Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Congress: We Want Real Health Care Reform Now!

The insurance companies and their corporate front groups are fighting desperately to stop reform, but we're not going to let them. We need health insurance reform so no one ever is denied coverage because of a "pre-existing condition." We need health insurance reform so no one is dropped by their insurance company simply because they are too expensive.

Tell Congress now is the time for health care reform and remind them health care reform must include:

A strong public health insurance option must be available to lower costs and make sure everybody has a health care option.

All employers should be required either to provide health care for their employees or pay into a system to make sure everyone is covered.

No new costs or taxes that would hurt working families.

Sample Letter:

Dear [ Decision Maker ],

(Edit Letter Below)The time to act is now. We need real health care reform now more than ever. Our health care system is failing us, and we need relief from health care costs that are bankrupting families, endangering our health and hobbling businesses.

Health care reform can't wait.

As you work to fulfill our demand for health care reform, here is what real health care reform must include:

1) A public health insurance plan. It will bring down costs and guarantee quality, affordable health care for all. Giving everyone the choice of a strong public health insurance plan will inject needed competition into the market, drive down costs and improve quality across all plans. It also will mean health care will be there for all of us, no matter what.

2) Employers must pay their fair share. They must be required either to offer coverage for their workers or pay into a fund to finance coverage for uninsured workers. "Play or pay" at fair and reasonable levels will level the playing field so free-rider firms cannot continue to shift costs to the employers that offer good benefits.

3) We should not force working people to pay more for the insurance they already have in the form of increased taxes on our health benefits. This would raise costs for workers in plans cover people with more medical problems and older people--and that's wrong.

Sincerely,[Your name] [Your address]

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Hi All,

I've given a great deal of thought to the issue of health care reform.

The United States of America is the wealthiest nation on the planet. We spend more money per capita on health care than any other country, and still have more people without health insurance than any industrialized nation in the world. The current situation can not continue.

I'm not usually comfortable with government intervention, (I'm told I may have authority issues, go figure,) but some activities are just not appropriate for profit centered business.

Nobody would argue today that fire and police protection should be placed in the hands of private industry, yet in the early days of the Republic, fire protection was not provided by the local municipalities.

Firefighting was done by employees of insurance companies, who sold fire insurance policies to business and home owners at a profit to their investors. If you could not afford to pay, your home or business would burn to the ground if you could not gather enough family, friends, and neighbors to fight the fire yourself.

The competition between rival insurance company fire departments was fierce and often became violent. Cost cuts in personnel and equipment to increase profits resulted in the destruction of countless homes and many needless fatalities. Today, paid and volunteer firefighters receive their funding from local, state, and federal taxpayer support.

Medical care being in the hands of private industry makes as much sense as private fire departments.

Reputable research has shown that the most efficient health plan currently available is the plan provided to federal employees. This is a competitive plan in terms of benefits provided and because there are no stockholders needing a profitable return, only 5% of the cost goes to the administrative expences. The most efficient private insurance plans have at leat 18% in administrative and shareholder return expences. Clearly, if the profit motive is removed from the equation, substantial savings can be realized.

Health care reform with a public option will allow employers that can't afford to provide full health insurance benefits to their workers the ability to pay a small share of the cost into the pool, which when subsidized by Federal and State money, will bring the cost down low enough for the employees to be able to afford to pay the difference.

This kind of patnership between workers, employers, and government is the only way we can safeguard the health and wellbeing of the American people without undermining the democratic principals of our capitalist society.

All the best,

Bob D

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