On Tuesday, July 21, at 11:30 pm EDT, watch Dr. Aaron Carroll talk about single-payer health reform on The Colbert Report, the Emmy award-winning satirical television program on Comedy Central.
Dr. Carroll is a board member of Physicians for a National Health Program (www.pnhp.org), an organization of 16,000 physicians, medical students and health professionals who support single-payer national health insurance.
Urge Pennsylvania State Senate to help jobless workers
The House took decisive action on July 7 to provide a lifeline to some 57,000 Pennsylvanians who are still looking for work but are running out of unemployment compensation.
The legislation (H.B. 1770) would temporarily change the mechanism Pennsylvania uses to trigger extended unemployment benefits. Byswitching the state’s trigger to the total unemployment rate, the state could draw on $145 million in federal stimulus money to offer seven weeks of additional emergency unemployment benefits.
If the Senate does not act quickly, tens of thousands of Pennsylvania workers and their families will lose the only safety net they have right now. Just this weekend, benefits to about 18,000 unemployed workers will not continue.
You can help in this fight. Visit the House Democrats’ online action center and send a message to the Senate. Tell the Senate to make use of the available federal funding for jobless workers and to pass the bill today.
Call Sen. Elder Vogel today: 724-774-0444 Rochester, 724-654-1444 New Castle.
Two More Labor Councils Endorse HR 676. Total Now 130.
In Grand Forks, North Dakota, the Northern Valley Labor Council AFL-CIO of Western Minnesota and Eastern North Dakota has endorsed HR 676, single payer health care legislation introduced by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), reports Mark Froemke, President of the West Minnesota Area Labor Council. The Council voted at its June 9th meeting.
In Portland, Oregon, the Northwest Oregon Labor Council voted June 22nd to endorse HR 676 and to submit a resolution to the National AFL-CIO Convention calling for an endorsement of HR 676.
United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 Secretary-Treasurer Jeff Anderson, a member of the Executive Board of the Northwest Oregon Council, helped in bringing forward the resolution to the Executive Board and to the Council. Other supporting unions included IBEW Local 48, the Machinists, and CWA, reports Margaret Butler, CWA Local 7901 council delegate.
One hundred and thirty Labor Councils and Area Labor Federations have now endorsed HR 676.
About 25 people gathered at the Center Township Volunteer Fire Dept in Beaver County on the evening of July 16, sat down in a circle of folding chairs, and got involved in a new initiative from the Obama administration, a ‘listening tour’ to hear out local activists on current political battles.
The event was pulled together by the new nationwide project of the Democratic National Committee, Organizing for America (OFA), and local Democratic Party leaders. Peter Lesser, OFA Field Organizer for Western PA, and former Obama campaign organizer in Chester, PA, led the session. He was introduced by Rocco Giammaria from the Center Township Democratic Committee, and leader of the Obama campaign in Pennsylvania. Dr. Mike Sisk, Beaver County Democratic Chairman, and Tony Amadio, Chairman of the Beaver County Commissioners also participated in the meeting.
No time today for a lengthy analysis of the Tri-Committee health bill. My quick-and-dirty take is this.Those who think the bill is a wonderful progressive victory with a robust public option are wrong, and, on the flip side, the charge that it’s a “bailout for the insurance industry” is totally divorced from what the bill would actually do if passed.
It is the most progressive, comprehensive and significant health care legislation to come down the pike since Medicare was passed in 1965. If it were enacted as written, it’d go a long way to solving a lot of our problems (but by no means all) and wouldn’t break the bank in the process. (I’ll have more next week on the good, the bad and the ugly in the new bill.)
But it also fails some of the basic criteria that most progressives have long said is a red-line that can’t be crossed. First and foremost, it doesn’t have a public option that can compete with private insurers and result in significant cost savings.
It has a public plan in which — as far as the statute goes (it can be expanded in 2015 but there’s no mandate to do so) — only 9-10 million people will be eligible to enroll by 2019. Similarly, the publicly-administered exchanges are projected to cover about 30 million by that year. (These relatively small insurance pools will be able to bargain in concert with Medicare to some degree, so their power will be magnified, but still…)
House Committee Allows States to Create Single-Payer Healthcare
By David Swanson
July 17, 2009
Kucinich amendment receives bi-partisan support
[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a victory for single-payer advocates. Our job in the ensuing weeks will be to ensure that this amendment does not get stripped from the final legislation.]
On Friday morning at 9:45 a.m. ET in the House Committee on Education and Labor, the committee members voted 25 to 19 to pass Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s amendment to the healthcare reform bill. This amendment, if it survives the full House, the Senate, the conference, and the President, will not alter the federal legislation except to allow states to create single-payer healthcare systems if they choose to. If this change to the bill makes news, it will pass the Senate, because there is no legitimate argument against it, and the support for it is bipartisan.