Healthcare for All
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We've Launched a New Website to End Forced Arbitration!
If a defective product harms you, or an employer discriminates against you, you would expect the right to do something about it - right?
Increasingly, corporations have been using forced arbitration to take advantage of Americans and avoid accountability when they harm consumers and employees. Together, we can do something about it.
End Forced Arbitration
Arbitration Fairness Day: April 29th
What is forced arbitration?
Let's start with the basics. Arbitration is a private system companies use to resolve disputes with employees and consumers. There are no judges or juries in arbitration, and appealing a decision is not allowed. Forced arbitration occurs when you are stuck with arbitration as your only option: no access to a courtroom, no legal recourse, no justice.
Why would I choose forced arbitration?
That's exactly the point: you wouldn't! Forced arbitration clauses are buried in the fine print of terms of agreement and contracts for employment, insurance, retirement accounts, home-building, credit cards, nursing facilities...the list goes on. Even if you refuse to sign a contract, but show up to work or use a product or service, you can be forced into arbitration.
Here's what you can do to stop forced arbitration:
Visit our new website. FairArbitrationNow.org is our action center for putting an end to forced arbitration.
Sign the petition.
We'll be using the petition in conversations with congressional leaders to show how important this issue is to voters. Add your signature to help us make a strong case for banning forced arbitration now.
Attend Arbitration Day on April 29 in Washington, D.C. Jamie Leigh Jones is coming - are you?
Even if you can't come to D.C., you can make a difference at home. Let us know if you'd like to meet with your reps. in their local offices or write your local paper.
Big businesses are stacking the deck, forcing you to waive your rights and play by their rules. Now is the time to stop companies from evading accountability.
Thank you for all you do,
Kyle, Angela, and the rest of the Action Team at Public Citizen's Congress Watch Division
Sign letter to Obama on U.S. Radioactive Waste Policy
President Obama has taken a clear position on Yucca Mountain. By curtailing activity at the proposed repository for our nation's radioactive waste, the Obama administration has opened up the door for a new look at U.S. nuclear waste policy. The letter below not only states our position on nuclear waste management, but also urges President Obama to involve affected communities in the evaluation process.
This Tax Day, Tell Congress No FTA with Tax Haven Panama!
April 14, 2009
It's almost tax day... you have to pay up, but big corporations can get off the hook thanks to tax havens like Panama. Tell Congress no FTA with tax haven Panama!
As millions of Americans rush to complete their taxes, some administration officials are pushing to "rapidly" approve a leftover Bush NAFTA deal with Panama - a nation notorious for helping corporations escape paying their fair share.
Recently, we told you how AIG is suing U.S. taxpayers to recover $306 million it paid in back taxes related to an AIG-linked corporation hosted in tax haven Panama. The latest? Panama was just featured on a key list of countries who have long promised to adopt international tax norms, but have systematically refused to do so.
Tell your members of Congress that you are outraged that some administration officials would even consider moving Bush's FTA with tax haven Panama. Remind them of President Obama's pledge to renegotiate NAFTA and create a new American trade model that actually benefits us.
Just the other day, Obama's lead staffer for this week's Summit of the Americas, Ambassador Jeffrey Davidow, told a corporate audience in Washington that the administration wants to move "rapidly" on the Panama FTA.
As if any NAFTA expansion was not already a terrible idea, this particular deal would eviscerate efforts now underway to end Panama's tax-haven, banking secrecy and money laundering outrages. So, we should all be ready for the next foreseeable move by Panama, which is panicked about growing focus on its shady dealings: expect Panama to announce sham tax-haven reforms. Just recently three European tax-haven nations got great press for announcing reforms that amount to nothing. Andorra, Liechtenstein and Switzerland (ALS) announced banking secrecy 'reforms' so laden with loopholes that the proposal can only be compared to Swiss cheese.
Make sure Congress knows not to accept any Swiss cheese tax-haven reforms from Panama!
Even if these countries adopted 100 percent of the most ambitious version of the ALS plan, Panama and other tax havens would maintain the awful status quo - a world full of countries that only cooperate with the U.S. authorities under the most restrictive of situations, multinationals searching the globe to avoid paying taxes and tons of dirty money remaining in the financial system.
As if that weren't bad enough, Panama is consistently on the State Department's list of countries of primary concern for drug-related money laundering. Letting Panama off the hook and passing the Bush hangover FTA would make further attempts to crack down on its banking secrecy and money laundering even harder. According to a 2009 State Department report:
"Major Colombian and Mexican drug cartels as well as Colombian illegal armed groups use Panama for drug trafficking and money laundering purposes."
Despite these well-known links to drug cartels, some in the Obama administration and Congress are still looking to rush through the Bush hangover NAFTA agreement.
Send an email to your members of Congress today telling them to reject the Panama FTA or any NAFTA-style "trade" agreement - especially one that limits our ability to crack down on tax havens and money laundering.
Then, tell a friend!
Thank you for all you do,
Bill Holland, Deputy Director
Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch division
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Tell your reps to support health care for all
On April 15, the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care is launching a nationwide call-in day for single-payer national health care.
We want lawmakers to hear our message loud and clear: Taxpayer dollars should go to people, not insurance companies. Support single-payer national health care now.
Tell your representatives: Support single-payer national health care
Learn more about the single-payer solution
Lesser reform proposals would have our taxes subsidize insurance company profits, not pay for real health care. Instead, we should give everyone access to high-quality care and remove the for-profit interests that are responsible for skyrocketing health care costs. Only a single-payer national health insurance program can achieve this.
So, on April 15, join with thousands of others to call on Congress to support single-payer legislation in both the House (HR676) and the Senate (S703).
Your support does make a difference. We now have 74 cosponsors for HR676.
We must maintain this momentum and keep the pressure on lawmakers. Congress has held several hearings on health reform but has failed to include even a single expert to discuss the single-payer solution.
We must ensure that single-payer advocates are included in health reform discussions.
If you don't know who represents you in Congress, or you'd like some pointers on what to say, check out our National Call-In Day page.
If you know your representative and senators, the Capitol Switchboard number is 866-338-1015. Ask to be connected, and then ask your lawmaker to support HR676 or S703. If your representatives are already cosponsors, thank them.
The injustice in our health care system must end. If Congress is serious about health reform, it will support single-payer health care now. Call your representatives today.
Thank you for all you do,
James Floyd, M.D.
P.S. - Call your representatives today! After you've called, let us know how it went! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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