Political and Community Organizing
Healthcare reform enters new phase
As Congress returned to session in September, its members faced a crucial decision about healthcare reform legislation.
The provisions of this legislation were unclear. The House bill (HR3200) was voted out of various committees before the August recess. A Senate bill had not been formally introduced, and was being worked on by a bipartisan committee headed by Sen. Max Baucus of Montana.
Neither bill is a single-payer plan. Despite the heroic efforts of Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn/Queens), who ensured that single-payer would get a hearing and a vote, “Medicare for all” did not have majority support in either the House or the Senate.
NYSNA believes that, although a single-payer plan would provide the best coverage at the lowest cost, any reform bill must:
- Include a broad, robust public plan option that would cover all the uninsured. Any individual or employer would be able to choose this plan.
- Allow the creation of single-payer plans by individual states; this amendment was introduced in committee by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and added to HR3200.
- Not include a tax on the value of individual health benefits.
- Institute restrictions on the private healthcare insurance industry designed to prevent practices such denying coverage for pre-existing conditions and refusing needed treatment.
For current information on the healthcare reform legislation and a link to the ANA RN Activist Toolkit, visit the Legislative Advocacy area at nysna.org.
- NYSNA Nurses Toolkit for Healthcare Reform
- Kaiser Family Foundation: Focus on Health Reform (.pdf format; Adobe Acrobat Reader required) - A document analyzing current national healthcare reform proposals. The Kaiser Family Foundation is a non-profit private operating foundation dedicated to producing and communicating the best possible analysis and information on health issues.
- American Nurses Association: Health Care Reform Resources - An online toolkit to provide nurses the resources to play their part in keeping RNs at the center of healthcare reform.
- Center for Policy Analysis - A website linking public health and healthcare reform, including documents that articulate what public health is, and what it contributes to health. It also presents public health statements on the debate on how to finance and provide coverage.