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No matter where you live, call Senator Schumer and Gillibrand to urge them to vote yes for the Sanders two single payer amendments (one to adopt single payer nationally, the second to allow states to do it). The states right amendment has a lot of support from Republican Senators, so more likely to pass. You can also fax or drop off a copy of a letter in support of single payer to their offices.
Tell them you want them to vote for Senators Sanders, Burris and Brown’s amendment number 2837.
Gillibrand, Kirsten E. – (D – NY)
478 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-4451
Web Form: gillibrand.senate.gov/contact/ fax 202 228-3027
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Schumer, Charles E. – (D – NY)
313 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-6542
Web Form: schumer.senate.gov/new_website/contact.cfm, fax  202 228-0282

WaPo’s new rule of journalism?

FAIR

November 17, 2009

The Washington Post’s Shailagh Murray (11/17/09) wrote a profile of Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D.-Ark.) as one of the Democratic senators most likely to break with the rest of the party on healthcare reform. The article seemed to invert the advice Deep Throat once gave to the Post’s Woodward and Bernstein into a new rule: Don’t follow the money.

Headlined “A Centrist in Healthcare Debate, Lincoln Hears It From All Sides,” the piece presented Lincoln’s stance as something of a puzzle: “Hundreds of thousands of Lincoln’s constituents are low-income and lack insurance, the very kind of voters expected to benefit under the Senate bill.”

Murray described the senator as facing a dilemma:

The low-profile centrist is being pressed by both sides. Democratic activists are incensed that she has turned against the public option, an idea she once supported. Republicans are casting her cautious approach to the healthcare debate in starkly political terms, saying that she is unwilling to put local interests above those of a president who lost the state by a resounding 20 percentage points.
She even acknowledged the forces lining up against the politician:
In the process, Lincoln has riled liberal groups including MoveOn.org, which is targeting her with radio ads, direct mail and rallies outside two of her Arkansas offices. Perhaps more ominously, MoveOn–working with the liberal group Democracy for America–has amassed $3.5 million in pledges to fund primary challenges against any Democratic senator who sides with Republicans to block an up-or-down vote on a bill with a public option.
That would seem to raise another question: Who’s keeping her IN power? The Center for Responsive Politics has some background on that from the second quarter of this year–information the Post apparently doesn’t consider important:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has brought in the most from the health sector so far this year at $394,400, followed by Senate Finance Committee member Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), who collected $324,350, and former Republican Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), who brought in $266,100. All three senators are up for re-election in 2010.
Of all the lawmakers on the five committees debating healthcare reform, Lincoln has brought in by far the most money from the healthcare sector–26 percent more than the runner-up, Sen. Charles Schumer (D.-N.Y.), who took in $257,400. For the 2005-10 election cycle, the healthcare sector has been Lincoln’s most generous source of support, giving her a total of $763,000 from individuals and political action committees.
The Watergate-era lesson to “follow the money” is supposedly part of modern journalistic culture–a motto of the savvy journalist who understands that large amounts of money have the power to influence people’s behavior. But as FAIR’s magazine Extra! recently showed (11/09), coverage of healthcare reform in the corporate media has generally failed to document the links between industry largesse and the political maneuvers of “centrist” Democrats like Blanche Lincoln. If the newspaper that got the message directly from Deep Throat doesn’t follow his advice, who else will?

ACTION:
Ask Washington Post ombud Andy Alexander why the paper’s November 17 profile of Sen. Blanche Lincoln, which focused on her position on healthcare reform, neglected to mention Lincoln’s financial support from the healthcare industry.

CONTACT:
Washington Post
Andy Alexander, Ombud
ombudsman@washpost.com

Via Healthcare-NOW!

Dozens of people held a sit-in at Senator Lieberman’s Capitol Hill office this morning to demand that Senator Lieberman pledge to stop taking health insurance company campaign contributions and free up funds so they can be used to pay for patient care. For 30 minutes, demonstrators requested to talk to Senator Lieberman and chanted “Patients not Profits, Medicare for All.” Nine members of the Mobilization for Health Care for All sat down in the office lobby until forcibly removed by the police.

Since 1989, only 10 other current senators have brought in more cash from the health sector than Lieberman, who has collected $2.6 million in that time.

Take Action NOW!

1. Sign the petition urging Lieberman to stop taking insurance money. Click here to sign the petition now. Urge everyone you know to sign the petition.

2. Make a donation to support the Mobilization. Donate for bail money for those sitting in Lieberman’s office.

3. Call your representative to support the Medicare for All amendment that is being put forward by Congressman Weiner.

Since beginning just over one month ago thousands have signed up to participate in “Patients before Profits” sit-ins and over 920 have signed up willing to risk arrest. By the end of this week the Mobilization will have held 32 sit-ins in 28 different cities with more than 150 arrests and over 220 risking arrest. We started out wanting 100 people to risk arrest at “patients before profits” sit-ins and now more than 920 have done so. The Mobilization needs to continue to grow in order to make the impact the people desperately need – Medicare for All.

Thank you for your support. Please take action now.

From Healthcare-NOW!

On Thursday, Mobilization for Health Care for All made another urgent demand to get insurance money out of our democracy so that real reform will not be blocked in America. It is unacceptable that 45,000 Americans die every year because of lack of access to health care.

Nine advocates for Medicare for All were arrested in a patients not profits sit-in in Senator Joseph Lieberman’s office. Lieberman, known as the Senator for Aetna – his number 9 largest contributor, has taken $2.6 million in the last decade from the health sector including the insurance and pharmaceutical industries.

Two advocates remain in jail refusing to cooperate by not providing identification. Kai Newkirk, national coordinator of the Mobilization, is fasting and is in the DC jail, along with John Morhbacher of Connecticut.

Their demand is clear – publicly pledge to stop taking money from the insurance industry. Join their demand by clicking here to sign a petition to Sen. Lieberman.

When Kevin Zeese, Esq. director of ProsperityAgenda.US met with our colleagues in the cell block, Morhbacker, a member of the Army Reserve in Connecticut, described his senator “as an example of the obstructionists who prevent consideration of Medicare for All.”

Newkirk explains that “as long as insurance corporation money is contributed to politicians like Lieberman they will prevent common sense solutions like Medicare for All that meet the moral standard that everyone should have access to health care.” Newkirk explains further why he risked arrest to challenge Lieberman in this video. Please share the video with your friends, family and networks.

Thousands have already signed the petition to strengthen our numbers. Please join them and ask your friends to do the same. And, some media has taken notice, including ABC national news. Let’s continue to build the Mobilization so the media cannot ignore our cry for real health care reform.

On Tuesday Kai and John will return to court. Please donate now to help with bail, legal, and other support. More actions are being planned to continue to build the pressure and more are waiting in line to sit-in, risk arrest and ensure our demands are heard! If you have not already signed up to risk arrest or participate in the Mobilization you can do so here.

What you can do:

1. Sign the petition urging Lieberman to stop taking insurance money. Click here to sign the petition now. Urge everyone you know to sign the petition.

2. Make a donation to support the Mobilization. Donate for bail money and jail support for those arrested in Lieberman’s office.

3. Call Lieberman and tell him to stop taking insurance money. His numbers are: (202) 224-4041and (860) 549-8463.

4. Keep organizing in your area!

Senator Lieberman is keeping good citizens in jail so he can continue to take money from the insurance industry. Imagine that – while the senate is considering insurance legislation, Lieberman insists on taking insurance money. The pay to play corruption of the health care debate is on display in Washington, DC and Lieberman is the poster boy for insurance corruption.

In 2009, Aetna has already spent over $2 million dollars lobbying for health care “reform” that protect their profits ahead of the health of Americans. Elected officials need to know that voters are aware of their corruption for accepting this money and they will pay a political price for their corruption.

Thousands of you have joined in struggle across our nation. Hundreds have risked arrest. Our numbers are growing by the day. Let’s all do our part for Kai and John – let’s build this Mobilization so Americans who want real health care reform cannot be ignored.

Demand Lieberman get our friends out of jail by publicly pledging to no longer accept money from health insurance companies that are the real death panels–killing democracy, killing us.

Please sign the petition, and donate what you can.

Thank you for joining the fight for Health Care for ALL!

Letter from Rep. Dennis Kucinich

Dear Friends,

Thank you for all of your efforts on behalf of the Kucinich Amendment for a state single payer option which would protect the right of states to pursue a single payer health care system.

Unfortunately, the House Leadership has rejected the many appeals on behalf of the amendment and will not reverse their decision which removed the amendment from the bill. Therefore, the Kucinich Amendment for a state single payer option will not be included in the Manager’s Amendment and is not in the bill which will come before the House soon.

The Kucinich amendment represents the most powerful challenge to the insurance companies’ control of our health care system. Even the possibility of a state single payer system will make the insurance companies think twice before they raise premiums. The higher the insurance premiums, the more vulnerable companies are to citizens’ efforts to create alternatives such as a single payer system. We should never be locked into higher and higher premiums!

I do not accept the decision to remove the amendment from the bill. Nor should you.

Join the fight for single payer, please contribute.

We will have one more opportunity to offer the American people a true choice regarding health care. Once the health care bill passes the House, and the Senate passes its version, the two bills will go to a Conference Committee. It is at this point that we will have one more chance. We need to insist that the Kucinich Amendment be included in the Conference Committee report, since that is what will ultimately become law.

Why would we be successful in conference when Leadership refused our appeals in the Manager’s Amendment? Very simple. They may need the votes to achieve final passage! We should not quit.

We have come a great distance already. You helped get the Kucinich Amendment through the Education and Labor Committee. Let’s make one more try to get it into the Conference report. Your calls, letters, emails and visits make a difference.

Please contribute to continue the movement for single payer.

Thank you.
Dennis

On November 3, 12 brave activists were arrested because they entered Nancy Pelosi’s office in California to get some answers.

They wanted to know why she broke her promise to hold votes on two single-payer amendments this fall.

They weren’t leaving until the single-payer amendments were put back on the table.

Pelosi refused to speak to them. They were arrested for disrupting business as usual.

CALL PELOSI NOW! (415) 556-4862 and (202) 225-0100. Ask her to keep her promise on single-payer.

Demand that she keep her promises and put Kucinich Amendment in the bill and allow a Floor vote on the Weiner Amendment!

The House of Representatives will soon be voting on Medicare-for-All!  Call your representative and ask them to:

  1. Support Rep. Weiner’s Single-Payer amendment
  2. Retain Rep. Kucinich’s State Single-Payer amendment

Westchester is represented by the following members of Congress (to find out which district you are in, click on the congressman’s name to view a map of their district.):

Eliot Engel, 17th C.D. (Currently a cosponsor of HR 676!)
6 Gramatan Avenue; Suite 205
Mt. Vernon, NY 10550
914-699-4100

Nita M. Lowey, 18th C.D.
222 Mamaroneck Ave, Suite 310
White Plains, NY 10605
914-328-1707
Nita.lowey@mail.house.gov

John Hall, 19th C.D.
40 Gleneida Ave, 3rd Floor
Carmel, NY 10512
845-225-3641 ext. 371

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) will also be introducing two single-payer amendments to the Senate bill, one to create a national single-payer plan, and the other to allow individual states to adopt single-payer systems.

Call Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and urge them to stand up for real health care reform and support Sen. Sanders’ amendments!

Charles E. Schumer
One Park Place, Suite 100
Peekskill, NY 10566
914-734-1532
senator@schumer.senate.gov

Kirsten Gillibrand
780 Third Avenue, Suite 2601
New York, NY 10017
212-688-6262
Kirsten_gillibrand@gillibrand.senate.gov

From Healthcare-NOW!

October 16, 2009

The Mobilization for Health Care had a very strong showing in nine cities around the country yesterday. At least 54 people were arrested in the nine cities.

In New York City, the brave protesters were supported by a crowd of 50 legal protesters. We were prepared to start the action with 10 people risking arrest, and 4 more people joined us to stand up to the corporations that steal our money, our health, and our lives.

Our next task on October 28th is to grow the Mobilization. We want to see the number of cities with mobilizations to be at least 15 and well over 100 people risking arrest.

The task now is to spread the word. Let friends, families and others know about the Mobilization and urge them to sign up at www.MobilizeForHealthCare.org.

It is our job to create a political environment that makes single-payer the inevitable solution to America’s healthcare crisis. It is obvious that what is happening in Congress will not provide healthcare for all — tens of millions will be without insurance ten years from now under the best estimates — and will not control the cost of healthcare — as the insurance industry if projecting a 111% increase in cost over the next decade of their already overpriced products.

Visit Healthcare-NOW! for links to local and national coverage of the action.

Healthcare-NOW!

In just two more days, the Mobilization for Health Care for All goes national.

When we launched this campaign we envisioned about 100 people signing up to sit in in the first weeks of the campaign – but with over 700 already, we’re now well on our way to 1000 pledges. And we originally talked about sit-ins happening in 3 or 4 cities on October 15th – today we’re proud to announce that “Patients Not Profit” sit-ins will be happening in at least 9 cities across the country this Thursday!

There will also be action on October 28th.  For more information, please visit Mobilization for Health Care for All.

October 15th Sit-ins:

New York, NY
When: 10am EST
Where: United HealthGroup / 1 Penn Plaza 10119
Contact: Omar Kutty – omarkutty at hotmail.com

Call your representative and ask them to:

  1. Support Rep. Weiner’s Single-Payer amendment
  2. Retain Rep. Kucinich’s State Single-Payer amendment

Westchester is represented by the following members of Congress:

Eliot Engel, 17th C.D. (Currently a cosponsor of HR 676!)
6 Gramatan Avenue; Suite 205
Mt. Vernon, NY 10550
914-699-4100

Nita M. Lowey, 18th C.D.
222 Mamaroneck Ave, Suite 310
White Plains, NY 10605
914-328-1707
Nita.lowey@mail.house.gov

John Hall, 19th C.D.
40 Gleneida Ave, 3rd Floor
Carmel, NY 10512
845-225-3641 ext. 371