Allies in Action

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The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute report on health care reform and small businesses

December 22, 2009

The Urban Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation issued a report on the impact of the pending House and Senate leadership’s health care reform bills on small businesses and their workers.  While more remains to be done, health insurance exchanges, insurance market reforms, and subsidies for the low-income can be expected to produce substantial improvements in the ability of small employers and their workers to obtain affordable coverage.

Interview with SEIU President Andy Stern

December 20, 2009

An excerpt from Andy Stern’s appearance on CNN’s State of the Union with John King.

Families USA Plans to Endorse Senate Reform Bill

December 18, 2009

Families USA issued a statement in which they announce their intention to endorse the Senate health insurance reform bill, though they note areas where they will work to strengthen the bill when it reaches the Conference Committee. In letters sent to members of the Senate, the organization states that “the failure to enact health insurance reform would have disastrous consequences for America’s families and businesses.”

Statement on New Rockefeller Amendment by NCHC Action Fund

December 17, 2009

A strong step in the right direction, the NCHC Action Fund commends the amendment package introduced today by Senators John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV (D-WV), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) to strengthen the Independent Medicare Advisory Board (IMAB) provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Reform of our dysfunctional and inequitable health care system must reduce healthcare inflation to a sustainable rate for employers, employees and governments. To control skyrocketing and wasteful national health care expenditures and improve quality and safety, reform legislation must include an objective entity such as IMAB armed with the power to address system-wide cost-containment and protect the interest of vulnerable populations.

U.S. PIRG: It’s Time to Unite Behind Health Reform

December 17, 2009

 Statement by U.S. PIRG Health Care Advocate Larry McNeely on Senate Health Care Bill

Comparing the Cost and Coverage Impacts of the House and Senate Leadership Health Reform Bills

December 15, 2009

report conducted by the Lewin Group for the Peterson Foundation looks at the impact of legislation over a 20-year period, 2010 to 2029,  and concludes that the pending bills so far fail to meet the Foundation’s four point test for health reform of  paying for itself over the first decade, not adding to the deficit beyond the first 10 years, achieving a “significant reduction” in the government’s “unfunded health care promises” and bending down the curve of health care spending.

In The Public Interest: Senate Moderates Get it Right for Once

December 14, 2009

This tri-partisan amendment establishes a new publicly available website called “Physician Compare” where individual consumers can see how physicians in their area perform according to a series of new quality measurements. The amendment also demands that insurance companies take the unprecedented step of disclosing their rate of coverage denials. And, it doubles penalties for bad-actor hospitals with high rates of re-admissions, attacking the current system that rewards hospitals for pushing out patients before they are ready.

Small Business Majority Meets With Dems. Sens. Landrieu, Stabenow and Lincoln

December 10, 2009

 National Policy Director Terry Gardiner participated in a press conference on Dec. 9 with Democratic Sens. Mary Landrieu, Debbie Stabenow and Blanche Lincoln to unveil a package of amendments to the Senate’s healthcare reform bill. Mike Brey, a small business owner from Maryland, also spoke at the press conference. The proposals include expanding the small business tax credit, allowing the self-employed to deduct 50% of their healthcare costs, establishing methods to provide small business owners with more information about affordable healthcare options, and expanding eligibility for both small business tax credits and participation in health insurance exchanges.

Will Health Reform Opponents Face the Facts?

November 24, 2009

Over the weekend, the Senate commenced its historic debate on health reform legislation. So what are they talking about in what many call the world’s greatest deliberative body?

Throughout this year’s debate, rather than making reasoned policy arguments, reform opponents have parroted the latest partisan political talking points: death panels, abortion, “You Lie,” immigration scaremongering, making any argument that came to mind in an attempt to slow reform’s momentum. And in the past few weeks, Republican opponents and skeptical Democrats have parroted the insurance industry’s claim that the bill will raise, not lower health care costs.

American Cancer Society Responds to Changes to the USPSTF Mammography Guidelines

November 16, 2009

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) today announced that it is changing its guidelines for mammography and no longer recommends routine screening for women between the ages of 40 and 49. See this statement from Otis W. Brawley, M.D., chief medical officer, American Cancer Society.

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