I just can't believe we are just giving up so easily and neither does Robert Reich in this article in Salon.com. He says the same thing I do.. that just because a few pundits talk it up and say that it is so, just doesn't make it so.. and he goes on to say that now is the time to go big.
In addition, we've come to the point where healthcare incrementalism won't work. To be sure, the health-insurance industry is powerful and will fight reforms that threaten their profits. But they won't fight if they know their profits will be restored when everyone is required to have health insurance. (This isn't just conventional authoritative wisdom; it's political fact.) Obviously, in order to require everyone to have health insurance, tens of millions of Americans will need help affording it. The only way the government can possibly pay that tab is to raise taxes on the rich while also getting long-term health-insurance costs under control. And one of the surest ways to get long-term costs under control is to force private insurers -- which in most states and under most employer-provided plans face very little competition -- to compete with a public insurance option that can use its bargaining clout with drug companies and medical providers to negotiate lower prices.
Sometimes reform has to occur in a big way, everything or nothing, if it's to happen at all. That's the way it is with healthcare reform at this stage. Every moving piece is related to every other one. That's also why a public option is necessary.
So forget the authoritative sources. Mobilize and organize. We can get comprehensive, meaningful healthcare reform if we push hard enough. And we must.
The emphasis is mine, because I think it is well worth noting what he said in that last bit, this is what I have been saying for a long time. I still think there are enough votes to get this done and so does Dr. Dean.. or Gov. Dean..
At his web site, Democracy for America there is a Whipcount, which at this time stands with 45 definite YES on the Public Option, and a total of 16 Maybes... who can be persuaded to Yeses.. or I think most of them can be. If not, then lets get them out of office. They don't deserve to be Democrats if they can't support the Democratic platform of Healthcare for all.
Now, those 16 Maybes are these and some I think are Yeses and have just not been updated as need be, Mark Begich, (D, AK), Blanche Lincoln, (D, AR), Mark Pryor, (D, AR), Thomas Carper, (D, DE), Johnny Isakson, (R, GA), Mary Landrieu, (D, LA), Olympia Snowe, (R, ME), Max Baucus, (D, MT), Jon Tester, (D, MT), Kent Conrad, (D, ND), Ben Nelson, (D, NE), Ron Wyden, (D, OR), Mark Warner, (D, VA), Robert Byrd, (D, WV).
Now, again, I believe most of these and probably all of these can be turned..well all the Democrats.. There are 2 Republicans in this list..the one, Olympia Snowe..I am not sure about.. she may vote with the Democrats if it is put to her on a moral and a fiscal premise in strong enough premise. But, there are some I believe need to be updated...if you know of some of these who are not correct, please send Dr. Dean an update..
I think if we push the issue.. make the Republicans filibuster this and all of them vote against it.. all 40 of them.. and if they do.. they will pay the consequences in 2010 and beyond.
There is a push to rename the Health Care reform for Teddy Kennedy... The bill he wrote that the HELP (Health Education Labor and Pensions) Committee passed on July 15, 2009 is the counterpart to the House bill known as HR 3200. This bill has everything we need in it.. and it has been scored by the CBO as only costing $615 billion over 10 years.. that is over 400 billion less than anything else anyone has come up with.
Since he largely wrote this bill, and was the chairman of the committee, it is fitting this bill be named for him. This bill I believe could be passed and with 160 amendments in it from Republicans should be considered bipartisan.
The full text of the bill is here at the web site of the Senate site. There is also a condensed version that is available by going here.
Either way, both contain the Public Option and will do everything we need done in the way of Health Care Reform and Health Insurance Reform. No, I don't believe the Public Option is dead.. I believe the pundits, the media and the Republicans want us to believe it is, so we will give up and stay home, quit writing emails, quit calling our Senators and Representatives and just stay quiet.. But that we can't do.
We have to keep fighting for this. We have to continue to speak out, just as they are. We have not been loud enough, we have not been vocal enough. It is time for us to start to speak a little louder and a little longer...
Let our Teddy Voice be heard... let it ring in the debate and let it be what people remember in these next few weeks... don't let this chance die with Sen. Kennedy.. let his life's work be realized and let his voice continue on.. through us.