FW: Please help get Co-sponsors for new Congressional universal health care resolution

Eric Gjertsen egjertsen at yahoo.com
Mon May 28 20:40:02 PDT 2001

ACTION ALERT! Please help get Co-sponsors for new Congressional universal health care resolution

Dear members and friends of Physicians for a National Health Program:

On May 1st a historic hearing on universal health care was held on Capitol Hill, initiated by the newly-established Congressional Universal Health Care Task Force and officially sponsored by the Progressive Caucus, the Black Caucus, and the Hispanic Caucus. About 125 people attended the hearing -- which lasted 5 hours! -- and included 12 Members of Congress themselves (extremely unusual!) As I mentioned in an earlier email, a single-payer proposal was introduced by Dr. Marcia Angell at this session, along with other proposals.

As part of their activities, on April 4th members of the Congressional Universal Health Care Task Force introduced a Congressional resolution calling on/committing the Congress to address the need for universal health care by 2004. The text of the resolution follows below. While the resolution does not project a particular policy solution, it does force the Congress go "face the issue", providing an opportunity to reinvigorate the issue with the public and the political arena, and for us to deliver messages we believe are important to be considered.

The only NY Reps. co-sponsoring the resolution so far are Maurice Hinchey (D-Hudson Valley/Southern Tier), and Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan/Brooklyn.) There 31 Members of Congress from New York, 19 of whom are Democrats. Regardless of party affiliation, please contact your Member of Congress and ask them to co-sponsor this important resolution to move the fight for universal health care forward. And while you've got them on the phone, ask them to officially join the Congressional Universal Health Care Task Force, by contacting Joel Segal in Rep. John Conyers office.

Thank you for your support and participation! Joanne Landy Executive Director PNHP-NYC ********************************************************** 107th CONGRESS 1st Session H. CON. RES. 99

Directing Congress to enact legislation by October 2004 that provides access to comprehensive health care for all Americans.


April 4, 2001

Mr. CONYERS (for himself, Ms. SCHAKOWSKY, Mr. TIERNEY, Ms. LEE, Mrs. CHRISTENSEN, Mr. BONIOR, Mr. KUCINICH, Mr. HILLIARD, Mr. HINCHEY, Mr. NADLER, Mr. PAYNE, Mr. FATTAH, Mr. DEFAZIO, Mr. LEWIS of Georgia, Ms. BALDWIN, Mrs. JONES of Ohio, Mr. FRANK, Mr. WAXMAN, Ms. MCKINNEY, Mr. LANGEVIN, Mr. GEORGE MILLER of California, Mr. HASTINGS of Florida, Mrs. MINK of Hawaii, Mr. OLVER, Mr. THOMPSON of Mississippi, Mr. STARK, Ms. CARSON of Indiana, and Mr. CAPUANO)

submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce


Directing Congress to enact legislation by October 2004 that provides access to comprehensive health care for all Americans.

Whereas the United States has the most expensive health care system in the world in terms of absolute costs, per capita costs, and percentage of gross domestic product (GDP);

Whereas despite being first in spending, the World Health Organization has ranked the United States 37th among all nations in terms of meeting the needs of its people;

Whereas 43 million Americans, including 10 million children, are uninsured;

Whereas tens of millions more Americans are inadequately insured, including medicare beneficiaries who lack access to prescription drug coverage and long term care coverage;

Whereas racial, income, and ethnic disparities in access to care threaten communities across the country, particularly communities of color;

Whereas health care costs continue to increase, jeopardizing the health security of working families and small businesses;

Whereas dollars that could be spent on health care are being used for administrative costs instead of patient needs;

Whereas the current health care system too often puts the bottom line ahead of patient care and threatens safety net providers who treat the uninsured and poorly insured; and

Whereas any health care reform must ensure that health care providers and practitioners are able to provide patients with the quality care they need: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring),

That the Congress shall enact legislation by October 2004 to guarantee that every person in the United States, regardless of income, age, or employment or health status, has access to health care that--

(1) is affordable to individuals and families, businesses and taxpayers and that removes financial barriers to needed care;

(2) is as cost efficient as possible, spending the maximum amount of dollars on direct patient care;

(3) provides comprehensive benefits, including benefits for mental health and long term care services;

(4) promotes prevention and early intervention;

(5) includes parity for mental health and other services;

(6) eliminates disparities in access to quality health care;

(7) addresses the needs of people with special health care needs and underserved populations in rural and urban areas;

(8) promotes quality and better health outcomes;

(9) addresses the need to have adequate numbers of qualified health care caregivers, practitioners, and providers to guarantee timely access to quality care;

(10) provides adequate and timely payments in order to guarantee access to providers;

(11) fosters a strong network of health care facilities, including safety net providers;

(12) ensures continuity of coverage and continuity of care;

(13) maximizes consumer choice of health care providers and practitioners; and

(14) is easy for patients, providers and practitioners to use and reduces paperwork.

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