Public Option Healthcare: Where Senate Dems Stand
The “public option” a robust, competitive public health insurance plan mandated for all, is the key to REAL healthcare reform that isn’t just a giant taxpayer giveaway to the “death-by-spreadsheet” health insurance corporations. If we had gotten single-payer universal healthcare in 1948, when Harry Truman tried to get it to complete the New Deal, we wouldn’t be fighting the health insurance companies because most of them didn’t exist then. (This is the time period when most Western democracies instituted universal healthcare. Ours was shot down because Southern senators were afraid it would mean integrating Southern hospitals and clinics. Yes, racism destroyed our first great chance at universal healthcare. Look it up.) So, now we have to get something which is cheaper and better than the private insurers so that it can compete head to head and win–to lower costs and cover everyone.
Don’t listen to those saying “the health insurance companies won’t be able to compete.” They could if they would stop paying obscene amounts to their CEOs and on advertising and to lobby against universal healthcare. Competing against the private companies IS THE POINT.
So, Open Left has a chart on where the Democratic Senators stand on the public option. With Harry Reid openly proclaiming his weakness and inability to be an effective Democratic Majority Leader (“I don’t tell people how to vote.” Really? THAT’S YOUR JOB! “I’m not very good at arm twisting.” Wimp! Step down and let someone take your gavel who IS good at arm twisting or else grow a BACKBONE!), it’s up to us citizens to corral the votes needed for this. Apparently polls showing 72% of the country wanting a public option (and 90% of Democrats, even 50% of GOP!) isn’t enough to compete with the insurance company money for senators’ attention. So check out Open Left’s chart. Anyone who isn’t listed as a YES should hear from you–every day until this passes. It”s now or never, folks. The 2010 budget ALREADY pays for universal healthcare. Now we need to get it–or healthcare costs will cripple our economy even faster than global warming.
We know it works. We have seen Medicare work. We have seen that senators, of both parties, like govt. health insurance FOR THEMSELVES. Now it’s time for the rest of us. Healthcare, quality healthcare, is a RIGHT, not a privilege. But it’s a right we are going to have to organize and fight for. Remember the words of Mother Jones, “Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living.”
P.S. Citizen Pressure DOES work. Sen. Hagan (D-NC) said last week that she wasn’t sure about the public option. After her office was flooded with calls, letters, emails, etc. from her constituents, she announced that she supports the public option! The others will fold to the same pressure. And keep up the pressure on Wimpy Reid to do his job or surrender his gavel!
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