On Feb. 6, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties held a public hearing on the 28th Amendment to overturn Citizens United and get big money out of politics. Advocates for the amendment, including American Promise State Manager Azor Cole and various citizen leaders, provided written testimony to the Subcommittee. Below is testimony from Healthcare Providers for American Promise.

Written Testimony of Ellen Greene Bush, Marie HenselderKimmel, and Robbi Duda 

Port Clinton, Ohio; Cherry Hill, New Jersey; Ann Arbor, Michigan 

U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties 

Hearing on Citizens United at 10: The Consequences for Democracy & Potential Responses By Congress February 6, 2020 

We are members of Healthcare Provides for American Promise, and appreciate the opportunity to submit the following statement of principle in support of a Constitutional amendment to address the undue influence of money in our political system and secure free speech, representation and effective self-government for every American. 

Healthcare Providers for American Promise Statement of Principle 

As healthcare professionals, we prioritize providing the highest quality of healthcare for all Americans and acting as advocates for public health. Basic tenets of public health are to promote wellness, and to correct underlying causes and eliminate risk factors of disease. 

We are convinced that unlimited political spending has a toxic influence on our American healthcare system. Wealthy political donors, who do not represent voters, have overwhelming influences on achieving their own preferred legislative healthcare policies and distort markets to favor their own narrow interests. Average American citizens, who cannot afford to donate politically to amplify their votes and healthcare needs, experience this inequality in a greater prevalence of health issues, in decreased access to comprehensive medical care (including medications), and in reduced affordability of medical care and health insurance. 

As healthcare professionals, we prescribe a reduction in the unlimited political spending that has significantly contributed to the dysfunction of our healthcare systems and the dysfunction of our democracy. We believe that these problems are not self-correcting and that the health of our democracy needs systemic change. 

Therefore, we call on Congress to pass a constitutional amendment that allows limits on political spending, as one of several critical reforms needed to check the influence of money on health care policy. We commit to act as citizen leaders, informing ourselves and lending our voices as Americans across the political spectrum to work together to craft, pass, and ratify such an amendment.