Tuesday, June 2, 2009

ACTION ALERT! Tell Congress We Need To Pull The Trigger NOW On Health Care Reform!

In a classic case of bait-and-switch, the Insurance Industry - even as they promised President Obama to work as partners in reforming our moribund health care system - are suddenly pushing Congress for a 7-year "trigger" to stop real healthcare reform in it's tracks. Here's what this means, and here's what you need to do to fight back.

Although many Republicans don't believe government can run anything efficiently and effectively, apparently private health care and big pharmaceuticals don't agree because they are afraid to find out.

Their newest attempt to block a public option single-payer/Medicare for all coverage is called "the trigger." They want Americans to keep the same broken system we have now and give the insurance industry one more chance to fix it on their own. Then, if insurance companies fail, the bill would "trigger" the public option - you know, in like seven years or so. Of course, if Republicans regain control of the House, the Senate or the White House, they would never have to use it.

So what are the Republicans and the Insurance Industry so afraid of? 

The new public option could start using Medicare-based rates and Medicare leverage to negotiate better prices (this is what Kennedy's plan is considering). Or, beyond the public option, Congress could establish Medicare-based rates throughout the market, allow all private insurers to pay Medicare rates and require all providers serving Medicare patients to accept those rates as full payments. Or Congress could task a commission with the task of adjusting health spending to achieve fiscal balance.

But it’s unclear why we’re bending over backwards to give private insurers the benefit of the doubt...yet again. Why shouldn’t we require private industry to deliver on their promise to contain costs? Health reform isn’t about protecting private industry; it’s about adopting policies that are most likely to lower health care costs. A robust public option — the Kennedy proposal — is likely to score well even with a conservative CBO because it will be able to use its inherent advantages (lower administrative spending) and Medicare leverage to negotiate lower prices with providers and lower health care spending.

PLEASE CALL these Senators on the Senate Finance Committee , and three chairman in the House today to demand a strong, robust affordable Medicare-like public option. Here's a list of talking points:

  • No 7-year trigger for a public option

  • Support an affordable strong, robust Medicare-like public option. 

  • A public option must be open and affordable to all Americans, not more of the same broken system that's given us unaffordable premiums, little private insurance coverage, and rising co-pays.

  • Do not tax employer health benefits

  • Follow the proposal by President Obama to tax income above $250,000, eliminate the overpayments in Medicare Advantage, and put tax capital gains to help fund health care reform.

Please CALL Senator Max Baucus at (202) 224-2651

Please CALL Senator Charles Schumer at 202-224-6542

Please CALL Senator Edward Kennedy at (202) 224-4543

Please CALL Senator John Rockefeller at (202) 224-6472

Please CALL Senator Ron Wyden at (202) 224-5244

Please CALL Senator Kent Conrad at (202) 224-2043

Please CALL Senator Jeff Bingaman at (202) 224-5521

Please CALL Senator John Kerry at (202) 224-2742

Please CALL Senator Blanche Lincoln at 202-224-4843

Please CALL Senator Debbie Stabenow at (202) 224-4822

Please CALL Senator Maria Cantwell at 202-224-3441

Please CALL Senator Bill Nelson at 202-224-5274

Please CALL Senator Robert Menendez at 202-224-4744

Please CALL Senator Thomas Carper at (202) 224-2441

Please CALL Ways and Means Committee Chair Charlie Rangel (202) 225-3625)

Please CALL Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Henry Waxman (202) 225-2927)

Please CALL Education and Labor Committee Chair George Miller (202) 225-3725)

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