Health Care: Single-payer may be on life-support, but it's not dead yet

It's do or die time for Medicare for All!

Although media coverage of the health care reform debate is focused on the Senate finance (Baucus) committee's bill (which was largely drafted by current and former executives at Wellpoint, the nation's largest private health insurance company and the dominant member of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association), several congressional votes on single-payer Medicare for All are imminent.

Sometime in the next two or three weeks, Rep. Anthony Weiner's (D-NY) amendment that would substitute single-payer legislation (along the lines of Rep. John Conyers' HR 676, which has deep support in the House) for the Democratic leadership's bill, HR 3200, will come up for an up-or-down vote on the House floor. In addition, a provision in HR 3200 that was secured by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) allowing individual states to adopt their own single-payer systems will be challenged by representatives of the insurance industry. Meanwhile, in the upper body, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) will introduce two single-payer amendments to the Senate bill, one to create a national single-payer plan and the other to allow individual states to adopt single-payer.
Action: Contact Congress and ask them to vote "yes" on the Weiner, Kucinich, and Sanders amendments for single-payer. Go here to call Congress for free: the site matches your zip code to your representatives, provides a simple call script, and is toll-free. Or, call the congressional switchboard directly at 202-224-3121.

Rep. Anthony Weiner's
Read the Kucinich and Weiner amendments
Senate Finance Committee Approves Sen. Baucus' Health Care Bill
by 14-9 Vote
-- Snowe the only Republican to vote yes; Wyden and Rockefeller vote yes reluctantly by Huma Khan, Byron Wolf and Jonathan Karl (ABC News 2009-10-13)
Why we must vote on the public health care plan by Rep. Anthony Weiner (Politico 2009-07-22)
New twist in Washington gives public option backers some hope by Daniel Barlow (The Barre-Montpelier Times Argus 2009-10-13)

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