Thursday, October 1, 2009

HEalthcare reform - the battle joined!

As you can guess, I've been following the healthcare "reform" debate closely. It still floors me that Democrats, with 60 seats in the Senate, a veto-proof majority in the House, and a willing President, are willing to let the insurance industry dictate what reform comes out of Washington, just as they used to dictate to Republicans. Democrats are supposed to be better then that.

So today I added my voice to a petition at FireDogLake. This isn't just a healthcare petition, mind you, it's a petition to get Senate Majority Leader Reid to name those conservative "Democrats" (or DINO's as I think they really are) who are threatening to fillabuster with Republicans over any bill that includes a public option. In signing the petition, I wrote this:

Senator Reid,
You lead Democrats in the Senate. Our Party has control of the Hill and the White House. Speaker Pelosi has already said the House bill on healthcare reform will contain a public option. So why let our fellow Democrats derail an effort that has been a central plank of our party for over 20 years? So we can all play nice with the
Republicans? How's that working out for you so far?

Look, we get that you are worried about "a handful of Democrats owned by the insurance industry." So what. Either make public their names so we can give them a good public shaming, or let them filabuster. In the end, they'll look foolish either way, and we will eventually find out.

The American People are tired of all this dithering. Do your jobs - represent us, not insurance companies. If you can't, then have the decency to step aside for someone who can. Just make sure to pass a public option before you go.

There is just no good reason, other then slavery to campaign donations, why Democrats should oppose a public option. It just shows us to be the spineless wimps that Republicans have always accused us of being. If you feel the same way, go to FDL and sign the petition. The Senate, afterall, still works for us!


Mike at The Big Stick said...

So I'm curious as to who would have access to this public option? Would they have to pay anything in? How would it be funded? Who are the intended users? How do private insurers compete with a subsidized system?

Wouldn't mandated healthcare be a much smarter route to take?

Philip H. said...

I have yet to see a public option plan that doesn't have mandated healthcare. Unfortunately, mandated care is as unpalatible to Republicans as the public option, so it too seems to have fallen out of favor.

As I said in my post - and comments you and I have shared elsewhere - Democrats have the opportunity to do this without Republicans. If we fail, then we need to clean house. And to my mind, the Senate Finance Committee proposal is a collosal failure because it is trying to be bipartisan when bipartisan ship is neither necessary or desirable.