Please join us for a Health Care Equality March and Rally in Charlotte on March 20, 2010!
Contact Your State Organization
Or contact your state representative directly:
Lynice Williams, NC Fair Share
Pat McCoy, NC ACORN
North Carolina Congressional Supporters:
Representative G.K. Butterfield
Representative Brad Miller
Representative David Price
Current Coalition Partners in North Carolina :
NC FAIR Share
A Philip Randolph Institute
AFL-CIO of NC
American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees
NAACP of NC
State Employees Association of NC
Black Women’s Caucus of Mecklenburg County
Black Workers for Justice
Common Sense Foundation
Durham's People's Alliance
Durham for Obama
Health Policy Class of NCCU
Health Tech Institute Inc.
Planned Parenthood Health Systems of NC
Human Justice Coalition
Mayor of Durham, Bill Bell
Latin American Coalition
Sanderson High School Young Democrats
Triangle Alliance for Retired Americans
NARAL Pro-Choice NC
NC Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Millgrove Full Gospel Church
Raleigh Apostolic Faith Temple
Cartridge World- NC State
Third Place Coffee
Contact Your Member Of Congress
Are North Carolina's members of Congress on our side for health care reform? Click to find out!
Have you talked to your member of Congress? Let us know how it went so we can keep track!
July 30, 2009
Family Research Council Ad: Fear, Not Facts - Media Matters
One of the several emerging misleading arguments against health insurance reform is that the reform legislation will allow taxpayer dollars to fund abortion. Now, the Family Research Council has released an ad that implies that Planned Parenthood's funding of reproductive services will somehow prevent another individual from undergoing surgery.
A look at health care plans in Congress - Associated Press
A look at health care legislation taking shape in the Democratic-controlled House and Senate as President Barack Obama pushes to overhaul the system, cover nearly 50 million uninsured Americans and contain rising costs. Many of the details are still being negotiated and any final health care bill would have to meld proposals from the House and Senate.
House Democrats End Impasse on Health Bill - New York Times
Efforts to pass sweeping health care legislation took a big step forward on Wednesday as House Democratic leaders reached an agreement with fiscally conservative party members that would cut the bill’s cost and exempt many small businesses from having to provide health benefits to workers.
Health deal sparks fury on the left - The Hill
A House leadership deal with Blue Dogs and an aggressive marketing push by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) shifted the healthcare debate sharply toward centrist positions Wednesday, sparking threats of rebellion from the left.
There may be a new Republican health care plan floating around. It's just about the same as all the other half dozen we've seen. It's a redux of John McCain's defeated health care plan, and it's mostly about taxes or other forms of government money, not health care, which is all Republicans seem to be concerned about.
The Republican proposal would extend the income tax deduction on health care premiums to those who purchase coverage in the individual market.
In the Republican plan, low-income consumers would also be eligible for advanceable, refundable tax credits, provided on a sliding scale, to purchase coverage in the individual market.
To promote the employer-based health insurance system, the Republican plan proposes giving small businesses tax incentives for auto-enrolling employees in a plan.
Republicans are also proposing to expand the individual market by creating pooling mechanisms such as association health plans and individual membership accounts. Consumers would also be able to shop for insurance across state lines.
The Republican plan also proposes reforming Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) by giving beneficiaries the option of getting a voucher to purchase private insurance.
The Republican health care proposal would require that none of the suggestions from the Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research be finalized unless done in consultation with and approved by medical specialty societies. It would also establish performance-based quality measures endorsed by the Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement (PCPI) and physician specialty organizations.
The Republican plan also addresses the issue of medical liabilities that doctors face — something Democrats have not addressed. It would establish in each state administrative health care tribunals, also known as health courts, and add affirmative defense through provider established best practice measures. It would encourage the speedy resolution of claims and caps non-economic damages.
Let's see here…
- Tax credits that don't add up? John McCain's plan.
- Cutting Medicaid and SCHIP? John McCain's plan.
- Insurance across state lines, blowing past consumer protections? John McCain's plan.
- Not outlawing denial for pre-existing conditions? John McCain's plan.
- Tort reform? John McCain's plan.
The country voted on John McCain's health care plan. They didn't want it. It's good to see that Republicans still have no new ideas.
A note on comparative effectiveness research. The House bill currently up for discussion takes great pains to make sure research on treatments would not be used to mandate treatments. On page 524 of the House bill it specifically states "Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit the Commission or the Center to mandate coverage, reimbursement, or other policies for any public or private payer.’’
So the grandstanding by Republicans that the House bill would ration care, and thus we need this Republican alternative, is utterly untrue.
There you have it. Another failed, do-nothing idea from Republicans, which talks a lot about taxes, but does nothing to end the health care status quo.
This unidentified man decided he was doing the Tea Party-anti-reform effort a real solid by hanging freshman Maryland Democratic Rep. Frank Kratovil in effigy [note the creepily expert knotted noose] with a placard "Congress Traitors The American [and a word that looks like "idol"].
The event — a rally in Salisbury, Md. on the Eastern Shore — was attended by members of the business-funded Americans for Prosperity, a group that includes James Miller, a Federal Trade Commission chairman and budget director during the Reagan administration.
Americans for Prosperity, a lobbyist-funded tea-bagging front group, is already backpedaling hard:
The rally wasn't officially sanctioned by AFP — but the group's members attended the protest, which coincided with an AFP health care meeting, says a spokeswoman for the group.
"We held an event the previous night, where this man passed out flyers asking people to join him the next day at the office for a protest. That is how some AFP members ended up coming, but they were disgusted by his behavior. I repeat, this gathering WAS NOT an AFP event or sponsored by us in any way," writes AFP's Amy Menefee.
Sure, whatever you say, AFP. The fact remains that the people at this event were people you recruited for your anti-health reform efforts, and they think a fake lynching is a good idea.
Oh, and Salisbury has a history of real lynchings dating back to the 1930s, making this episode even more disturbing:
As it turns out, the dangling of a noose has distant but painful historical resonance on the Eastern Shore.
The Salisbury area was the site of the last two racial lynchings that took place in the state of Maryland — both in the 1930s, according to Polly Stewart. a former Salisbury University professor interviewed by NPR earlier this year.
These are the people against health reform. They're the same people who think Barack Obama is not a citizen. They're the same people who think health reform is going to kill your grandma. They're being led by lobbyists in Maryland, and they're putting their conspiracy theories out there on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.
The "birther movement" is, as Politico says, becoming a headache for the GOP. This issue of "euthanizing seniors" could be an even worse one. Whatever representatives hop on that bandwagon have proved themselves just as crazy as the birthers.
Health care reform is a serious issue. Can Republicans cut the lies and the conspiracy theories and debate Democratic proposals like statesmen, or will they continue pandering to a rightwing fringe that is increasingly out of touch with reality?
I doubt that Republicans are going to "cut the lies and the conspiracy theories." They've already told us point blank that they don't plan to offer a health care plan. They just plan to keep saying no, and feeding their base, a base with violent tendencies. That's their version of bipartisanship.
It's not helping America overcome our problems and fix our broken health care system.
July 27, 2009
Reach of Subsidies Is Critical Issue for Health Plan - New York Times
The major health care bills moving through Congress would require nearly all Americans to have health insurance. But as lawmakers struggle to achieve the goal of universal coverage, a critical question is whether the plans will be affordable to those who are currently uninsured.
Pelosi Vows Passage of Health-Care Overhaul - Washington Post
Defying skeptics in her party, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi vowed Sunday to overcome lingering obstacles and pass health-care reform in the House, restoring momentum to President Obama's top domestic priority and order to her own unruly Democratic caucus.
Sen. Grassley Continues His Incoherent Tweet-Streak - Media Matters
On July 24, 2009, Sen. Chuck Grassley tweeted: "PTL BluDogs Keep barkin Pelosie bill is Govt takeovr of healthCare Breaks Obama promise"keep what u hv" Puts Wash Burocrats in chrg MUSTSTOP."
Healthcare: 'Snail's' pace for a reason? - The Swamp
On the criticism that Congress is rushing into healthcare reform, President Barack Obama suggests that they've been working onit for eight months –since he made it clear after his election that he would pursue long-sought reform this year.
Opponents of health overhaul happy as bill drags - Associated Press
August means beaches and barbecues. And for some, a chance to rally the troops for this fall's health care showdown.
July 23, 2009
Second Largest Provider in NC (UnitedHealth) Reports Record Profits
What's often lost in the debate over the public option, competition, and insurance regulation is that the insurance industry is taking in record profits. Case-in-point, UnitedHealth's second quarter profit skyrocketed:
The Minnetonka, Minn.-based company said its profit more than doubled compared to the same quarter last year, when hefty legal charges weighed down earnings. UnitedHealth also said revenue rose 7 percent, as it saw strong growth in its public and senior health insurance.
Why the huge profits?
Revenue rose to $21.66 billion from $20.27 billion on increased premiums, which grew partly due to price increases. UnitedHealth is the largest commercial health insurer based on revenue.
We're in the middle of a recession. People are losing their jobs every day. And yet, UnitedHealth,which dominates the market in some areas, continues to raise prices so it can generate record profits.
And, clearly, that's all they care about: Profits and maximizing returns for their stockholders. Not health care, not you or me. It's all about money.
So, while the Chamber of Commerce hyperventilates about a public health insurance option, the insurance industry is doing just fine squeezing you and me for our hard-earned money. They can stand a little competition, because their CEOs really don't need another bonus.
July 22, 2009
Blue Dogs get a deal on health costs - Politico
Moderate House Democrats and a key committee chairman emerged from a three-hour meeting at the White House on Tuesday with a tentative agreement to give an outside panel — rather than Congress — the power to make cuts to government-financed health care programs.
Pelosi on health: Overhaul is closer - USA Today
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday she is confident Congress will advance an overhaul of the nation's health care system despite divisions within her own party and mounting opposition from outside groups over its cost.
Challenge to Health Bill: Selling Reform - New York Times
What’s in it for me?
On the subject of health care reform, most Americans probably don’t have a good answer to the question. And that, obviously, is a problem for the White House and for Democratic leaders in Congress.
According to SEIU's Change That Works Healthcare Campaign, the new U.S. Chamber of Commerce ads against health care reform contain misleading information about taxes and the effect upon small businesses.
Health Insurance Industry Spins Data in Fight Against Public Plan - Washington Post
The industry that helped scuttle health reform 15 years ago with its "Harry and Louise" ads is back, voicing support for a central element of the Obama administration's plans: making sure everyone is covered.
Guest column: Failure to reform system of health care not an option - Senator Harkin
After seven decades of failed attempts to reform America's health-care system, the Senate's health committee made history July 15 by passing the Affordable Health Choices Act.
Imperfect Health Reform Still Beats the Status Quo - Washington Post
Among the range of options for health-care reform, there's one that is sure to raise your taxes, increase your out-of-pocket medical expenses, swell the federal deficit, leave more Americans without insurance and guarantee that wages will remain stagnant.
As California Goes, So Goes the Nation Without Reform - The New Republic
While July has been a month of promise as committees pass out health reform proposals at the federal level, there has been a stark contrast with the carnage in California.
Why Does Max Baucus Take This Money? - Ezra Klein
Dan Eggen has a nice piece today tracking the money flowing from the health-care industry to the senators tasked with reforming and regulating it. The lead recipient of industry dollars? Max Baucus. Charlie Rangel, Chuck Grassley, and Dave Camp have been throwing successful fundraisers as well.
Did you hear about how the constant mantra of "If you like what you have, you can keep it?" isn't true? That President Obama, or the House Democrats, or the Romulans somehow snuck a clause onto page 16 of HR 3200 (America's Affordable Health Choices Act) which would effectively outlaw private insurance? That private insurance would be forced not only to compete with the private plan but become no different than the public plan? It's insidious - how did they think we wouldn't notice?
The North Carolina Coalition for Health Care for America Now is the state chapter of the national grassroots campaign organizing millions of Americans to win a guarantee of quality, affordable health care for all. We are grounded in organizations that can mobilize people at work, at home, in their neighborhoods, and online. (*see NC Organizational Members below)
We're bringing together community organizers, nurses, doctors, small business owners, faith-based groups, organizations of people of color, and seniors who believe it's time we had an American solution that provides quality, affordable health care for everyone.
We're offering a bold new solution that gives you real choice and a guarantee of quality coverage you can afford: keep your current private insurance plan, pick a new private insurance plan, or join a public health insurance plan.
We're also calling for regulation on health insurance companies. We need to set and enforce rules that quash health insurance companies' greed once and for all. There is a huge divide between our plan and the insurance companies' plan for healthcare reform. We want to make sure you have the quality coverage you need at the price you can afford. They want to leave you alone to fend for yourself in the unregulated, bureaucratic health insurance market.
Our plan is affordable for people and business. Their plan is profitable for them. With no regulation, health insurance companies can and will charge whatever they want, set high deductibles, and continue to drop coverage when you get sick. Now is the time to pick a side. Which side are you on?