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Kucinich calls off plans--for now--to push single payer health bill


below, release....

From Congressmen Dennis Kucinich and John Conyers

Dear Friends,

We thank you for your continued devotion to the cause of health care for All Americans. We have worked together for many years to write, promote and campaign for HR676, a single payer, not for profit health care system. Your work, in communities across America, has been instrumental in helping at least ten states create single payer movements, with many more states to come.

Tomorrow, the House of Representatives is scheduled to consider a single payer bill. As the two principal co-authors of the Conyers single payer bill, we want to offer a strong note of caution about tomorrow's vote.

The bill presented tomorrow will not be HR676. While we are happy to relinquish authorship of a single payer bill to any member who can do better, we do not want a weak bill brought forward in a hostile climate to unwittingly accomplish what would be interpreted as a defeat for single payer.

Here are the facts: There has been no debate in Congress over HR676. There has not been a single mark-up of the bill. Single payer was "taken off the table" for the entire year by the White House and by congressional leaders. There has been no reasonable period of time to gather support in the Congress for single payer. Many members accepted a "robust public option" as the alternative to single payer and now that has disappeared. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has scored the bill scheduled for a vote tomorrow in a manner which is at odds with many credible assumptions, meaning that it will appear to cost way too much even though we know that true single payer saves money since one of every three dollars in the health care system goes to administrative costs caused by the insurance companies. Is this really the climate in which we want a test vote?

While state single payer movements are already strong, the national single payer movement is still growing. Many progressives in Congress, ourselves included, feel that calling for a vote tomorrow for single payer would be tantamount to driving the movement over a cliff. The thrill of the vote would disappear quickly when the result would be characterized not as a new beginning for single payer but as an end. Such a result would be seen as proof that Congress need not pay attention to efforts to restore in Conference Committee the right of states to pursue single payer without fear of legal attacks by insurance companies.

We are always grateful for your support. We are now asking you to join us in suggesting to congressional leaders that this is not the right time to call the roll on a stand-alone single payer bill. That time will come. And when it does there will not be any doubt of the outcome. This system of health care injustice will not be able to endure forever. We are pledged to make sure of that.

Congressmen John Conyers and Dennis Kucinich


It’s time for Kucinich and Conyers to leave the Democratic Party. Ironically, Lieberman is doing the right thing in opposing the bogus public option while Grayson, who supports it, is doing the wrong thing!

Kucinich is possibly the only congressional leader to have been abducted by aliens from outer space, or at the least thinks he has seen UFO's. Conyers is a multi-term Socialist Democrat. I don't know whether he has been abducted or not. Probably. Only those whose minds have been altered by space aliens can honestly believe that we can pay for a single payer system, with Washington's incompetent management. C'mon Lynn, put statements from credible people on the blog, not from poster children for what's wrong with the Democratic party.

Well, 2 comments from individuals who either belong to anyone of 3 groups: the health insurance business man or house servant wannabe who believes your health is a commodity to be traded on the New York Stock Exchange for the profit of investors; or, the uneducated right wing talk show radio listener for whom facts are simply too difficult to grasp; or, Seniors on Social Security who absolutely don't accept the fact that Medicare is really truly operated by the federal government, supported by taxpayers and not private business.
These two individuals really don't have the slightest clue as to what socialism means,even though they happily use hundreds if not thousands of social programs for their personal benefit: National Park Service; the Postal Service - don't tell me it doesn't work - you mail doesn't get lost and it is the cheapest mail delivery service in the world; The NOAA's National Weather Service; Bureau of Weights and Measures (that's to make sure a 1 lb package of ground beef weighs 1 lb and not 14oz, or a gallon of gas is not really 4/5 of a gallon as the butchers and businessmen used to try and get past you. Federal Interstate Highway System; Coast Guard protection of the nation's fisheries, shipping lanes, recreational boating, and all around water safety; The National Institutes of Health - which comes to their rescue with vaccines because private business won't spend the money to do the research; Public Schools - Elementary, High School and College; The Veteran's Administration Health Care System; Social Security System (anyone care to talk about losing their 401k pensions during the collapse of the free market the last couple of years, The Food and Drug administration - anyone purchasing rancid meat lately or mold ridden bread - the socialists made sure the businessmen couldn't sell that stuff anymore; and the list goes on.
Every government regulatory and protection program in place owes its existence to the fact that free enterprise left unfettered "WILL SCREW THE AMERICAN PUBLIC," because it has shown throughout the nation's history that it can't be trusted to do the right thing, be trusted, to fairly and honestly regulate itself without greed taking over. Theirs is a world where maximization of profits and dividends come before customers and safety - Hence "Let the buyer beware."
On the other hand, if you are that fearful of socialism, start your owns acts of civil disobedience: start driving that car without wearing a seat belt; pack that passenger elevator - don't worry about weight capacity; don't read that label on the next bottle of cold medication or baby food you purchase; run those red lights at traffic intersections, and don't pay attention to the national weather service - take that vacation with the approaching hurricane or snow storm; and never ever ever call 911 when you are in trouble or ask for federal taxpayer to help you recover from that twister, hurricane, tornado, flood, hail/snow storm that destroyed your community...again.
After all, you don't need anything the government can provide, private business does it better and very cheaply. You are a self-contained island living independently of your 300+ million fellow Americans.

Kucinich and Conyers are two of the few congress members who are working for us, the people. They have not forgotten who they represent.
They belong with a the very few congress members who work tirelessly to keep this country from joining third world nations.
Lieberman is a traitor. His only allegiance is to himself.

Kooch and Conyers should have let it go to a vote. A bunch of progressive liberals said they supported, or even cosponsored this bill. Let them vote on it.

Then we'd know which ones were really ready to give up the pharma, insurance, and doctor money.

Way to go, Mike. You have managed to lump me and other bloggers into a comfortable group to hate. I'm not big business. I'm overworked and overtaxed blue collar. I don't trust government OR Wall Street. I don't listen to the rantings of Rush, and I don't have a swimsuit poster of Sarah Palin. I think the Republicans are almost as incompetent as the Democrats. The Post Office runs at a deficit of hundreds of millions of dollars every year. Can we say Amtrak? Noone was talking about capitalism "unfettered" instead of government mismanaged health care. Lose the preconceived notions about people that don't agree completely with your political beliefs. We have a thing called State Government. Every state has the power to enact its' own health care programs. The problem with Illinois is the fact that we are almost bankrupt financially. Keep electing tax and spend politicians from either Party and you will see a lot of the government run programs become insolvent. It is very close to happening in Illinois now. If our Country did not have such a massive debt load, programs such as health care would be more feasible. I have no other objection than that, and the reality of the cost. Oh, and by the way, Kucinich may in fact be from outer space.

I am outraged that as a single mom barely making it from month to month I'm supposed to give cash every month to an insurance industry, and then still have to pay copays that I can't afford.

I am part of the demographic that needs help the most, and once again lawmakers have totally forgotten me.

I and the Patrick Henry Democratic Club of America stand with Dennis Kucinich. While so many others in Congress have allowed insurance company payouts to corrupt their voting records, Kucinich continues to stand tall with integrity.

We do not see any reason to give insurance companies a bailout when their goal is to deny as much coverage as possible. The insurance executives should be jailed, not rewarded.

It is time for all good people to stand up against corrupt attacks on America's greatest Congressman, Dennis Kucinich.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on November 5, 2009 6:51 PM.

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