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State Rep. Coleman news release about Marquez echoes health issues addressed by Chavez

UPDATE: NPT editor Sito Negron needs some reading comprehension lessons. The item below has been reworked to address a glaring error — the item initially attributed Coleman’s news release to Marquez.

State Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, sent a news release lauding Marquez’s work on health care issues. His news release has this line:

This week, Chairman Coleman and the Progressive States Network, a national policy organization he co-chairs, presented a letter calling for healthcare reform to the White House by state legislators at a meeting with Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and Nancy-Ann DeParle, the head of the White House Office on Health Reform. Earlier, the delegation delivered the letter to Congress at a Capitol Hill press conference hosted by Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, third-ranking Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. The letter was signed by 25 Texas legislators, including Rep. Márquez.

Something rung a bell. Sure enough, last week, state Rep. Norma Chavez, who famously is not Marquez’s friend, sent a news release mentioning the Progressive States Network (which, by the way, is an interesting deal in its own right, giving rise to the thought that President Obama might be playing a little rope-a-dope on the health care issue). Anyway, here’s what Chavez’s news release stated:

State Rep. Norma Chávez will host a press conference on Wednesday, June 17th, in support of a national effort led by state legislators around the country to reinforce President Obama’s efforts to pass comprehensive health care reform, including the choice of a public health insurance option, this year.

Texas legislators have joined a nationwide movement of state lawmakers which now number over 600 state legislators from 46 states who have signed on to a support letter organized by the Progressive States Network, a national partner of Health Care for America Now.

Her news release went on to state that:

Rep. Chávez will be leading a delegation from Texas that will include, State Rep. Elliott Naishtat of Austin, Bexar County Commissioner Chico Rodriguez, and LULAC Council President Henry Rodriguez, to Washington D.C. on June 24-25th to lobby members of Congress to support President Obama’s efforts to pass comprehensive health care reform.

While Coleman is in Washington, D.C., getting ink on the national press release about the big picture of the effort under way, Chavez is in El Paso spilling ink for the local effort (at which, by the way, Marquez was present).

Addendum, 4:15 p.m., Monday, June 22, 2009
By way of reference to the parenthetical thought above, that Obama might have more support than he has let on, as Chavez said during a conversation after this item was published, the topic of health care will dominate the national discussion for the rest of the summer. Thus far, the loudest voices have been the opposition to major reform, or at least, to the major bone of contention, the public option. As the interlocked efforts of HCAN (Chavez) and its partners (PSN and Coleman, for one) begin to unfurl, and take on the look of the Obama presidential campaign with its grassroots and Web-based organizing, it may be that Obama takes on the look of Ali fighting Foreman.

Sito Negron

Here are the press releases:

***

DELEGATION REPRESENTING OVER 680 STATE LEGISLATORS MEETS WITH WHITE HOUSE, CONGRESS TO URGE PUBLIC HEALTH INSURANCE OPTION

As health care battle heats up on Hill, Main Street lends strong vote of support to expanded choice

WASHINGTON, D.C. -As battle lines are drawn on Capitol Hill in the coming battle over health care reform, state legislators are taking on a central role in the debate. Today, at a Capitol Hill press conference hosted by Sen. Tom Harkin and a White House meeting with Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and Director of the White House Office of Health Care Reform Nancy-Ann DeParle, a delegation of state legislators organized by the national group Progressive States Network delivered a letter urging comprehensive health care reform within the year. The letter, which was signed by over 680 legislators from 48 states, called for any federal reform bill to include a public health insurance option, strong affordability protections, and shared employer responsibility for health care costs.

Texas State Representative Garnet Coleman, Co-chair of PSN, embraced the active attention from both the White House and Congress. “For decades, states across the country have done the best we can to help working families cope with a broken health care system. We’ve learned many lessons about what works and doesn’t work, and we’re looking forward to sharing them with our colleagues in the White House and Congress. On behalf of the more than 680 legislators who signed this letter, I thank our nation’s leaders for their receptiveness and I offer our active collaboration moving forward.”

Iowa State Senator Jack Hatch, who was just named chairman of the White House Working Group of State Legislators for Health Reform, delivered the letter on behalf of his 680 colleagues to Sen. Harkin. He said the attention from federal leaders comes at a crucial time. “In states across the country, people are struggling under the burden of soaring health care costs, and state budgets are crippled as a result,” he said. “We’ve done what we can to muddle through, but there’s only so much we can do without help from the federal government. Today, we begin a new discussion that will help our entire country move forward together on every level of government to bring quality affordable health care to all Americans.”

Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, who accepted the letter from Sen. Hatch on behalf of the Congress, noted the importance of welcoming grassroots voices into the debate over federal reform. “It doesn’t matter if you’re shopping for a car or a washing machine or health insurance. Your best bet for getting a good deal is if two things are present: choice and competition. And that’s exactly why Americans need to have the option of a public plan as they shop for insurance under a reformed health system,” said Harkin. “The signatures of over 680 state legislators speak loud and clear for numerous Americans who want us to act now to give them a full range of choices of the best quality, affordable care our country can offer. And I’m very happy to say that my colleagues and I in Congress stand ready to listen and eager to act.”

Connecticut State House Speaker Christopher Donovan,whose state has pioneered legislation this year to offer an “Obama Ready” public health option, said that state leaders were eager to lend their voices to the national debate. “As state legislators, we know that America wants the choice of a public plan because we’ve been out there in the trenches for years now coming up with models for one. We’ve been going door to door talking to our constituents. We’ve been drafting legislation that creates public insurance options and opens employee insurance pools to the private sector. We’ve passed these things, so we know people like them. It’s just a matter of putting federal resources behind ideas that have been engineered in the states and have gathered huge support there.”

Nathan Newman, who serves as director of PSN, which drafted and circulated the letter to Obama and Congress, expressed his excitement that state legislator’s voices were being heard on the Hill. “State legislators are on the front line of the battle for better health care. When their constituents go bankrupt because a family member goes ill, they are the first to hear about it. When businesses in their communities lay off workers because they can’t afford the rising cost of premiums, they are the first to feel the economic reverberations. The fact that over 680 state leaders from 48 states have gathered together to say they want the choice of a public insurance option just goes to show how urgently Main Street wants this solution and how welcome it is that our nation’s leaders are moving to bring it to them”

A full copy of the letter can be obtained athttp://progressivestates.org/statefedhealth

The delegation of state leaders included lawmakers from Iowa, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Washington, and Maine, each of which have been leading innovators in the drive to improve health care. Iowa State SenatorJack Hatchhas led a multi-year drive to ensure that all Iowan children have health care. Connecticut House SpeakerChristopher Donovanhas been instrumental in pushing a groundbreaking pair of bills called the Connecticut Healthcare Partnership, which would open the state’s public employee plan to small businesses, and SustiNet, which would create the choice of a public insurance option alongside measures to improve quality and reduce costs. Wisconsin State SenatorJon Erpenbachhas championed a proposal called Healthy Wisconsin, which would guarantee quality affordable coverage for all residents using cost-saving mechanisms made possible through shared responsibility and a large public insurance pool. Washington State SenatorKaren Keiserhas led the drive to regulate insurance companies, expand Medicaid coverage, and trim health costs in her state. Maine State RepresentativeSharon Treat, who serves as Director of the National Legislative Association on Prescription Drug Costs, is a key leader in moving policies to reduce prescription drug costs and expand access to lifesaving medications as well as other consumer protections.

Also represented at the press conference were state advocacy organizations that have been instrumental in moving health care reform models in their states, models that were highlighted during the press conference and underscore priorities for federal reform.Citizen Action of Wisconsinand theWisconsin State AFL-CIOhave helped create and build public support for the groundbreaking Healthy Wisconsin plan, proposed by State Sen. Jon Erpenbach and which passed the State Senate in 2007. The Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut is the author of SustiNet, which was recently passed by the Connecticut Legislatur and awaits action by Gov. Jodi Rell. Other groups instrumental in crafting and passing SustiNet and the Connecticut Healthcare Partnership, authored by Speaker Donovan, include Connecticut Citizen Action Group, Council 4 AFSCME, SEIU Connecticut State Council, and Connecticut AFL-CIO.

***

EL PASO – State Rep. Norma Chávez will host a press conference on Wednesday, June 17th, in support of a national effort led by state legislators around the country to reinforce President Obama’s efforts to pass comprehensive health care reform, including the choice of a public health insurance option, this year.

Texas legislators have joined a nationwide movement of state lawmakers which now number over 600 state legislators from 46 states who have signed on to a support letter organized by the Progressive States Network, a national partner of Health Care for America Now.

The national letter will be delivered to a White House meeting with Secretary of Health & Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and Director of the White House Office of Health Reform Nancy Ann-DeParle on June 17th in response to the Obama Administration’s new initiative to see input on health care reform from state legislators.

Texas legislators will release the letter locally and discuss the impact of national health care reform that includes a public health insurance plan on lowering cost, increasing competition and improving access for Texans.

Additionally, Rep. Chávez will be leading a delegation from Texas that will include, State Rep. Elliott Naishtat of Austin, Bexar County Commissioner Chico Rodriguez, and LULAC Council President Henry Rodriguez, to Washington D.C. on June 24-25th to lobby members of Congress to support President Obama’s efforts to pass comprehensive health care reform.

WHO: HCAN & State Rep. Norma Chávez
WHAT: Press Conference Highlighting State Legislator Support for Federal Health Care Reform, Including a Health Insurance Plan
WHEN: Wednesday, June 17th at 1100AM
WHERE: El Paso Community College – Administrative Center, Building B – Foyer, 9050 Viscount Blvd

***

Rep. Márquez Applauded for Health Care Reform Efforts

(Austin) – Chairman Garnet F. Coleman and the Legislative Study Group (LSG) House Caucus generously thanked Rep. Marisa Márquez (D-El Paso) for her determinant and unrelenting stances on health care reform.

During the 81st Session, Rep. Márquez filed two bills that would drastically reshape and improve health-care coverage. HB 2199 would ensure that children eligible for Medicaid coverage remain eligible for benefits for one full year, and HB 2200 would expand the state children’s health insurance program (CHIP) eligibility to include children of families with net incomes at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty level. She also coauthored and worked closely with Chairman Garnet Coleman on HB 2962, the CHIP bill that passed the House with bipartisan support.

With the push toward efforts for healthcare reform at the federal level, Rep. Márquez’s strong support for health care remains an invaluable asset. Her willingness to lead on such a crucial issue facing the nation does not go unrecognized. This week, Chairman Coleman and the Progressive States Network, a national policy organization he co-chairs, presented a letter calling for healthcare reform to the White House by state legislators at a meeting with Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and Nancy-Ann DeParle, the head of the White House Office on Health Reform. Earlier, the delegation delivered the letter to Congress at a Capitol Hill press conference hosted by Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, third-ranking Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. The letter was signed by 25 Texas legislators, including Rep. Márquez.

“It’s a great honor to receive such thoughtful recognition from the Legislative Study Group. I look forward to working with so many qualified people in advancing a comprehensive health-care agenda in Texas,” exclaimed Márquez.

Chairman Coleman, Chair of LSG stated, “Our goal is to foster sound health-care policy that benefits all Texas families. The board’s strong leadership will ensure that state government develops mainstream solutions to the challenges facing the state of Texas. Márquez has expressed great interest in issues not only for El Paso, but for the entire state. Her leadership skills and fresh perspective will be invaluable to us.”

The nonpartisan LSG is an official caucus of the Texas House of Representatives. The membership consists of dozens of members. To view the complete list of members, please visit the LSG website at http://www.TexasLSG.org. To view the cosigners and text of the national healthcare letter, please visit http://progressivestates.org/statefedhealth .

Established in 1995, the LSG has worked to ensure that all caucus members have the necessary information to promote the best public policy for all Texas families. Rep. Márquez was elected at the start of session by her peers to serve as a board member of the caucus, representing the entire freshman class.

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

June 22, 2009 at 1:53 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. AMERICA’S NATIONAL HEALTHCARE EMERGENCY!

    It’s official. America and the World are now in a GLOBAL PANDEMIC. A World EPIDEMIC with potential catastrophic consequences for ALL of the American people. The first PANDEMIC in 41 years. And WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES will have to face this PANDEMIC with the 37th worst quality of healthcare in the developed World.

    STAND READY AMERICA TO SEIZE CONTROL OF YOUR NATIONAL HEALTHCARE SYSTEM.

    We spend over twice as much of our GDP on healthcare as any other country in the World. And Individual American spend about ten times as much out of pocket on healthcare as any other people in the World. All because of GREED! And the PRIVATE FOR PROFIT healthcare system in America.

    And while all this is going on, some members of congress seem mostly concern about how to protect the corporate PROFITS! of our GREED DRIVEN, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT NATIONAL DISGRACE. A PRIVATE FOR PROFIT DISGRACE that is in fact, totally valueless to the public health. And a detriment to national security, public safety, and the public health.

    Progressive democrats and others should stand firm in their demand for a robust public option for all Americans, with all of the minimum requirements progressive democrats demanded. If congress can not pass a robust public option with at least 51 votes and all robust minimum requirements, congress should immediately move to scrap healthcare reform and demand that President Obama declare a state of NATIONAL HEALTHCARE EMERGENCY! Seizing and replacing all PRIVATE FOR PROFIT health insurance plans with the immediate implementation of National Healthcare for all Americans under the provisions of HR676 (A Single-payer National Healthcare Plan For All).

    Coverage can begin immediately through our current medicare system. With immediate expansion through recruitment of displaced workers from the canceled private sector insurance industry. Funding can also begin immediately by substitution of payroll deductions for private insurance plans with payroll deductions for the national healthcare plan. This is what the vast majority of the American people want. And this is what all objective experts unanimously agree would be the best, and most cost effective for the American people and our economy.

    In Mexico on average people who received medical care for A-H1N1 (Swine Flu) with in 3 days survived. People who did not receive medical care until 7 days or more died. This has been the same results in the US. But 50 million Americans don’t even have any healthcare coverage. And at least 200 million of you with insurance could not get in to see your private insurance plans doctors in 2 or 3 days, even if your life depended on it. WHICH IT DOES!

    Contact congress and your representatives NOW! AND SPREAD THE WORD!

    God Bless You

    Jacksmith – WORKING CLASS

    jacksmith

    June 22, 2009 at 10:47 pm


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