Urgent: Support Kucinich Single-Payer Amendment Today

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    Bob Fertik
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George Miller (CA-7) 202-225-2095
Dale Kildee (MI-5) 202-225-3611
Donald Payne (NJ-10) 202-225-3436
Robert Andrews (NJ-1) 202-225-6501
Bobby Scott (VA-3) 202-225-8351
Lynn Woolsey (CA-6) 202-225-5161
Ruben Hinojosa (TX-15) 202-225-2531
Carolyn McCarthy (NY-4) 202-225-5516
John Tierney (MA-6) 202-225-8020
David Wu (OR-1) 202-225-0855
Rush Holt (NJ-12) 202-225-5801
Susan Davis (CA-53) 202-225-2040
Raul Grijalva (AZ-7) 202-225-2435
Tim Bishop (NY-1) 202-225-3826
Joe Sestak (PA-7) 202-225-2011
David Loebsack (IA-2) 202-225-6576
Mazie Hirono (HI-2) 202-225-4906
Jason Altmire (PA-4) 202-225-2565
Phil Hare (IL-17) 202-225-5905
Yvette Clarke (NY-11) 202-225-6231
Joe Courtney (CT-2) 202-225-2076
Carol Shea-Porter (NH-1) 202-225-5456
Marcia Fudge (OH-11) 202-225-7032
Jared Polis (CO-2) 202-225-2161
Paul Tonko (NY-21) 202-225-5076
Dina Titus (NV-3) 202-225-3252

Rep. Dennis Kucinich proposed a crucial amendment today for single-payer healthcare and we urgently need you to call one or more of the 26 Democrats on the House Education and Labor Committee. Our message is simple:

Please support Rep. Kucinich's Amendment today in the HELP Committee to let states create single-payer healthcare systems. The federal government should give states the freedom to fix our health care crisis.

You can call any time and leave a voicemail if no one answers. If you do speak with a staffer, please post their reply here:
http://www.democrats.com/support-kucinich-single-payer-amendment-today

You can also urge your Senators and Representatives to support the Single Payer Health Plan (H.R. 676) by signing our petition:
http://www.democrats.com/single-payer-petition 

The Kucinich Amendment would let individual states create single-payer healthcare systems even if Congress fails to create a nationwide single-payer system.

That's exactly how Canada evolved towards single-payer: one province at a time. Given the corporate-funded resistance to single-payer in Congress, the U.S. may have to follow the Canadian path.

Progressive activists in California, Illinois and Pennsylvania are leading the way for single-payer systems and the Kucinich Amendment would remove the legal roadblocks they face.

The fate of the Kucinich Amendment rests in the hands of the 26 Democrats above. Please call as many as you can.

Comments

Single Payer bill amendment

  • rvrlady's picture
    rvrlady
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I called David Wu and a staffer answered the phone. She thanked me for my call and said that comments were being collected and passed on to Rep. Wu.

P H Galloway

Also called Rep. Wu - rang for very long, then they hung up

  • Matt_Kreiling's picture
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I could here the receiver rattling. It could have been my WA area code in the caller id.

Single Payer bill amendment

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Wu Signed on !! :-)

I talked to the staffer at 9:30 AM -- and was told Wu just signed on !!

Claire McGee

Kucinich's Amendment -- Results of calls

  • leaderful's picture
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By the way, the link in your blog for posting the results of calls does not work.

Nor did the link in Democrats.com's email today, http://tr.im/sCUD, for making free calls. The link seemed to be downloading -- for several minutes -- but then produced an error message, that the site could not be accessed.

Here are the results of my calls:

Left automated message: Andrews, Courtney, Fudge, Hare, Loebsack, Tierney

Mailbox full: McCarthy

Staffer will convey message requesting amendment's support: Holt, Sestak, Wu

Will support amendment: Clarke, Kildee

Calls Were VERY Heavy

  • Chip's picture
    Chip
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Sorry about the inconvenience, leaderful. Calls yesterday were very heavy, and the system got a bit overwhelmed.

Voicemail full

  • Fatima's picture
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I called Robert Andrews and the voicemail is full, no one answering at David Wu's office, will try the other next.

DLCers oppose single-payer.

  • nasrudin's picture
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The New Dem Coalition members are as likely to support single-payer as Republicans are. Of your list above, here are the DLCers:

Courtney
Holt
McCarthy
Sestak
Wu

Wu signed on.

  • djk4peace's picture
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Wu Signed on !! :-)

I talked to the staffer at 9:30 AM -- and was told Wu just signed on !!

Claire McGee

Health Insurance

  • m3vega's picture
    m3vega
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What is the purpose of Health Insurance companies in our society? Why do they exist? What valuable service do they provide the citizens of our nation?

I understand the purpose of other insurance like for expensive assets, inventory or shipments but not for health related matters.

Our health insurance system seems to be a major scam.

Is it really necessary for US to have to pay the most to die on average at the youngest age among all first world countries?

Is it really necessary to have US and our employers pay into the system for years and years only to have US lose coverage when we need it the most. Should we really have to think about our coverage when we are too sick to work and can't continue to pay the monthly premiums?

Why is it acceptable to have US citizens declaring bankruptcy because they had the misfortune of getting sick? Sickness the leading cause of personal bankruptcy in our country. See ya wouldn't what to be ya.

Is this really cool with US? Is it really acceptable that any one of US may not be getting the health care we need whenever we need it?

Who of US wants the current system to continue?

Report on calls re Single Payer amendment

  • esmeyers's picture
    esmeyers
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Made seven calls . . .
Left message requesting support for Kucinich amendment with the following:
Andrews, Clark, Courtney, Hair
Fudge message box was full
Talked with staffmember for two:
Holt (staffperson said he would forward my request to Rep. Holt; when asked how the Rep. was leaning, he refused to comment)
Kildee (staffperson said he would forward my request for support of amendment and let me know that Kildee is supporting it)

Thanks for making those calls

  • Chip's picture
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and for letting us know what the responses were.

Health Insurance Questions

  • Chip's picture
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You've asked some of the most fundamental questions in this health care debate.

I suppose that health insurance companies would say that they exist to administer the insurance coverage. There are 10 times the number of health insurance workers compared to workers providing direct health care to patients.

There are 1400 insurance companies offering 5000 different policies. That complexity leads physicians and hospitals to employ fleets of people to deal with the various rules and requirements to get paid.

And that really leads to a major issue: it costs 30% more to administer private insurance than it does a public program, like Medicare, and that's a significant cost savings.

You touched on another very important aspect of private insurance: insurance companies can try to end your coverage just when you need it the most. Serious illness and extensive testing and services, co-pays and uncovered services and pharmaceuticals can lead to financial hardship and bankruptcy; medical costs are the cause of 60% of bankruptcies.

As for who among us wants the current system to continue, that would have to be the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, whose lobbyists are spending $1.4 million dollars per day to defeat the public option - let alone single-payer - health insurance reform.

Two Hours Left to Call - Msg from DK

  • davidswanson's picture
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Dear Friends,
It is 6.30 am on Friday and we have just finished a 20 hour marathon committee markup of the health care bill, HR3200, during which I offered the amendment to enable states to pursue single payer health care plans. A recorded vote on my amendment will occur in the Labor and Education committee sometime between 9:15 am and 10:00 am EST. Your help is needed urgently. Please call committee members now and ask for their vote for the Kucinich Amendment.
Thank you, Dennis

NJ Congress

  • mmarino's picture
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John Adler has replaced Rob Andrews in NJ's 3rd CD also L Lance (R)replaced Mike Ferguson

Single Payer Healthcare State Amendment

  • Dorothy N's picture
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I called George Miller but the box was full. Called Phil Hare and they took my name and the message. Called Yvette Clarke -- they said she plans to vote for the amendment. Yay! Onward we go!

calls

  • Dorothy N's picture
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Got a hold of Dina Titus's office -- they took message and thanked me. Looks like when they take your name and address, that person has either not committed or is voting against the amendment but when they don't want your name, as in Yvette Clarke's office, then they are voting for the amendment.

Dorothy, Thanks...

  • Chip's picture
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Thanks for making those calls, Dorothy!

No, no, no, and NO

  • davidq's picture
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I live in Texas, where we "lead" the nation in having the most uninsured. Do you think this state will ever do anything progressive for health care?

An independent consultant, I am in the Texas Insurance Risk Pool because private insurers won't cover me due to cancer. In that risk pool the State *mandates* that premiums shall be TWICE the insurer's normal premium plus a huge deductible.

So Kucinich is willing to abandon us in backward states because he thinks it's going to be a hard fight. "Let us take care of our own and maybe the rest of the country will follow eventually." BS! Fight for everyone, dammit.

--David

Tradeoffs

  • Chip's picture
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I'm speculating here, David, but I would guess that Rep. Kucinich is offering this amendment to impede insurance companies in their quest to have the federal government require all citizens to buy their insurance products, and fine those that don't. That is part of the "public option."

Greedy insurance companies have 30% administrative overhead, compared to government run single-payer type programs, like Medicare and Medicaid, which have only 3% administrative costs.

In addition, as Wendell Potter, a retired CIGNA insurance executive pointed on the Bill Moyers' show, the insurance companies use something called a "medical loss ratio."

And by medical loss ratio, I mean that it's a measure that tells investors or anyone else how much of a premium dollar is used by the insurance company to actually pay medical claims. And that has been shrinking, over the years, since the industry's been dominated by, or become dominated by for-profit insurance companies. Back in the early '90s, or back during the time that the Clinton plan was being debated, 95 cents out of every dollar was sent, you know, on average was used by the insurance companies to pay claims. Last year, it was down to just slightly above 80 percent.

Read the transcript here.

I'm guessing that what Kucinich is doing is trying to slow this train down, and offer yet another opportunity for concerned citizens to influence their lawmakers, albeit this time at the state level.

I'm also speculating that this could be a reaction to the 10th amendment issue now being raised - about the specious claims about the "federalization" of health care, yet another smoke screen being raised by the insurance-pharma lobby that is now spending $1.4 million dollars a day to defeat health insurance reform.

I think you're jumping to the wrong conclusion about Kucinich, but I can easily see that happening from your very unfortunate situation. I don't doubt for a minute that Kucinish will continue to fight for everyone. I think he's just trying to add this tool to the toolbox of options because we really don't know now what the outcome will be.

My suggestion is to not only contact Congress, but not to let President Obama and the administration take single-payer "off the table" so easily.

As a candidate, Obama quoted FDR talking to a Mr. Randolph:

I've heard everything you've said tonight, and I couldn't agree with you more. I agree with everything that you've said, including my capacity to be able to right many of these wrongs and to use my power and the bully pulpit. ... But I would ask one thing of you, Mr. Randolph, and that is go out and make me do it."

Single-payer advocates need to contact President Obama, and make him do it.

Kucinich amendment calls

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called and spoke with staff for the following: Andrews, Hinojosa, Hirono, Courtney, Holt, McCarthy and Sestak. They were all friendly said would relay the message. Wu's and Fudge's mb are full....I stressed to the staff person the need to have the congressperson stand with a majority of the American electorate in supporting single payer.

thanks for the DLCer naysayer list.

State single payer health system

  • fridman's picture
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I called Ivette Clarke (NY-11) 202-225-6231.
The staff answered she will vote for it.
S

Called Carolyn McCarthy's office

  • randgrithr's picture
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Staffer said "I believe she is considering all the options" and said he would pass along the message. Didn't sound that encouraging.

STate single payer health system

  • fridman's picture
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I called Paul Tonko (NY-21) 202-225-5076
and the staff how answered the call wrote the message to pass along. He did not have information about how Tonko will vote.

For full mailboxes use Faxzero!

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http://www.faxzero.com. You can send two free faxes a day from files on your PC. ;-7

It takes .doc and .pdf files. You need to confirm via email.

called

  • wendy's picture
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caale doggett and ruben hinoja. said the message would be passed on.

Kucinich Amendment

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I called all twelve Democrats on the HELP subcommittee and spoke to staffers at each office. I asked each staffer how his or her congressperson was voting today on Kucinich's Amendment to allow states to vote on single payer health care plans. Dale Kildee MI05 voted yes in committee last night and supported the amendment today on the floor. John Tierney's staffer said Tierney MA06 supports single-payer health care. Yvette Clark NY11 voted yes, according to her staffer. David Wu OR01 voted yes, his staffer reported that the amendment passed, and wished me a fantastic day.

Thanks, Rachel

  • Chip's picture
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Thanks, Rachel, for your update, and thanks for calling.

health care reform or socialism

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As in any debate all sides must be heard so no decisions are not made blindly. Let's see if the moderator of this blog is an open minded indiviual.

I cannot support the Kunich amendment. I find it interesting that obamas health care reform may be in a bit of a difficult spot right now with all of the cost experts saying the plan will bankrupt ( my word) the country. Now our elected officials see they may be in trouble so they want to give it to the states. The same states whos rights they have trampled on other issues.

I agree our health care sytem is broken but I strongly disagree on why. For those of you that rememeber the benifits of the employer paid system of the 50s and 60s you know that system worked. What happened to it? Why not bring it back? Every since business and our elected officials allowed our health care system to go to a HMO/PPO/whatever ( those ideas were born from the same arguments we are having now. They were SUPPOSED to control costs)business profits have gone up on the back of the worker. Business has tranferred our jobs and our future overseas to further cut those costs. Health care benifits, retirement benifits have all shifted to the worker ( with no compensation) as business profits and CEOs wages have spiraled out of control. Stock players have made millions while all the time you and I have paid more and more in higher deductables, higher drug costs ( its ok for business to buy cheaper drugs from other countries but they sure don't want you and I to buy from those same countries). More of our retirement has shifted to the governments program to "protect" retirement ( ask NW Airlines who now covers many of their "negotiated" pensions and ask those whos benifits were cut after NWA bankruptcy - just to name one). Now they want to have a single payer system or a national health care plan. HOW can we justify our walk to socialism? And now with obamas leadership our potential head long rush towards socialism.

They point out that Canadas system evovled as a province by province program. You are worried about using your benefits just as you need them. Check out the waiting lines Canada has for older citizens that need open heart surgery or serious but not emergent surgeries. Yes Europe has some great socialist programs many of them that cover beginning life to end of life. But they are socialist programs and the taxes paid are incredible. And yet we want our government to run a similar program. This is the same government that established the Social Security System but then has broght it to the edge of bankrupcty thru mis management (rememeber all the Vietnamese that Carter allowed to come to our country then gave them full right to a system they had not particapted in.)

I feel it is time to demand our elected representatives do the job of governing a government for the people by the people not a government of the corporation by the corporation. This would mean we as citizens would have to become educated in the issues and demand our officials vote FOR THE PEOPLE but I think a republic deserves that instead of more people being interested in Michael Jackson. Its our, future get up, get educated and demand whats right for the people of the USA.

older Americans

  • Bob Fertik's picture
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don't face waiting lines because we have Medicare. No one is proposing to change that.

A well-run single-payer system would reduce costs 30% for the rest of us by eliminating wasteful overhead.

Socialism versus state supported single payer health care system

  • jessix's picture
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What are you talking about?

You suggest returning to the "employer-supported health care system" of the '50's and '60's?

There was never such a thing!

In 1960 I paid .60 PER YEAR for Major Medical insurance coverage! That's SIXTY CENTS PER YEAR! This amount was paid for INSURANCE, NOT FOR HEALTH CARE! Americans NEVER had a HEALTH CARE system - only insurance premiums to pay for health care according to the insurance policy terms, not according to the terms of the health care needed!

At the time gasoline cost .19/gallon. Bread cost .20/loaf; A luxury home cost $20,000!

You cannot pick and choose characteristics from different generations, stick them together to make an attractive collage of hopeful ideas, and build your life upon this fantasy foundation.

I won't take you seriously because of your loose use of the threat of "socialism"! This "SOCIALISM" threat is used by whatever or whichever group there is that opposes health care for all people. The "Communist" of the '50's has become the "socialist" of our age.

It's interesting to note that those who threaten "socialism" scoff at our "SOCIALIST" examples of firemen and police. THese know-it-alls contritely state that these agencies "aren't really" Socialist because they are individually or state run, not national agencies.

If you have been paying attention, you may notice that Dennis Kucinich has proposed STATE-SUPPORTED SINGLE PAYER HEALTH CARE PLANS! According to your own definition, his state-supported plans therefore are no more socialistic than our state run fire and police agencies!

Perhaps we finally found our answer to the "SOCIALISM" threat you've suggested?

By suggesting individual state single payer health care plans Dennis Kucinich has given us an ingenious path around the socialism/lobbying/corporate roadblock to single payer health care?

Called Wu's office today re

  • dowb's picture
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Called Wu's office today re single payer. Staff person said Wu has voted for this in past.

re:George Miller (CA-7)

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re:George Miller (CA-7) 202-225-2095

Staffer did not know Rep. Miller's position on Kucinich Amendment. Friendly, willpass it on. Said, "CA groups want this freedom." Keep pressing Miller's office for his position.

Friday afternoon.

RE: Kucinich Amendmen

  • Potterk's picture
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I spoke to Dale Kildee staffer at 12:30P TODAY, SHE SAID THE AMENDMENT PASSED THIS MORNING. CAN ANYONE CONFIRM THIS?

Kucinich Amendment Passed This AM

  • Chip's picture
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Yes, the Kucinich amendment passed the committee this morning. David Swanson reported on it here.

Phone Call Report

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    Jajh
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Andrews - message box was full
Clark - no answering machine or message.Call automatically ended.
Dourtney - took my message and informed me that it passed in committee today!
Fudge - box was full
Holt - left message
Kildee - took my message and informed me that the amendment passed in committee today

Called Yvette Clark

  • iwishiwuzcanadian's picture
    iwishiwuzcanadian
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His staffer said she supports Kucinich amendment and will try to make sure it stays in when the bill is done.

Single Payer E&C vote

  • David Lawrence Atwood's picture
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Just made calls to:
E&C Committee
Waxman
Rush
Schakowsky--staffer/intern volunteered Schakowsky will vote yea
Baldwin--staffer/intern volunteered Baldwin is unequivocally pro Single
Braley

David Atwood

I called Inslee

  • mike55smith's picture
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Told the staffer I am a Washington voter and want the Congressman to vote for 676, "Medicare For All." He asked for my name and where I was in Washington. He had my street address, asked if it was correct, and said they would be getting back to me.

H.R.676

  • E.E.'s picture
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I called every single congressperson on the list- it took less than 1/2 hour. I spoke personally w/ a staffer for every congressperson, except Jim Matheson, (Utah) who had a message machine on.
Most were eager & happy to pass on my request to vote YES on H.R.676, a few were courteous but not thrilled.
Congresswoman Kathy Castor's office suggested I call my congressperson, & I think it was meant as being rude- to not bother them w/ my opinion because I am a voter in Wa. state??? (Maybe I'm wrong.) My response was that I am calling ALL congresspersons, including my own & to please pass on the request to vote YES on H.R.676.
No staffers expressed their stand on the bill(I did not ask), except 2 staffers stated their congresspersons had co-sponsered the bill, so I thanked them & showed my support for that.
All in all, it was positive. I think the overwelming majority seemed to express sincere gratitude that I called about the bill(voting YES!).

H.R. 676

  • E.E.'s picture
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Also, Jay Inslee's office asked for my address as well (like the previos blogger).

HR 676

  • mary g's picture
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I called everyone on the 'leaning-yes' list emailed to me and with the exception of the woman from Colorado was able to speak to someone. Told them simply that my daughter who lives in Europe is helping me pay for my insurance. Also spoke to Jay Inslee's office and had an extended conversation with a staffer. I said I was for 676 but if we had a public option with medicare pricing, I would see this as a step in the right dirction.
Mary Gillilan