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"A Robust Public Option Is Essential"-Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Raul Grijalva Draws a Line in the Sand on Healthcare Reform

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: health care, industry, healthcare system, insurance companies, Max Baucus, K Street, lobbyists, consensus, bipartisanship )

- 3592 days ago -
The public option: We're going to fight for it down to the very last day. It's got to be part of [the bill]. If it's not, we're just showering $$ upon $$ on same system, the same industry that got us into this mess. Lobbyists' power tangible Capitol Hill


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LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Sunday September 13, 2009, 7:47 am
"We Need a Better Change in This Country"- Mother of 17-Yr-Old Who Died When Private Insurance Denied Claim for Liver Transplant :

Hilda Sarkisyan is one battling mom who has overcome her grief in some way by pouring all her energy into the battle for healthcare reform. And Chuck Idelson, communications director of the California Nurses Association, who joins Hilda on this Democracy Now! show, knows all the in's and out's of all the legislation that has been introduced and/or is under consideration:

This month a full vote is scheduled in the House on Medicare for all. Expanding Medicare to cover everyone would bring us in line with the rest of the industrial world. There's also an amendment to the House bill that'd enable the states to enact single-payer, in addition to, and as part of the national reform. More !

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Sunday September 13, 2009, 8:01 am

CHARLES IDELSON: Well, the public option is, at best, light reform. That’s one of the concerns we have. The problem is, as we say, the private option, not the public option. The public option, if it were given the full strength of a large risk pool, enough people were able to participate in it, the government had the ability to negotiate prices, which they’re—seem to be bargaining away, might be one of the ways to keep the insurance companies honest. But you can’t really keep the insurance companies honest, because that’s not what they’re in business to do. They’re in business to make money. We’re the only industrial country that ties healthcare to private profit.

So, even under best case scenario, the public option would be in great danger from being—from still seeing patients cherry-picked by the private insurers and having the sickest patients in this country dumped on them and be threatened with bankruptcy. So, unless you had enough regulatory protections for a public option, it would be in danger of being outmaneuvered and being bankrupted by the private insurers in the first place.

One of the things that’s also happening this month is that the House is scheduled to have a full vote on on the idea of Medicare for all. There’s also an amendment within the House bill to provide—that allows states to provide for—remove legal impediments so the states could enact single-payer laws, in addition to—as part of the national healthcare reform. Those are issues that we hope your listeners and viewers will support, urge their legislators to support Medicare for All, because that is the only reform that will actually solve our healthcare crisis once and for all.

AMY GOODMAN: Chuck Idelson, you’re going to the offices of Dianne Feinstein and her home?

CHARLES IDELSON: We are. We’re doing that today. That has to do with trying to make sure that working people have more of a voice in this country, when they want to be able, in the case of registered nurses, to advocate for patients with public protection of collective representation. So that has to do with the Employee Free Choice Act and that we’re trying to request that Senator Feinstein become a co-sponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act, because that’s a critical issue to the future of raising living standards and rights for working people in the United States.

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Monday September 14, 2009, 1:11 am
Vermont is JUST the MOST progressive state in the Union !
Perhaps you could tell us, Betsy, how your healthcare system works ?

Here is a sampling of petitions, ways to get the message across & what we want to tell our President and our reps:


2)change. org: Tell Your Senators: Now is the Time for Health Care Reform (Sponsored by: Consumers Union of United States ) : Dear Senator,

As your constituent, I urge you to keep health reform moving forward, not stall or delay it.

Like millions of Americans, I support reforms that will stop insurance companies from denying coverage to those who are sick, older or can't afford outrageous premiums.

To help bring down costs and give us more choices, I support a public plan option that will compete for my business alongside private insurance companies. And I support tough reforms to end waste, fraud and abuse.

I support incentives for preventive care and early detection of serious diseases, and an end to preventable medical errors and hospital-acquired infections.

Finally, I ask you to make sure reform will reduce my costs and give me and all Americans health care security throughout our lives.

[Your name here]

3) : a message to Congress, demanding swift action to pass real health care reform --"Don't let right-wing extremists hold health care reform hostage. Pass President Obama's plan, including a strong public health insurance option."

4)Contact the White House- Tell them we need real reform now, and a strong public option.

5)Email or call your United States Representative:

6)Email or call your United States Senator:

Jill P (64)
Monday September 14, 2009, 9:29 am
With or without the public option HR 3200 will accelerate this country's movement towards self destruction. The entire premise of the Bill is barbaric. Forcing people to buy private insurance is barbaric. It ws tried in Mass. and it is a failure and made things worse. How can anyone be arguing over "public option". There are more cosponsors on HR 676 single payer than on Obama's insurance bailout, yet Americans accept that their Rep.s refuse to support HR 676 and don't demand HR 676. Who is working for whom?
A majority of Americans, doctors and nurses support HR 676. Yet they refuse to support it? And we accept that?
The "public option" is not what everyone is imagining. You are being fooled yet again.
Uninsured Figures Show Mandate-Based Health Reforms Don't Work
“Public Option” Advocates Circle Their Wagons Around Two Useless Sentences in HR 3200

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Thursday September 17, 2009, 7:41 am
The 'public option' is a poor substitute for single payer! Please watch the late Nicholas Skala's interview by SinglePayerAction - link at the end of this comment.

There are still single-payer events & rallies taking place, scheduled around the country -- The activists haven't given up -- Why should we ! ? !

Healthcare Justice Week
September 20th – 30th, 2009

The following contains active links @

Join us in Washington D.C. September 24th, 4:30pm at Upper Senate Park for the 3rd Annual Health Care Justice Vigil.

Join the Mad as Hell Doctors for their Washington D.C. Rally on September 30th in Lafayette Square Park from 4pm - 7pm.

Don't forget to call Congress! Ask your Rep. to support Rep. Weiner's single-payer healthcare amendment, and to retain Rep. Kucinich's state single-payer amendment. Ask your Senators to support S. 703.

■Call your congressional representatives and ask that they cosponsor and actively advocate for HR 676. Call toll free 1-866-338-1015

Mark your calendars for Healthcare-NOW!'s National Strategy Conference on November 14th and 15th. Location and information to be announced soon!

The number of medical, faith, union, political, state, county & local organizations who Endorse HR 676 is enormous ! See them all !!

Please check out these sites and sign the petitions if you haven't yet:

HEALTHCARE - NOW! -- I Support HR 676

Physicians for a National Health Program: PNHP is at the forefront of research and action for a Single-Payer National Health Insurance

Keep Alive the Legacy of a Single-Payer Warrior - Nicholas Skala, 27, Died of Unknown Causes :
Northwestern U law student, senior researcher for Physicians for a National Health Program, 'air-lifted' to DC this summer to see if he could help move the single-payer agenda forward - and to work with J Conyers in the House Judiciary. Wrote "'Public Option' Pales Next to Single Payer" for CommonDreams. See the 'SinglePayerAction' video on his Congressional Progressive Caucus presentation.

His death is considered a devastating loss to everyone who knew him in the Single-Payer healthcare movement, and the author of my post, Donna Smith of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, writes: "Nick's influence reached far beyond what most of us will ever achieve."
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