Friday, January 9, 2009

This is the year for Single Payer! Actions and resources for activists Nation – One Plan –
Support H.R. 676 – The United States
National Health Insurance Act

“Expanded & Improved Medicare for All”

AfD Joins the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care, the National Single Payer Coalition

The Leadership Conference is an independent, non-partisan, voluntary collaboration of a diverse group of organizations – labor, faith, social and economic justice – nurses, teachers and medical professionals - that seeks to mobilize massive nation-wide grassroots public support for single payer healthcare reform and passage of H.R. 676.

The mission of the Coalition is to win a comprehensive, high-quality, publicly funded healthcare program, with a single standard of care for all residents of the United States.

H.R. 676, authored by Rep. John Conyers, D-MI, was introduced to the 110th Congress on January 24, 2007 and currently has 93 sponsors. It will need to be re-introduced in the new 111th Congress. We must increase the number of sponsors and make sure it is passed by the House of Representatives. See Take Action Now below.

HR 676, the "Medicare for All Act," is being reintroduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. John Conyers with the same bill number. Under the legislation, the federal government becomes the "single payer" just like with Medicare. This will eliminate the costly paperwork generated by the hundreds of complicated and redundant payment plans currently imposed on doctors' offices and hospitals by private "for profit" health insurance companies and save BILLIONS of dollars every year. And like with Medicare, there will be no change in the private delivery of health services by doctors and hospitals who will be able to eliminate endless paperwork and serve your needs much more effectively. Just imagine what a huge benefit this will be! Healthcare Reform Must be Stopped! Urgent Action Needed

The Senate (Senators Max Baucus and Edward Kennedy) is proposing a healthcare reform plan that will mandate health insurance coverage for every person in the United States. Individual mandates are bad policy because they subsidize the private health insurance industry, enriching CEOs and corporations. It does not insure more people, and it will likely worsen the more inhumane aspects of our current healthcare system.

We need to tell our elected officials to support national, single-payer healthcare instead. If you're interested in helping, tell your congressperson you want single-payer healthcare (H.R. 676). See Take Action Now below.

And, “Obama Does Not Support HR 676.” Obama’s plan continues the status quo of government subsidized private corporate health insurance operating parallel to and within the lower overhead Medicare system.

Don’t be confused by the Healthcare for America NOW (HCAN) plan.The name is similar to Healthcare-NOW, but private insurance companies play a central role in the HCAN reform that offers a mix of public funding and private insurance. This mix of private and public funding is similar to the Massachusetts Plan that analyists and experts in healthcare reform consider inadequate and failed policy.

Read: Massachusetts Health Reform: Solution or Stopgap? Questions about the Massachusetts health plan? This brochure might help you sort through this recently popular “blueprint” for a national healthcare plan. Get all the details about the limits of mandates and keeping private health insurance companies in the mix. From the brochure: Massachusetts health reform (known as “Chapter 58″) has been billed as a “model for the nation” and a “blueprint to universal coverage.” This rhetoric has generated expectations that Massachusetts residents of all incomes will be able to get affordable coverage. This hype distracts us from what really has been achieved, what hasn’t, and the strengths and weaknesses of the political strategy that brought us the new law.

What Is National Health Insurance (NHI)?
To begin with, it is NOT “Socialized Medicine”, far from it in fact. Also, it does not mean that our medical system will be taken over by the government and run like the post office as many of our opposition friends would mistakenly have you believe.

Taxes: We all know that nothing of any real value is ever free, but if you think of the taxes that will be required to support national health insurance as simply a lower cost alternative to the staggering private health insurance premiums that most of us already have to pay but which will be totally eliminated under the new system, then it becomes immediately clear that this could be a
really good deal after all!

  • The Citizens Alliance for National Health Insurance,, Inc.
  • Healthcare-NOW
  • Physicians for a National Health Program – PNHP is a non-profit research and education organization of 15,000 physicians, medical students and health professionals who support single-payer national health insurance.

  • Educational Materials
  • Print and distribute this brochure: What in the World is Single Payer Health Care: Truths and Myths!
  • Top 10 Reasons For Enacting a Single Payer Healthcare System
  • Memo to Obama: National Health Insurance The Only Solution, by John Geyman, MD, Published by Tikkun Magazine, January 7, 2009 link title to
  • Show Health, Money and Fear, a 47-minute DVD about our failed health care system, by emergency room physician Paul Hochfeld. Why does health care cost so much? What does our system say about us? What can we do about it? Healthcare, says Hochfeld, is about caring. It’s not an industry, it’s not a business. View trailer and listen to radio interviews. To order for a donation of $0 - $25.00 email

  • Take Action Now
  • Distribute this flier from the Alliance for Democracy calling for passage of HR 676 and single-payer health care. The Coalition will be distributing flyers in Washington, D.C. from January 15 – 20. If you are not in D.C., please download and print out this flyer and distribute at public places in your community
  • AfD is preparing “Single Payer” Health Care Information Packets: available soon to download from the website or to order from the AfD office. Invite friends and community members to a Single Payer “House Party” – Organize a Town Hall Meeting. For ideas, information and questions, call Barbara Clancy, AfD Office Manger in Waltham, MA at 781-894-1179 or email at: and put Health Care in the subject line.
  • Set up meeting with your Congressional Representative. For visits to the local office of your Member of Congress, seek appointments during congressional recess periods when your Member of Congress returns to your district (check the House schedule). Legislators are also frequently home in the district Friday through Monday when Congress is in session. Here is a Congressional Visit “How To” Kit for setting up a meeting
  • Plan an event. To request a PNHP speaker email or call their national office in Chicago at 312-782-6006.
  • There is a PNHP Chapter in almost every state. For the status of healthcare reform in your state and to find chapters, speakers, and connect with allied groups go to and click on state.
  • Write an Op-Ed or “Letter to the Editor.” Here’s a sample Op-Ed: “Single-payer health system could save billions,” by Peter Mott, MD, and member of AfD’s Single Payer Health Care Committee, that appeared in the Rochester Democrat And Chronicle, December 7, 2008. Submit an item to your local paper and let us know when it is printed so we can post on our website. And from PNHP, here are excellent guidelines for writing an “Op-Ed” or “Letter to the Editor”

  • Up-Coming Events

    January 15th CALL! CALL! CALL!

    National Call-In Day for HR 676
    The Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Healthcare/National Single Payer Coalition Steering Committee adopted an action plan for two national call-in days to Congressional members to support HR676.

    The first national call-in day was Monday, December 22nd and it was a total success! Hundreds of calls were made across the country, and Senator Kennedy’s office was flooded with single-payer support.

    The second national call-in day is January 15t
    h. Find out how to contact your representatives from Project Vote Smart.

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