Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Health Care Reform in the House - Committees & Contacts

Wednesday June 10 there will hearings devoted to single payer with PNHP leaders among those testifying, being held by the Education and Labor Committee (George Miller & Robert Andrews). Yeah for the people's house.

Now here is what I at least am asking for:

1. Single payer policy wonks and advocates be included in ALL hearings from now on.

2. There must be a complete, honest, side-by-side comparison of all major proposals, including Single Payer HR-676, by the Congressional Budget Office. The side-by-side comparison must include projected costs not only to the federal government, but also to state government, employers and to individuals and households of different income levels. Not just for 2010, but with projections beyond.

Let there be an honest and complete comparison of policy and economics.

This way, if we are not going to get single payer this time around due to the politics, then at least we can fight to make sure that Americans know what it is that they are getting, and what they are not getting.

Out there in the real world there is a very real danger that the distinction is lost and not understood. Too many people in America think what they are getting IS national health insurance.

There is a danger that the general public actually thinks that what has come to be known as public option is the progressive, liberal, left solution. Regardless of the no doubt good faith efforts of the public option, it really is not. It is a pre-compromised kludge of a camel. It is designed to prop up the inherent failure of the for-profit private insurance model, rather than replace it. And it is pre-designed to fail: it will not get us to universal coverage and actual access to care, it will not provide coverage that is comprehensive for all care necessary; it will not control total costs; it will not control individual out of pocket costs.

Now, if single payer policy wonks and advocates are wrong, and this reform is all that is needed and works out great, then let us at least make it the best we can get now. I call it the 51 Senate vote version (I have no interest in the 61 vote version).

But if we are going to be fighting for Reform 2.0 in a few years, then we need plan strategically now in order to win the "I told you so" argument. At the very least we want to be sure that after this "reform" does pass, that if it fails, the next step is forward to single-payer ("see you left the private for-profit in as wasteful cheating unneeded intermediaries that also prevents real planning"), and not backward ("see liberal big government tries to fix things and it went badly") to market fundamentalism.

Click here for more info and lots of contact numbers

If we want real reform we need to act NOW!

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