Single-Payer HR 676 Would Save Santa Monica $6 Million

Santa Monica Councilmember Kevin McKeown with national single-payer health bill author Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) at the Democratic National Convention.

Responding to a budget preparation request I had made recently, Santa Monica’s Director of Finance has calculated that universal single-payer healthcare would save the City six million dollars a year in employee health-benefit costs. Disclosure: I am a long-time advocate of universal single-payer healthcare, who led the City Council to endorse both the California and [...]

The Healthcare War Is Now Official

The LBJ treatment

Last week, the American Medical Association came out against a public option for health care. And later in the week the President reaffirmed his support for it. The next weeks will show what Obama is made of — whether he’s willing and able to take on the most formidable lobbying coalition he has faced so [...]

The Latest Public Option Bamboozle, and How to Recognize the Real Thing

Senator Kent Conrad (D-North Dakota) (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images North America)

Here’s the latest contortion from Senate Dems trying to win over a few Republicans to a “public option:” Let nonprofits create health-care cooperatives, and call them the public option. Kent Conrad came up with this bamboozle. Finance chair Baucus is impressed, and some Republicans — even Grassley — seem interested. Watch your wallets. Nonprofit health-care [...]

Health Care Folly: Insurance Companies Bet Big on You Smoking to Death

smoking

In so-called “public service” ads appearing on TV and radio, or in print and on the intertubes, many health insurance companies urge people to stay healthy by quitting smoking. The company that provides a supplemental policy to me that covers things not paid by Canada’s national health even e-mailed a helpful PDF brochure with a [...]

Plea Bargains in the Criminal McJustice System

Philadelphia D.A. Lynne Abraham

In Philadelphia, it is time for a new district attorney. The current D.A. Lynne Abraham is retiring, and none too soon – after 18 years in the position, she has been called “America’s deadliest D.A.” for her exceptionally voracious appetite in seeking the death penalty. Without question, most of the people sentenced to death were [...]

Baucus Tells Single-Payer Advocates No

Senator Max Baucus

Montana Senator Max Baucus met Wednesday with advocates for single-payer healthcare, including Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and told them that he might drop criminal charges against 13 people arrested for speaking up in his hearings, but that he would not include any supporters of single-payer health coverage in any future hearings. According to one report, [...]

A Simple First Step Towards Universal Health Care

kennedy-baucus

The New York Times reported Saturday morning that a major split between Senator Ted Kennedy – back on the Hill as he fights brain cancer – and Senator Max Baucus over the shape and form of universal health care. Kennedy, long a proponent of a single-payer system, is teeing up against Baucus who is negotiating [...]

Single-Payer Health Care versus Individual Mandates: A Dilemma for Democrats

vaccination

A wide array of labor unions, health care providers, and consumers–including the California Nurses Association and the Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) favors a single-payer (SP) “Medicare for All” system as the most cost-effective, comprehensive, and outcome-effective health care proposal. “Everybody in, nobody out” is the principle. By reducing or eliminating the role [...]

Can Obama Build A Grassroots Health-Care Movement?

plouffe

As insurance companies and health-care conglomerates ramp up opposition to real reform, activists must build a real grassroots movement that forces Congress to do the right thing. On June 6, the Obama Administration is launching an effort to accomplish this. It is making its greatest push yet to use its “Organizing for America” operation to [...]

The Only Sure Way to Fund Universal Health Care

healthcare1

During the presidential campaign, I thought Obama made only one big policy mistake. He criticized John McCain for proposing to tax all employer-provided health benefits. McCain’s overall health plan was regressive – he would have turned the savings into tax credits for purchasing health care – but he was right about where the revenues should [...]

Save $1 Billion in Five Years—End the Death Penalty in California

prison

In the market for a prime piece of real estate? Governor Schwarzenegger has the deal for you! Facing a $21.3 Billion budget deficit in California, Schwarzenegger has offered to sell state-owned property to make up the difference. The crown jewel of the proposed fire sale is San Quentin State Prison, home to California’s death row [...]

Can We Fight the Healthcare Industry

According to the experts in this video, you can’t have a healthcare system that works if it’s modeled after the one used by the medical insurance industry today in the United States. They contend that the current system in the U.S. is a system that is guaranteed to waste money and ensures that the sickest [...]

The Health Care Cave-In

healthcare

“Don’t make the perfect the enemy of the better” is a favorite slogan in Washington because compromise is necessary to get anything done. But the way things are going with health care, a better admonition would be: “Don’t give away the store.” Single-Payer Plan Is Ideal Many experts have long agreed that a so-called “single-payer” [...]

Keep on Keeping on with Universal Healthcare

kuehl_1

Tempering the universal healthcare movement’s idealism with calls for pragmatic approaches, retired State Senator Sheila Kuehl preached persistence at last Saturday’s “Single Payer Solution” conference. “Our job is to convince California person by person, church by synagogue, worker by workplace by employer, that single payer is the right answer,” she told the packed sanctuary at [...]

Marcy Winograd Kicks Off Congressional Race

winograd

Marcy Winograd is kicking off her congressional campaign on Monday, May 11th, at 4 PM, at the VENICE PIER (Washington Blvd. and Ocean Front Walk/Boardwalk). Park on Washington Blvd., a side-street, or in the pier parking lot ($5.00). For those who want to avoid parking fees, meet up at 3:30 pm sharp with members of [...]

AB 1017 Would Strengthen Laws Regarding Rape Kit Testing

burglar

In September of 2008 it was disclosed that the City of Los Angeles had not opened or tested over 7,000 rape kits that were collected as evidence. Of these kits, 217 had been held beyond the 10-year statute of limitations that applies to the crime of rape. A report published by the independent group, Human [...]

The Legacy of Torture: Story of the San Francisco Eight

sf8poster

ACLU Pasadena Public Forum “Will we face the torture chambers in our cities as well as on Guantanamo?” Tuesday, May 12, 7 p.m. Neigbhorhood Church 301 North Orange Grove Boulevard Pasadena, California Hear two of the SF8 tell their story of torture and persecution over 37 years. The San Francisco 8, former members and associates [...]

Los Angeles Single-Payer Advocates Are Seen and Heard

Lt. Governor John Garamendi speaking at LA rally.

On Monday, April 6, the final regional White House meeting on healthcare reform took place in Los Angeles. Like the meetings held in Dearborn, Michigan; Burlington, Vermont; Greensboro, North Carolina; and Des Moines, Iowa, single-payer advocates were shut out of the discussion and gathered outside the event in order to make their voices heard. The [...]

Single Payer Moment HR 676

Photo courtesy California Nurses Assn

While a Democratic polling firm has just found, as pollsters always do, dramatic public support for public health coverage, Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill appear divided, as they have always been, over whether to take a comprehensive approach to health care. House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said on C-Span on Sunday that incrementalism would [...]

Take the Lead: Help Stop HIV and AIDS

world-aids-day

For 20 years, people around the globe have observed December 1 as World AIDS Day. It’s a time to remember those we have lost, to thank the people who give of their time to care for those infected and affected by the disease, and to rededicate ourselves to finding a cure. AIDS has not gone [...]

Why I Support HR 7255, the “Immigration Fairness and Oversight Act”

Those acquainted with my political views know I am fundamentally opposed to illegal immigration and feel much needs to be done to overhaul our current immigration policies and create laws and procedures that are congruent with the state of California’s best interest. I oppose the presence of illegal aliens because of the stifling effect they [...]

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