Legislation ‘would bring more harm than good,’ group says
For Immediate Release
Dec. 22, 2009
David Himmelstein, M.D.
Steffie Woolhandler, M.D., M.P.H.
Oliver Fein, M.D.
Mark Almberg, PNHP, (312) 782-6006, firstname.lastname@example.org
A national organization of 17,000 physicians who favor a single-payer health care system called on the U.S. Senate today to defeat the health care legislation presently before it and to immediately consider the adoption of an expanded and improved Medicare-for-All program.
The 150,000 member National Nurses United, the nation’s largest union and professional organization of registered nurses in the U.S., today criticized the healthcare bill now advancing in the U.S. Senate saying it is deeply flawed and grants too much power to the giant insurers.
“It is tragic to see the promise from Washington this year for genuine, comprehensive reform ground down to a seriously flawed bill that could actually exacerbate the healthcare crisis and financial insecurity for American families, and that cedes far too much additional power to the tyranny of a callous insurance industry,” said NNU co-president Karen Higgins, RN.
NNU Co-president Deborah Burger, RN challenged arguments of legislation proponents that the bill should still be passed because of expanded coverage, new regulations on insurers, and the hope that it will be improved in the House-Senate conference committee or future years.
Representative Conyers Reminds the Senate that
They Work for the People
The Senate voted to end debate on their healthcare legislation to move the process toward reconciling the Senate’s and House’s healthcare bills. Rep. John Conyers issued a statement in response to the Senate’s vote. Key portions of his statement follow:
Last night’s vote in the Senate should be applauded for what it was: an affirmative statement by that body that comprehensive health care reform legislation should not be held captive any longer by a select few. . [However, w]ithout material changes, this legislation will be reform in name only. .
I supported the House bill because it included serious provisions aimed at helping individuals who currently cannot afford to purchase health care by providing subsidies and expanding Medicaid to 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. The Senate bill passed last night does not ensure this same level of affordability ..
Similarly, I supported the House bill because I believe that it is immoral to continue to allow the private health insurance industry to operate without any real checks on its ability to charge unaffordable premiums and deny needed care. That is why I believe competition, as provided through a national Medicare-like public health insurance option and the repeal of the industry’s antitrust exemption, is a necessary component of true reform.
. [T]he excise tax levied on certain “Cadillac” employer-based health care plans in the Senate legislation must be altered. For years, many workers chose to forgo wage increases in exchange for helping their employers offer comprehensive health care plans. . I strongly support the House’s approach to financing health care: an excise tax on the incomes of extremely wealthy Americans.
I look forward to working with the Senate and House Leadership to ensure that the final health care bill address[es] these core principles of affordability, competition, and progressive financing. .
Representative Conyers has again shown that his priorities lie with the American people.
Tim Carpenter, National Director
Progressive Democrats of America is a grassroots PAC that works both inside the Democratic Party and outside in movements for peace and justice. Our goal in 2009: Work with and increase the progressive majority in Congress as we build on our 2008 electoral successes. PDA’s advisory board includes seven members of Congress and activist leaders such as Tom Hayden, Medea Benjamin, Thom Hartmann, Jim Hightower, and Rev. Lennox Yearwood.