Dear All – I hope this finds you all well.
It is good to be back and I send many thank you’s to all those who sent wishes concerning my father’s passing. It was a great gift during that time so thank you.
Also while I was away some requests were made to have the blog include more FSPA stories – feel free to send your stories to me (firstname.lastname@example.org ) or Jane in communications (email@example.com) - our hope is to have the blog be a relection of the FSPA community and would love to hear from all FSPA member and affiliate readers!
I have just a simple action for all of you and a brief piece to read on health care. I am sure we are all sick of the debates and the drama surrounding this issue but it seems more important now than ever to be in touch with our congress people and encourage and even insist that the public option remain a piece of any legislation that is passed.
By public we mean an option that includes the poor and does not parade itself as public but has a price tag that denies accessibility. By public we mean a democratic solution within a democratic republic that tends to all of its citizens not just those obsessed with false notions of socialism. By public we mean a plan that treats heath care as a service and a right not investment package with options ranging from broken roller skates to Cadillac.
Talk to your Reps and Senators and encourage them to support legislation that takes into account both reforming the laws that give private companies options like “preexisting conditions” and includes a public option. Private insurance spokesman made the comment a few weeks ago that regardless of what Congress passes they plan to raise their rates by 111%. If insurance companies can be so bold in their messaging let us be bold too! Peace Liz
Monday 26 October 2009
Americans are mired in debate over which national health care reform plan would best serve their needs. On an individual level, Americans also face tough decisions on a regular basis when it comes to choosing private health insurance plans for themselves and their families.
We at Truthout don’t think health care should be so confusing. We believe it is a human right and should be available to everyone. We also believe the same level of care should be available across the board, regardless of ability to pay for treatment. What if the fire department decided to not send its newest equipment to a particular house because the homeowner didn’t have “Cadillac” insurance?
While we know that Anthony Weiner’s single payer bill (HR 676) will not pass this time around, we call on all members of Congress to support this approach since it is the only true solution to the health care crisis.
As the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) goes on estimating the percentages of Americans that will be covered by this bill or that bill, Weiner’s bill stands alone in its ethical simplicity: It will cover 100 percent of the people, no CBO guessing games needed.
For now, we call on Congress to pass a bill with a “robust public option.” We applaud the president and Congress for their consensus on key reforms, such as making it illegal to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions and capping out-of-pocket expenses. At the same time, we urge them to prevent the insurance industry from passing those costs on to us in the form of higher premiums and co-pays. Only competition from a strong public option will control skyrocketing health costs.
Congress members have centered the health reform debate on the question of whether a bill will add to the national debt, rather than whether it will provide affordable, top-quality health care to everyone. It is time to treat health care as a right of all people and not a commodity to be bought and sold.
We’re passing this on from our friends at NetworkLobby (and below that, a health care reform prayer from our friends at Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good).
JOIN NetworkLobby ON TUESDAY, OCTOBER 20, FOR A
NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION FOR HEALTH CARE REFORM
The United States is the only industrialized democracy in the world that has not made the commitment to ensure health care coverage for all its people. This is a moral scandal, and we call on Congress to approve a reform plan that guarantees accessible, affordable, quality care for everyone in the U.S. Join with people of faith and organizations all around the country to make your voice heard in support of quality health care reform!
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
- Send an e-mail: Visit http://www.networklobby.org and look for the “Contact Congress” box on the right. Enter your zip code, click “GO,” and select “Healthcare Reform: It’s time to deliver” under “Write to Your Elected Officials.”
- Sign on to our letter to congressional leaders: Visit http://www.networklobby.org/Oct20signon.html to add your name and comments to thousands of other signatures on a letter that we will deliver to the leaders of Congress on Tuesday, October 20.
- Make 3 Phone Calls: Tell your 2 Senators and your resentative that you want them to pass a healthcare reform bill that fixes our broken system. Call the Capitol Switchboard at 888-797-8717 or(202) 224-3121 and ask for the appropriate office. Identify yourself and leave a brief message in support of healthcare reform.
- Put this flyer in your window (house or car) or another visible place to remind others that there are people of faith working for health care reform!
Here’s a health care reform prayer from Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good http://www.catholicsinalliance.org/node/21233
“I am a registered nurse and have good health care but it cuts deep into my moral fiber to see so many people especially children who cannot get health care because their parents cannot afford it.” Joanna, Nurse – Sioux Falls
Dear All – Below is a link to Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good it has a wonderful interactive map that tells the real stories of people struggling without health care.
The debate on health care has devolved into almost another dimension. We have moved from disagreeing about how to provide health care into fictionalizing a plan that does not exist. In this plan grandmothers are killed, we become socialist over night and our children will still be paying for the stitches their grandfather got thirty years after he is dead.
Calling for health care reform is now a two step process – upholding what we know needs to be changed and upholding and demanding the truth from our lawmakers, TV news analysts, newspapers and radio shows. Enough “spinning” we have spun into a place that is not about differences but about lying to prevent change.
If those who oppose health care reform have no other argument to prevent the change than fictionalized concerns, it is time for the debate to move onto to the real questions that need to be answered to create a quality option for all of us. Help move the debate along and check out the work of Catholics In Alliance and spread the word about credible sources speaking to health care realities. Peace Liz
Dear All – I want to share a letter written on health by Thomas Hartmann who is a syndicated radio host. In his open letter to President Obama he cuts through much of the “debate” that is surrounding the proposal for a public option and gets at the heart of the matter.
We already have a public option….it is Medicare. And while it has flaws, it works a lot better than having no coverage at all.
Hartmann’s letter reminds us that a public option does not have to spiral us into debt, socialism, or “death panels.” Nor will it heave orphans into the streets or put the elderly or disabled on buses out of town. It will instead give life to millions of Americans who currently make choices between paying rent or going to the doctor.
I encourage you, if you like this letter, to use it creatively – send it to friends or family or even better, your Reps and Senators and encourage them to not give up on the public option because the health care industry is flexing all its monetary might…Much Peace Liz
Dear President Obama,
I understand you’re thinking of dumping your “public option” because of all the demagoguery by Sarah Palin and Dick Armey and Newt Gingrich and their crowd on right-wing radio and Fox. Fine. Good idea, in fact.
Instead, let’s make it simple. Please let us buy into Medicare.
It would be so easy. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel with this so-called “public option” that’s a whole new program from the ground up. Medicare already exists. It works. Some people will like it, others won’t — just like the Post Office versus FedEx analogy you’re so comfortable with.
Just pass a simple bill — it could probably be just a few lines, like when Medicare was expanded to include disabled people — that says that any American citizen can buy into the program at a rate to be set by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) which reflects the actual cost for us to buy into it.
So it’s revenue neutral!
To make it available to people of low income, raise the rates slightly for all currently non-eligible people (like me — under 65) to cover the cost of below-200%-of-poverty people. Revenue neutral again.
Most of us will do damn near anything to get out from under the thumbs of the multi-millionaire CEOs who are running our current insurance programs. Sign me up!
This lets you blow up all the rumors about death panels and grandma and everything else: everybody knows what Medicare is. Those who scorn it can go with Blue Cross. Those who like it can buy into it. Simplicity itself.
Of course, we’d like a few fixes, like letting Medicare negotiate drug prices and filling some of the holes Republicans and AARP and the big insurance lobbyists have drilled into Medicare so people have to buy “supplemental” insurance, but that can wait for the second round. Let’s get this done first.
Simple stuff. Medicare for anybody who wants it. Private health insurance for those who don’t. Easy message. Even Max Baucus and Chuck Grassley can understand it. Sarah Palin can buy into it, or ignore it. No death panels, no granny plugs, nothing. Just a few sentences.
Replace the “you must be disabled or 65″ with “here’s what it’ll cost if you want to buy in, and here’s the sliding scale of subsidies we’ll give you if you’re poor, paid for by everybody else who’s buying in.” (You could roll back the Reagan tax cuts and make it all free, but that’s another rant.)
We elected you because we expected you to have the courage of your convictions. Here’s how. Not the “single payer Medicare for all” that many of us would prefer, but a simple, “Medicare for anybody who wants to buy in.”
Today we’re passing on a message from Julie Wokaty at the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility. The link from ICCR makes composing and sending your letter to all your representatives in both House and Senate incredibly easy (in one fell swoop it goes to all 3 based on your home address).
“On June 24, 2009, ICCR faxed a letter and the ICCR Principles for Health Care Reform to the leadership of the five committees in the House and the Senate addressing health care to say: “Now is the time for enacting legislation that includes a strong/meaningful public plan in order to provide access to affordable, quality health care which is accountable and equitable to all across our nation. Now is the time for Congress to make substantive changes in our health care system.”
We ask you to send a message to your Congressional Representative and Senators which you can do by clicking here, using the action page created for ICCR by the Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center: http://capwiz.com/ipjc/issues/alert/?alertid=13612061.
For the copy of the ICCR letter and Principles for Health Care Reform, go to: http://www.iccr.org/news/press_releases/2009/pr_healthreformaction06.24.09.htm ”