We Need HR 676 Passed Now

By Karen

When my health insurance company refused to admit pure greed as the reason my premium’s going up 18% in 2008, I vowed to get even. My first step was to vent my disgust here.

Yesterday, the Richmond Times-Dispatch published my letter to the editor calling for private insurers to be eliminated through a universal single-payer system.

That letter earned me a phone call from Dr. W. Ferguson Reid, a distinguished retired surgeon who was the first African American since Reconstruction to be elected to the Virginia General Assembly. Dr. Reid put me on to Physicians for a National Health Program, which supports HR 676, a bill to establish national health insurance (NHI) that has languished in Congress since February 2005. One of its sponsors is presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich.

HR 676 would create a Medicare-type program for all Americans that includes health, dental, mental, prescription, and long-term care. It would eliminate private insurers and revamp for-profit healthcare facilities. We would all pay into the system on a sliding scale based on income, but never receive a bill for healthcare services, prescriptions, or medical supplies. Because it would squelch the pure avarice prevalent in today’s system, virtually everyone except insurance and pharmaceutical CEOs and their lobbyists would come out ahead in the long run.

Finally, our healthcare system would measure up to those of every other industrialized nation in the world. Who knows? Over time our life span might even catch up because we’d stop ending up in early graves thanks to unaffordable or denied care.

Unless you work in health insurance, pharmaceuticals, a parasitic side industry that feeds off the bureaucracy, or you generally think mankind should just go to hell, you have no reason NOT to support universal healthcare.

If you agree with me, read up on HR 676 and start spreading the word. Add your name to the petitions of grassroots groups like Healthcare-Now and filmmaker Michael Moore.

Guaranteed Healthcare, a project of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, and patients and community groups around the country, is another source of information.

The next item on my To-Do list is to find out which Virginia politicians are obstructionists, enjoying great free healthcare with my taxes while I pay through the nose for it. I’m going to let them know they won’t get my vote until they pass HR 676.

4 Responses to We Need HR 676 Passed Now

  1. spydrz says:

    Government-controlled socialized medicine would be the absolute worst possible outcome of this healthcare discussion.

    It’s none of the government’s business. Read the Constitution.

  2. catsworking says:

    Yeah, we read every day about people dropping dead by the tens of thousands in all the countries that have it. That explains why they have longer life expectancies and lower infant mortality rates than we do.

    What’s your solution? Reading the Constitution isn’t going to fix anything.

    Keeping your head in the sand and pretending there isn’t a problem while big business continues to literally make a “killing” off of vulnerable Americans is what I call the “mankind can go to hell” approach.

  3. jacksmith says:

    Karen, excellent article. You have what most of us lack. Powerful, clear, good communication skills. You can be a big help. I envy you. But I will keep doing the best I can.

    Insurance mandates are not universal health care. And politicians should stop calling it that. Nothing is Universal Health Care except “Single Payer Not For Profit Tax Supported Government Managed Health Care” (HR 676). Insurance mandates will be worse than what you have now. And what you have now is a complete, and total disgrace, and horror show. Insurance mandates will (require) you to buy insurance from the private insurance companies that have been ripping you off, and killing you by the thousands.

    The #1 cause of injury, disability, and DEATH in America is, Health Care. More people die now from contact with the American Medical Health Care system than from any other cause of death. More than from Cancer, Heart disease, or Stroke. More than any other country in the world. Many times more than any other people in the world. Contact with the American medical health care system is the #1 risk factor now for injury, disability, and premature DEATH in America. This fact is a catastrophic indictment of the entire US Health Care System.

    Driven by greed. And a rush to profit. Thousands of Americans are killed, and injured daily in America. By compromised health care. Cutting corners. Over, and under treatments. And poisonings with all manor of toxic, poisonous pharmaceuticals. Especially the children. America only makes up 2-4% of the world population. But Americans buy, and consume 50% of all pharmaceuticals world wide.

    This is an emergency. America is in a crisis. And more Americans have died from this health care crisis than have died in all the wars in US history.

    But the tide has turned. And the message is getting out. And taking hold about the fact that we have a very serious, and major health care crisis going on in America. Hurting everyone. Especially our precious little children. Rich, and poor alike. And most all Americans seem to understand now that “HR 676 Not For Profit Single Payer Universal National Health Care For All (Medicare For All)” is the way to go. Like all the other developed countries have done. Americans want government managed, tax payer supported health care Now. Medicare for all. Like other developed countries have. And like older Americans have now. Accept no substitute.

    I am sick and tired of hearing how the candidates, and politicians health care plans are going to protect, and preserve the private for profit health insurance companies that have been killing, and ripping off the American people. And now the politicians want to mandate (require) that every American has to support the private for profit insurance company’s that have been killing, and ripping you off. Or you will be fined, and PENALIZED. Thats right. PENALIZED. Ridiculous! The politicians really think you are all detached idiots. CASH COWS! To lead to the slaughter. Don’t put up with that.

    Just look at what is already happening with Massachusetts insurance mandates. It’s a catastrophe. Financially, and medically for all the people of Massachusetts. And the private insurance companies just raised their rates by as much as 16%. And everyone has to pay now. It’s a slaughter.

    It’s NOW TIME to bring out the BIG GUNS!! The BIG GUNS!! are you. The American people. And anyone else that wants to help. From now until HR 676 is passed into law. I want every person to reach out and touch their fellow Americans every day if you can. I want you to take a phone book. And call at least one of your fellow Americans every day. And ask them to pickup the sword of HR 676 Single Payer Not For Profit Universal Health Care For All (Medicare For All).

    Call more than one each day if you can. And ask them to do the same as you are doing if they can. And also to put maximum pressure on their politicians to get HR 676 done. And to make sure their politicians support HR 676. Accept no substitute. HR 676 is a no-brainer. It’s the best way to go on health care. It’s the only moral, and ethical way to go. That is why every other developed country has done it. Most did it years ago. See sickocure.org, and http://www.house.gov/conyers/news_hr676.htm

    I know that many of you have been doing a fabulous job of spreading the word by talking it up with family, friends, and co-workers. And putting pressure on the politicians to get HR 676 done ASAP. The phone calls to your fellow Americans will increase the pressure. And increase momentum for HR 676 at an astonishing, and exponential rate. And I know many of you have been wanting to do something more to help. The phone calls to your fellow Americans is something you can do every day to help.

    Trust me. It will be something to see. But you have to keep the focus, and pressure on getting HR 676 passed pronto. They will try to distract you. With all manor of other crises, and catastrophes. And other plans. Don’t be distracted. HR 676 Single Payer Not For Profit Universal Health Care is the #1 concern of the American people. Thousands of Americans are dieing daily now. And you or your loved ones could be next.

    There is no good reason HR 676 cannot be passed into law well before the coming elections. And SCHIP should have been passed by now. Even if it was for 3x the 35 billion congress ask for. Do not tolerate delays. If it is not passed before the coming elections. All America will know which politicians are on the side of the American people. And which are not when they vote. Well before the elections. This is supposed to be a democracy. And well over the majority of Americans want tax payer supported single payer government managed health care for free for all Americans as a right. Many of the politicians will be soliciting your financial, and political support for the coming elections. Make sure you send a note telling them that you expect them to support HR 676 if they expect you to support them.

    Everyone can do this. Most of you are well informed about HR 676. This truly is one of those no-brainers. Be considerate of your fellow Americans when you call. But be comfortable about calling. These are your fellow Americans. Some will be receptive. And some will not be. Some maybe rude, and mean. Just thank them, and move on to the next. Most will be with you. And if you get a call from one of your fellow Americans about HR 676. Let them know you are already on board. And thank them for calling. Build them up. And keep them strong. They are fighting for all of us.

    Keep fighting. Pickup that phone, and call your fellow Americans. It’s the right thing to do. You will win. Bless you all…

  4. catsworking says:

    Jack, thanks for writing. You really could use a good editor, but all your points are excellent.

    I think the biggest disgrace is that the solution to our healthcare mess (HR 676) has been sitting, ignored, by Congress since February 2005. Almost TWO YEARS.

    Meanwhile, all these presidential wannabes are running around saying we need to throw the 47 million uninsured under the bus called health insurance. Why? So they can get bilked while being denied care like the rest of us?

    As you said, mandating INSURANCE for everyone isn’t the answer. It doesn’t guarantee greater access to healthcare. It’s just the way to further fatten insurance companies’ wallets, giving them cart blanche to continue collecting premiums at extortionist rates while denying coverage.

    If insurers ever achieve such a total stranglehold on the healthcare system, prices will skyrocket. And Congress will wring its hands, pretend to be horrified, and DO NOTHING.

    As I sit here looking for ways to cut my grocery spending so I can channel more money toward my absurdly expensive health insurance that still manages to cover VERY LITTLE of my routine medical bills, I pray that the American people have finally taken enough abuse from Washington and will vote in candidates on all levels of government who support universal healthcare.

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