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Single Payer HR 676 to be reintroduced

a little night musing's picture

From HealthCare-NOW!:

Ask your Representative to become an original cosponsor of HR 676: "The Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act." today!

Rep. John Conyers is going to reintroduce national, single-payer healthcare legislation very soon--sometime this week.

Before he introduces the bill, Mr. Conyers would like to have as many original cosponsors as possible. Please call your Representative today and ask them to cosponsor HR 676.

Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (866) 220-0044, ask for your representative's office, and then ask them to sign as a co-sponsor.

Be sure to mention that in order to become an original cosponsor of H.R. 676, your Representative will need to contact Michael Darner from Rep. Conyers' office at or (202) 225-5126.

If you don't know your US House Representative, find out here.

Current Representatives already on board (thank them if you're in their district): Nadler, Schakowsky, Pingree, Grijalva, Ellison, Hank Johnson, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Takano, Holmes-Norton, Lofgren, Rangel [Yeah! - ALNM], Moore, Chu, Al Green, Farr, McGovern, Welch, Clarke, Lee, Nolan, Pocan, Doyle, Engel, Gutierrez, Frederica Wilson, Cohen, Edwards, McDermott, Clay, Huffman, Roybal-Allard, Cummings, Yarmuth, George Miller, Honda, Christensen, Rush.

Here is the "Dear Colleague" letter from Rep. Conyers:


Dear Colleague:

I invite you to become a cosponsor of H.R. 676, "The Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act," which enjoyed the support of 77 cosponsors in the 112th Congress. HR 676 also has the support of over 17,000 doctors, 14,000 nurses, and hundreds of labor unions from across the nation.

Under H.R. 676, the American health care system would transition to a privately-delivered, publicly-financed non-profit universal health care system. The United States remains the only country in the industrialized world that has a for-profit health care delivery system that is unable to contain health care spending. This dysfunctional system places a heavy burden on the budgets of states, municipalities, and American families.

Under H.R. 676, every resident of the United States would receive a card at birth that would guarantee access to a full range of medically necessary services, including primary care, dental care, prescription drugs, mental health services, and long-term care. There would be no restrictions on choice of physician or health care provider. Americans would have greater freedom to pursue work opportunities because health insurance would no longer be tied to employment.

In addition to expanding access to care, H.R. 676 would curb the growth of health care spending and place our country on a sustainable fiscal path. H.R. 676 would provide approximately $300 billion dollars in savings by improving efficiency in our health care system.

Member of Congress


Ben, Zoraida, and Jeff
Healthcare-NOW! National Staff

Average: 5 (1 vote)


Cujo359's picture
Submitted by Cujo359 on

When calling your congressperson, here are some points to keep in mind:

- Medicare for all would save roughly 30 percent over the costs of for-profit health insurance

- having Medicare for all (MFA) creates a single national risk pool, eliminating the need for age-discriminatory policies

- MFA creates another bit of social safety net, which makes employment changes and entrepeneurship less risky, which will help the economy

- MFA would also eliminate a major expense for many American companies, which is paying for and administering health insurance for their employees

No doubt other commenters can add to that list...

a little night musing's picture
Submitted by a little night ... on

Also, HR 676 covers things like dental care (not trivial!) which are not even addressed in current law.

Current law sickens me, literally.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

thanks for posting this, I was going to but was distracted. I think a Letter to the Editor might be more effective than writing your rep, but what do I know?

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

I can't see what I'm typing very well. Apologize for the previous typos. Anything, I'll be short and to the point.

I'll call and lobby for the passage of single-payer. Thanks for the info.

But, it appears that there may just be a political calculation (I'm seeing this on other websites) to this push for single-payer. So, just beware. I've a feeling that it is contrived mostly for electoral politics (by some, anyway).

There's this one blogger (can't remember the name--it's very oddball) who's pushing Senator Begich's (Alaska) little one or two page bill (an amendment) to raise the cap or some such thing.

Well, I know Begich's politics (lived in Alaska for years), and he's NO LIBERAL, or anywhere near it. In his case, he almost lost to a Tea Party dude, Joe (somebody), and I suspect that his entire little venture--presently a bill with no co-sponsors, still sitting in committee--is simply a election-year ploy.

Heck, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out. The blogger that's always pushing his bill, states every time that, "Hey, maybe he can get the "white vote." Don't know what that's about, LOL! Very odd, indeed.

And, for your info, Raul Grijalva (whom I did think a great deal of, at one time) declared after the SCOTUS ruling that "the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the constitutionality of President Barack Obama's health care law means progressive lawmakers won't be pushing for a single-payer option anymore, though the concept will live on in their minds."

That's when I gave up on the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

At any rate, the takeaway from Atrios' statement was that this might be a bit of electoral politicking, IMO. He did name the diary "The Political Possibilities," and even mentioned "But I would like to see a few candidates out there telling seniors that it's time to raise their benefits. That might actually be popular."

He actually sounds a lot like the blogger that touts Begich and his ability "to win white folk, especially seniors."

IOW, it sounds like someone who's wanting to promote Democratic candidates, rather than someone who's actually trying to promote the policy issue--"single-payer."

I've seen a lot of organizations manipulate folks (unions, for instance) using this same method.

And, I suppose that he could be intending to do both. Time will tell.

So, if what you care about it electoral politics, go for it. But as a policy issue for Democrats, at a time when the President's signature policy is "Obamacare," and his administration is as we speak, in the throes of organizing exchanges, I seriously doubt that any of the Dem lawmakers (except a couple of them) will follow through.

I figure that this is being done as a distraction, mainly. And secondly, there will be SO MANY bummed out progressives when the Health Exchanges do kick in, and everyone realizes fully how awful they are, this is to keep hope alive for something better. Or, in other words, a much needed 'morale booster!'

But, on the chance that I'm wrong--I'll call my lawmakers, for sure.

I do hope that you follow the progress of Conyer's bill, and keep us posted. [BTW, I'm not casting dispersions on him--I like him, and he may very well be sincere. I hope so.]

And I'll let you know how my "'Begich-Buddy" is doing. I have made it my business to follow-up on the progress of the Begich bill. It's been zilch, and I'd be shocked as "right-wing" as he is, if anything changes. But, hey, maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised. :-)

a little night musing's picture
Submitted by a little night ... on

Short response: I don't think that this is smoke and mirrors to Conyers, or to some of the backers. FWIW, knowing Charlie Rangel a bit, I think he'd like this bill as his legacy.

Even shorter response: if it's "just" politics, so what? Politics is where things happen. We've got to get savvy about how things happen, I think. Convince people that this plan is the way to go. Let them know that in other industrialized nations, having a tooth infection not covered by universal insurance would be considered... unthinkable. Read David Lebovitz, (he moved from the old USA to Paris and has a reasonable take on both, but here he growls) - he's a food blogger, for pete's sake. No one in any undustrialized country outside the US thinks our "system" of delivering "health care" makes sense, and even apologists like (sometimes) Paul Klugman have to stretch themselves.

Note how my "even shorter response" is longer than my "shorter response"? That is the suckiness of it all.

What we have here sucks, for no good reason, except that we are primed to protect the profiits of members of FIRE.

FIRE owns us, and we've got to make them un-own us. Single Payer is the only way, in the health insurance realm.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

I'm "all about Medicare-For-All." I've served on a state-wide commission for several years working to get single-payer. Opposition to single payer wasn't my "intended" point, at all.

If anything, I meant to convey that I am in favor of MFA.

What I have a problem with, is manipulating naive and unsuspecting people, for political gain--Democrat or Republican.

That, I abhore.

Take Ed Schultz, right now as I type this. According to Mr. Alexa, Sharpton talked an entire hour, and didn't mention what Lambert just posted about the President finally admitting that he's getting ready to implement the Chained CPI. I'm listening to Ed, to see if he does. Okay, segment's over--he didn't say a word about Chained CPI. I consider that to be "lying through omission." Instead, Ed just harped on Jay Carney saying that the President would not raise the age for Medicare eligibility, at this time.

And it's that kind of manipulation of the Democratic Party base, by much better informed Party aparatchiks, that I detest, when it happens.

Regarding Conyers, I said that I wasn't questioning his motives. I specifically questioned Grijalva's motives, but furnished proof of his own contradictory statement. Charlie Rangel, have no opinion on his motives--wouldn't have reason to know them.

As far as "Convince people that this plan is the way to go," you have no argument from me.

All I ask is that the folks that are putting forth plans to do so, be "on the up, and up." As I mentioned, I have informed knowledge of Begich's politics, and his posturing is very inconsistent with his own avowed fiscal conservatism. So, sure, I'm skeptical of it. Especially when he does nothing but read it, it goes to committee, there's no a single co-sponsor, and he does nothing to sell the idea, except to go on an occasional progressive radio show, or the like, to talk about it. Anyone who followed his last race, knows that Begich needs all the help that he can get. But, "good on him," if he is actually sincere. Only time will tell.

Yeah, have a bit of a problem with a "conservative Dem," who gets religion right before his re-election efforts start in earnest. And then runs to the left of Howard Zinn, LOL!

Look, I'm on your side, and the side of MFA. I will wholeheartedly support any politician who is trying to get MFA passed.

But I brook no quarter with politicians or political party aparatchiks who use unsuspecting and naive people to achieve political ends. But, that's just my opinion. To each, their own, I always say. :-)

But to each, their own.

a little night musing's picture
Submitted by a little night ... on

and I've mentioned this before... I've got a fierce Union defending my "health" "insurance" even though it'd breaking the bank of my Union's Welfare Fund... and yet I can't use it because I can't find a frackin PCP who is still in the system and still accepting new patients. And I live in fracking NYC. What do people who live in less-well-served areas do?

Physicians are dropping out of plans at an incredible rate. "Choice" is a joke. Try to find a PCP.

a little night musing's picture
Submitted by a little night ... on

I don't know. I've been told doctors are dropping out of Medicare, also. (Go to any single-payer meeting, you'll be told this)

Either (and/or) the payments have to be high enough to keep docs in the system, or there has to be a law keeping them in. Both are problematic, but it's a decision point.

My union is well aware of the problem.

Submitted by lambert on

Presumably they are still treating patients, so how do they do that? Does PNHP address this, do you know?

NWLuna's picture
Submitted by NWLuna on

HR 676, single-payer, gets brought up nearly ever year IIRC by the few sensible Congresscritters. One of them is my own Rep, Jim McDermott. All the rest are bought and paid for by their corporate sponsors. However we can at least be the squeaky wheel, if only because it annoys them. (and it would be so much cheaper, and better, and....)

Submitted by cg.eye on

and, since my Congresswoman usually has a working heart and brain (and sponsored stem-cell research reform), hopefully she'll use her safe-district status to push for this hard. Needless to say, I hope my corporate doofus DINO of a Senator, at best, won't block it.

And, hells yeah, politics -- if we don't push back on the Overton Window (as, praise Bob, Atrios has finally figured out), it will push us over the cliff.

So, yes, I'm for the Feds taking back the USPS (including re-nationalizing certain deliveries, so FedEx no longer does any part of a mail carrier's job), creating a bank in every state, if not a USPS one, *and* letting state-owned supermarkets purchase local produce and subsidize canning goods from gleanings picked by non-profits, if it will force corporations to do anything but take rents from all of us not clipping coupons.

Competition's supposed to be good, innit? So, let's have some....