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Four Actions for single-payer national health care

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Just got this note from our friends at Healthcare-NOW!:

Here is a list of four (4) timely actions you can complete in under 10 minutes to get the word out to elected officials about the need for single-payer national health care. We need to say loud and clear that single-payer national health care is the the ultimate bail out plan. Single-Payer national health care has been expected to save up to $350 billion dollars because it will surgically remove the profiteering of the private health insurance industry.

It is estimated that 95% of all Americans will pay less for their healthcare than they are currently paying. Savings under HR 676 will be delivered directly to the people along with access to quality, comprehensive health care.

As Harry Truman said in 1945 when he was supporting national health care, "The time has arrived to help millions of Americans living without a full measure of opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health...and [to have] protection...against the economic effects of sickness."

4 Actions you can take NOW support single-payer national health care

1) Outreach to Current Cosponsors of HR 676: This is a high priority. Call your representatives NOW to find out if they will be signing on again in the next Congress. Please let us know if your Representative is planning to co-sponsor HR 676 again this year. If they are not going to co-sponsor, we need to know immediately so that we can plan actions to regain their support. Email us at with information on your Representative's level of support. Contact your Congress person toll free at 1-866-338-1015.

If they are planning to support HR 676 again, ask if they will join other co-sponsors in signing a letter to President Obama explaining that HR 676 is the best response to the health care crisis in the face of serious economic woes. It brings the most help to poor and working people, covers the unemployed, and makes it easier for all employers, big and small, to invest in their businesses and compete with foreign producers. Let us know their response.

2) Outreach to Non-Cosponsors of HR 676: If your representative (Republican or Democrat) is not yet a cosponsor of HR 676, but you that increased lobbying efforts and actions in your district will help push them to be cosponsors, please let us know. We can help build a lobbying team of doctors, nurses, activists, and constituents to help support you. Please email with any information about this effort.

Representative John Conyers believes that showing bi-partisan support for HR 676 is really important at this time, so please let us know if you think that your Representative has potential to be a cosponsor of HR 676. There is a great website to help convince your representative produced by Republicans for Single Payer -

Single-payer national health care as proposed in HR 676 is not a partisan solution, nor is it soicalized medicine. It combines good ideas from across the spectrum. It provides for public funding, but will pay it to private, non-profit health care providers. It is fiscally conservative because it will save money and control costs. And it will allow employers to reduce the cost of insuring their employees, making them more competitive in the global economy. Let's show that we can come together to support quality, comprehensive health care for everyone. Please notify the Healthcare-NOW! staff if you think that we can build support in your district for Republican sponsorship.

3) Write President-elect Obama: We urge you to write President-elect Obama on HR 676. Ask him to support this plan for a universal, single-payer healthcare system of high-quality national health insurance for the entire nation. Be heard! Use the link here to demonstrate support for HR 676.

4) Call/Write/Fax Congressman Barney Frank! Barney Frank is Chairman of the Financial Services Committee in the House of Representatives, and a cosponsor of HR 676. He has been a key actor in the Congressional hearings on the Paulsen bailout. "The fundamental policy issue is our disappointment that (rescue) funds are not being used out of the $700 billion to supplement mortgage foreclosure reduction," Frank said. Rep. Frank will understand how a national health insurance system can be an important part of our country's economic recovery. Let's tell Frank that single-payer is the ultimate bailout for the American people. Frank is a cosponsor of HR 676m but let's remind him that President-elect Obama called health care reform "an integral part of an economic recovery" and single-payer is a powerful way to bring help to poor and working people, and the unemployed, who need it the most.

Unlike other parts of the bailout plan, single-payer national health care won't cost the government more money. Physicians for a National Health Program explains it this way: "The reason we spend more and get less than the rest of the world is because we have a patchwork system of for-profit payers. Private insurers necessarily waste health dollars on things that have nothing to do with care: overhead, underwriting, billing, sales and marketing departments as well as huge profits and exorbitant executive pay. Doctors and hospitals must maintain costly administrative staffs to deal with the bureaucracy. Combined, this needless administration consumes one-third (31 percent) of Americans' health dollars. Single-payer financing is the only way to recapture this wasted money. The potential savings on paperwork, more than $350 billion per year, are enough to provide comprehensive coverage to everyone without paying any more than we already do."

Contact Representative Frank here:

Thanks for all you do!

In peace and health,


note - if you are not from Massachusetts, you can contact his campaign office. But I wouldn't bother if you are not from his district. Much better to contact your Rep., even better, persuade a friend who has not previously contacted their member to write in support of HR 676. Regular correspondents get ignored on Capitol Hill, so it is necessary to keep bringing in new supporters.

It is especially important to contact new members of congress, you can do so through their campaign websites which are sure to be still active. They are only interested in hearing from those who live in their district.

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Submitted by jawbone on

his discussion of doing something about healthcare? Installing new computerized tracking, meaning efficiencies. To improve health care, cause new computer sales, etc, etc.

This has been a favorite talking point for Obama throughout the campaign, so I think he feels it's really important.

What do you all who have really been following this think about this electronic record keeping, communication as an means to really improve healthcare?

Most obviously, it does nothing to incrase coverage.

On NewsHour tonight two budget hawks were on, Robert Reischauer and Robert Bixby, both saying yes, must spend to get out of the economic mess, but must not implement programs which will continue to cost money. So much for security for people through UHC. Both also said the only areas of the Federal budget which can really result in meaningful cuts to the budget are SocSec, Medicare, and missed that last one (military? They did call them entitlements, so probably not military...).

Both talked about small cuts which eventually will have meaningful effects on the budget. I'm assuming this is cuts to cost of living, how increases are computed which would mean lower income for SocSec retirees, perhaps retirement age. Thus it continues....

They did say getting millionaires off farm subsidies could help. But small change, of course.

Thnx for the suggestions/actions.

Submitted by lambert on

... then single payer is the obvious way to go, because you can impose data interchange standards. As opposed to the mess that layering yet another system on top of the already broken insurance company systems.

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Submitted by DCblogger on

Health care is behind other industries in the use of IT, but for serious administrative savings we need single payer.

Submitted by hipparchia on

and it can be found on barney frank's site, as well as some of the others' -- because of the anthrax scare, all letters now go through a decontamination process that can, in some cases, actually make them unreadable, not to mention that this part is a bottleneck, so mail sits around for weeks on end waiting to get decontaminated.