Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Five actions for single payer

The Alliance mission is to "end corporate rule." Together AfD members, friends and allies are building a 1-million-or-more national movement to break the corporate for-profit health industry stranglehold on Congress.

Take action now. We can win!
A majority of the American people and a majority of doctors, nurses, health professionals and labor want single-payer.

Make you voice heard. Please circulate this message widely to your family, friends and email list.

Not one pro-single payer speaker was invited to speak before the Senate Finance Committee's recent roundtables on health care. But the committee heard from representatives of the Business Roundtable, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, the AARP, the Heritage Foundation, the drug industry (The Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association), and the high tech medical equipment industry (Advanced Medical Technology Association), among others.

The only voices for the single payer majority so far have been protesters, including the Baucus 8--advocates and doctors who stood up for us at the May 5 roundtable and were arrested by Capitol police (see the video here.) And this morning, as Senate Finance Committee chair Max Baucus opened today's roundtable on health care financing, about 25 nurses in hospital scrubs stood in silent protest, before filing out to applause from several attendees. Five more protestors stood during the roundtable to speak for single payer, and were taken away by police.

Tomorrow, Wednesday , May 13, is a National Lobby Day for Single-Payer, with a rally from 12:00 - 2:00 pm in Upper Senate Park, near the Union Metro Stop, Washington, D.C. But wherever you are, we must keep up the pressure for single payer!

Here are five actions you can take to make sure "everybody's in, nobody's out" of our healthcare system:

1. H.R. 676, Rep. Conyer's Single-Payer bill now has 75 cosponsors, but we need 218 votes in the House to pass H.R. 676. (see a list of cosponsors here). If your Representative is not a cosponsor call his/her office at 202-224-3121.
2. Send a fax supporting single payer to the President and top Congress and Committee members at www.1payer.net/campaigns/fax.html
3. Leave your comment to show strong support of single-payer reform bills HR 676 and S 703 at the comments page of www.healthreform.gov.
4. Write/call/email your Governor, state and Congressional representatives. Find contacts at www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml
5. PLAN NOW: May 30 is a National Day of Action to show solidarity with demonstrations at the AHIP-American Health Insurance Plans National Convention in SanDiego, CA.

May 30 National Day of Action
Check this site to see if your town/city has an event planned. If not, plan one and post it to the calendar by emailing info@healthcare-now.org. Call your local press - let them know the "what, when and where." Videotape events, post them online, and don't forget to tell us about your action at afd@thealliancefordemocracy.org.

Your event can be large or small with local allies and friends. Contact the AfD office at 781-894-1179 or afd@thealliancefordemocracy.org for copies of "Truths and Myths about Single Payer", or download here. Have sign-up sheets and forward names to your Congress members.

Some ideas:

* Table at a Farmer's Market in support of HR 676 and Senate Bill 703
* Hold a vigil at a district office of your member of the state legislature or of Congress. Dress in black to honor the 22,000 who die every year from lack of health insurance.
* Hold a rally - create political theater to "Put Healthcare on the Table." Get attention! - wear a hospital gown and "foam butt" (to see what we mean, here's some photos) and hold signs saying "I Demand Full Coverage." Order "foam butt" here.
* Hold a Single-Payer Truth Hearing.

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