A new session of Congress begins in January, and PNHP activists are wondering what's in store for the two single-payer bills in Congress, H.R. 676 in the House and S. 1804 in the Senate.
I encourage all members to read and share an excellent new blog post in Health Affairs from PNHP co-founders Drs. Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein which outlines the key differences. And then, to contact the offices of the bills' chief sponsors—Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Pramila Jayapal—and let them know what should stay, and what should go.
Call Sen. Sanders at (202) 224-5141 S. 1804 should prohibit for-profit providers and adopt sustainable financing strategies like global budgets and separate capital and operating funds.
Call Rep. Jayapal at (202) 225-3106 H.R. 676 should include a repeal of the Hyde Amendment and maintain a ban on for-profit providers.
As you'll see, there is room for improvement in both bills. S. 1804 would be improved by adopting the House bill's prohibition on for-profit providers and healthy payment strategies (like global budgets and separate capital and operating funds).
But H.R. 676 should follow the Senate bill and repeal the Hyde Amendment—ensuring that all reproductive health services, including abortion, are covered. The House bill should also keep the important financing provisions that have, so far, been left out of the Senate bill. In particular, I'd ask you to pick up the phone and let Rep. Jayapal's office know that a ban on for-profit providers is key to a well-functioning health care system.
Although we've made enormous strides, we still face formidable political obstacles. Let's prepare for the fight ahead by making sure the single-payer bills in Congress are as strong as possible.
Dr. Adam Gaffney President
Physicians for a National Health Program 29 E Madison St Ste 1412 | Chicago, Illinois 60602 312-782-6006 | firstname.lastname@example.org