EQUAL: Progressive Positions on Health Reform Dec. 2

Real Health Reform: Positions for Progressives

Ellen R. Shaffer, PhD MPH and Joe Brenner, MA

December 2, 2009

We who support and desperately need health reform stand together in support of the best possible bill to pass in the Senate and back through the conference committee with the House.

Here are the comprehensive messages all Senators need to hear, and why:

1. Preserve and expand on the bills’ strong points, including the public option.

The proposals would advance access, quality, affordability and cost control. The public option is likely to be more robust than the Congressional Budget Office’s preliminary projection.

2. We need to advance reproductive rights, not retreat.

The anti-abortion amendment is a real threat and a wake-up call.

We can beat it. Many members who voted “yes” on Stupak are on record as pro-choice.

Pro-choice energy will propel reform forward.

3.  We must make sure that all people who live in this country can access affordable, quality, culturally appropriate care.  We must work to remove the five-year waiting period on lawful immigrants and ensure the new health insurance exchange does not exclude anyone, regardless of their immigration status.

4. Promote states’ ability to move to single payer systems.

It is important to organize for single payer solutions, and against the practices of the for-profit private insurance industry

The House is still in play; they will be involved in the conference with the Senate, and will vote again on final passage. Our messages to House members depend on how they voted.

1.      Voted Yes on the bill and No on the Stupak Amendment (178 Democrats): Thank you!  You’re the progressive Democratic majority. Help us win the ERISA waiver, and keep what we’ve won.

2.      Voted Yes on the bill and Yes on Stupak: Stick with the bill and stick up for women. [For those historically pro-choice: Shame on you for voting Yes on Stupak]

3.      Voted No on the bill and No on Stupak: Thanks for opposing Stupak. I’m asking you to stand up for health care reform now and support the bill.

4.      Voted No on the bill and Yes on Stupak: We need health care reform now, and need our members of Congress to stick up for women.  Will you change your vote and stand up for health reform and for women?  [For those historically pro-choice: Shame on you for voting Yes on Stupak]

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