Seattle Courant

City Council Committee Shows Support for Universal Health Care

By Keith Vance
February 11, 2009 09:02PM

If the council passes the resolution, it will do so to show support for U.S. House Representative John Conyers' bill, H.R. 676. If Conyers' bill becomes law it will "create a single-payer, publicly-financed, privately-delivered universal health care program that would cover all Americans without charging co-pays or deductibles," according his Web site.

Passing this resolution is intended "to get the attention of Congress," said committee chair Nick Licata.

There was some discussion, spearheaded by Councilmember Jean Godden, on whether an incremental approach to publicly financed health care would be more appropriate, rather than the all-or-nothing approach that Conyers is seeking.

"We feel that this language should not be included," said Dr. David McLanahan. McLanahan is the coordinator of the Western Washington Chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program.

The committee members, including Godden, all voted to not include the incremental approach.

McLanahan believes that for-profit health care increases the cost of health care. By law, he said the interests of shareholders is put above the interests of patients.

Conyers' bill, known as the United States National Health Insurance Act, has more than 80 co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representative, including Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Washington, as well as some 453 labor unions. MacLanahan said that 48 other cities have passed similar measures supporting H.R. 676.

The full council is expected to vote on resolution 31111 during the next council meeting on Tues. at 2 p.m.

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Read the full text of resolution 31111 here
Learn more about Rep. Conyers' bill H.R. 676 here.