch from private companies if they can pay $100 or 200 per month and have their entire family covered even with pre-existing conditions.

I've also been advocating a 1penny tax on the fastfoods, foods/beverages w/ high fructose cs, and every bottle/glass of alchohol, but in thinking about it more, we should have a 1 penny federal sales tax on EVERY purchase. I can hear the opponents shouting about making the poor poorer, but my statement is 1 cent on each purchase NOT on every dollar or hundred dollars. From candy bars to fruit to big screen tv's to your house. 1 cent on everything. I'm willing to pay $50.01 for my full tank of gas if I can get affordable health care. How about y'all?
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