Conyers Reintroduces HR 676 into the 112th Congress

On February 11, 2011, Congressman John Conyers, Jr., Democrat of Michigan, reintroduced Expanded and Improved Medicare for All, HR 676, the national single payer health care legislation, into the 112th Congress. With minor changes, such as the addition of oral surgery to the benefits, HR 676 is the same and will provide all medically necessary care to everyone through progressive public funding and elimination of private health insurance companies. There are no premiums, no co-pays, no co-insurance, no deductibles.

Congressman Conyers stated: “Millions of Americans are frustrated with rising health care costs, and have a deep mistrust of private health insurance companies. The for-profit medicine model has resulted in rationed care and created undue stress and financial hardships for millions of Americans across the nation.

“Americans are smart—they know improved Medicare For All works in other countries. They also know that our own Medicare program, although not perfect, is a proven and efficient method for providing health care to America’s seniors.”

“Improved and Expanded Medicare for All is inevitable in America– it is just a matter of when it will happen. Single-payer health care systems have successfully contained health care costs and provided high quality health care in countries in Europe, Taiwan, Japan, and Canada. We can no longer continue to embrace the idea that private insurance companies and corporate-owned hospitals and clinics will bring down the costs of health care on their own,” said Conyers.

“It is time for Congress, other elected officials, the medical community, health care policy experts, and the national media to begin to seriously examine how a Medicare For All program in America could contain growing health care costs, and provide quality and affordable health care for all. Our current health care system is simply not financially sustainable over the long run. The time has come for deep systemic change in our health care system, and a large dose of common sense,” Conyers concluded.

The full legislation is here:

In addition to Conyers, HR 676 currently has 33 co-sponsors who are listed below. If your Congressperson is listed, please thank him or her. If not, please call, write, visit your congressperson to persuade him or her to become a co-sponsor of HR 676.

Co-Sponsors of HR 676 as of March 8, 2011:

Rep Baldwin, Tammy [WI-2] Rep Capuano, Michael E. [MA-8] Rep Christensen, Donna M. [VI] Rep Chu, Judy [CA-32] Rep Cohen, Steve [TN-9] Rep Davis, Danny K. [IL-7] Rep Dicks, Norman D. [WA-6] Rep Doyle, Michael F. [PA-14] Rep Ellison, Keith [MN-5] Rep Engel, Eliot L. [NY-17] Rep Farr, Sam [CA-17] Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] Rep Frank, Barney [MA-4] Rep Green, Al [TX-9] Rep Grijalva, Raul M. [AZ-7] Rep Hinchey, Maurice D. [NY-22] Rep Jackson, Jesse L., Jr. [IL-2] Rep Kucinich, Dennis J. [OH-10] Rep Lee, Barbara [CA-9] Rep Lofgren, Zoe [CA-16] Rep Maloney, Carolyn B. [NY-14] Rep McGovern, James P. [MA-3] Rep Meeks, Gregory W. [NY-6] Rep Nadler, Jerrold [NY-8] Rep Olver, John W. [MA-1] Rep Pingree, Chellie [ME-1] Rep Roybal-Allard, Lucille [CA-34] Rep Scott, Robert C. “Bobby” [VA-3] Rep Tonko, Paul [NY-21] Rep Waters, Maxine [CA-35] Rep Weiner, Anthony D. [NY-9] Rep Woolsey, Lynn C. [CA-6] Rep Yarmuth, John A. [KY-3]

HR 676 would institute a single payer health care system by expanding a greatly improved Medicare system to everyone residing in the U. S.

HR 676 would cover every person for all necessary medical care including prescription drugs, hospital, surgical, outpatient services, primary and preventive care, emergency services, dental, mental health, home health, physical therapy, rehabilitation (including for substance abuse), vision care, hearing services including hearing aids, chiropractic, durable medical equipment, palliative care, and long term care.

HR 676 ends deductibles and co-payments. HR 676 would save hundreds of billions annually by eliminating the high overhead and profits of the private health insurance industry and HMOs.

In the current Congress, HR 676 has 33 co-sponsors in addition to Conyers.

HR 676 has been endorsed by 582 union organizations in 49 states including 136 Central Labor Councils and Area Labor Federations and 39 state AFL-CIO’s (KY, PA, CT, OH, DE, ND, WA, SC, WY, VT, FL, WI, WV, SD, NC, MO, MN, ME, AR, MD-DC, TX, IA, AZ, TN, OR, GA, OK, KS, CO, IN, AL, CA, AK, MI, MT, NE, NY, NV & MA).

If your union has not yet endorsed HR 676, please do so.