The battle ahead for healthcare

Protesters fight for healthcare at the women’s march in San Francisco.
PHOTO/SARAH MENEFEE

 

In the words of Health Care for ALL Oregon in their December 2016 mailing:

“We spend more per person on healthcare than the next 10 biggest spending nations.  You’d think we’d have better healthcare outcomes. We don’t. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has done some good, but it hasn’t made us healthier.  It’s too expensive, too complex, and too bureaucratic.  It’s been a gift to the medical-industrial complex.”

In 2003, U.S. Representative John Conyers, Jr., introduced a bill in Congress called the United States National Health Care Act (HR 676).  He has introduced it in every session of Congress since. Today it is called the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act (HR 676).

(The purpose of HR 676 is to Nationalize Health Care Access in this country, (meaning that the government guarantees the people get healthcare. Google HR 676 for more information.)

In 2008, then presidential candidate Barack Obama campaigned on Medicare For All.  After taking office in 2009, President Obama turned his campaign promise over to Congress to implement.  Instead of Medicare For All, Congress passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010 and President Obama signed it into law on March 23, 2010.

In 2009, U.S. Representative Tom Price introduced the Empowering Patients First Act (HR2300).  He has reintroduced it in every session of Congress since.  Today it is the bill that is the heart of the “new” government’s attack on our healthcare.  It repeals the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and repeals all the healthcare provisions of the Health Care and Education and Reconciliation Act of 2010.

The Empowering Patients First Act (HR2300) also establishes a Cadillac Tax on the employee who has employer provided healthcare insurance.  It establishes tax credits ($1,200 to $3,000) for individuals who buy their own insurance.  And it encourages all individuals to open a Health Savings Account (HSA) by offering a $1,000 tax credit to anyone who has or opens an HSA.

It is no wonder that Representative Price has been chosen to run the Federal Health and Human Services Department by the “new” government. Since the “new” government does not have the 60 votes in the Senate to outright repeal the Affordable Care Act, their supporters in Congress will proceed to defund parts of it.  The big target for this strategy is the Expansion of Medicaid provision (to low-income people.)  It is one of the few successful parts of the ACA that we must defend and fight for in the states.

Over the next few months we must insure that U.S. Representative Conyers reintroduces the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act (HR 676) bill in the House of Representatives. You can contact him through this website, Members of the U.S. Congress/

The same holds true for Senator Sanders.  He must introduce the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act as a companion bill in the Senate.  You can contact him through this website, Members of the U.S. Congress/

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