Thursday, June 4, 2009

Committee Chairs need calls in support of single payer!

UPDATE: In the alert below we ask you to call House Committee on Energy and Commerce chair Henry A. Waxman, but according to someone who called earlier today, he doesn't take any input or opinions from non-constituents (Reps. Rangel and Miller will take comments from anywhere in the nation). She writes, "The number for him is useless, but spreading around his refusal to hear input from citizens affected by his chairmanship - even though we may not be in his district, this is a country-wide concern - might be useful." So consider yourself informed!

The House of Representatives will be moving forward with health care reform legislation in the coming weeks. The draft bill is scheduled to be released the week of June 15. From there the bill will go to three House committees: Energy and Commerce, Education and Labor, and Ways and Means.

Please call the chairmen of these committees and say that "because the majority of Americans, doctors and nurses support a universal single payer health care system, we hope to see a robust debate on single payer health care--with single payer advocates as witnesses--at the hearings in the People's House."

Remind each of them that it is was disgraceful to see Senator Baucus arrest doctors and nurses at the Senate Finance Committee roundtables. These individuals were blocked from providing their expert analysis and information on health care reform. It would be outrageous for this to occur in the House of Representatives as well.

Here are the chairmen to call:

  • Energy and Commerce Chairman: Rep. Henry Waxman (202) 225-2927 (but see above!)
  • Education and Labor Chairman: Rep. George Miller (202)-225-3725
  • Ways and Means Chairman: Rep. Charles Rangel Phone: (202) 225-3625
In Mid-May, Representatives John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), and Donna Edwards (D-MD), along with Michael Lighty and Donna Smith from the California Nurses Association and Tim Carpenter of the Progressive Democrats of America, met with House Democratic Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer. Rep. Hoyer indicated that he was supportive of "robust, deep debate on single payer" in the House during the 111th Congress. Let's hold him to it!

On June 3, Sen. Baucus finally met with single payer advocates, although he told them he would not be inviting their participation in reform discussions. Read about it here, as well as President Obama's June 3 letter to Senators Baucus and Kennedy, in which he outlines his coverage and cost-cutting goals for health care reform.

AfD's team for single payer thanks you for your calls to Congress. In the coming weeks, you--we all--can make a difference in the debate when the House takes up health care reform.

Nancy, Lou, Peter, Ruth W., David D., Rick, Ruth W. and Barbara


caitlin said...

I had a similar conversation when I called Engery and Commerce, but the girl I spoke with was very helpful. She suggested that I call my own representative about the single-payer healthcare. I called his office and they took all of my information, and said that my congressman was also in favor of a single-payer option. I highly suggest everyone call their congressmen as well, especially if they're not from waxman's district in LA.
good luck everyone

margaret from nc said...

From what I understand, they havent actually set a date for the release of their draft?
That means there's still time to get our own representatives in on the single-payer conversation. The more people at the table the better! If you're fed up with calling Henry Waxman at the committee, just call your own congressman and make sure they support a single-payer option.
why are we just stopping at these committees, let's get all of congress to support it!