Yesterday Blue America hosted a live blogging session with Maryland Congresswoman Donna Edwards. In the course of answering a question, she brought this up:On health care-- I’m an original cosponsor of H.R.676 (Rep. Conyers)-- I think we must have a marker for a public plan option however this debate shakes out in the end-- otherwise we never will address cost and we’ll never get to single-payer. Now as you can only guess, the insurers, and for-profit hospitals and all the industry are marching the halls of Congress to keep the basic system that’s in place. So, in these coming weeks after we settle the budget next week, we need an all out push for H.R. 676 so that a progressive voice will be in the mix when the final bill is crafted. We need more co-sponsors on H.R. 676-- so get to work!
Here's an alphabetical list of the most current (the 111th Congress) co-sponsors (principal sponsor is again John Conyers):
And the list follows (scroll down). On it is the name of Ben Ray Lujan, one of three, newly elected, New Mexico Democrats serving in the House. Conspicuously (imho) absent are the other two: BOTH Martin Heinrich and Harry Teague.
I am sure both Mr. Heinrich and Mr. Teague have principled reservations about signing onto a bill--i mean, it's only a resolution, really--which urges the United States to institute a health system under which:
So, Rep.s Heinrich and Teague--Marty! Harry! If I may call you that--c'mon, fellas, what's not to like? I hope it's just that you've been a little dlatory in signing on, right? You've been busy. Lots of pressing decisions. I'm sure Ben can help you out...• Every resident of the US will be covered from birth to death.If you'd like to read the actual legislation, the whole bill (PDF) is online. The idea is simple-- Medicare coverage for every American.
• No more pre-existing conditions to be excluded from coverage.
• No more expensive deductibles or co-pays.
• All prescription medications will be covered.
• All dental and eye care will be included.
• Mental health and substance abuse care will be fully covered.(1
• Long term and nursing home services will be included.
• You will always choose your own doctors and hospitals.
• Costs of coverage will be assessed on a sliding scale basis.
• Tremendously simplified system of medical administration.
• Total portability-- your coverage not tied to any job or location.
• Existing Medicare benefits for those over 65 will be vastly improved.
• No corporate bureaucrat will ever come between you and your Doctor to deny your care.