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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/17/09

Dennis Kucinich; Exciting Single Payer Healthcare Update

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Dear Friends,

With your support, your phone
calls, your emails, we won a major legislative victory today for a
state single payer health care option in the House of Representatives
in Washington, DC. The House Education and Labor Committee approved the
Kucinich Amendment by a vote of 27-19, with 14 Democrats and 13
Republicans voting yes.

amendment propels the growing single payer health care movement at the
state level. There are at least ten states which have active single
payer efforts in their legislatures. They are California, Colorado,
Illinois, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania
and Washington. The amendment mandates a single payer state will
receive the right to waive the application of the Employee Retirement
Income Security Act (ERISA), which has in the past been used to nullify
efforts to expand state or local government health care.

the Kucinich Amendment a state's application for a waiver from ERISA is
granted automatically if the state has signed into law a single payer
plan. With the amendment, for the first time, the state single payer
health care option is shielded from an ERISA-based legal attack. Now
that the underlying bill has been passed, as amended, by the full
committee, we must make sure that Congress knows that we want the
provision kept in the bill at final passage!

The state single
payer option was one of five major amendments which I obtained support
to get included in HR3200. One amendment brings into standard coverage
for the first time complementary and alternative medicine, (integrative
medicine). Another amendment drives down the cost of prescription drugs
by ending pharmaceutical industry's sharp practices manipulating
physician prescribing habits. An amendment stops the insurance industry
from increasing premiums at the time when people are not permitted to
change health plans; and finally an amendment imposing a requirement on
insurance companies that they disclose the cost of advertising,
marketing and executive compensation expenses (which generally divert
money from patient care).

Please make sure you post this message
on your social networking site, ask all your friends to get involved
and encourage everyone you know to sign up at so we can build full momentum behind this movement for real health care.

Let's do this!

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Dennis Kucinich is former US Congressman and two-time presidential candidate from Ohio who served 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Visit his website at  KucinichAction

Follow him on Twitter at @Dennis_Kucinich
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