Here is the 111th CONGRESSÂ 1st SESSION H. R. 676 bill: “To provide for comprehensive health insurance coverage for all United StatesÂ residents, improved health care delivery, and for other purposes.” It is a pdf file, 30 pages long and dated January 26, 2009. Just exactly how HR 676 relates to HR 3200, I don’t know. Section 501 of HR 676 says
Except as otherwise specifically provided, this ActÂ shall take effect on the first day of the first year that begins more than 1 year after the date of the enactmentÂ of this Act, and shall apply to items and services furnishedÂ on or after such date.
Here is Wikipedia’s coverage of HR 676. Keep in mind that Wikipedia is not an authoritive site, but it is quite helpful in learning an overview so one can sort of put things in place. So I use it a lot.
I take it, therefore, to be law, if President Obama signs it, and it will take effect January 1, of whatever year it is beginning “more than 1 year” after he signs it. But I could be mistaken.
Physicians for a National Health Program is a single issue organization advocating a universal, comprehensive single-payer national health program. PNHP has more than 16,000 members and chapters across the United States.
Since 1987, we’ve advocated for reform in the U.S. health care system. We educate physicians and other health professionals about the benefits of a single-payer system–including fewer administrative costs and affording health insurance for the 46 million Americans who have none.
Our members and physician activists work toward a single-payer national health program in their communities. PNHP performs ground breaking research on the health crisis and the need for fundamental reform, coordinates speakers and forums, participates in town hall meetings and debates, contributes scholarly articles to peer-reviewed medical journals, and appears regularly on national television and news programs advocating for a single-payer system.
PNHP is the only national physician organization in the United States dedicated exclusively to implementing a single-payer national health program.
I’m no expert in all this but I like the idea of single-payer healthcare because that is what Medicare is, and Medicare has been working well for my wife and I. I also tend to pay more attention to what doctors, nurses, and other medical people who actually do medical treatments on the road say than political pundits or even politicians. It is hard to grasp all this stuff as it is without have smoke blown up you a** everytime you turn around.
All these other ideas I keep reading and hearing about seem far more complicated than single-payer. I do like simplicity.
I have looked at PNHP’s mission statement which you can read here. I like what I read in their mission statement.
I watched Dr. David Scheiner, President Obamaâs personal physician for 22 years, advocate for single-payer health reform on HBOâs âReal Time with Bill Maherâ last Friday night, Aug. 7, 2009. I liked what he said.
The PNHP website is loaded with relevant information we all need to know. It is not a wingnut site. They do not appear stilted one way or the other.
For example read Obama gives powerful drug lobby a seat at healthcare table. The subtitle says “The pharmaceutical industry, once condemned by the president as a source of healthcare problems, has become a White House partner.” It is an article published by the Los Angeles Times on August 4, 2009. And it raises a damned good question.
As a candidate for president, Barack Obama lambasted drug companies and the influence they wielded in Washington. He even ran a television ad targeting the industryâs chief lobbyist, former Louisiana congressman Billy Tauzin, and the role Tauzin played in preventing Medicare from negotiating for lower drug prices.
Since the election, Tauzin has morphed into the presidentâs partner. He has been invited to the White House half a dozen times in recent months. There, he says, he eventually secured an agreement that the administration wouldnât try to overturn the very Medicare drug policy that Obama had criticized on the campaign trail.
âThe White House blessed it,â Tauzin said.
At the same time, Tauzin said the industry he represents was offering political and financial support for the presidentâs healthcare initiative, a remarkable shift considering that drug companies vigorously opposed a national overhaul the last time it was proposed, when Bill Clinton was president.
Now, what in the devil is that all about? Why would President Obama cozy up with Tauzin? The Los Angeles Times article indicates the coziness was the source of the pharmaceutical industry’s pledge pf $80 billion in cost savings over 10 years to help pay for healthcare reform. Is that a pact with the devil? Beats me. But I sure hope not. I don’t trust the pharmaceutical industry. If all this is for the purpose of securing “bipartisan” support I doubt it is worth it. The current Republican leadership doesn’t give a hoot about being “bipartisan.”
As far as I’m concerned the Democrats in Congress should simply stop wasting their time and effort in courting the Republicans in Congress and get on with it. Democrats control both houses, and if it even means wheeling in the hospital beds of Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd for their votes, then do it.
Senat0r Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a champion of importing drugs from Canada and reducing the cost of pharmaceuticals, professes continued suspicion of the industry, including its deals with the White House.
âThe drug companies form the most powerful lobby in Washington,â he said. âThey never lose.â
I agree with Sanders.
Take a look at GOP doesn’t dare challenge this government health care. Â It was written by Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune.Â Anthony Weiner,Â the New York Democrat offered up an amendment to abolish Medicare.
His point? Not to get rid of the program that provides insurance for Americaâs seniors on the 44th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnsonâs signing of the Medicare Act of 1965, as he explained in his speech. But âto clarify one of the great, enduring mysteries.â Where do âmy Republican friends stand on the issue of government-run health-care?â
I can answer that question. They are dead set against anything run by the government. But Weiner shoved it to the Republicans and event the Blue Dog Democrats.
But Medicare â along with comprehensive coverage for active military, veterans and American Indians â âis not only government-run health care, but itâs remarkably efficient,â Weiner said. Imperfect in some ways, of course, but âa pretty darn good model of what a public plan [covering everyone] might look like.â
His voice moist with sarcasm, Weiner addressed Republicans on the committee: âThis is your opportunity . . . to eliminate the Medicare Act. Once and for all, stamp out the scourge of public, government-run, government-administered, single-payer health care. This is your chance. . . . I dare ya. I double dare ya. Vote âyesâ on this and then go home and explain to your constituents, how youâre so philosophically opposed to publicly funded health care that you voted to eliminate Medicare.â
Weiner has some starch in his collar. He laid it right on those who slither about shouting NO NO all the time. But what did they do with Weiner’s amendment?
Lacking a triple-dog dare, the Republicans on the committee â along with the Democrats â unanimously voted no on Weinerâs amendment.
Weiner has more guts that most of us. My hat tips in admiration.
But I rattle on. I cannot possibly cover everything the PNHP has. I urge you, as strongly as I can, to go to the PNHP site and read everything you can there. In particular I recommend you read Single-Payer National Health Insurance and learn why you should support single-payer health care. Please.