Kucinich Secures Congressional Victory for States’ Single Payer Drive

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Dandelion Salad

by Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Washington, July 17 , 2009

Kucinich Amendment Allows States to Seek a Federal Waiver

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today created an opening for the single payer health care movement by winning adoption of an amendment which eliminates a federal barrier to states choosing to enact single payer health plans. The amendment won on a bipartisan basis during lengthy committee action on HR 3200, America’s Affordable Health Choices Act.

“Although the amendment does not create a single payer health care system, it removes a major obstacle for any state that wishes to pursue the single payer option. This amendment builds on the momentum of the national movement for single payer health care,” said Kucinich.

“For years there has been a growing support for a fundamental change in the way we look at health care in this country. A single payer health care plan is the best and most tested way to provide health care for everyone while increasing quality and controlling costs,” added Kucinich.

The Kucinich amendment removes a legal obstacle to states that choose single payer plans. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) pre-empts legislating health care reform at a state level if the state efforts challenge employer-based health care plans.

The House Education and Labor Committee passed the Kucinich Amendment by a 27-19 vote.


Kucinich Strengthens Health Care Bill

Secures Four Amendments in Health Care Reform Bill

by Congressman Dennis Kucinich
111th Washington, July 17, 2009

In addition to securing a historic victory for states’ single-payer health care, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today won adoption of four other amendments in HR 3200, America’s Affordable Health Choices Act. The Kucinich amendments:

• drive down the cost and increase the access of prescription drugs by ending the pharmaceutical industry’s practice of manipulating physician prescribing habits to pharmaceutical representatives;
• ending the insurance industry practice of raising costs or decreasing coverage for Americans during the time Americans are not allowed to switch plans;
• require the disclosure of insurance company costs like advertising and marketing costs, as well as executive compensation, that use consumer’s money to increase profits instead of covering care;
• improve access to integrative medicine by requiring its consideration for standard coverage and by requiring the identification of integrative medicine providers .

“With the addition of this language, this is a stronger bill that will protect Americans and hold health insurance companies accountable to their customers,” said Kucinich.


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