Today's single payer post: MI Reps for HR 676
Single-Payer System. Currently, people have a variety of health insurance companies from which to choose. A single-payer system would streamline costs by eliminate much of the waste and redundancy in the commercial insurance industry. Many of the workers in the insurance business could be absorbed into a National or State Plan through an application processs and this would help to save their jobs. Remember, just because an insurance company says it is a non-profit, doesn't mean that someone isn't making a chuck of change at the top. I also don't believe that an insurance company needs private helicopters and limos to run their business. There is a lot of pork in the health care industry.
Quit Giving Patients Medications and Examinations They Don't Need! Our society is way over medicated. This is one way to eliminate a huge chunk of change in the health care business. Recently, my father was in the hospital. When they found out he had insurance, they tried to give him tests that he didn't need. They also tried to put him on a blood cleaning machine that he definitely didn't need. Tell me, have you ever gotten a prescription that you really didn't need or have a test run that you didn't need? I have a drawer full of prescriptions that I've never filled.
We Already Have Many People in Michigan and the US Who are on Medicade and Medicare. These people are already receiving National Health Care. So, we wouldn't be adding these folks to the rolls. We would just be adding the people who have no insurance at all, or people who have commercial insurance who will switch over to the single-payer plan.
Carolyn Kilpatrick, in addition to cosponsoring HR 676, has denounced Indiana’s odious voter ID law and is insisting that the new economic stimulus plan include a summer jobs package. Her blog will launch shortly.
Mr. HR 676 himself, John Conyers:
For over thirty-seven years, Rep. John Conyers has been one of the most vocal advocates for universal health care in the United States Congress. He has introduced two critically important pieces of legislation, the "United States National Health Insurance Act," H.R. 676, which has the support of over 9000 physicians; and H. Con. Res. 99; which calls on Congress to pass universal health legislation by 2005.
Both bills have served as critically important organizing tools for hundreds of organizations across the country who are part of a newly energized national movement for universal health care. Through Rep. Conyers' leadership, the Congressional Black Caucus has declared universal health care its number one legislative priority of the 108th Congress, and has launched a campaign for universal health care and the elimination of minority health disparities.
Mr. Conyers was also instrumental in shaping the House Democratic alternative Medicare prescription drug proposal that was defeated by the Republican-dominated House. Working through the Congressional Black Caucus and the Progressive Caucus, Mr. Conyers helped to persuade ranking Democratic House leaders to introduce legislation that would provide seniors with an effective prescription drug coverage under the traditional Medicare program that would truly help seniors afford the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs by covering 80% of their prescription drug bills.
Rep. Conyers has helped secure approximately 10 million dollars of federal funds for the Detroit Medical Center over the last three years. These funds went to strengthen health care services at Detroit Medical Center for pregnant women, the disabled, children, veterans, and the uninsured.
Mr. Conyers recently lead efforts to get desperately needed federal funds to keep the Detroit Medical Center from closing their doors. He facilitated several meetings with DMC officials, Secretary of Health & Human Services Tommy Thompson's office, senior lobbyists of the Bush Administration, Governor Granholm, Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, and Detroit City Council Members in order to find common ground, federal funding, and a workable long term solution to the Detroit Hospital crisis.
Through these meetings, Rep. Conyers provided the necessary leadership and awareness of the severity of the DMC hospital crisis, that ultimately help pave the way for a short term infusion of federal funds government and Governor Granholm.
Rep. Conyers has been an outspoken supporter of improving the working conditions for nurses. Most nurses are often forced to work unreasonably long hours, and are in charge of too many patients, as cash strapped hospitals claim to be unable to hire more nurses.
Studies by the Institute of Medicine have revealed that unreasonable nursing shortages, mandatory over-time, and low nurse to patient ratios have created a national shortage of nurses because the profession is no longer viewed as an attractive one to go into.
Rep. Conyers has been an original co-sponsor of legislation to improve working conditions for nurses, including the Nursing Reinvestment Act, legislation that would allow those interested in becoming nurses to receive more scholarships and low interest nursing school loans, and legislation introduced by Senator Kennedy that would ban mandatory over time for nurses.