Will Health Bill Allow States to Do Better?

The health insurance bill currently under consideration in Congress would forbid states from providing their residents with healthcare. An amendment correcting that problem was passed in committee last July and then quietly removed. A new campaign is asking the Democrats who voted for that amendment to withhold their votes on the bill until it is reinstated.

Several states’ legislatures are close to enacting single-payer healthcare bills. The bill in Congress includes some good measures but empowers profiteers who are crafting most of the details and whose stocks rise every time passage appears possible.

Last July the House Committee on Education and Labor voted 25 to 19, with bipartisan support, to pass an amendment proposed by Congressman Dennis Kucinich to waive federal restrictions and allow states to provide healthcare if they choose. Nothing in any other versions of the healthcare bill from other committees conflicted with this language, but it was quietly removed nonetheless.

Republicans can be expected to vote No on any healthcare bill, no matter how limited or corrupt. But these 14 Democrats voted yes in committee on the Kucinich Amendment: Dennis J. Kucinich, Donald M. Payne, Robert C. Scott, Lynn C. Woolsey, Raúl M. Grijalva, John F. Tierney, David Wu, Rush D. Holt, Dave Loebsack, Yvette Clarke, Carol Shea-Porter, Marcia Fudge, Jared Polis, Paul Tonko.

Help us ask them to oppose the health insurance reform bill unless the amendment they voted for and passed in committee last July 17th is reinstated, permitting states to enact healthcare reforms if they choose to:


((House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the White House told her to remove it.) And the Senate bill added language forbidding state healthcare solutions through 2017, and not – despite what the President told Kucinich – including the waivers that had been in Kucinich’s amendment.)

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