Congressional Progressive Caucus Urges Speaker Pelosi Not to Delay Health Care Reform

Congressional Progressive Caucus
80 Strong and Growing: Open to New and Different Ideas

For Immediate Release
Friday, July 24, 2009
Carl Rauscher:  202-225-5187 (Woolsey)
Natalie Luna:   520-622-6788 (Grijalva)               

Congressional Progressive Caucus Urges Speaker Pelosi Not to Delay Health Care Reform

Washington, D.C.— Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, including Co-Chairs Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva and Congresswoman Lynn C. Woolsey, sent the following letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, on the upcoming health care reform legislation.

They release the following:

July 24, 2009

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker, US House of Representatives
H-232, US Capitol
Washington, DC  20515

Speaker Pelosi,

Thank you for continuing your strong leadership for health care reform.  We write to you on behalf of the Congressional Progressive Caucus to encourage you to take bold action to ensure health care reform is passed in the House.

The time to reform our health care system is now.  As Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, we believe that we must not delay a vote on health care reform.  The need for reform is urgent.  Approximately 14,000 Americans are losing their health care coverage each day and our businesses on Main Street and Wall Street are struggling to recover from our nation’s economic crisis.

Madam Speaker, as you are aware the CPC has been actively involved in health reform discussions over the last several months.  The CPC is a strong and vocal advocate of a single payer approach.  Nonetheless, we stand solidly behind our criteria for a robust public health insurance plan option.  

We want to assure you that for our continued support, the public option must not be based on any trigger and must be available immediately. Further, the public plan must be on a level playing field and receive the same subsidies as private plans in the Health Exchange.  And, it must be connected to the Medicare infrastructure, including the provider and payment system. Allowing providers to opt out of the public option has already created a loss of $91 billion in savings.  We cannot tolerate further weakening of the public option.  

We are also concerned about the latest discussion regarding the Independent Medicare Advisory Commission (IMAC).  We understand that no final decision has been made. However if discussions move forward to make IMAC a reality, we ask that you include us in discussion as we have concerns with the governance, oversight, and the impact it would have on seniors, people with disabilities , doctors, and hospitals.  Furthermore, we are concerned that IMAC could weaken the public option and negate our responsibilities as Members of Congress.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus stands united to provide high quality, affordable and accessible health care choices for all Americans.  The Congressional Progressive Caucus stands committed to seeing health care reform pass now.  It is time to put Americans back in charge of their health care and have the security and stability they deserve in a health care system.

We look forward to our ongoing involvement in the process.