The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Congress Protecting Insurance Companies from States?


McVay, a registered nurse, is president emeritus of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee. Lighty and Idelson are spokespersons for the group.

McVay said: "With debate underway in the House Education and Labor
Committee [on healthcare], an amendment by Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio
would remove potential legal impediments for states to pass single
payer bills by waiving federal exemptions that apply to
employer-sponsored health plans.

"With Congress apparently poised to adopt legislation that many of
us believe will not solve the crisis, and leave far too much power in
the hands of the insurance industry, this amendment would allow states
to show a different path that can become a national model. Recent
studies have documented that compared to people with private insurance,
Medicare enrollees have greater access to care, fewer problems with
medical bills, and greater satisfaction with their health plans and the
quality of care they receive. Shouldn't that be the standard for the
reform in our nation? And if you are not going to adopt Medicare for
all in the national bill, why not allow individual states the
opportunity to enact it?"

Idelson added: "California passed single payer bills twice through
the legislature that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed, so this is
a very live issue in California."

For breaking news and background, see "House Committee Allows States to Create Single-Payer Healthcare".

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