House Republicans Maneuver Behind the Scenes to End Single Payer Hopes

originally posted 2008-06-11 18:24:22, bumped -- cho

Is Compassionate Conservatism Right for America?

In an ongoing effort to make their colleagues unelectable, and to provide Democrats with an unassailable platform in November, House Republicans are dismantling and blocking some of the most popular provisions of the Iraq spending bill. Today they blocked passage of extended unemployment benefits despite rising unemployment. And, as we speak, they are working to remove a moratorium on seven Medicaid Rules changes proposed by Bush.

If they are successful, hospitals and emergency rooms will close in poor urban neighborhoods and throughout rural America. In addition, cuts will severely impact case management services to the elderly, people with behavioral disorders and other vulnerable populations; school-based clinics will be severely cut back; and many Americans including some veterans will find it harder to access rehabilitation services.

Graduate Medical Education will be slashed to bits. The next generation of Americans will be a generation without doctors. If the Republicans successfully block the moratorium, they will Katrina-ize our health care system leaving huge areas completely without trauma coverage. And because there isn't a dramatic storm to draw our attention, the MSM will ignore the carnage.

How many of us realize that after the closure of Big Charity Hospital, uninsured NOLA residents have to wait for months and travel for hours to see a doctor? How many of us know that there is no longer a hospital of any sort in South Los Angeles? Today, there is fewer than 1 hospital bed per 100,000 available in Los Angeles compared to 4.3 per 100,000 across the US.

Fifteen hospitals have closed in Los Angeles since 2000 (half of which served South LA). Corpses rotting in the street with no garbage disposal: That is the Bush Health Care Plan. We can stop him! The Republican mania to destroy health care facilities and services only makes sense in its context as a Single Payer Prevention Strategy. Elimination of indigent-serving facilities makes it harder to nationalize health care.

The handwriting is up on the proverbial wall in terms of the November election. They are now slashing and burning the fruits of our labor as they retreat. The Medicaid Rules Moratorium passed the House once already by a veto-proof majority in the form of HR 5613, the "Protecting the Medicaid Safety Net Act of 2008" sponsored by John Dingell (D-MI). 349 voted in favor, and 62 voted against, while 20 did not vote. 128 votes of "yea" were cast by Republicans. Those 128 Republicans will face considerable pressure to reverse their votes from the administration and from House Republican leadership.

The best way to prevent Democrats from enacting a single payer system is to utterly demolish all public health care infrastructure. If you support a single payer system or, for that matter, any functional system at all, then you must call your yes-voting representative and urge him or her to leave the moratorium on all seven Medicaid Rules in the Iraq spending bill (also known as The Supplemental Funding Bill of 2008)! Your pitch should sound something like this:

Hi, Representative (name of Rep). I'm (your name) and I live in your district. I appreciate your courageous and visionary vote in support of HR 5613, the "Protecting the Medicaid Safety Net Act of 2008." I hope you will also vote to keep the moratorium on new Medicaid Rules Changes in the Supplemental Funding Act of 2008. I care about access to health care, and I will base my vote in November on your support for better health care for the American people. Thank you for listening.

Do NOT mention single payer as you do not want to scare your Republican representative out of voting for the moratorium. And while I, like many of us, are opposed to funding the continuation of the war, the best strategy in terms of a successful passage in the face of opposition from Bush is to link important domestic spending programs like the moratorium, the GI Bill, and extension of unemployment benefits to continued funding for the war.

These 349 Congressmen and Women Need Your Encouragement to Continue Their Support for Health Care Republicans are indicated by an R. If two members of Congress share a name, then the state is indicated. If you want to call 'em, this site also names the nays and the no-shows.

Abercrombie Ackerman Aderholt R Allen Altmire Arcuri Baca Bachmann R Bachus R Baird Baldwin Barrow Barton (TX) R Bean Becerra Berkley Berman Berry Biggert R Bilbray R Bilirakis R Bishop (GA) Bishop (NY) Bishop (UT) R Blumenauer Bonner R Bono Mack R Boozman R Boren Boswell Boucher Boustany R Boyd (FL) Boyda (KS) Brady (PA) Brady (TX) R Braley (IA) Brown (SC) R Brown, Corrine Buchanan R Burgess R Butterfield Buyer R Calvert R Camp (MI) R Cantor R Capito R Capps Capuano Cardoza Carnahan Carney Carson Castle R Castor Chandler Clarke Clay Cleaver Coble R Cohen Cole (OK) R Conyers Costa Costello Courtney Crenshaw R Crowley Cuellar Culberson R Cummings
Davis (AL) Davis (CA) Davis (IL) Davis (KY) R Davis, Lincoln Davis, Tom R DeFazio DeGette Delahunt DeLauro Dent R Diaz-Balart, L. R Diaz-Balart, M. R Dicks Dingell Donnelly Doyle Drake R Dreier R Edwards Ehlers R Ellison Ellsworth Emanuel Emerson R Engel English (PA) R Eshoo Everett R Fallin R Farr Fattah Ferguson R Filner Forbes R Fortenberry R Fossella R Foster Frank (MA) Frelinghuysen R Gallegly R Gerlach R Giffords Gilchrest R Gillibrand Gohmert R Gonzalez Goode R Goodlatte R Gordon Granger R Graves R Green, Al Green, Gene Grijalva Gutierrez Hall (NY) Hall (TX) R Hare Harman Hastings (FL) Hastings (WA) R Hayes R Heller R Herseth Sandlin Higgins Hill Hinchey Hinojosa Hirono Hobson R
Hodes Hoekstra R Holden Holt Honda Hooley Hoyer Hunter r Inslee Israel Jackson (IL) Jackson-Lee (TX) Jefferson Johnson (GA) Johnson (IL) R Johnson, E. B. Jones (NC) R Jones (OH) Kagen Kanjorski Kaptur Keller R Kennedy Kildee Kilpatrick Kind King (NY) R Kirk R Klein (FL) Kline (MN) R Knollenberg R Kucinich Kuhl (NY) R LaHood R Lampson Langevin Larsen (WA) Larson (CT) Latham R LaTourette R Lee Levin Lewis (CA) R Lewis (KY) R Lipinski LoBiondo R Loebsack Lofgren, Zoe Lowey Lucas R Lungren, Daniel E. R Lynch Mahoney (FL) Maloney (NY) Markey Marshall Matheson Matsui McCarthy (CA) R McCarthy (NY) McCaul (TX) R McCollum (MN) McCotter McDermott McGovern McHenry R McHugh R McIntyre McMorris Rodgers R McNerney McNulty
Meek (FL) Meeks (NY) Melancon Michaud Miller (MI) R Miller (NC) Miller, Gary R Miller, George Mitchell Mollohan Moore (KS) Moore (WI) Moran (KS) R Moran (VA) Murphy (CT) Murphy, Patrick Murphy, Tim R Murtha Myrick R Napolitano Neal (MA) Nunes R Oberstar Obey Olver Pallone Pascrell Pastor Payne Perlmutter Peterson (MN) Peterson (PA) R Pickering R Platts R Pomeroy Porter R Price (NC) Pryce (OH) R Radanovich R Rahall Ramstad R Rangel Regula R Rehberg R Reichert R Renzi R Reyes Reynolds R Richardson Rodriguez Rogers (AL) R Rogers (KY) R Rogers (MI) R Rohrabacher R Ros-Lehtinen R Roskam R Ross Rothman Roybal-Allard Ruppersberger Ryan (OH) Salazar Sánchez, Linda T. Sanchez, Loretta Sarbanes Saxton R Schakowsky Schiff Schmidt R Schwartz Scott (GA)
Scott (VA) Serrano Sestak Shays R Shea-Porter Sherman Shimkus R Shuler Shuster R Simpson R Sires Skelton Slaughter Smith (NJ) R Smith (TX) R Smith (WA) Snyder Solis Space Speier Spratt Stark Stearns R Stupak Sullivan R Sutton Tanner Tauscher Taylor Terry R Thompson (CA) Thompson (MS) Tiahrt R Tiberi R Tierney Towns Tsongas Turner R Udall (CO) Udall (NM) Upton R Van Hollen Velázquez Visclosky Walberg R Walden (OR) R Walsh (NY) R Walz (MN) Wasserman Schultz Watson Watt Waxman Weiner Welch (VT) Wexler Whitfield (KY) R Wilson (NM) R Wilson (OH) Wittman (VA) R Wolf R Woolsey Wu Yarmuth Young (AK) R Young R
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Comments

27 million Americans are under insured in addition to the 45 million with no insurance.

72 million Americans. That's just wrong.

I'll look up the info and post it here later today.

and I vaguely remember seeing that the 45 million had actually crept up to 47 million... can't verify.

Ranks of underinsured U.S. adults increase 60%
By Victoria Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle, June 10, 2008

The number of adults nationwide who have health insurance but face financial risk due to high out-of-pocket expenses - known as the underinsured - increased 60 percent between 2003 and 2007 to more than 25 million, a study released today found.

Middle- and higher-income families, those with annual incomes of at least $40,000, experienced the sharpest increase among the uninsured, nearly tripling from 4 percent in 2003 to 11 percent in 2007, according to the study by the Commonwealth Fund, which was published online in the journal Health Affairs.

Referenced source:

How Many Are Underinsured? Trends Among U.S. Adults, 2003 and 2007
Authors: Cathy Schoen, M.S., Sara R. Collins, Ph.D., Jennifer L. Kriss, Michelle M. Doty, Ph.D.
Commonwealth Fund, June 10, 2008

It was in a letter from CT CD-02 Representative Joe Courtney's letter... I wrote a little commentary here

As rba would be quick to point out, not exactly a primary source... so I still don't have the original research... but this is a start.

Is also cited in the study by the Commonwealth Fund linked above. I transposed numbers and made the 25 into a 27 and the 47 into a 45.