Dear MoveOn member,
Now that the Senate has passed its health care bill, negotiations have begun over what will be in the final legislation.1
So we've got an important opportunity this week, while members of Congress are home over the holiday break, to urge them to fix the bill and make it more progressive.
With conservatives continuing to push for watered-down reform,2 it's imperative that Congress hears from those of us who want them to fight for the strongest bill possible.
Members of Congress will be reading the local papers while they're home, taking the temperature of their constituents on health care before heading back to Washington. Can you write a letter to the editor about what needs to be in the final health care bill? There are some suggested points to make below, and you can click here to get started:http://pol.moveon.org/lte?campaign_id=122&id=18436-10220574-zvKnAwx&t=3
While the Senate bill is seriously flawed, the House bill is quite strong. And with informal talks already underway to negotiate the final bill, Congress and the White House need to know what progressives across the country care about most.
The health care fight is heading into its final weeks, so if you've never written a letter to the editor before, now's definitely the time to write your first. Our tool makes writing a letter really simple: you can send the letter right from our website, in only a few minutes.
For background, here are a few key fixes that progressives have identified for the final bill. Since short, focused letters have the best chance of getting printed, just highlight one fix that's important to you in your letter.
- Give Americans the choice of a public option. Congress should model the final bill after the House version, which contains a national public option—the key to real competition, greater choice, and lower costs.3
- Make insurance affordable. Both bills require most Americans to have insurance. But even with subsidies, some people could pay up to 20% of their income on health care. The final bill must ensure families aren't required to spend more than they can handle.4
- Protect women's health care. Both bills impose dangerous new restrictions on women's reproductive health care. While the House version is worse, neither provision can be in the final bill.5
- Finance health care fairly. The Senate would pay for part of reform by taxing the benefits packages of some working Americans. The House, on the other hand, pays for reform with a small surcharge on the wealthiest Americans—a far better approach.6
- Hold insurance companies to the same anti-trust laws as other companies. Right now, insurance companies are exempt from laws designed to prevent monopolies and price-gouging. The House bill would fix this, and so should the final bill.7
Can you write a letter today? Just click here to get started:
Thanks for all you do.
–Kat, Carrie, Ilyse, Wes, and the rest of the team
1. "Senate and House in search of health-care compromise," The Washington Post, December 24, 2009
"Senate leaders will return next week to plot health conference," The Hill, December 22, 2009
"Senate Passes Healthcare, Looks toward Conference with House," The Chicago Tribune, December 24, 2009
2. "Centrists set strict guidelines for Senate-House healthcare talks," The Hill, December 25, 2009
3. "Comparing the House and the Senate Health Care Proposals: Public Plan," The New York Times, December 19, 2009
"The House Bill and the Senate Bill," The Now! Blog, December 21, 2009
"Why We Need a Public Health-Care Plan," The Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2009
"Why a public health insurance option is key to saving costs," Economic Policy Institute, June 25, 2009
4. "Assessment of Affordability Provisions in the Exchange in House (H.R. 3962) and Senate (H.R. 3590) Health Reform Bills," Health Care for America Now
"Finishing Reform Right: Fixing affordability before the President signs a health care bill," The Now! Blog, December 22, 2009
"Comparing the House and the Senate Health Care Proposals: Individual Mandate," The New York Times, December 19, 2009
5. "Comparing the House and the Senate Health Care Proposals: Abortion," The New York Times, December 19, 2009
6. "Comparing the House and the Senate Health Care Proposals: Paying for the Proposals," The New York Times, December 19, 2009
7. "Comparing the House and the Senate Health Care Proposals: Insurance Regulations," The New York Times, December 19, 2009
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