UMWA Local 9926 Endorses HR 676 – Single Payer Healthcare

In Booneville, Indiana, Roger Anderson, President of United Mine Workers (UMWA) Local 9926, reports that his local has also endorsed HR 676. Roger Anderson said: “The UMWA has been at the forefront of health care. It was one of the first unions to negotiate health care for its working members and retirees and the only union to build hospitals in rural areas to guarantee access to health care for its members and their families. With the present system in place, the members of Local 9926 understand that the health care they have fought for and were promised for life can be taken away overnight.”

Thirty Arrested at WV ‘Mountaintop Removal’ Protest

Mountaintop removal protest:
Finding a path forward?

by Ken Ward Jr.
The Charleston Gazette

SUNDIAL, W.Va. — It was quite a scene outside Massey Energy’s Goals Coal Co. operation Tuesday.

First, there were the protesters — a mix of West Virginia residents and those darned out-of-state agitators — playing some hillbilly music, doing some speechifying, and then marching down W.Va. 3 in the hopes of being carted off by State Police troopers, joining the ranks of those who have been arrested in the growing civil disobedience campaign against mountaintop removal.

Then, there were the miners and their families. They revved up motorcycle engines, honked air horns and did one heck of a lot of yelling, all trying to drown out the protesters. Then, of course, they massed together, blocking the entrance to the mine site, thwarting any hopes the other side had of trespassing on Massey property.
And oh yeah, Daryl Hannah was there — and she smiled and waved as she got hauled off in a nice, blue-and-gold trooper cruiser. There was also some guy named James Hansen, who happens to be one of the world’s top climate scientists. He got arrested, too.

Continue reading Thirty Arrested at WV ‘Mountaintop Removal’ Protest

Single-Payer, Medicare for All, is Best Solution to Crisis

June 24, 2009

Charles Idelson, 510-273-2246
or Tim Carpenter, 413-320-2015

Nurses, Progressive Dems Seek Stepped Up
Action for Real, “Robust” Healthcare Reform

WASHINGTON – June 24 – With action heating up in Washington for enactment of comprehensive healthcare reform, the nation’s largest RN union and professional association joined with progressive Democratic Party activists today in calling for the most “robust” reform of all to repair the nation’s healthcare crisis, by enacting a single-payer system in the form of an expanded and updated Medicare for all.

In a joint statement, the National Nurses Organizing Committee/California Nurses Association and Progressive Democrats of America announced they are stepping up calls and other lobbying efforts to urge Congressional leaders to include discussion of the single-payer option in upcoming deliberations on the healthcare reform legislation now advancing in Congress.
Continue reading Single-Payer, Medicare for All, is Best Solution to Crisis

The Banks Have Too Much Power: $13.9 TRILLION Committed to Banks, $44 billion Spent on Economic Stimulus! (less than 1%)

Government Support for Financial Assets and Liabilities Announced in 2008 and Soon Thereafter ($ in billions)
Important note: Amounts are gross loans, asset and liability guarantees and asset purchases, do not represent net cost to taxpayers, do not reflect contributions of private capital expected to accompany some programs, and are announced maximum program limits so that actual support may fall well short of these levels
  Year-end 2007 Year-end 2008 Subsequent or Announced Capacity If Different
Treasury Programs
TARP investments1 $0 $300 $700
Funding GSE conservatorships2 $0 $200 $400
Guarantee money funds3 $0 $3,200
Federal Reserve Programs
Term Auction Facility (TAF)4 $40 $450 $900
Primary Credit5 $6 $94
Commercial Paper Funding Facility (CPFF)6 $0 $334 $1,800
Primary Dealer Credit Facility (PDCF)5 $0 $37
Single Tranche Repurchase Agreements7 $0 $80
Agency direct obligation purchase program8 $0 $15 $200
Agency MBS program8 $0 $0 $1,250
Asset-backed Commercial Paper Money Market Mutual Fund
Liquidity Facility (AMLF)9 $0 $24
Maiden Lane LLC (Bear Stearns)9 $0 $27
AIG (direct credit)10 $0 $39 $60
Maiden Lane II (AIG)5 $0 $20
Maiden Lane III (AIG)5 $0 $27
Reciprocal currency swaps11 $14 $554
Term securities lending facility (TSLF) and TSLF options program(TOP)12 $0 $173 $250
Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF)13 $0 $0 $1,000
Money Market Investor Funding Facility (MMIFF)14 $0 $0 $600
Treasury Purchase Program (TPP)15 $0 $0 $300
FDIC Programs
Insured non-interest bearing transactions accounts16 $0 $684
Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program (TLGP)17 $0 $224 $940
Joint Programs
Citi asset guarantee18 $0 $306
Bank of America asset guarantee19 $0 $0 $118
Public-Private Investment Program (PPIP)20 $0 $0 $500
Estimated Reductions to Correct for Double Counting
TARP allocation to Citi and Bank of America asset guarantee21     – $13
TARP allocation to TALF21     – $80
TARP allocation to PPIP21     – $75
Total Gross Support Extended During 2008   $6,788
Maximum capacity of support programs announced through first quarter 200922     $13,903


Continue reading The Banks Have Too Much Power: $13.9 TRILLION Committed to Banks, $44 billion Spent on Economic Stimulus! (less than 1%)

Single Payer National Healthcare is the Only Affordable Solution – If the Insurance Company Public Option Compromise Passes Hold on to Your Wallet

Single Payer National Healthcare is the Only Affordable Solution
by Randy Shannon

A national single payer universal healthcare system is the only affordable solution to the healthcare crisis facing the nation. As embodied in HR 676, National Healthcare will require all healthcare providers to become non-profit organizations. National Healthcare, as the only source of payments to providers, will also replace all of the insurance companies.

This is a key feature of National Healthcare that saves over $400 billion in annual waste. The current “compromise” backed by the President and the wealthy US Senators actually increases the waste by forcing another 46 million Americans to buy insurance.

In order to cover those who will not meet the income level that requires them to buy insurance, the “compromise public option” will have to find the money by cutting funds that would go to healthcare providers. Now the President is publicly floating “proposals” to save money.

 A chief proposal is to cut payments to healthcare providers rather than eliminate the skimming by Wall Street and the insurance companies. This is not a solution.

Another suggestion is to tax workers healthcare benefits as income, another blow to the working class, already reeling from cuts in income, unemployment, rising taxes, and eroding public services. That is not a solution.

As the following New York Times article shows, the proposals for saving enough money to expand coverage within the current for-profit insurance industry-controlled system rely on so many “if-then” propositions that there will be no certainty except that the insurance industry remains in place to pick up the pieces.

The voices of union members and their locals in resolutions supporting single payer are becoming more powerful as the national AFL-CIO and CTW leaders see that their compromise with the bosses is going to backfire.

The voices of the voting public are becoming more and more powerful as advocates of single payer national healthcare, the only workable solution – a solution already embraced by the rest of the industrial nations.

See the New York Times coverage on the following page.

Single Payer National Healthcare Gaining Ground: an Update

The Rise of Single-Payer Health Care

Friday 12 June 2009

Rally for Single Payer Healthcare in L.A.
Rally for Single Payer Healthcare in L.A.

Health care reform plans are being drafted and passed around on both sides of Capitol Hill, but the plan with the greatest number of Congress members behind it was first introduced as a bill six years ago. With two new co-sponsors having just signed on, Congressman John Conyers’s single-payer health care plan, HR 676, now has 80 Congress members supporting it.

A House committee held a hearing on single-payer health coverage on Wednesday, and a Senate committee included single payer in a hearing on Thursday. Many opponents of single payer, including President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, say it would be the ideal solution if it were possible.

A single-payer or “Medicare for all” system that eliminates for-profit health insurance and simply pays for everyone’s treatment by private doctors and hospitals of their choosing is also the only solution consistently favored by a majority of Americans in polls. The proposal, already in place in most of the world’s wealthy nations, is raised at every health care town-hall forum that Congress members or President Obama speak at, including the one Obama held on Thursday in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

The president always rejects single payer on the grounds that some Americans are too fond of their health insurance companies to part with them. A report by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting last week found that the corporate media still virtually bans coverage of single payer. A Senate bill being championed by Sen. Chris Dodd in place of ailing Sen. Edward Kennedy, does not include single payer (which is supported by only one US senator, Bernie Sanders). The Kennedy-Dodd bill, at least in its initial draft, does not even include a “public option,” that is a Medicare-like program to exist alongside the private insurance companies. The House bill is being drafted by one current and two former co-sponsors of HR 676, Congressmen George Miller, Henry Waxman and Charles Rangel, but it avoids single payer, championing a public option instead. Other competing Senate bills are expected to complicate things further.

Continue reading Single Payer National Healthcare Gaining Ground: an Update