United States Conference of Mayors endorses HR 676
The United States Conference of Mayors
76th Annual Meeting
June 20-24, 2008
RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF THE UNITED STATES NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE ACT (H.R. 676)
WHEREAS, every person deserves access to affordable quality health care; and
WHEREAS, the number of Americans without health insurance now exceeds 47 million; and
WHEREAS, millions with insurance have coverage so inadequate that a major illness would lead to financial ruin, and medical illness and bills contribute to one-half of all bankruptcies; and
WHEREAS, proposals for “consumer directed health care” would worsen this situation by penalizing the sick, discouraging prevention and saddling many working families with huge medical bills; and
WHEREAS, managed care and other market-based reforms have failed to contain health care costs, which now threaten the international competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers; and
WHEREAS, administrative waste stemming from our reliance on private insurers consumes one-third of private health spending while the single payer Medicare system has administrative costs of less than 5%; and
WHEREAS, U.S. hospitals spend 24.3% of their budgets on billing and administration while hospitals under Canada’s single payer system spend only 12.9%; and
WHEREAS, Harvard researchers estimate that more than $300 billion could be recovered by replacing private insurance companies with a single public payer, enough to cover the uninsured and to improve coverage for all those who now have only partial coverage; and
WHEREAS, entrusting care to profit-oriented firms diverts billions of dollars to outrageous incomes for CEOs and threatens the quality of care; and
WHEREAS, The United States National Health Insurance Act (H.R. 676) would assure universal coverage of all medically necessary services, contain costs by slashing bureaucracy, protect the doctor patient relationship, assure patients a completely free choice of doctors, and allow physicians a free choice of practice settings; and
WHEREAS, most polls show that the majority of Americans support universal healthcare; and
WHEREAS, as of the date of this resolution, the majority of American physicians (59%) believe that Single Payer is the best method of securing universal healthcare; and
WHEREAS, The United States National Health Insurance Act (H.R. 676) will guarantee every mayor that all residents and employees of his/her city will be fully covered for healthcare and save millions of taxpayer dollars now spent on premiums to provide less than full health insurance coverage for government employees; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the United States Conference of Mayors expresses its support for The United States National Health Insurance Act (H.R. 676), and calls upon federal legislators to work towards its immediate enactment, and further urges the adoption of a process by which healthcare will be required to justify any increases to healthcare costs.
PNHP press release on Mayors’ resolution:
About The United States Conference of Mayors:
The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,139 such cities in the country today. Each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor.
During the Conference’s Annual Meeting in June, standing committees recommend policy positions they believe should be adopted by the organization. At this time, every member attending the annual meeting is given the opportunity to discuss and then vote on each policy resolution. Each city, represented by its mayor, casts one vote.
The policy positions adopted at the annual meeting collectively represent the views of the nation’s mayors and are distributed to the President of the United States and Congress.
By Don McCanne, MD
The next politician who tells you that national health insurance is not politically feasible, tell him or her to discuss that opinion with the nation’s mayors. For those who say that all politics is local, national health insurance is the only reform that is politically feasible.