We thank you for your continued devotion to the cause of health care for All Americans. We have worked together for many years to write, promote and campaign for HR676, a single payer, not for profit health care system. Your work, in communities across America, has been instrumental in helping at least ten states create single payer movements, with many more states to come.
Tomorrow, the House of Representatives is scheduled to consider a single payer bill. As the two principal co-authors of the Conyers single payer bill, we want to offer a strong note of caution about tomorrow's vote.
The bill presented tomorrow will not be HR676. While we are happy to relinquish authorship of a single payer bill to any member who can do better, we do not want a weak bill brought forward in a hostile climate to unwittingly accomplish what would be interpreted as a defeat for single payer.
Here are the facts: There has been no debate in Congress over HR676. There has not been a single mark-up of the bill. Single payer was "taken off the table" for the entire year by the White House and by congressional leaders. There has been no reasonable period of time to gather support in the Congress for single payer. Many members accepted a "robust public option" as the alternative to single payer and now that has disappeared. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has scored the bill scheduled for a vote tomorrow in a manner which is at odds with many credible assumptions, meaning that it will appear to cost way too much even though we know that true single payer saves money since one of every three dollars in the health care system goes to administrative costs caused by the insurance companies. Is this really the climate in which we want a test vote?
While state single payer movements are already strong, the national single payer movement is still growing. Many progressives in Congress, ourselves included, feel that calling for a vote tomorrow for single payer would be tantamount to driving the movement over a cliff. The thrill of the vote would disappear quickly when the result would be characterized not as a new beginning for single payer but as an end. Such a result would be seen as proof that Congress need not pay attention to efforts to restore in Conference Committee the right of states to pursue single payer without fear of legal attacks by insurance companies.
We are always grateful for your support. We are now asking you to join us in suggesting to congressional leaders that this is not the right time to call the roll on a stand-alone single payer bill. That time will come. And when it does there will not be any doubt of the outcome. This system of health care injustice will not be able to endure forever. We are pledged to make sure of that.
Congressmen John Conyers and Dennis Kucinich
CONCORD – Former New Hampshire Governor and Republican State Committee Chairman John H. Sununu released the following statement today on Paul Hodes announcement (AP, 11/5) that he will vote for the Democrats’ disastrous health care legislation:
“Paul Hodes’ vote for the Democrats’ health care bill is a vote to bankrupt our country and saddle future generations with crippling deficits. A majority of Americans oppose this legislation because they realize it will result in a government takeover that will not improve the quality or reduce the cost of health care.
“Over the past few months, Paul Hodes has let down his constituents by avoiding face-to-face town hall meetings and refusing to listen to their concerns about his disastrous health care agenda. Now he is thumbing his nose at New Hampshire by hiding behind a long distance telephone call to announce his support for this budget-busting legislation. He is confirming to voters across the Granite State that he’s been a poor Congressman and he would make an even worse Senator.”
Guinta To Hold Health Care Town Hall on Saturday
Manchester, NH – Thousands of American citizens today rallied on steps of the US Capitol shouting, “kill the bill!” in opposition of the Carol Shea-Porter backed health care plan.
“The proposed government control of health care would increase taxes, force millions of Americans to have to switch doctors, cut Medicare payments and cost more than one trillion dollars,” said Guinta. “What it doesn’t do is address true cost saving measures for Americans that would also continue the quality of and privacy of current care including: medical malpractice reform, purchasing plans across state lines, portability and technical advances in medical record maintenance. We’ve seen what happens when government takes over an industry. We’ve seen what happens when we let them take a trillion dollars from taxpayers and just throw it at a problem. These things don’t work and its time we held congress accountable.”
Despite the massive cost and drastic changes to individuals current health care plans, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter and her colleagues have given no opportunity to the public to provide feedback on the more than 2000 pages of bureaucracy and are forcing the bill through Congress on a rapid time table. “Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter made a name for herself taking advantage of town halls provided by her predecessor. Yet, she simply refuses to provide the same access to her constituents. Moreover, she is helping to make sure this bill is voted on before her constituents even have a chance to read all 2000 pages, let alone understand it. This is completely unacceptable.”
In the absence of a Town Hall or public discussion of the health care bill by the sitting Congresswoman, Frank Guinta will be hosting one this Saturday. Details are below.
Please go to www.teamguinta.com to sign up!
WHAT: Health Care Town Hall hosted by Frank Guinta
WHEN: 11:30am, Saturday, November 7, 2009
WHERE: Aldermanic Chambers
Manchester City Hall
WASHINGTON – Days before an anticipated vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s government-run health care legislation, U.S. Representative and Democrat Senate candidate Paul Hodes (D-NH) announced his support for the trillion dollar government takeover of America’s health care system today.
Unfortunately for Granite Staters, Hodes overlooked the fact that Pelosi’s contentious bill will lead to higher taxes for middle class families, job-stifling mandates for small businesses, and cuts in Medicare benefits for seniors in New Hampshire.
“Paul Hodes will be forced to answer for his support of Speaker Pelosi’s health care plan as he applies for a promotion to the U.S. Senate next November,” said National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokeswoman Amber Wilkerson Marchand. “At a time when Granite State voters are still struggling to make ends meet, Paul Hodes wants to pass a trillion dollar government takeover of America’s health care system that will increase health care costs and cut benefits for seniors.”
H.R. 3200, As Introduced In July, Would Lead To An Average Increase In Premiums For Medicare Part D. “[T]he Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated the change in Medicare Part D premiums that would result from certain provisions contained in title I in division B of H.R. 3200, America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, as introduced on July 14, 2009. According to CBO’s estimates, enacting those changes would lead to an average increase in premiums for Part D beneficiaries of about 5 percent in 2011, rising to about 20 percent in 2019.” (“Letter To The Honorable David Camp,” The Congressional Budget Office, 8/28/09)
The Congressional Budget Office Estimated The Cost Of Additional Coverage Alone At Over $1 Trillion. “There was no official estimate on the total cost of the legislation, which ran to 1,990 pages. The Congressional Budget Office said the cost of additional coverage alone was slightly more than $1 trillion over a decade. But that omitted other items, including billions for disease prevention programs.” (David Espo, “House Dems Unveil Health Bill, Cheered On By Obama,” The Associated Press, 10/30/09)
Pelosi’s Final Bill Removed $230 Billion In Reimbursements For Doctors Treating Medicare Patients That Was Included In An Earlier Bill. “Yet another $230 billion or more in higher fees for doctors treating Medicare patients, included in an earlier version of the bill, was stripped out and will be voted on separately.” (David Espo, “House Dems Unveil Health Bill, Cheered On By Obama,” The Associated Press, 10/30/09)
A September Rasmussen Poll Found That More Granite Staters Opposed Obama’s Plans For Health Care Reform Than Favored Them. “Voters in New Hampshire are closely divided over the health care reform plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats: 47% favor it, while 50% are opposed. But the antis feel more strongly, with 42% strongly opposed versus 30% who are strongly in favor of the legislation.” (“Election 2010: New Hampshire Senate,” Rasmussen Reports, 9/16/09)
The Wall Street Journal: Under The Pelosi Bill, “Taxes Will Need To Rise Precipitously.” “In a rational political world, this 1,990-page runaway train would have been derailed months ago. With spending and debt already at record peacetime levels, the bill creates a new and probably unrepealable middle-class entitlement that is designed to expand over time. Taxes will need to rise precipitously, even as ObamaCare so dramatically expands government control of health care that eventually all medicine will be rationed via politics.” (Editorial, “The Worst Bill Ever,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/1/09)
- “The Congressional Budget Office Figures The House Program Will Cost $1.055 Trillion Over A Decade, Which While Far Above The $829 Billion Net Cost That Mrs. Pelosi Fed To Credulous Reporters Is Still A Low-Ball Estimate.” (Editorial, “The Worst Bill Ever,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/1/09)
- The Only Medicare-Related Cut That Is “A Sure Thing” Is Gutting Medicare Advantage To The Tune Of $170 Billion. “Mrs. Pelosi wants to steal $426 billion from future Medicare spending to ‘pay for’ universal coverage. While Medicare’s price controls on doctors and hospitals are certain to be tightened, the only cut that is a sure thing in practice is gutting Medicare Advantage to the tune of $170 billion. Democrats loathe this program because it gives one of out five seniors private insurance options.” (Editorial, “The Worst Bill Ever,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/1/09)
- “All Told, The House Favors $572 Billion In New Taxes, mostly by imposing a 5.4-percentage-point ‘surcharge’ on joint filers earning over $1 million, $500,000 for singles. This tax will raise the top marginal rate to 45% in 2011 from 39.6% when the Bush tax cuts expire—not counting state income taxes and the phase-out of certain deductions and exemptions. The burden will mostly fall on the small businesses that have organized as Subchapter S or limited liability corporations, since the truly wealthy won’t have any difficulty sheltering their incomes.” (Editorial, “The Worst Bill Ever,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/1/09)
- “When Democrats End Up Soaking The Middle Class, Perhaps Via The European-Style Value-Added Tax That Mrs. Pelosi Has Endorsed, They’ll Claim The Deficits That They Created Made Them Do It.” (Editorial, “The Worst Bill Ever,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/1/09)
- “Democrats Are On The Way To Creating A High Structural Unemployment Rate, Much As Europe Has Done By Expanding Its Welfare States.” “Under another new tax, businesses would have to surrender 8% of their payroll to government if they don’t offer insurance or pay at least 72.5% of their workers’ premiums, which eat into wages. Such ‘play or pay’ taxes always become ‘pay or pay’ and will rise over time, with severe consequences for hiring, job creation and ultimately growth. While the U.S. already has one of the highest corporate income tax rates in the world, Democrats are on the way to creating a high structural unemployment rate, much as Europe has done by expanding its welfare states.” (Editorial, “The Worst Bill Ever,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/1/09)
- “[A] Tax Equal To 2.5% Of Adjusted Gross Income Will Also Be Imposed On Some 18 Million People Who CBO Expects Still Won’t Buy Insurance In 2019.” (Editorial, “The Worst Bill Ever,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/1/09)
# # #
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter released the following statement after the AARP endorsed H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act.
“The AARP’s endorsement of the Affordable Health Care for America Act highlights the wide-spread support this legislation has throughout the country. This bill is good for seniors and that is why the AARP has endorsed it. It will close the Medicare Part D prescription drug donut hole, which affects 1 in 6 American seniors. It will also increase coverage, lower costs, and end discrimination for pre-existing conditions. I am committed to bringing quality, affordable health care to all the people of New Hampshire. I applaud the AARP for endorsing this historic legislation.”