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Federal Legislative Update November 2009

November 13, 2009
November 2, 2009

News from Capital Hill . . .

11/13/09

Thank You, NEA Cyberlobbyists! Victory on Health Insurance Reform


On November 7, 2009, the House of Representatives passed the Affordable Health Care for America Act (H.R. 3962). This landmark legislation will bring real reform to our health care system.


NEA strongly supported passage of H.R. 3962. Ensuring quality, affordable health care for everyone in America is fundamental not only to our economic future but also critically important to our nation's children and their families. This bill does what many thought impossible – provides quality health care reform that is affordable and covers nearly all Americans without taxing benefits. Specifically, the House bill:

  • Extends coverage to the uninsured, including through a public health insurance plan option
  • Provides security and protection for people who have insurance
  • Does not add to the national deficit
  • Does not tax employer sponsored health benefits
  • Provides more security to senior citizens
  • Controls skyrocketing health care costs

Additional details about the bill are available here.

See how your Representative voted.

This hard-fought victory would not have been possible without the collective voices of activists like NEA cyberlobbyists. Together, you sent almost 60,000 messages to Congress – and you were heard!

Action now shifts to the Senate, where debate continues, particularly over a proposed excise tax on health plans over a certain value. It remains unclear when the full Senate will actually take up and vote on a bill.

Take Action: Urge your Senators to support a health care bill that provides affordable care for everyone, includes a public option, and rejects any excise tax on health plans.

Learn more about NEA’s position on health care.
Read more about health insurance reform myths vs. facts.

American Education Week – November 16-20, 2009


Next week, NEA will spearhead the celebration of American Education Week, spotlighting the importance of providing every child in America with a quality public education from kindergarten through college, and the need for everyone to do his or her part in making public schools great.

Representatives Walt Minnick (D-ID) and Judy Biggert (R-IL) and Senators Kay Hagan (D-NC) and Mike Johanns (R-NE) have introduced Resolutions (H.Res. 879/ S.Res. 353) commemorating this important celebration.

Learn more about American Education Week here.

News from Capital Hill . . .

11/13/0911/2/09

Urge The House to Pass the Affordable Health Care for America Act

The House of Representatives will consider later this week a revised version of the Affordable Health Care for America Act (H.R. 3962). The House health care reform bill:

  • Extends coverage to the uninsured, including through a public health insurance plan option
  • Provides security and protection for people who have insurance
  • Does not add to the national deficit
  • Does not tax employer sponsored health benefits
  • Provides more security to senior citizens
  • Controls skyrocketing health care costs
Additional details about the bill are available here.

Take Action: Urge your Representative in the House to Support the Affordable Health Care for America Act:
  • Call Congress today at 1-877-264-HCAN to make sure every House Member stands with us!
  • Or, enter your contact information at http://tools.advomatic.com/8/reform to receive a call back and be connected to your Members of Congress.

Learn more about NEA's position on health care.
Read more about health insurance reform myths vs. facts.


SPOTLIGHT: WHAT IS CONGRESS DOING FOR EDUCATORS?
(A new periodic feature highlighting Members of Congress who are supporting public education and educators)

Representative Walter Minnick (R-ID) has introduced a resolution-House Resolution 879-highlighting the 88th observance of American Education Week, which is designed to honor educators and students. AEW takes place this year from November 15-21. "American Education Week spotlights the importance of providing every child in America with a quality public education from kindergarten through college," Minnick wrote in a letter to his colleagues in Congress.

Congressman Walter Minnick describes himself as being passionate about public education. Recently, he got the chance to share this passion with hundreds of citizens from his district in northwest Idaho during a telephone town hall sponsored by the Idaho Education Association and the National Education Association.

"It was a real pleasure to spend some time on the phone with Idaho educators," said Rep. Minnick. "A quality public education for every Idaho child has been one of my life's passions, and I will continue to do all I can as a Congressman to help us achieve that common goal."

NEA is teaming up with state affiliates across the country to host tele-town halls with elected leaders in Washington, DC. The first round of events-which have included tele-town halls in congressional districts in Maryland and Alabama-is expected to stretch into the early part of 2010.