Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday News for Monday ACTION

Please take these actions tomorrow, Monday June 29! It will take you maybe 5 min.

For you North Carolinians: Contact Kay Hagan on health care. Hagen is hanging up the Senate HELP Committee on health care legislation for everyone. Read here. Please don't let your senator stop health care for all. Keeping things the same or opting for co-ops (most of which have been dysfunctional and many have gone out of business stranding members) and/or demanding triggers (times when things kick in) are NOT the answer. A public option, available on day one, or better yet, Single Payer are. Please post to any No. Carolina blogs you belong to. Get the word out!
Now, let's talk about the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) for a moment, and where they stand on health care, because it is not only RELEVANT, it is critical to getting a public option in any eventual health care bill.

On June 5, the CPC sent a letter to the house leadership regarding their position on health care. The house leadership are the following folks:

Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House

Steny Hoyer
Office of the Majority Leader

Jim Clyburn
Office of the Majority Whip

John B. Larson
Democratic Caucus Chair

The CPC's letter included the following requirement for a robust public option that must:
  • Enact concurrently with other significant expansions of coverage and must not be conditioned on private industry actions.
  • Consist of one entity, operated by the federal government, which sets policies and bears the risk for paying medical claims to keep administrative costs low and provide a higher standard of care.
  • Be available to all individuals and employers across the nation without limitation
  • Allow patients to have access to their choice of doctors and other providers that meet defined participation standards, similar to the traditional Medicare model, promote the medical home model, and eliminate lifetime caps on benefits.
  • Have the ability to structure the provider rates to promote quality care, primary care, prevention, chronic care management, and good public health.
  • Utilize the existing infrastructure of successful public programs like Medicare in order to maintain transparency and consumer protections for administering processes including payment systems, claims and appeals.
  • Establish or negotiate rates with pharmaceutical companies, durable medical equipment providers, and other providers to achieve the lowest prices for consumers.
  • Receive a level of subsidy and support that is no less than that received by private plans.
  • Ensure premiums must be priced at the lowest levels possible, not tied to the rates of private insurance plans.

In conclusion, the public plan, like all other qualified plans, must redress historical disparities in underrepresented communities. It must provide a standard package of comprehensive benefits including dental, vision, mental health and prescription drug coverage with no pre-existing condition exclusions. It must limit cost-sharing so that there are no barriers to care, and incorporate up-to-date best practice models to improve quality and lower costs. All plans, including the public plan, must include coverage for evidence-based preventive health services at minimal or no co-pay. All plans, including the public plan, should be at least as transparent as traditional Medicare.

This is why Nancy Pelosi KNOWS that without a public option, NO health care will pass in the house. It's not a matter of what she thinks, it is an effective CPC that will withhold their votes on anything health care that doesn't meet their test. What this ALSO means for the poor and/or unemployed, is that waivers would exist to cover their medical care until their incomes improve. With the economy in such sad shape, that is sorely needed.

So, Action #2 is to write the CPC and lend your support. Send a letter to the CPC's director, Bill Goold: e-mail:

Hat tip to mcjoan, dKos. Hat tip to slickerwink, dKos for CPC contact info.


This is for Californians: Here's Move On's short vid (30 sec) on CA Senator Dianne Feinstein:

Californians, contact Feinstein. Tell her to get off the dime and represent Californians on health care by supporting a public plan that covers everyone with NO triggers or co-ops.