You are hereHealthcare
We are well on our way to another Washington Wipeout Weekend!! Since last night, we have sent over 2000 faxes to senators on the Finance Committee, asking for real hearings instead of sham and real reform instead of fake. This time, our LCGHC friends at Progressive Democrats, HealthCare Now and PNHP are joining in too. If you haven't sent your fax yet, send a FREE FAX NOW. If you have sent your fax, SEND ANOTHER FREE FAX NOW.
More Great News. The Mike Farrell ad "Don't Sell Us Short" opened on national TV last night. The ad is competing for spots on Chris Matthews Hardball, Larry King Live and Meet The Press. Every time it runs there is a big spike in calls to our "Call the White House" 800 number (800-578-4171; you can call too.)
Join us in a 'CyberMarch' on Washington on May 30, 2009. We want Medicare for All -- health care for every American! Sign Up today and choose your avatar who will go to Washington for you on May 30. Your avatar will join others to demand that insurance companies be removed from health care.
The Virtual March on Washington is an important and fun way to show your support for universal single payer health care. Click here to be a part of it!
Book Can Now Be Ordered, Book Tour Being Planned
You can now pre-order my book at Amazon.com
By Dave Lindorff
President Barack Obama was so obviously pleased to have five-term Republican Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania announce that he was switching party affiliation and joining the Democratic Party that the president missed an opportunity to make sure that his new BFF in the Senate was also a backer of the issues that Obama ran on in the presidential campaign.
Indeed, while President Obama was quick to offer Sen. Specter his backing and even to offer to help him with fund-raising in his quest for re-election in 2010, he said nothing at all about any quid-pro-quo.
This is not only unfortunate. It is irresponsible.
Sen. Specter, for all his claims to be an independent thinker, has over the years voted at lease 65% of the time with his Republican colleagues in the Senate—a support level for Republican positions that exceeds that of two of his Republican colleagues from Maine, Sen. Olympia Snowe and Sen. Susan Collins.
Progressive Caucus Meets With President Obama on Health Care Reform and Supplemental Funding for Iraq & Afghanistan Operations
Progressive Caucus Meets With President Obama on Health Care Reform and Supplemental Funding for Iraq & Afghanistan Operations | Press Release
The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) this afternoon met with President Obama in a wide ranging discussion at the White House. The meeting was largely focused on discussions regarding healthcare reform and the upcoming supplemental appropriations request for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Earlier this month the CPC Co-Chairs wrote to Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Harry Reid to urge inclusion of a robust public health insurance plan like Medicare, at a minimum, in any final health care reform bill.
Caucuses Unite Behind Public Health Insurance Plan Option | Press Release
(Washington DC) – In an unprecedented initiative, the leaders of four prominent groups in the 111th Congress – the Progressive Caucus (CPC), the Black Caucus (CBC), the Hispanic Caucus (CHC), and the Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) – have sent a joint letters to President Obama (ATTACHED) and the Democratic Leadership of the House and Senate stressing that ‘our support for enacting legislation this year to guarantee affordable health care for all firmly hinges on the inclusion of a robust public health insurance plan like Medicare.’
Quarantine may seem the stuff of mediocre melodramas, but if the swine flu explodes into an epidemic, involuntary isolation could become a reality for more than a few unlucky Americans.
So far the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 68 documented cases of swine flu in the United States, with at least seven people hospitalized. And New York Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden announced that "many hundreds" of New York City schoolchildren are sick with suspected cases of swine flu. Across the country, in Los Angeles, the coroner's office is investigating two possible deaths.
By Dave Lindorff
For almost a generation, the Democrats in Congress have been able to pretend to be the party of ordinary working people, the party of progressives, and the inheritor of the mantel of Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal, all the while doing little of substance and catering primarily to the interests of Wall Street and the nation’s corporate interests.
The Democrats managed this sleight of hand for so long by claiming that while they had the best of intentions, reality, in the form of their inability to pass legislation, even when they were in the majority in both houses of Congress, that could avoid being filibustered to death by a Republican minority.
That situation has continued to this day, with the party currently having 58 seats in the Senate.
By Dave Lindorff
The outbreak of a new swine flu in Mexico, and the potential threat of a new global pandemic, shines a bright light on a major weakness in the United States—an employment system where most workers are not paid or even face getting let go if they get sick and have to stay home from work, combined with a broken healthcare system where roughly one in six people have no ready access to a doctor.
What the American failure to mandate employer-paid sick-days means is that most Americans who don’t feel well go to work anyway, in part for fear of losing their jobs, and in part because they are already living so close to the margin that they cannot afford to miss a few days’ pay.
Remember when Moveon polled its members on whether they wanted Pelosi's plan to continue the war or nothing, neglecting to include the Lee Amendment option? Well, the AFL-CIO is NOT going to be out done:
Put Single Payer in the Survey!
By Andy Coates, MD
Steward in the Public Employees Federation (PEF), AFL-CIO,
A statewide New York union affiliated with AFT and SEIU
In an attempt to find out what union members think about the health care crisis and its solution, the AFL-CIO recently asked union members and supporters to complete a health care survey.
The problem with the survey is that it does not present the full range of opinions union members have, and nowhere in the survey is single payer, or Medicare for All, or HR 676 even mentioned as an option.
Mike Farrell Videos Done: Put Them on TV Now
Mike Farrell ("BJ Hunicutt" from TV's MASH) supports Medicare For All
You can support Medicare For All too. Send a fax to the White House and to key Senators and Congressmen by clicking on the "send a fax" link in the video or just send your fax to Congress and the White House right now.
Camp Lejeune Historic Water Update
HR 676 Week of Action: April 18 - 25
Plan an event or join in one near you!
The healthcare insurance corporations--who have bought access to elected officials through generous campaign contributions--have secured their place at the healthcare reform table. But the majority of Americans and healthcare providers who support single-payer healthcare, along with the 500+ local labor unions, the 40 cities and towns and the Conference of Mayors and other endorsers and activists, have been shut out of the debate.
By Russell Mokhiber, CommonDreams.org
Last week, I wrote an article - "Something is Rotten at PBS" - about a slanted PBS Frontline documentary - "Sick Around America."
Frontline hired former Washington Post reporter T.R. Reid to put together the documentary.
Reid did the reporting.
He turned over his interviews to the Frontline producers.
And they came back with a documentary Reid couldn't agree with.
Frontline tried to get Reid to narrate the film anyway - whether he agreed with it or not.
Reid and Frontline parted ways.
After "Something is Rotten at PBS" ran last week, I got a ton of e-mail.
So did Frontline.
By Margaret Flowers
The type of health care reform we see coming out of Washington will be determined by those who have a seat at the table. Right now the major players are health insurance industry lobbyists, pharmaceutical lobbyists and business. They are pushing for more of the same policies that have brought our health quality down, excluded millions of people and brought millions more into medical bankruptcy. If our reform is left up to these players, we will be mandated to purchase insurance without guarantee that insurance will be affordable or actually pay for needed health care. If our reform is left up to these players, insurance companies will continue to rake in enormous profits at the expense of patients’ lives.
HR 676 has 72 cosponsors, but had 93 in the last Congress. Why? You'd have to ask the following congress members who signed on last time and have not yet done so this time:
Joe Baca, CA-43
Andre Carson, IN-7
Donna Christensen, VI
James Clyburn, SC-6
Phil Hare, IL-17
Rush Holt, NJ-12
Eddie Bernice Johnson, TX-30
Stephen Lynch, MA-9
James Moran, VA-8
Eleanor Holmes Norton, DC
Charles Rangel, NY-15
Laura Richardson, CA-37
Lucille Roybal-Allard, CA-34
Linda Sanchez, CA-39
Loretta Sanchez, CA-47
Janice Schakowsky, IL-9
David Scott, GA-13
Jose Serrano, NY-16
Betty Sutton, OH-13
Edolphus Towns, NY-10
Anthony Weiner, NY-9
*Note that it is coincidence that this list contains exactly 21 members. Several sponsors last time are no longer in Congress. Several members have sponsored who did not do so last time.
Longer version with more detail and advice: HERE.
For Meetings with Congress Members and Senators
During April 4-19, 2009, Recess
Adjust to your communities’ priorities and to fit your representative and senators. Make the case to them of the necessary trade-off in defunding war in order to fund human needs. Make alliances with activist groups wishing to pressure elected officials on domestic funding needs and workers’ rights.
Oppose Escalation of War in Afghanistan and Pakistan
A bipartisan group of fourteen members of Congress recently wrote to the president asking him to reconsider his proposal to send more troops to Afghanistan. Your representative and senators should send similar letters, and should include opposition to missile strikes or the introduction of troops into Pakistan.