RE: PA Medical Students Deliver Big on Lobby Day; Important Updates -- PLEASE READ
Many of you are already on Chuck Pennacchio’s e-blast list, but I know some of you aren’t so I am passing this latest one on. Our friends at the American Medical Student Association are apparently making significant headway in securing new sponsors in the Pa. Legislature for our single-payer bill as well as many new commitments of support for an independent economic impact study that we believe would demonstrate that single-payer, if enacted in Pennsylvania, would not only provide universal, comprehensive healthcare to every Pennsylvania citizen, but would also pay for itself, improve our economy, and bring new jobs to our state.
The Governor Rendell PAABC initiative is now officially dead, at least for now. It was a very bad bill and deserved the fate that awaited it. The bill is now in our court. SB 300/HB 1660 is the only plan that will cover every one, and the momentum behind it grows by the day. We are all rather pre-occupied until November 4th, but beginning November 5th we need to put on a full-court press to get this legislation passed.
If you are not currently on Chuck’s list and want to be added to it let me know and I’ll pass the request on to Chuck. Chuck gets more e-mail than he can keep up with so passing the request through me is probably better than making the request directly of Chuck.
1115 Wheatland Avenue/G-3
Lancaster, Pa 17603
Pennsylvania Medical Students Deliver Big on Lobby Day
Congratulations to Wes Fisher (Penn State), Lindsey Kaldor (Temple), Gabe Silverman (Pitt), and their sixty-nine Pennsylvania American Medical Student Association (PA-AMSA) colleagues who participated in this fall's highly successful Lobby Day.
One week ago, you'll recall, I wrote to you regarding the joint Healthcare for All Pennsylvania-AMSA 'Single Payer' Lobby Day in Harrisburg. Now the results are in, the follow-up is under way, and the momentum for Pennsylvania's first-in-the-nation campaign is one step closer to victory.
From my quick, and conservative, analysis based on our citizen lobbying efforts over the last 22 months, Pennsylvania Medical Students from seven (7) schools across the Commonwealth received verbal commitments for fifteen (15) new House co-sponsors, now at fifty-three (53) -- including two (2) more Republicans -- and an additional sixteen (16) House Members -- counting six (6) new Republicans, now up to ten (10) -- who agreed to sponsor a legislative economic impact study on the "Family and Business Healthcare Security Act" (HB 1660/SB 300).
Now, of course, we must lock down the verbal pledges and get these House (and Senate) Members to sign on officially. In addition, our medical students had "positive feelers" from another twenty-two (22) Members who want briefings and more information before signing on. So, the next two months prior to the 2009-2010 legislative session kick-off will be extremely busy.
In addition, you should be aware that Healthcare for All Pennsylvania is working several parallel tracks on advancing the Single Payer Solution here in the Commonwealth. We are collaborating with municipal-, county-, state-, and federal-level legislators and institutions to adopt the "simplest fix" among all of our financially distressed sectors.
Imagine saving -- and restoring -- 36 cents out of every healthcare dollar currently being lost because of profit-first health insurance companies (31 cents), unfair prescription drug pricing (5 cents, minimum), and defensive medicine (5 cents, minimum). The Single Payer Solution's publicly-funded, privately-delivered healthcare for all model in Pennsylvania has a 5-cents-on-the-dollar administrative cap; thus, we restore 36 out of 41 cents now needlessly lost. At the same, our goal is to reduce that overhead cost to 3 cents or less, and to save even more through primary care-centered healthcare delivery, public and public school education, and electronic information sharing among and between general practitioners and specialists.
For the nay-sayers out there who say that "single payer is not politically feasible," we prove them wrong each and every day we aggressively -- and successfully -- pursue the only demonstrated method for publicly-funded, privately-delivered, quality, comprehensive, affordable, healthcare for all: the Single Payer Solution.
More details will follow as we solidify legislators' commitments going forward.
In the meantime, please continue to support our citizen campaign with contributions of $10, $25, $50 or more. And remember our pro-Single Payer candidates on Election Day, regardless of party affiliation.
Again, hats off to PA-AMSA organizers and Lobby Day participants!
Chuck Pennacchio, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Health Care for All Pennsylvania
P.O. Box 828
Levittown, PA 19058