State legislators launch effort to push H.R. 676

By All Unions Committee for Single Payer Health Care -- H.R. 676

A group of state legislators has initiated a nationwide effort to publish an appeal to President Obama and members of the 111th Congress to support H.R. 676, single-payer health care legislation introduced in Congress by Rep. John Conyers Jr. and presently co-sponsored by 75 other House members.

Last week, 24 state legislators from 16 states sent a copy of the appeal to all 7,500 state legislators in the United States asking them to add their names to the appeal which will be published in Roll Call, a widely read Capitol Hill publication, in late May or in June.

The legislators, in their letter, cite the growing "economic crisis" and "badly strained" state budgets as the reason why they are asking "the U.S. Congress ... to heal our hemorrhaging state budgets while bringing comprehensive, quality health care to all our people by passing H.R. 676."

Co-conveners of the campaign are state Sen. Jim Ferlo of Pittsburgh and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried of New York. State senators and representatives from Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin also signed the letter.

Kay Tillow, coordinator of the All Unions Committee for Single Payer Health Care -- H.R. 676, welcomed the effort by the state legislators and urged everyone to contact their own state senator and representative and ask them to sign the appeal.

"State legislators are caught in a vise of escalating health care costs, driven largely by the for-profit insurance industry and declining revenues," Tillow said. "Without a national single-payer system, state budgets will continue in crisis and health needs will not be met."

The "Dear Colleague" letter, the appeal and other materials can be found at: