HEALTHCARE REFORM 101 - Call the White House
Posted By: agnes levine on December 19, 2009 |
In my "Enough Is Enough" post, I shared with you the wonderful news about Congresswoman DeLauro and her brave move to support healthcare reform. That move by Senator Rose DeLauro has made a strong difference, but more is needed.
As we dwindle down these next few days on Capital Hill, we will need strong and fast support from each of you. If you have not already, YOU can make a mighty difference by not only contacting YOUR Congressperson, but also by contacting the President by calling the White House. Not many people are aware that they can contact the White House so here is a little Christmas present for you because you are trying hard to be the best Advocate in your generation! amen? Amen!
Ok, first, here is a quick update on what is going on with Healthcare Reform because we must understand why we are pushing our Congress to pass Healthcare Reform. The information provided below is from Healthcare For America Now. You can join this grassroots organization and/or receive e-mail updates on Healthcare Reform by visiting www.healthcareforamericanow.org today!
Where are we now?
In the last week, the public health insurance option Majority Leader Reid put into his merged bill was stripped out, and a "compromise" allowing people over the age of 55 to buy into Medicare if they chose was added and then also stripped to appease Senators Joe Lieberman. The leadership and the White House accepted these changes in order to move forward, and they have introduced a bill in the Senate that reflects this. [There are footnotes to this post at www.healthcareforamericanow.org]
The compromise took away the best way to truly hold the insurance companies accountable and provoked an angry reaction from health reform supporters and US. The new bill released today does include: tougher insurance reforms, including a patients' bill of rights, restrictions on how much insurers can spend on administration and profit, and an attempt to hold down insurance premium increases.
Right now, the Senate bill looks like it will pass the Senate next week and move into conference with the House, which has a much better bill than it passed last month. [The blizzard on the East Coast may delay Congress' hearings this week].
So, what needs to be fixed?
The Senate bill needs to make sure that the final bill that goes to President Obama's desk has good, affordable coverage and holds insurance companies accountable!
1) Make health care affordable!
The Senate bill does not make health care affordable at work and would encourage employers to hire part-time workers and offer bare-bones benefits. We need the final legislation to do what the House bill does - require all but the smallest employers to contribute a fair amount to good coverage for their workers.
And for those people who are self-employed or in between jobs, both bills need improvement on affordability. The Senate bill doesn't do enough to make coverage affordable for low-and-moderate income families and the House falls short for middle-income families. The final bill should combine the best of both.
2. Hold insurance companies accountable!
The final bill must include strong consumer protections and insurance regulations for all consumers, and give the federal government responsibility for running the new insurance marketplaces. Generally, the House bill is better, but we need Congress to pick the strongest provisions from both bills to be sure that everyone with insurance benefits from strong consumer protections.
The final bill should also give us the CHOICE of a national public health insurance option that's available on day one!!
3. Fairly finance health care reform!
The Senate bill taxes the health care benefits of millions of workers to pay for health reform. There's a better way to pay for health reform that won't raise premiums and out of pocket costs. By contrast, the House bill asks those who can most afford to pay their fair share to finance reform, as President Obama promised during his campaign.
The final bill should ask the richest to pay their fair share for reform, instead of taxing our health care benefits.
Then what's next?
The reason that conservative Democrats like Ben Nelson and Independent Joe Lieberman have been able to hold the bill hostage to their demands is that Republicans have insisted on filibustering the bill every step of the way, requiring all 60 Senators who are part of the Democratic caucus to agree. That will continue this week, with the next 60-vote motion happening on Monday and perhaps two more 60-votes motions occurring during the week.
After the Senate passes their health care bill, it will head into "conference" with the House bill. There, leaders from each branch of Congress, as well as the White House, will work to resolve the differences between the two bills and come up with something that can pass and be sent to the President's desk.
Conference is an opportunity to stand up for the three priorities listed above, and make sure the final bill guarantees us quality, affordable health care, with the choice of a public health insurance option. The legislation that comes out of the conference will be sent to both houses of Congress for a final vote, and will require a majority in the House and 60 votes one more time in the Senate.
What can YOU do?
In the coming days, we'll be asking you to let your Senators, member of Congress and President Obama hear from you! We'll be asking you to take part, raise your voice, and help us fight for what we believe in ~ affordable healthcare for every US citizen.
This week, our blood pressures soared through the roof over the Lieberman hostage issues. We witnessed Congresswoman DeLauro virtually save the day. WE had phones ringing off the hook as well. As long as YOU're fighting with US, we've got a chance at victory!
Thank you for your willingness to hone your advocacy skills and be a part of history. Stay proud and committed. Did you know YOU can contact the President by phone and leave a message urging for the passage of Healthcare Reform? Dial 1-202-456-1111 and tell the Aide you want President Obama to support Healthcare Reform with a Public Option! Your phone call means more than you think!!
Contact your Congressperson at www.Senate.gov and www.House.gov and tell him or her the exact same thing. We ARE making a difference!!!:)
For more e-mail updates on Healthcare Reform and/or to become a member, please join www.healthcareforamericanow.org today.
This weekend the East Coast is under the haulting effects of a snow blizzard. This is a great time to contact your Congressperson by e-mail by visiting the websites above. YOU can also send an e-mail to the White House by visiting www.whitehouse.gov. In the subject line, type "Vote for Healthcare Reform and Public Option Now!
In the body of the e-mai, feel free to tell your story BRIEFLY. Tell Your Congressperson YOU want Healthcare Reform in the US and tell the President, too. Be polite and be effective. amen? Amen!
Passing the peace,
[Thank you, happy holidays, and onwards!
To your health,
Health Care for America Now]
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Harry WatleyHello Ms. Agnes,
const. contractor/ retired at self
Above health care, what you need to do Ms. Agnes is come together with you people as the Hebrew people did in the days of Moses that we, Black Americans who are descendents of slaves could become sovereign people or have complete independence from White America on a portion of this continent that we could call our very own country with borders.
Beseech God to do the same for us as was done with the children of Israel in the days of Moses, am I right.
Saturday, December 19th 2009 at 9:22PM
Theirs probably 60+ million people without health care insurance in America. I know in 2000 it was 40 million, so I'm just guessing it's 60 million now. They want to make it mandatory that we pay for health care insurance, without a cap to what we are paying for. So in other words, in 2050 we might be paying quadruple more than what we pay now.
Before Obama took office, health care reform was not even on the agenda, and since big Pharm and the medical industry elites help elect Obama to office, they expect a return. A few million, with a payout of a few trillion over the years. Right now I look at America's plate as being full. We have record unemployment, depression levels for the Black Community. We're balancing 2 wars, record inflation, Obama just signed off on US tax payers paying 1% of our income to Carbon Taxes in Copenhagen. Taxes increasing even more, it's not the time for this.
The bill H.R.3962 for health care reform as it stands, will take money from medicare , lower our life expectancy , cause longer wait lines to see a doctor , more stress on the industry all for corporate and pharmaceutical profit. They recalled 800,000 doses of the Swine Flu vaccine, but yet idiots will continue putting full trust into it after giving them even more power thinking they don't want you to develope disease and make even more profit off you.
In order to gain health care reform, we must give up something. You can't create it out of thin air with inflated money and lower our standard of living even worse than what it will be in the near future. We cannot afford it, I don't know why people can't understand this. In the coming years, we'll need to privatize social security which will obviously cost us a percentage of our retirement. I suggest being smart with your money, and save it we need tax breaks , not tax hikes.
Sunday, December 20th 2009 at 10:15AM
agnes levineOh, my dear brother Derek,
Part-Time Teacher at Baltimore County Public Schools
You are horribly misinformed and I don't know where to begin, but I will try because I love you. However, I invite you to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can better give you information, sites to visit, etc. and then you can make informed decisions as you choose.
There are approximately 47 Million people currently in the US that do not have healthcare and cannot afford to purchase it.
The initiatives to over-haul healthcare in America began under the former President Clinton administration and then fell off the wagon largely due to the demands and greeds of the status quo (big pharma, etc.).
President Obama has picked up the mantle on healthcare reform and has made tremendous strides at reforming healthcare in America understanding that in about 7 years and a month or two, healthcare in America will go belly up. That is largely because Medicare will be BROKE!!! Zilch! Nada! Null and Void!!! ... The National Associations of Physicians are behind healthcare reform because many, many doctors had to leave practice because of insurance premiums, health insurance redtape in getting paid, etc. Healthcare Reform will largely put an end to this type of "bilking" from the practice of medicine.
I have been providing articles and blogs on healthcare almost a year on this site. I know time is short for folks, but if you could read some of my past blogs/articles, you will find specific data and information following healthcare reform since I first attended a Healthcare Summit on January 17, 2009, held in Washington, DC. Yep, while millions of folks were arrving to celebrate the Inauguration, I was seated in the Summit in Washington, DC and I would do it every single day if it means healthcare reform will happen!!! Smile.
While there will be mandatory insurance for those who can afford to pay the very minimum coverage, the minimum coverage will not escalate any higher than mandatory car insurance. You have to first shift your mindset to embrace responsible healthcare and I mean this in the most loving vein. Having basic insurance coverage as a young adult saves everybody money over the long run and you, YOU deserve it.
You're asking people to understand your side which is proven to be erroneous time and time again. For those who truly cannot afford healthcare, you will still have access to quality healthcare. If you cannot afford it now, you DON'T have access to affordable and quality healthcare, do you? Visits to the local emergency room do NOT count. Smile.
There are "idiots" who drive around without car insurance and then one day they glance at a text message that just came in and smash into the car in front of him/her and send two people to the hospital with back injuries. Every insured driver pays a portion of that "uninsured" car accident. Hmmm....
My point is this, at some point in time, we have to face reality as adults and make some really tough decisions. These decisions will be new to many and find resistence, but the cost benefit of implementing the decisions far out-weigh the level of resistence. In time, everyone will appreciate the fact that somebody came along and dealt with the real issue choking everybody else.
Again, there is so much that seems to be needed to tell you and if I am wrong, please forgive me. You can always e-mail me at my address above and you can always read my previous posts as I do try to make it as elementary as possible ... just the nuts and bolts.
Also, you can visit and join Healthcare For America Now at www.healthcareforamericanow.org and get information as well and get on their e-mail contact list. There is also Healthcare Reform at www.healthcarereform.org.
Ok, Derek...get busy, my friend.
Passing the peace
Sunday, December 20th 2009 at 12:45PM
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