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The Single-Payer Action Center

Public Citizen needs your support as we campaign for a single-payer national health insurance program!

Check back to this page often for updates on upcoming events, call-in days, action items, videos, photos and more.

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Action Items - Events - Resources

Action Items

December 3: Make sure your voice is heard in the great health care debate
The health care debate is raging on in the Senate, and late last night Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) threw down the gauntlet to challenge our senators to stand up for health care for all.


Please contact your senators now and tell them to support single-payer.

November 17: Urge your senator to vote for single-payer
The Senate is picking up the health care reform debate where the House left off. Make sure your senators hear from you and not just insurance industry lobbyists.

Email your senators and ask them to support single-payer, "Medicare-for-All" reform.

Tell 10 friends how to take action, too.

November 5: Urge your representative to vote for single-payer

We just learned that there is a strong possibility that Speaker Pelosi WILL allow a vote on single-payer. Whether it is offered as a stand-alone bill or as an amendment to the health care reform package, this will be the FIRST vote ever held on single-payer health care in the full House of Representatives.


Urge your representative NOW to stand with you and the American people on this historic vote. Tell your representative to vote "YES!" to Rep. Anthony Weiner's (D-N.Y.) single-payer bill.

November 3: Call (202) 225-0100 and tell Speaker Pelosi that you demand a vote on Rep. Weiner's single-payer amendment. After you call, please email us at action@citizen.org.
Call volume may be high, and it may be difficult to get through. Please be patient. As an alternative, you can submit your comments in the form on the House Speaker's Web page
.

September 26: Help us deliver universal health care-single-payer to the American people.
Public Citizen's Board of Directors will contribute an additional $20,000 if 400 people make a donation by midnight on Wednesday, September 30. That's 400 people for the 400 billion dollars single-payer could save every year!
Contribute Now.


July 30: Rally for Single-payer with Us
Join us and the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care in Washington DC to lobby for single-payer and celebrate the 44th birthday on Medicare. Public Citizen acting President, Dr. Wolfe will be speaking at the event.
Join us at the event.

July 7: Ask Congress for CBO Scoring of Single-payer
Tell Congress loud and clear that lawmakers must do more than just invite advocates to meetings - they must order the Congressional Budget Office to compare the cost of a single-payer system with the cost of other health reform proposals. We know this will show that the single-payer solution is the way to go.

Having this piece of information is crucial to ensuring an honest, balanced and transparent debate on health care reform.

We must act quickly. Already, Congress is besieged by private insurance and pharmaceutical company lobbyists who are hard at work trying to make more money at the expense of the American public.
Please, help us reach our goal of 50,000 emails to Congress today.

May 5 and May 14: Tell Congress to Include Single-payer in the Health Debate
The Senate Finance Committee, led by Sen. Max Baucus, is holding important roundtable discussions on health care May 5 and May 14. The list of witnesses includes the private insurance lobby group America's Health Insurance Plans and Blue Cross Blue Shield, but not one single-payer supporter. Tell Congress that this is unacceptable.

April 13: Tell Your Reps: A Health Care Solution Exists
On April 15, the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care is launching a nationwide call-in day for single-payer national health care. We want lawmakers to hear our message loud and clear: Taxpayer dollars should go to people, not insurance companies. Support single-payer national health care now. Take action today.

March 10: Exciting Health Care Actions This Week

Public Citizen and the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care are hosting some exciting activities starting March 10 to campaign for health care for every American. The Obama administration is taking on the giant task of reforming health care, so it's crucial that we maintain support and momentum for the only proposal that will provide truly universal coverage and reduce costs - single-payer.
Read about what's on our agenda.


Feb. 20: Urgent: Massachusetts Health Care Forum
A study released this week by Public Citizen and Physicians for a National Health Program shows that many in Massachusetts remain uninsured, and the cost of the reform has skyrocketed. Public Citizen is working with the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care to host a congressional forum on this issue next Wednesday, Feb. 25, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C. We are inviting lawmakers to attend the forum, listen to witness testimony and ask questions of a panel of experts.
Please call your representatives today and urge them to attend this forum.


Feb. 12: Take Action: Tell your representatives to support single-payer health care!

Rep. John Conyers has reintroduced HR 676, The United States National Health Care Act, which calls for the elimination of private insurance companies and creates a national health care system that guarantees that all Americans have access to high-quality health care. Plaese, call your representative today regarding this crucial issue!
Learn more.

___________________________________________

Events

September 29, 2009
Filmmaker Michael Moore held a news conference this morning at Public Citizen's Washington, D.C. headquarters to urge President Obama to provide universal health care coverage for all Americans. Moore had a warning for members of Congress, specifically "blue dog" Democrats: Pass a public health care plan or face the wrath of an angry public, a majority of whom supports Medicare-for-All.

Read Public Citizen President Robert Weissman's statement.
See a clip from Moore's news conference.

July 30, 2009
Public Citizen and the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care in Washington DC lobby for single-payer and celebrate the 44th birthday on Medicare. Read statements of Dr. Sidney Wolfe, acting president of Public Citizen, Dr. David Scheiner, President Obama's former personal physician, Dr. Margaret Flowers of Physicians for a National Health Program and Katie Robbins, assistant national coordinator of Healthcare-NOW.

June 24, 2009:
Sidney Wolfe, M.D., Acting President of Public Citizen and Director of Public Citizen's Health Research Group, and Steffie Woolhandler, M.D, M.P.H, Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and co-founder of Physicians for a Physicians for a National Health Program, testify before the Health Subcomittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The doctors built the case for single-payer by discussing wasteful spending resulting from private health insurance, the inadequacies of our current piecemeal health care system and the failure of the Massachusetts health care initiative.
Read Dr. Wolfe's testimony. Read Dr. Woolhandler's testimony.

June 11, 2009:
Because of the groundswell of public support for single-payer, Dr. Margaret Flowers was invited to testify before the full U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
Read statement by James Floyd.


April 23, 2009:

Dr. David Himmelstein, co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Plan and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, testified about single-payerbefore the Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee of the House Committee on Education at a hearing on "Ways to Reduce the Cost of Health Insurance for Employers, Employees and their Families."
Read and watch his testimony.


April 5, 2009:

No witnesses have been invited to testify on single-payer at Congressional hearings
on health reform. Letters were delivered to members of the House Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and Education and Labor Committees and the Senate Finance and HELP Committees, asking them to invite experts from PNHP or Public Citizen to testify on single-payer.

April 1, 2009:
Public Citizen and the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed
Health Care are organizing a Congressional forum. The U.S. has relied on private insurance for 60 years - what lessons can we take from this experience? What are the implications of the growing phenomenon of underinsurance? As President Obama says, we must keep what works and end what does not. This forum will examine insurance mechanisms that will be increasingly debated as national models for health reform.
Learn more
and read testimony from Public Citizen's Annette B. Ramirez.

Read a summary of the testimony from this forum.


March 10, 2009:
Public Citizen and the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care are hosting some exciting actions this week! The Obama administration is taking on the giant task of reforming health care, so it's crucial that we maintain support and momentum for the only proposal that will provide truly universal coverage and reduce costs - single-payer.

Read about what's on our agenda.

Feb. 25, 2009:
Come walk the halls of Congress with us! This Wednesday, Feb. 25,
Public Citizen, along with the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care, will walk the halls of Congress.
We're also encouraging members of Congress and their staffs to attend the congressional forum, which will take place that same afternoon.
Learn more.


Feb. 25, 2009:

Congressional Forum - "State Health Reform: A Massachusetts Case Study."
Join us to consider lessons from state-based health reform and their relevance to current national reform policy proposals. Panelists will represent health centers, HMOs, insurance brokers, physicians, nurses and patients.
Learn more. Read a summary of the testimony from this forum.

Feb. 18, 2009:
Public Citizen and PNHP release a study detailing the failure of health reform in Massachusetts.

Read the report
. Read the press release. Read a statement by Dr. Sidney Wolfe.

Feb. 12, 2009:
National call-in day to Congress. We'll be encouraging you to contact your members of Congress and demand active support of HR 676.
Learn more.

___________________________________________

Resources

A Dictionary of Health Policy Terms (Part III)
Public Citizen Health Letter, July 2009
Read the article.

Q and A on the Current Health Debate
Public Citizen Health Letter, July 2009
Read the article.

Health-Care Polemic
James Floyd, Letter in the Washington Post, June 14, 2009
Read the letter.

What is Comparative Effectiveness Research, and Why is it Being Bad-mouthed?
Public Citizen Health Letter, June 2009
Read the article.

Introduction to Comparative Health Systems
Public Citizen Health Letter, June 2009

Read the article. 

A Coalition of the Scared 
Public Citizen Health Letter, June 2009

Read the article.

Dr. Sidney Wolfe and Dr. David Himmelstein Discuss Single-Payer on Public Television
Bill Moyers Journal, May 21, 2009
Watch the program.

All Health Reform Created Equal, Except Single-Payer
James Floyd, Huffington Post, May 8, 2009

Read the article.

Stretching the TARP to Cover Health
Public Citizen Health Letter, April 2009

Read the article.

The Role of Tax Reform in Health Care Reform
James Floyd, Sidney Wolfe and Marcia Angell, Letter in JAMA, March 25, 2009
Read more.

Fair-Weather Reformers
James Floyd, Letter in the
Washington Post, March 12, 2009
Read letter.

Behind Closed Doors, Repeating Mistakes from the Past on Health Care Reform
James Floyd, Huffington Post, Feb. 27, 2009
Read more.

Massachusetts’ Plan: A Failed Model for Health Care Reform
Rachel Nardin, David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler, Physicians for a National Health Program, February 18, 2009

Read the report.

More Than a Band-Aid for Health Care Reform, Single-Payer is the Solution
James Floyd, Huffington Post, Feb. 11, 2009
Read more.


From the Front Lines: Single-Payer System is the Sole Solution
Public Citizen statement, Jan. 28, 2009
Read more.

Single-Payer Health Care in Taiwan: Borrowing Ideas, Improving on Medicare
Public Citizen Health Letter, January 2009

Read the article.

Just How Does the U.S. Health Care System Stack Up?
Public Citizen Health Letter, August 2008

Read the article.

A Dictionary of Health Policy Terms(Part II)
Public Citizen Health Letter, July 2008

Read the article.

Health Policy Placebos
David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler, The Nation, May 2008
Read the article.

Support for National Health Insurance on the Rise
Public Citizen Health Letter, May 2008

Read the article.

Market-based failure - a second opinion on U.S. health care costs.
Robert Kuttner,
New England Journal of Medicine, February 7, 2008
Read the article.

Lost in Translation: Why the Highly-Touted Dutch Health System Would Not Be a Good Idea for the United States
Public Citizen Health Letter, February 2008

Read the article.

Boundaries Without Barriers: Cross-Border Health in the European Union
Public Citizen Health Letter, January 2008

Read the article.

More Than a Prayer for Single Payer
Robert Bybee, The American Prospect, November 2007

Read the article.

Our Health Care System
Public Citizen Health Letter, August 2007

Read the article.

A Dictionary of Health Policy Terms (Part I)
Public Citizen Health Letter, August 2007

Read the article.

Health Care Reform in the United States: Arguments for a Single-Payer System
Public Citizen Testimony, July 2006

Read the article.

Study Finds Many Favor a Single-Payer System
Public Citizen Health Letter, July 2006

Read the testimony.

___________________________________________

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