Sunday, November 30, 2008

93 cosponsors for HR 676

The number of cosponsors for this legislation has crept up in the last Congress, to 93. The list below, in alphabetical order by co-sponsor, shows the date at which the representative signed on to this important legislation:
Rep Abercrombie, Neil [HI-1] - 1/24/2007
Rep Baca, Joe [CA-43] - 9/17/2007
Rep Baldwin, Tammy [WI-2] - 1/24/2007
Rep Becerra, Xavier [CA-31] - 6/13/2007
Rep Berman, Howard L. [CA-28] - 6/15/2007
Rep Bishop, Sanford D., Jr. [GA-2] - 12/11/2007
Rep Brady, Robert A. [PA-1] - 2/27/2007
Rep Brown, Corrine [FL-3] - 4/17/2007
Rep Capuano, Michael E. [MA-8] - 11/9/2007
Rep Carson, Andre [IN-7] - 7/10/2008
Rep Carson, Julia [IN-7] - 1/24/2007
Rep Christensen, Donna M. [VI] - 1/24/2007
Rep Clarke, Yvette D. [NY-11] - 2/16/2007
Rep Clay, Wm. Lacy [MO-1] - 1/24/2007
Rep Cleaver, Emanuel [MO-5] - 4/22/2008
Rep Clyburn, James E. [SC-6] - 4/24/2008
Rep Cohen, Steve [TN-9] - 2/7/2007
Rep Cummings, Elijah E. [MD-7] - 1/24/2007
Rep Davis, Danny K. [IL-7] - 1/24/2007
Rep Delahunt, William D. [MA-10] - 2/12/2007
Rep Doyle, Michael F. [PA-14] - 3/21/2007
Rep Edwards, Donna F. [MD-4] - 9/29/2008
Rep Ellison, Keith [MN-5] - 1/24/2007
Rep Engel, Eliot L. [NY-17] - 1/24/2007
Rep Farr, Sam [CA-17] - 1/24/2007
Rep Fattah, Chaka [PA-2] - 1/24/2007
Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] - 1/24/2007
Rep Frank, Barney [MA-4] - 3/7/2007
Rep Green, Al [TX-9] - 1/24/2007
Rep Grijalva, Raul M. [AZ-7] - 1/24/2007
Rep Gutierrez, Luis V. [IL-4] - 1/24/2007
Rep Hare, Phil [IL-17] - 4/30/2007
Rep Hastings, Alcee L. [FL-23] - 1/29/2007
Rep Hinchey, Maurice D. [NY-22] - 1/24/2007
Rep Hirono, Mazie K. [HI-2] - 7/23/2007
Rep Holt, Rush D. [NJ-12] - 9/18/2008
Rep Honda, Michael M. [CA-15] - 1/24/2007
Rep Jackson, Jesse L., Jr. [IL-2] - 1/24/2007
Rep Jackson-Lee, Sheila [TX-18] - 1/24/2007
Rep Jefferson, William J. [LA-2] - 6/26/2007
Rep Johnson, Eddie Bernice [TX-30] - 1/24/2007
Rep Johnson, Henry C. "Hank," Jr. [GA-4] - 2/13/2007
Rep Jones, Stephanie Tubbs [OH-11] - 5/23/2007
Rep Kaptur, Marcy [OH-9] - 2/12/2007
Rep Kennedy, Patrick J. [RI-1] - 9/24/2007
Rep Kildee, Dale E. [MI-5] - 4/17/2007
Rep Kilpatrick, Carolyn C. [MI-13] - 1/24/2007
Rep Kucinich, Dennis J. [OH-10] - 1/24/2007
Rep Lantos, Tom [CA-12] - 10/1/2007
Rep Lee, Barbara [CA-9] - 1/24/2007
Rep Lewis, John [GA-5] - 1/24/2007
Rep Loebsack, David [IA-2] - 1/24/2007
Rep Lynch, Stephen F. [MA-9] - 10/9/2007
Rep Maloney, Carolyn B. [NY-14] - 1/29/2007
Rep McDermott, Jim [WA-7] - 1/24/2007
Rep McGovern, James P. [MA-3] - 1/24/2007
Rep McNulty, Michael R. [NY-21] - 1/24/2007
Rep Meehan, Martin T. [MA-5] - 1/24/2007
Rep Meeks, Gregory W. [NY-6] - 9/20/2007
Rep Miller, George [CA-7] - 1/24/2007
Rep Moore, Gwen [WI-4] - 1/24/2007
Rep Moran, James P. [VA-8] - 1/22/2008
Rep Nadler, Jerrold [NY-8] - 1/29/2007
Rep Napolitano, Grace F. [CA-38] - 2/27/2007
Rep Norton, Eleanor Holmes [DC] - 3/21/2007
Rep Olver, John W. [MA-1] - 2/16/2007
Rep Pastor, Ed [AZ-4] - 1/24/2007
Rep Payne, Donald M. [NJ-10] - 1/24/2007
Rep Rangel, Charles B. [NY-15] - 1/24/2007
Rep Richardson, Laura [CA-37] - 9/20/2007
Rep Roybal-Allard, Lucille [CA-34] - 1/24/2007
Rep Rush, Bobby L. [IL-1] - 2/6/2007
Rep Ryan, Tim [OH-17] - 5/8/2007
Rep Sanchez, Linda T. [CA-39] - 4/23/2007
Rep Sanchez, Loretta [CA-47] - 9/20/2007
Rep Schakowsky, Janice D. [IL-9] - 4/17/2007
Rep Scott, David [GA-13] - 9/20/2007
Rep Scott, Robert C. "Bobby" [VA-3] - 1/24/2007
Rep Serrano, Jose E. [NY-16] - 2/7/2007
Rep Solis, Hilda L. [CA-32] - 2/12/2007
Rep Sutton, Betty [OH-13] - 3/27/2007
Rep Thompson, Bennie G. [MS-2] - 6/12/2007
Rep Tierney, John F. [MA-6] - 9/6/2007
Rep Towns, Edolphus [NY-10] - 1/24/2007
Rep Udall, Tom [NM-3] - 2/27/2007
Rep Waters, Maxine [CA-35] - 1/29/2007
Rep Watson, Diane E. [CA-33] - 1/24/2007
Rep Weiner, Anthony D. [NY-9] - 1/24/2007
Rep Welch, Peter [VT] - 5/3/2007
Rep Wexler, Robert [FL-19] - 1/24/2007
Rep Woolsey, Lynn C. [CA-6] - 1/24/2007
Rep Wynn, Albert Russell [MD-4] - 1/24/2007
Rep Yarmuth, John A. [KY-3] - 2/27/2007
Those adding their names in 2008 were James Moran (VA), Emanuel Cleaver (MO), James Clyburn (SC), Andre Carson (IN), Rush Holt (NJ), and Donna Edwards (MD). Sponsor John Conyers has a frequently-updated list of endorsements and co-sponsors on his website.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Call to Action Health Care Reform 2009

Another mostly misguided proposal for reforming our health care system has surfaced this month. It, “Call to Action Health Care Reform 2009,” comes from Montana Democrat Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. See it at

Eighty-seven pages long, the Call to Action plan claims to be a “comprehensive but not exhaustive exploration of every health care issue that can or should be considered.” The document does present intelligent discussion of the many problems with our health care system and offers workable solutions to some of them, but the claim that it explores every health care issue that can and should be considered is totally false.

In fact, the one most important issue of all is totally ignored, the proper role of the for-profit private insurance industry in administering health care expenditures. By contrast, H.R. 676, a bill in the House sponsored by Representative John Conyers and 90 other congressmen, emphasizes the problems created by the private insurance industry and rightly seeks to get that industry out of the health care financing business altogether. That needs to be done because the private health insurance industry is merely a funds-sucking tapeworm in the gut of the American health care financing system, one that funnels off a huge portion of the funds that should be used to pay for health care.

Rather than to address this serious problem, Senator Baucas’s proposal calls for more investment in for-profit private health insurance. He wants to require that everyone be forced to buy health insurance, and that taxpayers subsidize the industry by supplementing the funds it receives from those who cannot afford to pay its high premiums. Senator Baucus is being disingenuous in ignoring the real problem here, but at least he is honest enough to admit that his plan will increase rather than decrease the cost of health care in the United States. That, we do not need.

(The text of H.R. 676 is at

Friday, November 14, 2008

Dose of Reality: Health Insurance Costs in Retirement

The November issue of The Ester Republic features Neil Davis' discussion of just how pricey health care will be once you retire. The picture is not pretty.
With the trend away from defined-benefit retirement programs, increasing numbers of Americans are in defined-contribution programs. Many of these people will not have enough saved up for their health care and other costs.
This installment of Dose of Reality compares the effects of having these two types of retirement programs and how they interact with Medicare part A and part B, and with Social Security. As Davis says, "the results horrify me, as they should you."