(8 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
The health “care” – really insurance – bill that passed is far from a perfect bill, in large part because it leaves a system intact that is the source of a ton of the problems that were used to create support for it, and it is not actually universal health care.
To get any kind of actually universal coverage we’re going to need to turn to the states. Clearly those thousands of lobbyists are too powerful in DC to really challenge the powers that be in the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. So the good news is that there are state-level campaigns for single payer, and they’re gaining a lot of momentum in states like California and Pennsylvania.
Here in my home state of Pennsylvania, I’m particularly proud of our single payer movement. We’ve got the governor and the state Democratic party signed on. We’ve got candidates campaigning in full support of it. We’re getting closer and closer to having the necessary support to pass the bill in the legislature.
From a previous diary I wrote on the subject:
And, according to the people who are at the top of this campaign, the passage of the health bill in DC isn’t stopping us.
So, politically, HR 3590 is a feat; policy-wise, HR 3590 is rife with problems, challenges, and opportunities.
Washington’s election year “spin” aside, HR 3590 does not deal fundamentally, systemically, or expeditiously (2014 implementation date) with questions of “affordable, comprehensive, quality, healthcare for all” even close to the degree that PA’s HR 1660/SB 400 tackles those questions.
Moreover, while the national healthcare bill funnels nearly a trillion dollars to buy or subsidize insurance for the uninsured in the profit-first market, and compels (through threat of fines) the purchase of more insurance in the same Blues-monopoly market, HR 3590 does nearly nothing to address the problem of underinsurance – either for the newly insured or for those who are currently insured. Insurance premiums, deductibles, co-pays, and incidence of medical bankruptcy will continue to escalate under HR 3590.
We citizens of Pennsylvania cannot afford to wait until 2014. Nor will we ignore the obvious shortcomings of HR 3590 or the new policy opening presented by this political breakthrough.
Taking action on this has become more urgent than before. If states are to establish insurance exchanges by 2014, that means that they will already by making major changes to their health care system then, and support for single payer could seriously wane. Combine this with the fact that supportive Governor Ed Rendell is not up for reelection (although pretty much all of the Democratic candidates support the legislation) in 2010, and you start to get an idea of what is needed.
This is a grassroots campaign. There are no corporations, or even very many advocacy groups (with some rare and great exceptions, like Progressive Democrats of America), pushing for health care (not insurance) for every Pennsylvanian. So we need your help. If you live outside the state, please please please donate. If you live in PA, you can also contact your state representative and senator. Or write a letter to a newspaper. Or anything else you can think of!
And why should you donate if you don’t live in Pennsylvania? Well, universal health care coverage doesn’t just fall out of the sky. The famous example is Canada – first, Saskatchewan got single payer, then a few more provinces, then the nation. It’s not unthinkable that something similar could happen here, but only if we push for it with everything we’ve got.
And for those of you who want to check out similar movements in your own state, visit this link.