Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Medicare for All is still on the table

Medicare for All--

  1. The Weiner amendment [PDF] --will be submitted for a floor vote in the House, in the coming days,  - This will be a historic vote - the fist time ever Single-Payer has gotten a floor vote.

  2. The Kucinich amendment, [PDF] which will more easily allow states to implement single-payer plans, is already within the bill and must be retained.

Please contact your member of Congress (and members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC)) to ask them to vote in support of both amendments.

Passing these amendments will be difficult, but the votes on them will help set the benchmarks for the next debates on health care so they really do matter. Win or lose, we’ll know who our friends in Congress are...

  1. Sen. Bernie Sanders is sponsoring a Medicare for All bill in the Senate, S. 703. Tell your Senators to support it; find contact info here.  He has said that he will be introducing amendments to the Senate Health Care bill, so keep your eyes and ears open for them.
Why it is important to keep fighting for real Health Care Reform:

As Kip Sullivan points out in "Public option" bait-and-switch campaign fools pollsters"
The New York Times reported on Saturday, October 17, that Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) is warning his constituents that the “public option” is not going to be available to the great majority of Americans. No one who has actually read the Senate health committee’s “reform” bill or the House “reform” bill (HR 3200) disputes this. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the “option” will be available only to about 30 million people, or about one American in ten. As the Times put it (slightly inaccurately), the “option” in the Democrats’ legislation “would be out of bounds to the approximately 160 million people already covered through employers.”

Does the public understand this? According to Wyden, they don’t. Wyden says his constituents are shocked when they are told the "option" will not be available to the vast majority of Americans. When he began informing his constituents about this truth last summer, "They nearly fell out of the bleachers," he said.
Once a bill is passed and signed by President Obama, voters will start to learn just how little help the current reform policies will provide. While it is probable that the reforms will continue to funnel money to the Health Insurance companies to fund their lobbying machines, the relief for citizens maybe too little and/or too complicated and I don't believe anything currently being offered will be sustainable in the long term. So we will come back to this table. And that is why good support for the current Single Payer amendments to H.R. 3200 in the House are critically important.

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