Monday, April 13, 2009

"Tax Day" Call-in to Congress for HR 676--where do you want your federal health care dollars to go?

On April 15th, the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care will hold its monthly call-in day for single-payer national health care. Members of the Alliance for Democracy will be joining with members of more than 70 Leadership Conference allied organizations to tell our legislators "Tax payer dollars should go to people, not profits. Support single-payer national health care now."

Other reform proposals put our taxes to work subsidizing insurance company profits, not paying for real care. We need a system that controls for-profit interests and skyrocketing costs, and addresses the appalling inequities that come from a system that puts investor return before patient welfare. The answer is single payer health care.

What about the "public option" plan that Howard Dean, Democracy for America and MoveOn are promoting? Despite what you might have heard, this will likely not be "medicare for everyone," but simply some degree of regulation brought to bear on private insurers so that individuals will be able to purchase some kind of insurance, with some degree of subsidy for those with low or moderate incomes. This is halfway reform at best, and timed more to help the insurance industry than the people. Consider the following:

  • Private insurance giants are struggling, losing up to 30,000 customers daily due to job losses and the resulting loss of benefits for the unemployed.
  • Mandating the purchase of insurance from private industry is a bailout. Our tax dollars subsidize CEO salaries and company profits.
  • Those of us who buy "public option" policies will have insurance, but will we have health care? How good will these plans be allowed to be if they're in "competition" with private industry?
  • A "public option" leaves our current health care system, with its expensive administrative overhead, intact.
We join with Physicians for a National Health Program, the California Nurses Association, Healthcare-Now, and more than 500 labor unions in saying no to partial reform and drawing our line in the sand for single payer health care.

So on April 15th, 2009, we ask that you join with thousands of others to call Congress, to support single-payer legislation in both the House (HR 676) and the Senate (S703). If you don't know your Congresspersons, or want a script, all of the information you need is on Healthcare Now's National Call-In Day page.

Call the Capitol Switchboard at 866-338-1015. Ask to be connected to your senators and representatives, and then ask them to support HR 676 in the House or S703 in the Senate. If your rep is already one of the 74 HR 676 co-sponsors, thank him or her. Note that the Senate version of the bill has no co-sponsors yet.

Don't pass up another opportunity to speak out! Remember, your call might be the one that convinces your legislator to get behind the people on single payer health care!

And here's a heads-up for May:

National Lobby Day and Rally for Single-Payer in Washington DC--Wednesday, May 13

The California Nurses Association will be bringing 500 nurses to rally for single payer and lobby on the Hill. Mark your calendars and if at all possible, get to DC for this important event. Join the rally at 12 noon, at Upper Senate Park near the Union Station Metro Stop, and join a delegation meeting with your representative. Delegations are being organized now. To take part, contact Katie Robbins at Health Care Now asap--email or call 1-800-453-1305. Katie also has some travel information.

No comments: