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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/15/09

Urgent: Single Payer on the Table in Energy and Commerce on Thursday

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I just received this alert.

This Thursday, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) will introduce, in the Energy and Commerce Committee, an amendment that abolishes private insurance and creates a national single-payer system that would cover everyone. This amendment would substitute Rep. John Conyers' (D-MI) single-payer bill, HR 676, for the current Tri-Committee Health Reform Bill.

If your representative is a member of the Energy & Commerce Committee, please call and ask him or her to support Rep. Weiner's single payer amendment.

Energy & Commerce Committee members can be found at:

The Congressional Switchboard can be reached, toll free at 800-473-6711.

If your representative is not a member of the Committee, please call Committee Chair Henry Waxman at 202-225-3976 and ask him to support Weiner's single payer amendment.

HR 676 would institute a single payer health care system by expanding a greatly improved Medicare system to everyone residing in the U. S.

HR 676 would cover every person for all necessary medical care including prescription drugs, hospital, surgical, outpatient services, primary and preventive care, emergency services, dental, mental health, home health, physical therapy, rehabilitation (including for substance abuse), vision care, hearing services including hearing aids, chiropractic, durable medical equipment, palliative care, and long term care.

HR 676 ends deductibles and co-payments. HR 676 would save hundreds of billions annually by eliminating the high overhead and profits of the private health insurance industry and HMOs.

In the current Congress, HR 676 has 85 co-sponsors in addition to Conyers. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has introduced SB 703, a single payer bill in the Senate.

The Democratic leadership bill, America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, fails to control costs, does not provide health care for all, undermines the economy and makes job growth more difficult.

"Affordable" health insurance in the Democratic bill means if you make $88,000 per year you will spend 19% of your income on health care that you are required to buy -- or you get additional taxes added to your tax bill. See

And, it will choke the economy. Small businesses, $400,000 and up, will face a penalty of 8% of their payroll if they do not provide health insurance. How is that going to help avoid the jobless recovery that seems to be occurring? In fact, this provision ensures a jobless recovery.

Just as the PATRIOT Act was the opposite of its name, the Affordable Health Choices Act is unaffordable. It wrecks havoc on the already weak economy in order to provide the insurance industry, whose profits have increased from $2.4 billion to $12.9 billion from 2000 to 2007, with hundreds of billions (a low estimate) in new revenue . This bill is pay to play corruption on display in Washington, DC.

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Kevin Zeese is co-chair of Come Home America, www.ComeHomeAmerica.US which seeks to end U.S. militarism and empire. He is also co-director of Its Our Economy, www.ItsOurEconomy.US which seeks to democratize the economy and give people greater (more...)
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