Health Care Reform: The Home Stretch

When we launched our campaign for health care reform in July of 2008, it wasn’t even clear we would make it past the presidential election. And had you told me at the time that I would still be advocating for the passage of a health care bill in March of 2010, I wouldn’t have believed it.

Yet after nearly two years, we are finally approaching the finish line, and the pace is moving quickly in DC. Just this morning, the Congressional Budget Office released its analysis of the bill, which found that the bill will cut the deficit by $1.3 trillion (yes, trillion) over the next 20 years, and would cover 32 million Americans, or 95 percent of the population.

Also this morning, the complete reconciliation bill language was posted online, bringing us one step closer to a House vote on the bill. The next step is for the bill to go to the House Rules Committee, where the “mark-up” of the bill will begin immediately. The House is gearing up for a floor vote on Sunday.

After more than a year of debate, it still comes down to this: If the insurance companies win, we lose. We need to end the stranglehold insurance companies have on our health care. Congress should listen to us, not the insurance lobbyists who are spending millions to protect their profits and block reform that works for us. We’ve had enough of insurance companies’ denied claims, inflated profits and outrageous premium hikes. We can’t afford to wait any longer.

For California particularly, the status quo will not suffice. Just this week, UCLA released a new report that shows here in California, 2 million more people have become insured over the past two years, bringing the total to over 8 million state residents without health insurance – or one out of every four people under the age of 65.

Opponents of health reform are spending one million dollars a day over the next 10 days to defeat reform. That’s why we see every “Yes” vote as a vote for American families, workers and small businesses; and every “No” vote as a vote for the insurance companies and the protection of their profits.

Here in California, Labor – in partnership with Health Care for America Now, Health Access California, Organizing for America and others – is organizing to ensure that every Democratic member votes “Yes”! Here are four things you can do to help us win health care reform:

  • Call your Representative at 877 323 5246 and urge them to vote Yes on the health care bill;
  • Write a letter to the editor at your local newspaper, explaining why you support health care reform;
  • Visit your member’s district office and find out how they plan to vote; and
  • Go the our Action Center to find out more information and opportunities to take action.