is the Dallas Area Coalition & proud partner of:
“…working for the common good
is a wonderful way to live – a wonderful way to
spend a lifetime.” – Marilyn
Clement, June 7, 2003
List of current bills,
arranged by subject, that have been receiving legislative
or media attention. www.senate.gov
"Health care is not just another
commodity. It is not a gift to be rationed based on the
ability to pay. It is time to make universal health insurance
a national priority, so that the basic right to health
care can finally become a reality for every American." – Ted Kennedy, US Senator
For the most current
healthcare news and information please visit:
Important Public Radio Documentary on
(from HumanMedia.org – September
With health care reform nearing some resolution, please
give a listen to this one-hour audio program, heard
nationwide on the "Humankind" public radio
series distributed by NPR. It presents the voices of
Harvard Medical School faculty – the couple who
founded Physicians for a National Health Plan –
discussing the vast waste and greed in our current medical
system. Other doctors describe single-payer alternatives
in effect in other nations. The audio should automatically
begin when you click the link below. It can also be
heard at that page by clicking "Free: Listen Online!"
or can be downloaded to an iPod or other MP3 player.
THERE IS NO COST. Please listen, share with friends
and post the link on your website.
Host and Executive Producer
Top 10 Reasons to
Support H.R. 676 (Single-Payer):
The U.S. National Health Insurance Act
(from ProtestHealthCare.org –
September 1, 2009)
Universal means access to healthcare for everyone.
Most private insurance restricts your choice of
doctors, other caregivers or hospitals. Under the
U.S. Health Insurance Act, patients have a choice,
and the provider is assured a fair payment.
If you are unemployed or lose or change jobs,
your health coverage stays with you.
No Cadillac plans for the wealthy and Pinto plans
for everyone else, with high deductibles, limited
services, caps on payments for care, and no protection
in the event of a catastrophe. One level of comprehensive
care for everyone, regardless of the size of your
By removing financial roadblocks, a universal health
system encourages preventive care that lowers an
individual's ultimate cost of pain and suffering
when problems are neglected and societal cost in
the over-utilization of emergency rooms or the spread
of communicable diseases.
Interference with Care.
Caregivers and patients regain their autonomy to
decide what's best for a patient's health, not what's
dictated by a private insurer's billing department.
No denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions
or cancellation for "unreported" minor
One third of every private health insurance dollar
goes for paperwork and overhead, compared to about
3% under Medicare, the federal government's universal
system for senior citizen healthcare.
A guaranteed health care system can produce the
cost savings needed to cover everyone, largely by
using existing resources without the waste. Taiwan,
shifting from a U.S. private heatlh care model,
adopted a similiar system in 1995, boosting health
coverage from 57% to 97% with little increase in
The public system sets fair reimbursements applied
equally to all providers, private and public, while
assuring that appropiate health care is delivered.
It uses its clout to negotiate volume discounts
for prescription drugs and medical equipment.
The public sets the policies and administers the
system, not CEOs making decisions based on their
company's stock performance needs.
more reason...Uninsured Americans are Dying! The
National Institure of Medicine found
that lack of health insurance is fatal, causing
18,000 unnecessary deaths each year in the United
States. Although America leads the world in healthcare
spending, it is the ONLY wealthy, industrialized
nation that does not ensure that ALL citizens have
Healthcare in America & What Other
(from cnn.com – August 21, 2009)
The Obama adminstration's push for healthcare reform has
re-ignited the debate over government involvement in medicine.
How does the U.S. compare to other nations across the
globe? Visit the following link and see indicators of
overall health: how much governments spends on healthcare
per person versus overall healthcare spending, plus longevity
and infant mortality.
Smith: Obama's strategy was to vilify the drug companies
and then cut deals with them in secret
The unlikely union of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers
of America or PhRMA and the White House has many wondering
about the true nature of this partnership. Especially
taking into consideration the powerful lobby’s opposition
to any kind of health care reform for years. The Real
News spoke with Donna Smith, Community organizer for California
Nurses Association, about drug industry’s possible
impact on the final legislation.
Moguls Dodge Risk, Collect Huge Profits
(from theunion.com –
August 21, 2009)
wish you were as smart as the CEOs of health insurance
corporations who make salaries like baseball stars and
bonuses like bank executives?
How do those geniuses do it? How can they pull such profits
out of a business designed to “spread the risk”?
The answer, my friends, is from the old adage: Buy low
and sell high. The premiums they sell are the highest
in the world, but of course they will tell you we have
the “finest health care in the world.”
Profit lies between expenses and income, and these companies
do, frankly, have a lot to buy: hospital costs, doctors
fees and salaries, some drugs and, of course, politicians.
The amount of soot they throw into our eyes is matched
by the silver they set before the members of Congress
— an amount which could be called obscene.
They try to keep profits high and expenses low by not
spreading risk, but by avoiding risk: change your job,
discover a “preexisting condition,” and you
will quietly be deleted.
What is not being emphasized enough, in my opinion, is
the huge amount of medical costs we taxpayers already
pay, and is avoided by the insurance companies: all the
health care in prisons, the emergency room visits by people
who cannot afford regular care, medical indigents, people
on disability, armed forces, personnel and their dependents,
veterans and those covered by Medicare only.
There is the dawning insight that if members of these
groups could get adequate care, particularly preventive
care (and this varies a lot), the health care costs borne
by taxpayers could be reduced.
For decades, the insurance industry has been fawning over
and flattering people in white-coats, telling all of us
how wonderful our United States health care system is,
as the truth drifts further and further from this fantasy.
What they hate is anything that would expose the truth
of their operations, such as a federally run program.
The truth is, no one can make a huge profit without a
big gap between expenses and income. You see, it isn’t
like rocket science, it’s, like, greed."
Having grown up in one of the most conservative and
Republican places in the country — East Tennessee
— I understand why many of the people who are
showing up at town hall meetings this month are reacting,
sometimes violently, when members of Congress try to
explain the need for an expanded government role in
our health care system.
I also have a lot of conservative friends, including
one former co-worker who was laid off by CIGNA several
years ago but who nonetheless worries about a “government
takeover” of health care.
The most vocal folks at the town hall meetings seem
to share the same ideology as my kinfolks in East Tennessee
and my former CIGNA buddy: the less government involvement
in our lives, the better.
That point couldn’t have been made clearer than
by the man standing in line to get free care at Remote
Area Medical’s recent health care “expedition”
at the Wise County, Virginia, fairgrounds, who told
a reporter he was dead set against President Obama’s
Even though he didn’t have health insurance, and
could see the desperation in the faces of thousands
of others all around him who were in similar straits,
he was more worried about the possibility of having
to pay more taxes than he was eager to make sure he
and his neighbors wouldn’t have to wait in line
to get care provided by volunteer doctors in animal
Friday morning my former CIGNA buddy sent me an e-mail
challenging something he said his wife heard me say
in a radio report about my press conference in the Capitol
on Wednesday with Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-New York,
chairwoman of the House Rules Committee.
“She heard you say that these protestors are funded
by the insurance companies. Frankly, nothing would surprise
me, but certainly not each and every person,”
he wrote. “If there was a meeting near me, I certainly
would tell my local representative how I feel about
this entire subject (and it wouldn’t be pretty),
and I certainly am not funded by anyone. So I am ultimately
wondering what proof there is that seemingly ordinary
Americans are finally protesting what is going in Washington
and there are all of these suggestions of a greater
If the radio report had carried more of my remarks,
he might have a better understanding of how the health
insurance and its army of PR people are influencing
his opinions and actions without his even knowing it.
Until I quit my job last year, I was one of the leaders
of that army. I had a very successful career and was
my company’s voice to the media and the public
for several years.
It was my job to “promote and defend” the
company’s reputation and to try to persuade reporters
to write positive stories about the industry’s
ideas on reform. During the last couple of years of
my career, however, I became increasingly worried that
the high-deductible plans insurers were beginning to
push Americans into would force more and more of us
The higher I rose in the company, the more I learned
about the tactics insurers use to dump policyholders
when they get sick, in order to increase profits and
to reward their Wall Street investors. I could not in
good conscience continue serving as an industry mouthpiece.
And I did not want to be part of yet another industry
effort to kill meaningful reform.
I explained during the press conference with Rep. Slaughter
how the industry funnels millions of its policyholders’
premiums to big public relations firms that provide
talking points to conservative talk show hosts, business
groups and politicians. I also described how the PR
firms set up front groups, again using your premium
dollars and mine, to scare people away from reform.
What I’m trying to do as I write and speak out
against the insurance industry I was a part of for nearly
two decades is to inform Americans that when they hear
isolated stories of long waiting times to see doctors
in Canada and allegations that care in other systems
is rationed by “government bureaucrats,”
someone associated with the insurance industry wrote
the original script.
The industry has been engaging in these kinds of tactics
for many years, going back to its successful behind-the-scenes
campaign to kill the Clinton reform plan.
A story in Friday’s New York Times about the origin
of the absurdly false rumor that President Obama’s
health care proposal would create government-sponsored
“death panels” bears out what I have been
The story notes that the rumor emanated “from
many of the same pundits and conservative media outlets
that were central in defeating Bill Clinton’s
health care proposal 16 years ago, including the editorial
board of The Washington Times, the American Spectator
magazine and Betsy McCaughey, whose 1994 health care
critique made her a star of the conservative movement
(and ultimately, the lieutenant governor of New York).”
The big PR firms that work for the industry have close
connections with those media outlets and stars in the
conservative movement. One of their PR firms, which
created and staffed a front group in the late ’90s
to kill the proposed “Patients’ Bill of
Rights,” launched a PR and advertising campaign
in conservative media outlets to drum up opposition
to the bill.
The message: President Clinton “owed a debt to
the liberal base of the Democrat Party and would try
to pay back that debt by advancing the type of big government
agenda on health care that he failed to get in 1994.”
The industry goes to great lengths to keep its involvement
in these campaigns hidden from public view. I know from
having served on numerous trade group committees and
industry-funded front groups, however, that industry
leaders are always full partners in developing strategies
to derail any reform that might interfere with insurers’
ability to increase profits.
So the next time you hear someone warning against a
“government takeover” of our health care
system, or that the creation of a public health insurance
option would send us down the “slippery slope
toward socialism,” know that someone like I used
to be wrote those terms, knowing it might turn many
of the very people who would benefit most from meaningful
reform into unwitting spokespeople for the industry.
NOTE: Wendell Potter, the former health insurance PR
executive who is now Senior Fellow on Health Care with
for Media and Democracy, provided CNN with the follow
editorial posted on their website.
a Mural to Fix Healthcare
– August 18, 2009)
Regina Holliday is painting a 20ft (6m) high mural in
Washington DC. It shows her husband on his deathbed, to
draw attention to the failings of the American health
Fred Holliday succumbed to kidney cancer at age 39. He
probably had the disease for years, but with no health
insurance, he could not afford the tests that would have
explained his symptoms.
The day he died was the day the Senate health committee
debate about reform began - since then, along with painting
the mural, Regina has been lobbying Congress.
United States - Private system
Private sector funded, with more than half from private
sources. Private health insurance available through
employer, government or private schemes.
15.3% of population (45.7 million people) do not have
Federal government is largest healthcare insurer - involved
in two main schemes, Medicaid and Medicare, each covering
about 13% of population.
Medicaid - joint funded federal-state programme for
certain low income and needy groups - eg children, disabled.
Medicare - for people 65 years old and above and some
younger disabled people and those with permanent kidney
failure undergoing dialysis or transplant.
Most doctors are in private practice and paid through
combination of charges, discounted fees paid by private
health plans, public programmes, and direct patient
In-patient care is provided in public and private hospitals.
Hospitals are paid through a combination of charges,
per admission, and capitation.
UK - Universal, tax-funded
Public sector funded by taxation and some national insurance
About 11% have private health insurance. Private GP
services very small.
Healthcare free at point of delivery but charges for
prescription drugs (except in Wales), ophthalmic services
and dental services unless exempt.
Exemptions include children, elderly, and unemployed.
About 85% of prescriptions are exempt.
Most walk-in care provided by GP practices but also
some walk-in clinics and 24-hour NHS telephone helpline.
Free ambulance service and access to accident and emergency.
In patient care through GP referral and follow contractual
arrangements between health authorities, Primary Care
Trusts and the hospital.
Hospitals are semi-autonomous self-governing public
France - Social insurance
All legal residents covered by public health insurance
funded by compulsory social health insurance contributions
from employers and employees with no option to opt out.
Most people have extra private insurance to cover areas
that are not eligible for reimbursement by the public
health insurance system and many make out of pocket
payments to see a doctor.
Patients pay doctor's bills and are reimbursed by sickness
Government regulates contribution rates paid to sickness
funds, sets global budgets and salaries for public hospitals.
In-patient care is provided in public and private hospitals
(not-for-profit and for-profit). Doctors in public hospitals
are salaried whilst those in private hospitals are paid
on a fee-for-service basis. Some public hospital doctors
are allowed to treat private patients in the hospital.
A percentage of the private fee is payable to the hospital.
Most out-patient care is delivered by doctors, dentists
and medical auxiliaries working in their own practices.
Singapore - Dual system
Dual system funded by private and public sectors. Public
sector provides 80% of hospital care 20% primary care.
Financed by combination of taxes, employee medical benefits,
compulsory savings in the form of Medisave, insurance
and out-of-pocket payments.
Patients expected to pay part of their medical expenses
and to pay more for higher level of service. Government
subsidises basic healthcare.
Public sector health services cater for lower income
groups who cannot afford private sector charges. In
private hospitals and outpatient clinics, patients pay
the amount charged by the hospitals and doctors on a
North Texas congressional leaders stayed along party lines
Monday in what is believed to be the nation’s only
joint town hall debate on how to overhaul the health care
Democratic Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson and Republican Rep.
Pete Sessions spent the majority of their hour- long meeting
debating whether a public insurance plan should be included
in a health care overhaul bill.
call it socialized medicine,” Sessions said of the
“It’s better than
nothing,” Johnson shot back, generating applause.
The back-and-forth sound bites continued, each reciting
their party’s talking points. Sessions proposed
changes in the tax law to give the uninsured the same
tax advantages corporations receive to purchase health
“The free market works and works
well,” Sessions said. “We just don’t
have enough people in it.”
Johnson said the public insurance plan is critical to
creating competition with health insurers to drive down
prices and to cover the 222,000 uninsured in her congressional
district, which includes Dallas and DeSoto.
2008 there were 690 bankruptcies in my district, primarily
because of health care costs,” Johnson said.
Cal Jillson, moderator of the debate at Dallas’
Cityplace Conference Center, said the discussion carried
a special significance in being peaceful, unlike the violent
outbursts seen at other congressional town hall meetings
across the country.
“As far as I know,
this is the only place in the country where a Democrat
and Republican have come together,” Jillson said.
Billionaires for Wealthcare "Vote
NO on Reform, Sick People Make Me Rich"
– August 17, 2009)
TX Dem: Bill without public option 'would
be very, very difficult'
(from cnn.com – August 17, 2009)
On the same day that a Cabinet member signaled the administration’s
willingness to forego inclusion of a public health insurance
option in the final version of health care reform legislation,
a Texas Democrat who is also a registered nurse suggested
that the public option might be a deal breaker for at
least some House Democrats.
“It would be
very, very difficult,” to support a bill that lacked
a public health insurance option, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson
said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, “because,
without the public option, we’ll have the same number
of people uninsured. If the insurance companies wanted
to insure these people now, they’d be insured.
Johnson added that “an option that would give the
private insurance companies a little competition”
is “the only way” to be sure that insurance
is available to low income people and people without employer-provided
Johnson also told CNN Chief National Correspondent John
King that House Democrats have already expressed their
desire for a public option to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
and even suggested that Pelosi inform the White House
that the absence of the public option could be a deal
breaker for the House Democratic Caucus.
Georgia Republican Rep. Tom Price, a medical doctor, called
“simply false.” the notion that there are
only two choices – between government-provided insurance
and private insurance. Instead, there is a “patient-centered
way” of providing health insurance, “to put
patients in charge.” Price also said Sunday that
creating a public health insurance option will “crowd
out” individuals from the private insurance market
and into the government insurance option.
Wendell Potter – Insurance Insider
(from cnn.com – August 17, 2009)
Original July 13, 2009 interview
– by PBS' Bill Moyers – can be viewed here.
You Don’t Cut Deals with the
System that Has to Be Replaced: Ralph Nader on Secret
White House Agreements with the Drug Industry –
Pay or Die System
– August 17, 2009)
The Obama administration admitted last week it promised
to oppose proposals to let the government negotiate drug
prices and extract additional savings from drug companies.
In return, drug companies reportedly pledged to reduce
costs by up to $80 billion. The White House has tried
to back off the reported agreements, but the drug industry
says it expects the White House to uphold its pledge.
We speak to former presidential candidate and longtime
consumer advocate Ralph Nader.
“Private capitalists inevitably control, directly
or indirectly, the main sources of information (press,
radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and
indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual
citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent
use of his political rights.” – Albert
Read more of Einstein's essay here.
The History of Healthcare in America
– The Slow Progression of Capitalism
(from pbs.org – August 17,
Medical Association (AMA) becomes a powerful
In 1901, AMA reorganizes
as the national organization of state and
local associations. Membership increases from
about 8,000 physicians in 1900 to 70,000 in
1910 -- half the physicians in the country.
This period is the
beginning of "organized medicine."
Surgery is now common,
especially for removing tumors, infected tonsils,
appendectomies, and gynecological operations.
Doctors are no longer
expected to provide free services to all hospital
America lags behind
European countries in finding value in insuring
against the costs of sickness.
Railroads are the
leading industry to develop extensive employee
are now modern scientific institutions, valuing
antispetics and cleanliness, and using medications
for the relief of pain.
for Labor Legislation (AALL) organizes first
national conference on "social insurance".
argue for health insurance, seems to be gaining
physicians and other interest groups, and
the entry of the US into the war in 1917 undermine
the general mood of political complacency,
there is no strong effort to change health
Reformers now emphasize
the cost of medical care instead of wages
lost to sickness - the relatively higher cost
of medical care is a new and dramatic development,
especially for the middle class.
influence of the medical profession - physicians'
incomes are higher and prestige is established.
Rural health facilities
are clearly inadequate.
General Motors signs
a contract with Metropolitan Life to insure
Penicillin is discovered,
but it will be twenty years before it is used
to combat infection and disease.
The Depression changes
priorities, with greater emphasis on unemployment
insurance and "old age" benefits.
Act is passed, omitting health insurance.
Push for health
insurance within the Roosevelt Administration,
but politics begins to be influenced by internal
government conflicts over priorities.
Against the advice
of insurance professionals, Blue Cross begins
offering private coverage for hospital care
in dozens of states.
Prepaid group healthcare
begins, seen as radical.
During the 2nd World
War, wage and price controls are placed on
American employers. To compete for workers,
companies begin to offer health benefits,
giving rise to the employer-based system in
asks Congress for "economic bill of rights,"
including right to adequate medical care.
Truman's plan is
denounced by the American Medical Association
(AMA) , and is called a Communist plot by
a House subcommittee.
At the start of
the decade, national health care expenditures
are 4.5 percent of the Gross National Product.
to Korea and away from health reform; America
will have a system of private insurance for
those who can afford it and welfare services
for the poor.
for the sick poor is firmly established.
proposals are made for different approaches
to hospital insurance, but none succeed.
Many more medications
are available now to treat a range of diseases,
including infections, glaucoma, and arthritis,
and new vaccines become available that prevent
dreaded childhood diseases, including polio.
The first successful organ transplant is performed.
In the 1950s, the
price of hospital care doubled. Now in the
early 1960s, those outside the workplace,
especially the elderly, have difficulty affording
Over 700 insurance
companies selling health insurance.
Concern about a
"doctor shortage" and the need for
more "health manpower" leads to
federal measures to expand education in the
Major medical insurance
endorses high-cost medicine.
Johnson signs Medicare and Medicaid into law.
Health Insurance" advocates are no longer
The number of doctors
reporting themselves as full-time specialists
grows from 55% in 1960 to 69%.
Nixon renames prepaid group health care plans
as health maintenance organizations (HMOs),
with legislation that provides federal endorsement,
certification, and assistance.
are escalating rapidly, partially due to unexpectedly
high Medicare expenditures, rapid inflation
in the economy, expansion of hospital expenses
and profits, and changes in medical care including
greater use of technology, medications, and
conservative approaches to treatment. American
medicine is now seen as in crisis.
plan for national health insurance rejected
by liberals & labor unions, but his "War
on Cancer" centralizes research at the
The number of women
entering the medical profession rises dramatically.
In 1970, 9% of medical students are women;
by the end of the decade, the proportion exceeds
World Health Organization
declares smallpox eradicated.
to integrate the hospital system (previously
a decentralized structure), enter many other
healthcare-related businesses, and consolidate
control. Overall, there is a shift toward
privatization and corporatization of healthcare.
Reagan, Medicare shifts to payment by diagnosis
(DRG) instead of by treatment. Private plans
quickly follow suit.
by insurance companies that the traditional
fee-for-service method of payment to doctors
is being exploited.
payments to doctors become more common.
Health care costs
rise at double the rate of inflation.
Expansion of managed
care helps to moderate increases in health
Federal health care
reform legislation fails again to pass in
the U.S. Congress.
By the end of the
decade there are 44 million Americans, 16
% of the nation, with no health insurance
Human Genome Project
to identify all of the more than 100,000 genes
in human DNA gets underway.
By June 1990, 139,765
people in the United States have HIV/AIDS,
with a 60 percent mortality rate.
Health care costs
are on the rise again.
Medicare is viewed
by some as unsustainable under the present
structure and must be "rescued".
of the workplace lead many to believe the
employer-based system of insurance can't last.
Human Genome Project
to identify all of the more than 100,000 genes
in human DNA is expected to be completed a
full two years ahead of schedule, in 2003.
advertising for pharmaceuticals and medical
devices is on the rise.
The healthcare fight has turned ugly, fast.
And lies about reform are spreading via anonymous email
chains. Below are the real facts you need to know.
Lie #1: President
Obama wants to euthanize your grandma!!! The truth: These accusations –
of "death panels" and forced euthanasia –
are, of course, flatly untrue. As an article from the
Associated Press puts it: "No 'death panel' in
health care bill." What's the real deal? Reform
legislation includes a provision, supported by the AARP,
to offer senior citizens access to a professional medical
counselor who will provide them with information on
preparing a living will and other issues facing older
If you'd like to read the actual section of the legislation
that spawned these outrageous claims (Section 1233 of
H.R. 3200) for yourself, here
it is (PDF). It's pretty boring stuff, which is
why the accusations that it creates "death panels"
is so absurd. But don't take our word for it, read
it yourself (PDF).
Lie #2: Democrats
are going to outlaw private insurance and force you
into a government plan!!! The truth: With reform, choices will
increase, not decrease. Obama's reform plans will create
a health insurance exchange, a one-stop shopping marketplace
for affordable, high-quality insurance options. Included
in the exchange is the public health insurance option
– a nationwide plan with a broad network of providers
– that will operate alongside private insurance
companies, injecting competition into the market to
drive quality up and costs down. If you're happy with
your coverage and doctors, you can keep them. But the
new public plan will expand choices to millions of businesses
or individuals who choose to opt into it, including
many who simply can't afford health care now.
Lie #3: President
Obama wants to implement Soviet-style rationing!!! The truth: Health care reform will
expand access to high-quality health insurance, and
give individuals, families, and businesses more choices
for coverage. Right now, big corporations decide whether
to give you coverage, what doctors you get to see, and
whether a particular procedure or medicine is covered
– that is rationed care. And a big part of reform
is to stop that.
Health care reform will do away with some of the most
nefarious aspects of this rationing: discrimination
for pre-existing conditions, insurers that cancel coverage
when you get sick, gender discrimination, and lifetime
and yearly limits on coverage. And outside of that,
as noted above, reform will increase insurance options,
not force anyone into a rationed situation.
Lie #4: Obama is secretly
plotting to cut senior citizens' Medicare benefits!!! The truth: Health care reform plans
will not reduce Medicare benefits. Reform includes savings
from Medicare that are unrelated to patient care –
in fact, the savings comes from cutting billions of
dollars in overpayments to insurance companies and eliminating
waste, fraud, and abuse.
Lie #5: Obama's
health care plan will bankrupt America!!! The truth: We need health care reform
now in order to prevent bankruptcy – to control
spiraling costs that affect individuals, families, small
businesses, and the American economy. Right now, we
spend more than $2 trillion dollars a year on health
care. The average family premium is projected to rise
to over $22,000 in the next decade – and each
year, nearly a million people face bankruptcy because
of medical expenses. Reform, with an affordable, high-quality
public option that can spur competition, is necessary
to bring down skyrocketing costs. Also, President Obama's
reform plans would be fully paid for over 10 years and
not add a penny to the deficit.
$ick for Profit – Stephen Hemsley
earns $819,363.10 per day during the course of 2009!
(from truthdig.com –
August 14, 2009)
Robert Greenwald and Brave New Films
have a simple but compelling health care argument: Compare
the obscene earnings of one insurance CEO to the comparatively
bargain claims his company has refused to honor. UnitedHealth
Group CEO Stephen Hemsley, this clip argues, is personally
profiting from the misery of children.
NOTE: Numbers may not
add up to 100 due to rounding.
Source: Alliance For Health Reform, Covering Health
Issues, 5th Edition 2009
Health Care Costs
The U.S. spent $2.2 trillion on health care in 2007.
That's $7,421 per person and 16.2% of the nation's
• Health care costs more than
tripled from 1990 to 2007. They're projected to
rise to 25% of GDP in 2025 and 49% in 2082.
• In 2008, an employer-sponsored family
insurance policy cost $12,680 on average, nearly
the annual earnings of a full-time minimum wage
• From 2000 to 2008, premiums
for employer-sponsored family health coverage more
• Premiums paid by
employers are the nation's largest pool of untaxed
money. In 2007, the the contributions totaled $246.1
billion, more than half what the government paid
for Medicare that year.
Patients Experience Similar OR Better Access To
Care Compared With Privately Insured Individuals
As required by Congress, each year, the Medicare
Payment Advisory Commission reviews the Medicare
systems. The data below comes from an annual patient
telephone survey of a nationally representative,
random sample of Medicare beneficiaries age 65 and
older, and privately insured individuals ages 50
Patients Have Low Rates of Access Problems
The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission survey
found that in 2008, Medicare beneficiaries were
less likely than their privately insured counterparts
to report they didn't see a doctor when they needed
to. The survey also found that minorities and those
with lower incomes were more likely to report that
they didn't see a doctor when they thought they
Republicans, Democrats, and Misinformation
– OH MY! “Keep your government hands off
– August 12, 2009)
Americans just don't trust the government. They're afraid
of change. The unknown scares them. But, did you know
that America have numerous "government-run"
programs? While, some may need adjustments and modernization,
they do exisit in our country.
Although, ProtestHealthCare.org supports reform of our
healthcare system, we hope to remove the profit-driven
insurance companies. Remove the combination of employment
and healthcare. Having healthcare as its own entity, would
help keep profits away and keep the concentration on our
ProtestHealthcare.org supports a SINGLE-PAYER
system. It is similar in some respects to the many national
healthcare systems in advanced nations worldwide. One
difference is that all healthcare procedures would be
provided by PRIVATE DOCTORS, not public
facilities. The government would not control our healthcare
(as the media continues to misinform us by calling it
Americans fear our healthcare system would be turned into
a low-buget system, long waiting periods, and overall
lack of care. NOT TRUE. America
has THE BEST healthcare in the world. It's just
not within reach and not affordable – due to the
profit-driven insurance companies. Doctors waste their
valuable time on paperwork – which could be used
to treat patients. Instead, they spend their time making
sure required forms and other important decisions be approved
by insurance companies. Patients, in turn, worry if their
treatment will be covered.
This issue is not about those who DON'T have health insurance.
This is about not receiving proper care we all deserve
– without the high costs. No one should be turned
down due to pre-existing conditions.
be the leaders of Healthcare and take care of our people!
List of "Government-Run" Programs Americans
Support and PAY FOR via TAXES:
Medicare (Hospital Insurance, Supplementary Medical Insurance,
Drug Assistance, etc.)
Social Security (Disability, Retirement, Survivors, etc.)
State Planning Grant Health Care Access for the Uninsured
Veterans Medical Care (hospitals, prescriptions, dental,
Veterans Dental Care
School Breakfast Program
Special Benefits for Certain World War II Veterans
Supportive Housing for the Elderly
Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities
Supported Employment Services for Individuals with Severe
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Projects
Special Diabetes Program for Indians Diabetes Prevention
and Treatment Projects
Scholarships for Health Professions Students from Disadvantaged
Ryan White HIV/AIDS Dental Reimbursements
Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities National Programs
Research on Healthcare Costs, Quality and Outcomes
Arts in Education
Food Stamp Programs
Oral Diseases and Disorders Research
Nutrition Services Incentive Program
National Security Education Scholarships
National Forest Dependent Rural Communities
National Fire Academy Educational Program
Military Medical Research and Development
Lung Diseases Research
Law Enforcement Assistance FBI Field Police Training
Law Enforcement Assistance FBI Advanced Police Training
HIV Emergency Relief Project Grants
Highway Planning and Construction
Health Disparities in Minority Health
Geriatric Training for Physicians, Dentists & Behavioral/Mental
Fire Management Assistance Grant
Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program (DVOP)
So Let's Compare...
Obama's Plan Versus Conyers' HR 676 Plan
(from kff.org – August 11,
U.S. National Health Care Act (H.R. 676)
approach to expanding access to coverage
Obama outlined eight principles for health care
reform in his FY 2010 Budget overview. The President
has indicated that comprehensive health reform should:
* Reduce long-term growth of health care costs for
businesses and government.
* Protect families from bankruptcy or debt because
of health care costs.
* Guarantee choice of doctors and health plans.
* Invest in prevention and wellness.
* Improve patient safety and quality care.
* Assure affordable, quality health coverage for
* Maintain coverage when you change or lose your
* End barriers to coverage for people with pre-existing
a public health insurance program for all U.S. residents.
Replace employer coverage and eliminate the Medicare,
Medicaid and CHIP programs. Individuals are not
required to pay premiums or cost-sharing. Require
conversion to a non-profit health care system. Provide
for global budgets for hospitals and negotiate annual
reimbursement rates with physicians and other non-institutional
providers. Finance program by redirecting current
federal and state health care spending, impose an
employer/employee payroll tax, and leverage additional
The plan must put
the country on a clear path to cover all Americans.
residing in the US are covered under the United
States National Health Care Act (USNHC).
of public programs
a foundation for health reform, the President signed
the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization
Act (CHIPRA), which provides coverage to 11 million
a new public plan, the USNHC program, that provides
coverage for a comprehensive set of benefits, including
long-term care services, to all US residents.
* Eliminate the Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP programs
as beneficiaries of these programs are eligible
for the USNHC program.
* VA health programs will remain independent for
10 years after which they will either remain independent
or be integrated into the USNHC program. The Indian
Health Service will remain independent for 5 years
after which it will be integrated into the USNHC
subsidies to individuals
plan must protect families' from bankruptcy or debt
because of health care costs.
* The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act makes
coverage more affordable for Americans who lose
their jobs and their access to employer-based health
coverage by offering a subsidy of 65 percent of
the premium costs for COBRA coverage.
are not required to pay premiums to obtain coverage
nor are they charged copayments or coinsurance for
subsidies to employers
related to health insurance
of insurance pooling mechanisms
The plan should
provide portability of coverage and should offer
Americans a choice of health plans.
No provision other
than pooling achieved through USNHC.
coverage for all medically necessary services, including
primary care and prevention; inpatient care; outpatient
care; emergency care; prescription drugs; durable
medical equipment; long-term care; palliative care;
mental health services; dental services; chiropractic
services; basic vision correction; hearing services;
and podiatric care.
to Private Insurance
plan must end barriers to coverage for people with
pre-existing medical conditions.
insurers from duplicating USNHC benefits but they
may offer coverage for benefits not covered by the
plan should reduce high administrative costs, unnecessary
tests and services, waste, and other inefficiencies
that consume money with no added benefit.
annual budgets for health care professional staffing,
capital expenditures, reimbursement for providers,
and health professional education.
* Pay institutional providers, including hospitals,
nursing homes, community or migrant health centers,
home care agencies, and other institutional and
prepaid group practices, a monthly lump sum to cover
* Pay physicians and other non-institutional providers
based on a simplified fee scheduled or as a salaried
employee in an institution receiving a global budget
or in a group practice or HMO receiving capitation
* Establish a uniform electronic billing system
and create an electronic patient record system.
* Allow only public or not-for-profit institutions
to participate in USNHC. Private physicians, clinics,
and other participating providers may not be investor
* Require USNHC program to negotiate annually prices
for drugs, medical supplies, and assistive equipment.
* Establish a prescription drug formulary that encourages
best practices in prescribing and promotes use of
generics and other lower cost alternatives.
quality/health system performance
plan must ensure the implementation of provide patient
safety measures and provide incentives for changes
in the delivery system to reduce unnecessary variability
in patient care. It must support the widespread
use of health information technology and the development
of data on the effectiveness of medical interventions
to improve the quality of care delivered.
* To lay the foundation for improving the health
care delivery system and quality of care, the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act invests $19 billion
in health information technology, including $17
billion in incentives to providers to encourage
their use of electronic medical records, and provides
$1.1 billion for comparative effectiveness research.
participating providers to meet state quality and
* Create a National Board of Universal Quality and
Access to address issues, such as access to care,
quality improvement, administrative efficiency,
budget adequacy, reimbursement levels, capital needs,
long term care, and staffing levels.
* Establish a universal standard of care relating
to appropriate staffing levels; appropriate medical
technology; scope of work in the workplace; best
practices; salary levels for medical professional
and support staff.
plan must invest in public health measures proven
to reduce cost drivers in our system, such as obesity,
sedentary lifestyles, and smoking, as well as guarantee
access to proven preventive treatments. The American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides $1 billion
for prevention and wellness.
coverage for long-term care services through the
USNHC program and establish regional budgets to
cover these long-term care services.
* Encourage long-term care to be provided in home
and community-based settings, as opposed to in institutions.
an initial investment in strengthening the health
care workforce, the American Recovery and Reinvestment
Act provides $500 million to train the next generation
of doctors and nurses.
a USNHC Employment Transition Fund to assist people
who lose their jobs as a result of the transition
to the new national system.
* Create a mechanism to facilitate the conversion
of for-profit providers of care to not-for-profit
status and provide compensation for the financial
losses associated with the conversion.
Obama dedicated $630 billion over ten years toward
a Health Reform Reserve Fund in his budget outline
released in February 2009 to partially offset the
cost of health reform.
USNHC program will be funded through the USNHC Trust
Fund. Funding for the Trust Fund will come from
redirecting existing federal payments for health
care; increasing the income tax for the top 5% of
earners, instituting a modest and progressive payroll
tax, and imposing a tax on stock and bond transactions.
There are two kinds of healthcare reform being promoted
nationwide as the Obama Administration talks about providing
healthcare for everybody in the United States.
One kind continues to support corporate medicine urging
everybody who can to continue paying premium prices and
purchasing health insurance policies so that healthcare
continues to be provided by insurance companies and drugs
continue to be controlled by for-profit companies too.
This is BAD Healthcare Reform.
The other is a public healthcare system where we would
all jointly support a national healthcare system such
as Medicare, the fantastic system that (admittedly with
many faults and needs for improvement) covers millions
of us because we have paid into it in advance. This system
costs a lot less money than insurance company policies,
and provides for everybody whose age or disability makes
If we created a policy making everybody of all ages eligible
for Medicare and required everyone to pay into it, we
would have a national healthcare system that would work
for all of us. Some economists in Europe point to the
plethora of young workers, many from other countries,
in the United States who would be paying into this system
for many years even though they would not need any extensive
and costly healthcare for a long time.
It is called SINGLE-PAYER.
It is similar in some respects to the many national healthcare
systems in advanced nations worldwide. One difference
is that all healthcare procedures would be provided by
PRIVATE DOCTORS, not public facilities.
The government would not control our healthcare (as in
socialized medicine). 43 States are now cutting back on
their healthcare and education programs as a result of
the recession. They wouldn’t have to do that if
they would join together in creating a single-payer system.
Every one of us needs to tell Tom Daschle, the new Health
and Human Services Secretary, and President Obama that,
YES, we know it would cause them some problems to reject
the multi-billion dollar proposals to keep healthcare
in the corporate column making beaucoup bucks for private
corporations. But we are waiting for the promise of universal
A single-payer system that works all over the world in
every advanced nation is waiting for us to adopt it and
even to improve it.
More than $1.2 trillion spent on health
care each year is a waste of money. Members of the medical
community identify the leading causes.
money.cnn.com – published on August 10,
Down the drain: $1.2 trillion.
That's half of the $2.2 trillion the United States
spends on health care each year, according to
the most recent data from accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers'
Health Research Institute.
What counts as waste? The report identified 16
different areas in which health care dollars are
squandered. But in talking to doctors, nurses,
hospital groups and patient advocacy groups, six
areas totaling nearly $500 billion stood out as
issues to be dealt with in the health care reform
Health Care's Six Money-Wasting Problems
1. Too Many Tests
2. Those Annoying Claim Forms
3. Using the ER as a Clinic
4. Medical "Oops"
5. Going Back to the Hospital
6. You Forgot to Wash Your Hands!
– published on August 5, 2009)
There has been considerable confusion about the differences
between single-payer healthcare, which Healthcare-NOW!
supports, and the healthcare reform options, including
President Obama’s “public option", being
introduced by the House and Senate.
So, we’ve collected the following resources to clarify
America features Holland's healthcare system. Holland
offers a very modern and sensible solution with reduced
insurance rates for those who workout and stay fit. Some
useful and informative ideas for the United States! What's
stopping us from reforming our healthcare system?
In Holland, everyone has health insurance after reform
three years ago. Tom Burridge asks whether this mix of
public and private care could be a model for America to
$$ Healthcare Expenses per Person per Year
Source OECD, 2007 (in US dollars)
The question now remains, should quality healthcare in
the United States be double the amount compared to other
countries? Should United States citizens be denied healthcare?
Should our citizens have to decide between paying for
food or shelter over heatlhcare expenses? Should the number
one reason for bankruptcies be due to healthcare expenses?
THE ANSWER IS NO!
Insurance Exec Blows The Whistle On Health Insurance Companies’
Plot Against Reform
(from thinkprogress.org– published on July 13, 2009)
In an interview with PBS’ Bill Moyers on Friday,
former health insurance executive Wendell Potter revealed
that health insurance companies had developed a concerted
strategy to discredit Michael Moore’s movie SiCKO.
Al Gore: "I
strongly support universal, single payer, government funded
healthcare." (from Current.com – published
on July 21, 2008)
Ask your Representative: What side
are YOU on? A single-payer healthcare for All or the
private, profit-driven insurance companies who deny
you with us for a guarantee of quality affordable health
care for all? We need coverage that meets our
families’ health care needs and is affordable,
based on a sliding scale. We need government to be an
advocate for us and set and enforce the rules so insurance
companies put our health care before their profits.
We need to be able to keep the health care that we have
and have the choice of a public plan so we’re
not left at the mercy of the same private insurance
companies that have gotten us into this mess. We need
quality, affordable care we all can count on.
Are you for leaving us on our
own to buy private health insurance?Leaving
us to fend for ourselves in the complicated private
insurance market? Do you want insurance companies to
be able to sell bare-bones plans with high deductibles?
Do you want to start paying income taxes when your employer
pays for health coverage? You don’t want any regulations
on private insurance so they can keep denying coverage
for pre-existing conditions and raising rates on the
sick. And you don’t want any limits on health
insurance company premiums or profits or on how much
drug companies can charge for prescriptions.
the CARE in HEALTH? If you are like the millions
of Americans who are frustrated, embarrassed, angered,
and just down right disgusted with the American healthcare
system, you’ve come to the right place.
Healthcare should not be a privilege. It should be a right
to every American, black or white, obese or thin, poor
or rich, young or old, living in the United States.
Our mission is to help solve the problem of our American
healthcare system by educating our citizens and finding
a common ground on this issue. We believe every citizen
should have an equal opportunity to healthcare without
limitations of preexisting conditions or financial gain
by insurance and pharmaceutical companies. Our goal is
to end selective healthcare so that American citizens
will never be denied based on previous medical conditions
or on a financial basis.
The majority of citizens will never experience the American
Dream because they are faced with endless debts due to
medical bills or the fact that they cannot afford or qualify
for health insurance. We aim to end this problem so every
American has the luxury of proper healthcare.
We must stand together and make change happen. What good
does our vote do when we continue down the wrong path?
We must demand change in our country and hold our government
accountable for our people.
The time for change is NOW. Not next year. Not next century.