Urgent Action Needed Now on Health Care

March 5, 2010

Currently, Congress is working on passing a national health care reform bill. In the Senate version of the health care reform bill (HR 3590), which the House will be considering without amendment, states can apply for waivers from the requirement to operate a health care Exchange. To do so, states would have to offer an alternative plan that is at least as comprehensive and affordable, and covers at least as many residents that the federal legislation would, like a single payer system would.

The problem is that states are required to create a health care Exchange by 2014, but can only apply for the waiver in 2017. This means that states wanting to adopt a single payer system would have to go through the expense of creating an Exchange first.

Congress can address this problem in the Reconciliation package completing health care reform. We are requesting that the Reconciliation Bill amend Section 1332 of the Senate health care bill by changing the waiver date to 2014 instead of 2017. We also need to make sure that the state flexibility to get this waiver is also preserved.

We need your help. Please call Congressman George Miller and Congressman Henry Waxman, who are key leaders in shaping the health care reform bill and the Reconciliation Bill. We need you to urge them to support the state flexibility provision and the date change to 2014 in the Reconciliation Bill. Please also let them know this action is needed to help us in our efforts to get single payer health care in California.

Contact information:

Congressman Miller Washington, DC Office: (202) 225-2095

Concord Office: (925) 602-1880

Congressman Waxman Washington, DC Office: (202) 225-3976

Los Angeles Office: (323) 651-1040

For additional information, contact: Barbara V.Z. Howard, Director, Governmental Relations; Dave Low, Assistant Director, Governmental Relations; Jai Sookprasert, Legislative Advocate; Dolores Duran-Flores, Legislative Advocate; Steve Henderson, Legislative Advocate; Joshua Golka, Legislative Advocate, 1127 11th Street, Ste. 346, Sacramento, CA 95814.