Posts Tagged ‘Public Option’

In my Email: Tell the Senate Democratic caucus: Don’t give in!


CREDO Action | more than a network. a movement.

Tell the Senate Democratic caucus: Don’t give in!

At what point does compromise turn into capitulation?

Your message to the Senate Democratic caucus:

We want a true public option that is available nationwide on day one and run by an entity that’s accountable to Congress and the voters. For those of us who support single-payer health care, the strong public option was the compromise. Any deal you cut with your anti-reform members to undermine a true public option is not a compromise, it’s a capitulation.

Clicking here will add your name to the petition.

Dear Dale,

It looks like Democrats in the Senate might be preparing to give up on the public option. As negotiations continue behind closed doors, word has come out above various deals that might be cut.

None of the proposals that have been floated ensure private insurance companies will face meaningful competitive pressure. Even the most attractive of these proposals won’t stop private insurance companies from ripping us off. So while they may call whatever emerges a “compromise,” it will substantively signal a total capitulation.

Tell the Democratic caucus in the Senate that any public option that is not available nationwide on day one and is not run by a government entity accountable to Congress and the voters is not a true public option. Click here to automatically add your name to our petition.

The American public strongly supports the idea of creating a government-run health insurance plan to compete with private insurance companies. So instead of admitting that some in the nominally left-of-center Democratic caucus have more fidelity to the economic interests of the insurance companies than the will of the American people, they are instead trying to come up with something that they can call a “public option” that might fool people into thinking something meaningful was achieved.

It’s time to call out this farce for what it is, and it’s time for progressive Senators to take a stand.

Tell the Democratic caucus in the Senate that any public option that is not available nationwide on day one and is not run by a government entity accountable to Congress and the voters is not a true public option. Click here to automatically add your name to our petition.

We shouldn’t expect much from the likes of Joe Lieberman, Blanche Lincoln or Ben Nelson. But for the sake of compromise many progressive Senators have been strangely silent about the importance of a meaningful public option.

Let’s remember, a strong public option was the compromise. The Senators who care about meaningful health care reform need to speak out now to make sure that nobody can gut the public option while maintaining the public posture that its essential core was preserved in a compromise.

We need to be realistic. While it is likely we will disapprove of the legislation that passes the Senate on the first go-round, the real battle over the public option will come when the Senate version is combined with the House version in the conference committee. The harder progressive Senators fight now, the better chance we’ll have in conference.

In order to be in the best possible position in the next stage, the Democratic caucus should not give cover to the notion that a bill without a meaningful public option is an acceptable compromise.

Tell the Democratic caucus in the Senate to stand up and fight. Any public option that is not available nationwide on day one and is not run by a government entity accountable to Congress and the voters is not a true public option. Click here to automatically add your name to our petition.

Thank you for working to secure real health care reform.

Matt Lockshin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

P.S. There have been rumors that there will not be a conference committee to merge the House bill and the Senate bill, and that instead House Democrats will be strong-armed into rubber-stamping whatever passes the Senate. It’s not clear that this is what will happen, but we are in a better position to fight against this if it’s clear that a bill that passes the Senate without a strong public option is unacceptable. Click here to add your name to our petition telling the Senate Democratic Caucus not to give in.

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To All Those Would-be Constitutional Scholars of Health Care Reform


An honest reading of the preamble of our constitution says all that needs to be said about our right to health care in this country.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

We the People of the United States?  This is an expression that all the people as one voice declare what is to follow. In Order to form a more perfect Union?  This expresses the intention to come together as a single community.  Establish Justice?  To equitably do what is right for all. Insure domestic Tranquility?  To keep the peace amongst ourselves. Provide for the common defence?  To defend ourselves against common enemies. To promote the general Welfare?  To see to the needs of the citizenry that which they cannot do themselves. To secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity? To ensure that our freedoms are not taken away from us or our descendants. Do ordain and establish this constitution of the United States of America?  What is ordained and established in these words is the intent of all that follows.

The intent is clear. The intent is that all the people unite as a community in a just, peaceful manner under a government that would protect them, their freedoms and promote their welfare.  This is why we still have a country.  On the one hand you could say that the federal government is only there to promote these ideas and it is up to the states to carry them out, but then if it can’t or won’t do so, then what is a federal government to do? On the other hand the federal government is to establish justice? Is it just to let the helpless die? It is to insure domestic tranquility?  Is it insured if we allow inequities to fester to the point of domestic violence? It is to provide for the common defense? Not all our enemies carry a gun from without.  Some live in gated communities and have a sense that they are more entitled than others. It is to promote the general welfare?  This is a clear statement of providing those things that states and individuals cannot. Secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity?  Is there anything that endangers your liberty and your posterity more than illness or threat of illness? Among the many things that it has been decided appropriate that the federal government needed to intervene to provide, the provision of health insurance (read care) will go down in history as the one that made the most sense.  The one that had the most documented need.  The one that was covered in every phrase of the preamble of our constitution.

It is only a twisted libertarianism that would suggest that we should let people die that cannot provide for themselves. It is only a self-absorbed selfishness that cannot see beyond their own strength to what others might take as weakness.  It is only a perverse sense of entitlement that suggests the fruits of your labor should not be shared with the community even though it was the community that allowed you to reap those fruits. No man is an island, Entire of itself. Each is a piece of the continent. No one does it alone.

We don’t succeed by ourselves, but also we don’t fail by ourselves either. If the public option fails, then we all fail as a country.  The fiscal conservative Representatives have failed this country. They have failed on moral and economic grounds.  They are oath breakers, liars and have sold out their constituency.  A little math will suffice to show you the degree of the lie. Between fourteen to twenty percent of this country works in government depending on how you count.  Most have taxpayer provided insurance.  To expand the public option would lower that cost to the taxpayer of this insurance adding to the bottom line  every cash strapped state.  If all government employees were added to public option ( or asked to pay extra cost for private insurance) that could  save $600,000, 000.  This could end stalled union contracts across the country by taking health insurance off the table.  What might this do for other sectors of the economy? What might this do put people back to work? What could this do to end the recession? When are we going to see the conservatives for what they are, fascists?

Oh wait, maybe it is unconstitutional because the government can’t force you to pay for insurance.  Their is nothing in the constitution that allows that to happen and the Supreme Court would never let it stand.  OK, suspend all social security deductions and programs. Or maybe, pass the law and take it to court, if you are so sure.

The way I see it, this health care debate will become a moot point in the coming years.  I see two-thirds of the States passing a form of universal health care of necessity.  When that happens, it will be a short step to making it a federal constitutional amendment beyond the reach of the Supreme Court, even though the Court would never have overturned a universal health insurance law anyway.  Sometimes you just have to say stick a sock in it.

The Obsession of the Right with Fascism?


The back story on this post is that it started in response to a post on another site that began, “The left is obsessed with the public option…”  I am not sure any more if this is exactly what it said since it appears the right wing rant was removed by the writer, but it served its inspirational purpose. I would have liked to have it remain as counterpoint to my piece, but here is the link to my less thoughtful original version.

The defeat of the public option is an obsession of the right even though it is clearly needed to ensure that everyone gets health insurance coverage and that skyrocketing costs are brought down to manageable levels.

The the reason that the right is so obsessed is due corporate influence. That influence has created a situation just the reverse of what the right claims to honor.  The free market which they claim to be preserving, no longer exists. The hegemony of the corporation has left free market competition as no more than a propaganda slogan existing only in the mouths of right wing lobby machines. The right insists on the public option defeat by any means and at all costs, even the furtherance of our economic decline, loss of any of our remaining freedoms and the smashing of our moral compass. They see the left as encroaching on their Godly profit motive, seeing the public option as a Trojan horse to all sorts of left-wing socialist agendas, something they see the left as being in love with, and a real threat to their profit-without-product.

The right says that the pubic option is the road to Barack Obama forming a one world government that they have already achieved via the transnational corporations. The right thinks that once a public option is in place, then there will be a domino effect of reinstating government regulations they worked so hard to dismantle , and that their New World Order (NWO) idea reserved for business interests will be usurped by the left. Though there is no leftist plan for a NWO, the public option will allow the government to undercut the private insurance industry’s monopolistic price gouging and will ultimately move on to other business cartels. They will actually regulate the private insurance, making it possible to force them to charge  fair market based premiums that produce only just profits in real competition with the public option. The private insurance monopoly will be forced to do business with the government instead of the reverse. How this might be socialism I am not sure, but that is what the health insurance industry would have you believe.

I do see the current state of affairs as akin the fascism, however.  The public option could indeed morph into single payer universal health care, but only if the health insurance industry refuses to comply with these more just policies. I cannot see health insurance industry actually complying.  So one can only hope that when the private insurance industry refuses to comply that the government will have the sense to see this and rescue our democracy and our economy before we go completely bankrupt; economically, politically and morally. If not, single payer universal health care will become just one more moral imperative ignored by America and our country will slip into an even more openly fascist state and our private insurance industry will continue ration health care to feed their out-of-control profits, with the elderly and disabled being those who are most left out in the cold. How do I know that the right would allow this?  Because they already do. Unfortunately, I am having less and less trust in the left as well, thinking that the smoke and mirrors in this debate is all about maintaining corporate control with the best public face.

I begin to look forward to the rise of a new Progressive party.

Opt Out of Nationhood?


The idea that a state has the option to opt out of anything for which there is a legitimate interest to enact federal legislation is an oxymoron.  The federal government should for the most part only be enacting legislation in which it has an overriding federal interest to enact. The idea that the federal government has an interest in the public health and welfare of the citizenry of this country is well established. Yet, much of the existing legislation enforcement is predicated on federal funding, not on a federal interest per se. So any state can opt out of most federal programs by refusing federal money and so this is what the health care reform opt out option will entail.  The problem with this is that people move and sick people with no insurance move quickly.  Any opt out provision should include a state charge for all applicants for insurance for those moving from a state without public option to one with a public option. This is still the public option on the cheap for those states that opt out removing the “dogs” from the risk pool of any local insurance plans.  It will cost the rest of the country more money for the opted out states’ decision. When individuals opt out of a group plan they are often assessed a percent of the contribution they would have paid had they opted in. If this is sound private insurance philosophy, then maybe it should be incorporated into the public insurance philosophy.  Not just for this bill, but also for Medicaid in all it’s incarnations which has weak unenforced versions of this idea in place now.

This opt out option is only an issue because the single payer option was all but rejected sight unseen so early.  The opt out option could ensure that many people will go without and others pay more just because they live in an opt out state if the federal law allows the state to decide how to opt out. States should not be allowed to opt out without a state constitutional amendment or referendum requiring the people of the state to vote on it. It would also be more ethical if they provided a local option of their own. I don’t agree with Paul Krugman that the opt out option will be mostly benign for most of us and maybe even be needed by some small states, and that these states will be under pressure to opt in if it works.  There are states that haven’t bought into federal programs for years and there are no signs of change any time soon. How is it that the federal welfare reform law had no opt out? It is not moral to allow large segments of the population to die just because we can. I believe in everyone’s right to suicide when such a choice is individual and informed.  This is not the choice of most of those that happen to live in these potential opt out states.  They have been unable to enjoy many other federal programs available to date due to the failure of their state to opt in. Why would it happen now, on this issue?  If you don’t think this is deeply rooted in the history of this country from the beginning, you are misinformed.

The intellectual history of the thugarchy driving the opt out option may actually flow from the middle ages where chivalry was the protection of the aristocracy.  That moneyed aristocracy has always existed in this country and their values have been grafted onto our political system via a corporatism, the warnings of which go back to Andrew Jackson and even further.  Today the corporate elite can make money from anything without the burden of actually having to produce a product and that money is being bundled into ever larger spheres of control.  The danger in this is a centralizing power (i.e., money) that is clearly what  Andrew Jackson had in mind when he warned of allowing the monopolistic control of capital to manipulate the real sources of wealth in this country. He said we would be giving up our freedom to the corporation. So the fair and equitable distribution of anything that such a monopoly as the health insurance industry has taken away would be a restoration of freedom and a move away from the existing fascism.

 

A letter from Health Care for America Now: Now the Senate must decide.


Dear Dale:

Now the Senate must decide.

Will it go with legislation that makes good health care affordable to Americans and gives us the choice of a public health insurance option?

Or, will the Senate stick with the Finance Committee bill. That’s the bill CIGNA Executive turned whistleblower Wendell Potter called “a dream come true for the health insurance industry.”1

We have to fight even harder and smarter if we’re going to beat the insurance companies and get reform we need, and we need more resources to do it. That’s why we need your help.

Can you chip in to help us fight for what’s right? Click here.

Yesterday, the major lobby front for the insurance companies, AHIP, came out in opposition to the Finance bill because they think they can squeeze even more profit out of us.2 But the Senate Finance Committee has a lot of power, and the insurance companies are turning up the heat.

Fortunately, this committee doesn’t have the last word. In fact, three House and a Senate Committee have already passed bills with affordable coverage, fair financing, employer responsibility and the choice of a public health insurance option.

We’re battling the insurance companies and the politicians who do their bidding and it’s not easy.  They want us to stand down — our plan is to stand up taller and speak up louder than ever.

We’ve been organizing protests against the insurance companies all across the country. We’re lobbying members of Congress at the grassroots and in Washington, DC. And we’re running tough television ads that make it clear that if the insurance companies win this fight, we all lose.

If you chip in today, you can help us do what it takes to win. More protests. More letters and calls to Congress. More hard-hitting ads that demand quality, affordable health care for all. Click here.

You’ve helped get us this far. Let’s keep up the hard work it will take to win.

At the end of the day, we will put a bill on the President’s desk that will be affordable, be fairly financed, include employer responsibility, and give us the choice of a public health insurance option.

Chip in and help us take the next step.

Together we can win.

To your health,

Levana Layendecker
Health Care for America Now

 

 

1. Exclusive: MoveOn Whacks Finance Bill Hours Before Committee VoteHuffington Post
2. Breaking: Insurance Companies Threatens America – Health Care for America Now


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