Friday, May 6, 2011

From Crisis to Progress: This Week In Health Care Politics

So Republicans say they will not push Medicare repeal as a condition of raising the debt ceiling, which begins to expire on May 16 and still has life through August. Turns out even those deluded by Fox News aren't buying that one just yet, even though the House voted for the Ryan budget bill for 2012 a few weeks ago that featured turning Medicare into a scantily-funded voucher program.

So what other egregious demands can we expect to issue forth from the loonies of the Right?

Well for one hint take a look at H.R. 3, and the Dems' concession in the 2011 budget fight to sacrifice abortions for poor women in DC. H.R. 3 is the bill that would strip abortion coverage from private health insurance plans, on the grounds that employers that provide these plans receive a federal tax credit for doing so. Women who receive the small number of abortions still permitted because the pregnancies were caused by rape or incest could be required to document their trauma to insurance agents or regulators to get coverage. It passed the House on Wednesday by a vote of 251 to 175, with zero R's voting No and 16 Democrats in support: Altmire, Boren, Costello, Critz, Cuellar, Donnelly (IN), Holden, Kaptur, Kildee, Lipinski, Matheson, McIntyre, Peterson, Rahall, Ross (AR), and Shuler. That's

Reproductive rights has lost majority support in the House and the Senate. The 40-plus dependable champions in the Senate can muster a filibuster, but that's still short of the majority that would reflect pro-choice opinion in the country.

Of the 33 Senate seats up in 2012, 23 are Democrats (or Independents who vote with Ds) and 10 are Republicans


Come to the May 13 conference From Crisis to Progress: Health Care Reform, Public Health, and Women’s Preventive Services

Friday, May 13, 2011 ~ 8:30am to 4:00pm

Elihu Harris State Office Building at 1515 Clay Street, Oakland CA


Meanwhile, in California, there is progress;

State Senator Mark Leno's state single payer bill, SB 810, moved forward from the Senate health committee this week.

And CA Assembly member Mike Feuer's AB 52 moved ahead. This bill would authorize the state Insurance Commissioner to limit excessive health insurance increases, a power now available for auto insurance but not for health care. AB 52 moved out of the Assembly Health Committee and on to the financing committee (Appropriations) . If successful in Approps, it should go to the Assembly for a vote in June. Think your health insurance costs to much? Call or write your state assembly member and senator and let them know - and send a copy to Mike.