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CALL TO ACTION! The Kucinich Amendment: Supporting True Health Care Reform, One State at a Time

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Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) — one of the very few politicians on Capitol Hill who hasn’t been bullied and/or bought-off by the insurance industry — proposed a new amendment today for single-payer health care.

The Kucinich plan would allow individual states to created single-payer health care systems even if Congress fails to create a national single-payer plan.

Why is the Kucinich Amendment Necessary and Important?

The healthcare legislation currently under consideration in Congress would prevent states from improving on what Congress creates. The Kucinich plan would change that, leaving the federal initiative as is but permitting states to do better. This battle pits states’ rights against the much less spoken of insurance company rights. And it calls the bluff of every individual or group who opposes single-payer healthcare at the federal level on the grounds that it is not “viable.” That argument would seem to provide no basis at all for denying states the right to create single-payer healthcare or any other solution they see fit. READ MORE

State by state.  That’s exactly how Canada evolved towards single-payer: one province at a time. Given the corporate-funded resistance to single-payer in Congress, the U.S. may have to follow the Canadian path.

Progressive activists in California and Pennsylvania are leading the way for single-payer systems and the Kucinich Amendment would remove the legal roadblocks they face.

Calls are urgently needed. And it’s easy, if you can get through. (BUT KEEP TRYING!) The lines have been intermittently jammed — no doubt by the millions here in American who are desperate for true health care reform, which is not being addressed in the public plan.

The fate of the Kucinich Amendment rests in the hands of Democrats on the House Education and Labor Subcommittee: Robert Andrews, Yvette Clarke, Joe Courtney, Marcia Fudge, Phil Hare, Rush Holt, Dale Kildee, Dave Loebsack, Carolyn McCarthy, Joe Sestak, John Tierney, and David Wu.

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 handYou can call the subcommittee members ALL AT ONCE and FOR FREE  here: http://tr.im/sCUD

Simply type in your phone number at the bottom and press “Start Calling,” and CauseCaller will connect you to each of the relevant offices. Please do it now! If you can’t get through, keep trying!

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handAlternately…. You can call the subcommitte members’ offices anytime at the numbers listed below. You can leave a voicemail if no one answers. If you do speak with a staffer, post a reply at democrats.com here: 

http://www.democrats.com/support-kucinich-single-payer-amendment-today

You can also urge your Senators and Representatives to support the Single Payer Health Plan (H.R. 676) by signing the petition here:

http://www.democrats.com/single-payer-petition

Democrats on the House Education and Labor Subcommittee: 

Robert Andrews (NJ01) 202-225-6501

Yvette Clarke (NY11) 202-225-6231

Joe Courtney (CT02) 202-225-2076

Marcia Fudge (OH11) 202-225-7032

Phil Hare (IL17) 202-225-5905

Rush Holt (NJ12) 202-225-5801

Dale Kildee (MI05) 202-225-3611

David Loebsack (IA02) 202-225-6576

Carolyn McCarthy (NY04) 202-225-5516

Joe Sestak (PA07) 202-225-2011

John Tierney (MA06) 202-225-8020

David Wu (OR01) 202-225-0855

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(video, above) May 2009: Congressman Kucinich exposes health care hoax

Below is the statement Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) made yesterday after the Education and Labor Committee began its markup process of HR 3200, America’s Affordable Health Choices Act:

“Medicine in the U.S. is a profit driven market commodity distributed according to the ability to pay rather than a basic human right distributed as a public service according medical need. No wonder that the United States ranks 47th in life expectancy and 23rd in infant mortality. In this profit driven, private insurance based system there are over 1400 manage care organizations and 5000 health insurance plans. We have the most expensive health care system in the world – over 16% of our GDP. Two point four trillion dollars a year goes to health spending and 1 out of every 3 dollars go to the activities of the for-profit system- for corporate profits, stock options, executive salaries, advertising, marketing, and the cost of paperwork. Yet 47 million people remain uninsured and another 50 million are underinsured. I submit that there is a direct relationship between the for-profit health care system and the uninsured and the underinsured.

“We can no longer look the other way as the uninsured and underinsured continue to grow their ranks. We cannot ignore the growing share of all bankruptcies that is attributable to medical bills – now over 60%. We can no longer live with a system that is, by most indications, among the lowest quality in the developed world. And we can’t afford the rising costs.

“Indeed, rising costs are the essence of the problem. Health care stakeholders are sinking more and more money into efforts designed to make someone else pay the bill. It is profitable to do so. Insurance companies, doctors, hospitals and patients are all fighting over who pays. But the insurance companies are winning while they focus on the stock market value, on their financial profits, on their investments in tobacco, on their strategies to restrict or deny service – which increases their profit.

“They have set up massive, redundant and highly profitable bureaucracies that deny care. When we buy their services, we don’t just pay for their infrastructure’ we also pay for a second infrastructure which results in doctors having to hire more staff to fight with insurance companies just to protect themselves.

“Consider that the growth in the number of professionals who actually deliver health care since the 1970s is under 300%. But the increase in the administrators- those who do not deliver care – is upwards of 2400%. The insurance companies have wedged themselves between the doctor and the patient. It is easy to see why our costs have spiraled out of control and the health insurance industry is consistently shown in polls to be one of the least trusted industries in America.

“There are many models of health care reform from which to choose around the world – the vast majority of which perform far better than ours. The one that has been the most tested here and abroad is single payer. Under a single payer system everyone in the U.S. would get a card that would allow access to any doctor at virtually any hospital. Doctors and hospitals would continue to be privately run, but the insurance payments would be in the public hands.

“By getting rid of the for-profit insurance companies, we can save $400 billion per year and provide coverage for all medically necessary services for everyone in the U.S. It would cost no more than we are currently paying for health care. This is the consistent conclusion in reports by the Government Accountability Office, the Congressional Budget Office, and several independent analyst organizations like the Lewin Group.

“Cost is just one of the reasons that support for single payer is growing so quickly. HR 676, The United States National Health Care Act, now boasts 85 cosponsors. It has been endorsed by over 550 union organizations, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the League of Women Voters, Consumer’s Union and deans of prominent medical schools. 59% of doctors support it, as do 60% of Americans.

“The bill we are considering today, I regret to say, is not a single payer bill. It further entrenches the existing for-profit, insurance-based system by handing even more money over to the insurance industry. It will leave 17 million Americans uninsured. It is silent on the great state experimentation, at the state level, with single payer.

“Cardinal Bernardin of Chicago once wrote, “Health care is an essential safeguard of human life and dignity and it is an obligation of society to ensure that every person has the opportunity to realize that right.” We can do better than protecting an insurance based, for-profit system that will continue to exclude millions of Americans.”

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Capitol Hill Applauds Israel’s War Crimes: Money Buys the Darndest Things

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“Cowardice asks the question – is it safe? Expediency asks the question – is it politic? Vanity asks the question – is it popular? But conscience asks the question – is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.” ~Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In case you missed it, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (so often the running joke between politicians and talking heads) once again stood firmly on the side of right this past week, as he spoke twice on Capitol Hill, arguing for the rule of law from our lawmakers on Capitol Hill. It seems that, in the midst of so much condemnation of Israel’s war crimes by the international community, the Senate and the House felt inspired to draft an official Resolution to pledge their  “unwavering commitment” of support for Israel’s war on Gaza.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s statements were directed — not only toward the contradictory message this resolution sent toward our supposed goal of peace — but to the actual U.S. laws that govern how Israel is allowed to use the billions of American dollars worth of  F-16s, tanks, Apache helicopters, phosphorus shells, depleted uranium, cluster bombs, and so on that Israel is using in violation of the Geneva Convention to commit said war crimes against the mothers, fathers and chilren of Gaza.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009

Silly Dennis. Will he never learn? We’re not a nation of laws. The tinkering of the past 4 administrations has left us a nation of endorsements,  with the greatest deference given to those with the deepest pockets to fill our politicians’ campaign coffers.

In real-speak, this means that our politicians (now having much in common with trained seals) clap on command — indifferent to right or wrong — their job reduced to authoring (or subcontracting this work to lobbyists) and authorizing bills, resolutions and laws that will best serve their most generous benefactors — oil & energy moguls, media magnates, pharmaceutical & insurance industry titans, financial & banking tycoons, Zionist-AIPAC barons (the latter being of special importance to this week’s resolution, as the Israel Lobby provides upwards of 60% of the campaign contributions to our Democratic lawmakers).   

A little man like Dennis Kucinich doesn’t stand a chance among big men.

Even armed with the law of the land, or with big documents, such as the U.S. Constitition or the Bill or Rights, Dennis Kucinich nearly always comes up short — his voice carrying about as much stature as a blue-bottle fly, buzzing about a putrid feed trough. He is nonetheless to be commended for his ethics, his patriotism and, most certainly, his bravery.

According to Ronnie Lipschutz, professor of politics at UC Santa Cruz, withholding support for pro-Israel, AIPAC measures is not common, and often carries grave political consequences for members of Congress. “They are thinking what are the costs of voting against it, not what are the benefits,” said Lipschutz.

Perhaps this is what inspires statements, such as the one that Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, proclaimed before the vote: “Our resolution reflects the will of the state of Israel and the will of the American people.”

The will of the American people? Au contraire, Mr. Reid. Your resolution reflects the will of your biggest campaign supporters: the giants. In this case, AIPAC.

Because, make no mistake — your resolution passed, despite the will of the American people. Your resolution passed despite the protests of the American people in every major American city. Your resolution passed, despite thousands upon thousands of phone calls, faxes, letters and emails sent by the American people to their Senators in Washington. And, as if it mattered, your resolution passed, despite the United Nations resolution calling for an immediate truce (a resolution passed, no thanks to the U.S., on the same day you passed your resolution of praise for Israel); and your resolution passed despite that Israel has fired on and killed several United Nations workers in Gaza. Your resolution passed despite Israel’s refusal to allow Red Cross workers to reach the wounded women and children of Gaza. Your resolution passed despite that Israel has been repeatedly accused of war crimes and violations of international humanitarian law and the Geneva Convention. These accusations have come from the United Nations (from the onset of this war, up to today) and from humanitarian workers and the Red Cross in a statement released 2 days ago:

The Red Cross “believes that in this instance the Israeli military failed to meet its obligation under international humanitarian law to care for and evacuate the wounded. It considers the delay in allowing rescue services access unacceptable.”

Harry Reid, your resolution does not reflect the will of the American people!

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A wounded Palestinian boy is helped as he arrives at a hospital on January 4 in  Gaza City.

 

Your resolution — and the relative complicity of so many Americans — reflects the success of Israeli-U.S. propaganda campaign.  (Because, you see, the American people don’t know the truth this war. But you do. What’s your excuse?) It also reflects the success of the fearmongering campaigns that you and your esteemed colleagues, most notably George W. Bush & Dick Cheney, have ‘unwaveringly’ perpetuated over the past 8 years — a heaping dollop of which you, yourself, served-up in your rhetorical WWJD-esque question, posed in the final minutes before the passage of this illicit resolution:

“I ask any of my colleagues to imagine that happening here in the United States. Rockets and mortars coming from Toronto in Canada, into Buffalo New York. How would we as a country react?”

And then, as if responding on cue, the trained seals echoed something to the effect of “Hear! Hear!” and “The Israelis are responding exactly the same way we would!” before voting unanimously to approve the resolution.

Of course, there was no mention of war crimes during all this praise, nor in the language of the Senate resolution. Instead, the resolution went onto the House the next day and passed with flying colors, as 390 approved the resolution, 22 voted present, and a pathetically small, but courageous total of 5 voted against it:

Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)
Ron Paul (R-TX)
Maxine Waters (D-CA)
Gwen Moore (D-WI)
Nick Rahall (D-WV)

To this, I have a few rhetorical questions of my own to ask: 

What would the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. do? What would Mahatma Gandhi do?  What would Abraham Lincoln do? Or, to put it more succinctly, what would George W. Bush do?

Americans well-learned the answer to that last question. But what many Americans have yet to learn, is that (the will of the American people be damned) the answer to the question is the same today — and has been for years now — no matter who we turn to in Washington: Bush, Bush, Cheney, Reid, Pelosi, Clinton, Clinton, and so on….

 

And this is especially true in matters of U.S.-Israeli policy because — when you get right down to it —  the same giants who have so generously lined the pockets of Bush-Cheney & Co. over the past 8 years are the same giants who line your pockets, Harry Reid, and who also line the pockets  (or scare the bejeebers out of) all but 5 of our representatives on Capitol Hill — not to mention the past 4 presidents of the United States and, apparently, our current President-Elect.

Friday, July 4th, is "National Dennis Kucinich Day." How Will You Celebrate?

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It’s seems only appropriate that The Canary Papers — a small blog that largely goes unread — should be the ones to unveil a day honoring Dennis Kucinich, a man of small build, who largely goes unheard.

Small of build, yes, but a giant among men, Dennis Kucinich may very well be the greatest American patriot alive today. Yet, he is all but ignored by the media. He is ignored, not despite, but because he works tirelessly on issues of actual importance to Americans. Issues that involve real change — the kind that will actually improve and protect the lives of living, breathing Americans; Issues that are nearly all shelved because the change they call for involves stepping on the toes of big corporations, and the toes of the politicians funded by big corporations, not to mention the toes of two of the world’s most dangerous men: Bush & Cheney.

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

Our media, under the heavy influence of our corporate-funded politicians, turns a deaf ear on Dennis Kucinich. And on those rare occasions when the media are not ignoring him, it is only to discredit him or dismiss the importance of his work, usually by painting him as tiny, insubstantial piece of fringe from the tin-foil hat conspiracy theorist gang. Or to insult his height. Or, by comparison, his wife’s height. Only by looking at the body of his work (a tiny portion of which is outlined below) will you get a true sense of his largeness.

THE WAR IN IRAN: Offering little more than a cursory glance at the facts, our media has been a willing mouthpiece for the Bush-Cheney propaganda campaign over the past several years, waged to gain approval for war in Iran. Of particular note in this potential war: Bush has stated that he’s not ruled out bombing Iran’s nuclear power & research facilities. This could release nuclear fallout of catastrophic proportions, killing millions of people, possibly affecting worldwide populations. Those who know the facts know that this war is not only avoidable and unnecessary, it carries the real potential of becoming World War III. Kucinich has been very vocal on this and active in efforts to stop the war in Iran before it starts, including work to educate the public on the facts, and to pass legislation urging diplomacy, not war. In January 2008, he cosponsored H.R. 5056, the Iran Diplomatic Accountability Act of 2008, which is also supported by the supported the Physicians for Social Responsibility . Without the benefit of a truthful media, it has been a difficult task to any individual or group to offset the Bush-Cheney propaganda. Physicians for Social Responsibility has worked hard to educate the world on the consequences of such a war, and has been urging and petitioning our leaders to pursue resolution through diplomacy, not bombs. Others — from Wes Clark to moveon.org have waged similar efforts. See their petitions near the top, right, of this blog page. (You can also read more on the Iran War efforts in my June 28 post)

HEALTH CARE: The only presidential candidate to support true universal health care, Dennis Kucinich has twice co-sponsored H.R. 676, the only true universal health care plan that has ever been put before Congress. Introduced before both the 109th and 110th Congress, in 2005 and 2007, the bill has been slow to gain cosponsors on Capitol Hill. Why are so many in Congress hesitant to support this plan? Look again to corporate influence, as H.R. 676 doesn’t stand to line the pockets of the insurance industry, which has grown to be little more than a profit-greedy middle-man, antagonistic to providing needed health care. Instead, H.R. 676 seeks to provide universal, quality health care for all Americans, bar none. This plan would grant Americans the same quality of health care enjoyed by other developed countries in the world, who have — unlike our government — put the health and well-being of their citizens above corporate interests and, yes, without losing their shirts.

IMPEACHMENT OF DICK CHENEY: In April 2007, Kucinich proposed H.R. 333, the articles of impeachment for Cheney. Why wouldn’t our Congress support impeachment of Cheney? Pelosi opposed impeachment, as it might be “divisive and likely unsuccessful.” What she didn’t mention are the corporate donors who profit from Cheney’s wars and other deals, and who would pull the plug on campaign funds to any politician who voted to unthrone Cheney, who is said by some to be the most powerful man in the world. Dennis Kucinich — unphased by the political repurcussions to himself — has worked long and hard and almost single-handedly, like David to Goliath, toward bringing justice to this war criminal. Guilty of treason and multiple crimes against humanity, Cheney was the primary planner of the illegal war for oil in Iraq, responsible for the deaths of 4100 American citizens, nearly 1,000,000 Iraqi citizens, and maiming of millions upon millions of both American and Iraqi citizens.

IMPEACHMENT OF PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: The articles to impeach Bush, introduced by Kucinich one month ago, in June 2008, were also shelved, with Pelosi’s opposition the same as she gave on Cheney. Our president — although little more than a hapless hand puppet to Cheney — is also guilt of crimes against humanity, treason and war crimes.

What is the sound of one hand clapping? 

Zeus and I often ponder this question, in so many words, when considering the battles betwen right and might, as they are waged by mere mortals, such as Dennis Kucinich, against truly evil empires, such as that of Bush-Cheney.Make no mistake: It’s no accident that Dennis Kucinich has been portrayed by our media as a kook. Few politicians have the shown the courage to buck the coercive influences of our broken political system to endorse and support Kucinich’s work. But, the fact is: You will find few experts in any field — scientists, politicians, diplomats, activists, policy makers — who stand firmly on the the moral, ethical right side of any issue, who do not also hold Kucinich in the highest esteem.Which brings us back to National Dennis Kucinich Day. How will you celebrate it?You could spend 20 or so minutes signing the various petitions linked-to on this page to stop the war in Iran before it starts. Or you can spend some time giving your voice to whatever issues concern you. Or not, as is also your right. But please know that, in the absence of your voice, there are powerful voices out there, already speaking on your behalf, who are not acting in the best interest of this country, or you, or your children or grandchildren. Which leaves an awesome job for men, such as Dennis Kucinich, who do speak for your better interests.Zeus and I, we keep up with the issues and speak out as much as possible. We realize, of course, that we’ll likely be the only ones celebrating National Dennis Kucinich Day on July 4th, since were the ones who invented it, and no one ever reads our blog. Still. As the last sparks from the last Roman candle flicker out, we’ll honor Dennis Kucinich by making a wish for our country, the same way we do when we blow out the candles on our birthday cakes.While it seems, at times, that we, as a country, have little more than a wing and a prayer to work with, we are grateful for this small-built man, named Dennis Kucinich, whose work to restore our country and our Constitution places him shoulder to shoulder with the great men who originally founded this country with a vision toward freedom from oppression.

READ MORE ABOUT DENNIS KUCINICH HERE:Interview with Congressman Dennis Kucinich by Hooshang Amirahmadi
Rep. Dennis Kucinich Tackles Healthcare

Dennis "David" Kucinich Takes Aim at Bush "Goliath" Cheney

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We have found the weapon of mass destruction in Iraq. It is oil.
— Dennis Kucinich, June 26, 2008


Who needs to shop in the big & tall suit shops, when you have a giant of a political conscience like Dennis Kucinich?http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/34371You won’t find much mention of Kucinich in the mainstream media. He’s too short, he doesn’t have chisled features and, besides, he’s telling the truth, and if there’s one thing people abhor, it’s hearing the truth before it’s time. A few years from now, the truth will catch on and be all the buzz on Capitol Hill and the cable news. Until then, if you want the truth, you’ll have to contend with the fact that it arrives, albeit unfashionably early, in a package that many Americans have been brainwashed into believing isn’t credible, for its size.

Written by canarypapers

June 26, 2008 at 1:16 pm