Posts Tagged ‘health reform’

Karl Rove, former senior advisor to President George W. Bush, published a column today in the Wall Street Journal. The article, entitled “ObamaCare Isn’t Inevitable,” derides President Obama’s ideas of a public option for health insurance and blames the inability of Congress to put together health care reform on the American people.

Citing a Resurgent Republic (a group he calls a “nonprofit, right-of-center education organization” whose creation he assisted with) poll released Tuesday, Rove declares that “by a 60%-to-31% margin, Americans prefer getting their health coverage through private insurance rather than the federal government.”

Hold on, Mr. Rove. A New York Times/CBS News poll was released on Saturday, and its findings are a bit different:

The national telephone survey…found that 72 percent of those questioned supported a government-administered insurance plan — something like Medicare for those under 65 — that would compete for customers with private insurers…The proposal received broad bipartisan backing, with half of those who call themselves Republicans saying they would support a public plan, along with nearly three-fourths of independents and almost nine in 10 Democrats.

So if it has such broad support, why hasn’t health care reform made much progress since it began a little less than a month ago? The answer: lobbyists. Remember how the American Medical Association (AMA) told Congress it “does not believe creating a public health insurance option… is the best way to expand health insurance coverage and lower costs”? Well since the 2000 election cycle, its political action committee has contributed $9.8 million to Congressional candidates.

This weekend, Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus is taking a break from health care reform to hold a fundraiser, where lobbyists can pay thousands to hang out with the senator. Our own Craig Holman, Public Citizen’s Legislative Representative, recently told CQ Politics:

It’s unseemly to be doing this just before the markup [of Baucus’ draft health care bill]…This kind of schmoozing of lawmakers clearly buys influence.

When the AMA, insurers and pharmaceutical companies get involved, they are going to look out for the best interests of those they represent, and that isn’t the American people.

health care use

We’ve said it again and again: Congress cannot exclude single-payer advocates from the debate on health care reform. At meetings and rallies around the country, Americans have demanded to know why Congress has not considered single-payer, the most popular health reform proposal around. On June 11, Dr. Margaret Flowers of Physicians for a National Health Program testified before the full Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions – the first time all year someone advancing single-payer had been allowed to participate in the Senate discussion of health care reform.

At the time, we said Dr. Flowers’ testimony wasn’t enough. A great deal of misinformation was still floating out there about single-payer that Congress had not yet addressed. But today, our own Dr. Sidney Wolfe, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research group and our acting president, was invited to testify in front of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce about the single-payer option.

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Did you know that the U.S. spends twice as much as other industrialized nations on health care, but still has nearly 50 million people without health insurance and millions more with insurance who still cannot afford treatment?

Public Citizen is working to fix this serious problem by campaigning for the creation of single-payer national health insurance, because it is the only solution that provides universal access to care while reducing costs.

A majority of American physicians and the public support such a program, but many have questions about what exactly single-payer is, and how it would affect citizens like you.

So, we’ve put together a list of “myths and facts” about single-payer. Check them out, and pass them along to your friends.

We’re ramping up our health care reform campaign this month, so stay tuned!

Congress has held nearly 20 hearings on health care reform this year, but only ONE witness has been invited to testify on a single-payer solution, and that wasn’t until last week. (You can read the testimony here).

The Senate Finance Committee, led by Sen. Max Baucus, is holding important roundtable discussions on health care on May 5 and May 14. The list of witnesses includes Blue Cross Blue Shield and the private insurance lobby group America’s Health Insurance Plans, but not one single-payer supporter.

This is unacceptable, and it’s time to take action.

A majority of American physicians and the public support the creation of a national health insurance program that covers everyone (known as a single-payer solution), and Congress has shut us out of the discussion.

Earlier this month, we delivered a letter to members of the Finance Committee, asking them to invite Public Citizen or Physicians for a National Health Plan to testify at any hearings on health reform. We did not receive a response.

Please, contact your Senators and ask them to invite a single-payer supporter to the upcoming discussions.

If we are left out of this discussion, we will protest outside of Congress to make our voices heard loud and clear on this critical issue.

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