Friday, June 26, 2009

We know the score--now it's Congress's turn!

Every day, citizen activists are pushing to get single payer into the news, onto the table in Congressional hearings, and before the public. And more people are listening!

On Tuesday, Drs. Quentin D. Young and Steffie Woolhandler, of Physicians for a National Health Program, testified before two congressional committees, pointing up the deficiencies in the proposed Tri-Committee Health Reform Plan. Read their testimony here. And in a recent poll, more than 70% of Americans supported a government-administered health care plan. More than half the respondents trusted a government plan to be more cost-effective.

We know single payer health care will save money--more than $400 billion currently spent by private insurers on unnecessary administrative costs, including fighting claims for care. We know that single payer's "everybody in, nobody out" coverage means care for millions of uninsured or underinsured Americans. Now let's push to get the Congressional Budget Office to take an official look at the facts, too.

Please call Representatives Rangel, Waxman and Miller, and Senators Dodd and Baucus. These House and Senate committee chairs need to know it's time for the Congressional Budget Office to score HR 676 and S 703--to analyze the estimated costs, savings, and improvements to coverage if these bills are passed and compare the costs of single payer to other bills and options. Call the Congressional switchboard toll-free at 1-866-338-1015, or see contact information below.

Also, check committee websites (see links by clicking on "Read more") to see if your representative or senators sit on any of these committees. If so, please contact them to ask that they put pressure on their committee chair to have HR 676 and S 703 scored, and to include single payer advocates in any upcoming committee hearings.  Since not all committee chairs welcome comments from out of district, working through your member of Congress is crucial.

Let your own senators and representative know you want the bills scored (and you want them to co-sponsor HR 676 or S 703, if they haven't already!). Find contact info here.

Lastly, ask President Obama that the Congressional Budget Office evaluate the costs and benefits of single payer. You can leave a comment at

Let's not get stuck with budget-busting partial fixes that shore up industry profits at the expense of access to care. Get an early start on celebrating Independence Day by helping to make sure our health care system is independent of corporate rule! 

House Committee on Ways and Means
Chairman: Rep. Charles Rangel: Phone: 202-225-4365, Fax: 202-225-0816, email 

House Committee on Energy and Commerce
Chairman: Rep. Henry Waxman: Phone: 202-225-3976; Fax: 202-225-4099; email

House Committee on Education and Labor
Chairman: Rep. George Miller: Phone: 202-225-2095; Fax: 202-225-5609; email

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
Membership (see sidebar on webpage)
Senator Chris Dodd (for Senator Edward Kennedy): Phone: 202-224-2823, Fax: 202-224-1083; email

Senate Finance Committee
Senator Max Baucus: Phone: 800-332-6106; Fax: 202-224-9412; email

Call today! We know the score--now let's make sure Congress knows it too! Thanks for your work!

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

p.s. Have you signed Senator Bernie Sanders's petition for single payer yet? If yes, thanks! If not, follow this link now!

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