By Staff of Single Payer Action – And the only Senate member of the Progressive Caucus — Bernie Sanders — is dragging his feet on introducing a companion single payer bill in the Senate. Recalcitrant Democrats say they are too busy defending Obamneycare to get behind single payer. Typical is Progressive Caucus member Don Beyer who said that while he has voiced support for single payer in the past, his immediate priority is “protecting the health care achievements of President Obama.” There is a history here, of course. Back in 2009, a young single payer activist, Nick Skala, ran into the same kind of stonewall from the Progressive Caucus, when he presented the case for single payer.
By Russell Mokhiber for Morgan County USA. Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) is looking at a Canadian style single payer system. It’s the second time in a month that Manchin has told constituents that he’s looking at a Medicare for all system to replace an unraveling Obamneycare. Manchin has been clear that he will vote against the emerging Trumpcare/Ryancare that will balloon the ranks of the uninsured from 30 million under Obamneycare to 50 million. A single payer system would leave zero people uninsured. Under single payer, every citizen gets a birth certificate and a Medicare card at birth.
By Margaret Flowers for Health Over Profit – If you were watching the live stream of President Trump’s rally in Nashville, TN on Wednesday, you may have noticed that at one point shouting arose to his right causing him to wave his right hand dismissively, pause and turn his back to the audience. When he turned back around, Trump said, “One person and that will be the story tomorrow. Did you hear there was a protester?” Click here to see the live stream. The interruption begins about 1 hour and 24 minutes in. That ‘one protester’ was Dr. Carol Paris, the current president of Physicians for a National Health Program and a member of the steering committee of Health Over Profit for Everyone, and she was able to get his attention in a sea of people.
By Bruce A. Dixon for Black Agenda Report – If politics is the art of the possible, what do supposedly progressive politicians and political organizations fight for after they decide that jobs, justice and peace are impossible? Do they fight for their positions and prerogatives? For the biggest campaign contributions? It’s not hard to tell who is on the side of the people. There are after all, bright lines. Last week Physicians for a National Health Care Plan released a press statement declaring the Republican plan to replace Obamacare “a re-branded and far meaner version” of the 2010 Affordable Health Care Act. This ought to raise a pertinent question: If all Republicans have to do is “re-brand” and tweak Obamacare, was it really much good to start with?
By Michael Corcoran for FAIR – In May 2009, at the infancy of the healthcare reform battle that led to the Affordable Care Act, a group of nurses and single-payer activists were arrested for disrupting a Senate Finance Committee meeting chaired by Sen. Max Baucus (D.–Mont.) (Democracy Now, 5/13/09). These activists had been ignored by politicians and corporate media for years (FAIR.org, 3/6/09), and hoped an arrest, or eight, would bring attention to their cause. Despite the efforts of the “Baucus 8,” the New York Times did not report on the event. Nor did much of the rest of the dominant media.
By Ellen Brown for Web of Debt – The secret to the success of these more efficient systems is that they control medical costs. According to T. R. Reid in The Healing of America, they follow one of three models: the “Bismarck model” established in Germany, in which health providers and insurers are private but insurers are not allowed to make a profit; the “Beveridge model” adopted in Britain, where most healthcare providers work as government employees and the government acts as the single payer for all health services; and the Canadian model, a single-payer system in which the healthcare providers are mostly private.
By Staff of eNews Park Forest – RACINE, WI –(ENEWSPF)–March 14, 2017. In the wake of a Congressional Budget Office analysis that the GOP health plan will cause 24 million Americans to lose their health coverage, 250 people from Illinois and Wisconsin braved a blizzard and bitter temperatures outside Speaker Paul Ryan’s office here Tuesday to demand he drop his ruthless health care repeal plan. Seniors and activists from Fair Economy Illinois and the Jane Addams Senior Caucus converged with members of Citizen Action of Wisconsin (all People’s Action organizations), with SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Americans.
By Staff of Labor Campaign for Single Payer – The Affordable Care Act never really solved the healthcare crisis. It treated healthcare as a commodity allocated through market forces rather than as a public good and failed to address the profiteering at the core of our healthcare system, forcing it to use a series of confusing and convoluted mechanisms to expand heath insurance coverage and regulate health insurance providers. The most unpopular of these provisions was the “individual mandate”–the requirement that everyone who wasn’t covered by a qualified employment-based plan or eligible for a public healthcare program had to purchase private health insurance coverages.
By Staff of Single Payer Action – Bernie has yet to introduce his single payer bill into the Senate — despite promises from his health care legislative assistant that he will do so. (A Sanders aide told one single payer supporter that “Senator Sanders will definitely introduce a single payer bill in the Senate this Congress.” When asked to be more specific, the aide told the caller they can’t be more specific “because we don’t want to give the opposition time to organize against the bill.”) And at a CNN healthcare debate with Senator Ted Cruz earlier this year, Bernie embarrassed himself when he was asked a question by a small business owner in Texas.
By Staff of Congressional Budget Office – The report’s conclusion is totally believable, despite President Trump, his Secretary of Health and congressional Republicans claiming it is not accurate. Repealing the ACA should result in going back to pre-Obamacare levels of people without insurance — about 50 million people. It is worth noting that an internal White House review found even higher numbers of uninsured, 26 million new uninsured people compared t the CBO’s 24 million. To put these numbers into perspective, a consistently accurate measure is for every one million not covered there will be 1,000 deaths — so the Republican plan will result in 50,000 deaths annually. The ACA, with 29 million without insurance, results in 29,000 annual deaths
By Mensah M. Dean for Philly News – While political heavyweights in Washington slug it out over the merits of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) compared with its newly proposed replacement American Health Care Act (Trumpcare), a group of future doctors from across the country huddled Saturday in Philadelphia to advocate and strategize for an altogether different health insurance option. Most of the 200 medical students who gathered at Temple University’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine building for the sixth annual summit of Students for a National Health Program (SNaHP) said they think Obamacare is inadequate because it leaves an estimated 26 million Americans without health insurance
By Lee Fang and Nick Surgey for The Intercept – JUST HOURS BEFORE House Speaker Paul Ryan held a press conference to sell his health care overhaul legislation — using a PowerPoint presentation mocked for misrepresenting basic facts — he was doing something he’s much better at: fundraising. The two things were related. The Thursday morning breakfast fundraiser he attended was hosted by a lobbying firm working to unwind the Affordable Care Act on behalf of health insurance company Blue Cross Blue Shield, one of the big winners of Ryan’s proposed legislation. The breakfast, according to an invitation, was sponsored by McGuireWoods PAC, the political action committee for the lobbying firm McGuireWoods.
By Tony Pugh for McClutchy DC Bureau – WASHINGTON After more than 17 hours of deliberations, the House Ways and Means Committee approved the Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act early Thursday morning even though the Congressional Budget Office hasn’t determined what the legislation will cost or how many people it will cause to lose health coverage. The House Energy and Commerce Committee is in the midst of a similar marathon session. They’re expected to approve the GOP bill on Thursday, setting the stage for the House Budget Committee to finalize the legislation next week. Republicans hope to move the bill to a full House vote…
By Margaret Flowers for Health Over Profit – On March 6, 2017, Republican leadership in the House of Representatives introduced their healthcare plan for discussion and a vote in two committees, Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means. The plan is to expedite the process of ‘repeal and replace’ using the budget reconciliation process, which only requires 50 votes to pass in the Senate rather than the usual 60 votes. The plan at present is to send the House bill, if it passes, to the Senate floor for a vote. This process may not be as easy as leadership hopes. Already there are significant divisions among Republican members of Congress, especially between those in the House and the Senate.