Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Action Alert: Urge Representatives Today to Support Single-Payer!

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Urge House Members Today to Support Single-Payer

The House of Representative may vote this week on its bill (America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, H.R. 3200) to reform our dysfunctional health care system. Act NOW to keep state single-payer options in this important piece of health care reform legislation!

Tell your representatives to support single-payer health care
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Action Needed:

Thanks to your recent calls, this important amendment was adopted in committee. Now the challenge is to keep it in the larger House health care reform bill, H.R. 3200, when it goes to a floor vote. Your calls and emails to House members are critical to support retention of a state single-payer option in health care reform legislation, so take action now!


On July 17, the Education and Labor Committee approved an amendment offered by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, (D-Ohio) to H.R. 3200 that would allow states to pass and implement single-payer plans. The amendment provides for automatic waivers from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), which might otherwise prevent states from enacting single-payer plans.

This was a huge victory for single-payer but if we are to build on this victory, we must act now. The Kucinich amendment must be retained in the final version of the House bill, H.R. 3200, and perhaps made even stronger. There is no time to waste. Pressure is needed directly on those members who have the ability to act in support of the amendment's retention.

The National Organization for Women adopted a resolution in 1993 that supports a single-payer type approach (Medicare for all) as the best way to control costs and cover everyone. Women, especially, will benefit from a single-payer system because all medically-necessary services are covered and the single-payer system's approach is the only way to bring costs under control. No up-front deductibles would be required and no exclusions for reproductive health care services would be allowed.

Further news: An amendment to be offered by Rep. Anthony Weiner in committee that would establish a national single-payer system (H.R. 676) may take place before the floor vote, though we are not sure when and if this may come up. Insiders believe that the national single-payer plan has little chance of being adopted in a floor vote. However, if action in the House speeds up this week before August recess, we do want to make sure the state single-payer option is retained.

As we celebrate Medicare's 44th Anniversary on Thursday, July 30, join us in taking action to support single-payer as the way to provide health care for all and promote economic justice in our nation.

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Posted by:
Jerin Alam
National NOW Young Feminist Task Force
National Organization for Women (NOW)

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