Monday, August 17, 2009

On The Public Option...

Many of you may have opened up a local or national newspaper today to see that Obama is walking back on the public option. That does not appear to be the case. Let's take a look at what is happening and think this through, okay?

First of all, this situation totally exploded yesterday when HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that the president may not require a public option in health care reform. Believe me, that was like a declaration of war against most dems and most certainly against progressive and liberal dems.

For great coverage of what happened (including Sebelius commenting and commentary on her comment and other comments in contrast etc.) go here... it's a great piece and pretty well sums things up.

So let's look at today [what the newspaper DIDN'T print this morning and where things now seem to stand (this constantly changes)].

1. First of all, you have the infamous Dem Blue Dogs (you may be in one of their districts, so PLEASE check this list) many, but not all, of which are acting more like republicans than democrats. If YOU find your rep on that Blue Dog list, call them using the toll free number, 1-866-338-1015 and ASK them if they do or do not support the public option. Many of the Blue Dogs do NOT support the public option, but some do.

If they don't support the public option, straighten them out. Without a public option, there is NO way to control costs in the private industry (and for those of you WITH private insurance, this is a big, big issue).

2. Second, you have the progressive caucus. Look for your house member on this list. Then, using the toll free number above, call their offices and see what they think. IF they are NOT a signatory to the letter discussed here at FireDogLake, ask WHY. Let them know in no uncertain terms you want a public option to be included in health care reform.

Now, you saw, above some math done by Jane at FireDogLake on the numbers. THAT is the tale.

So, is the public option dead? NOPE! Not even in the ER. Not even at the doctor's office. But we need to get and keep support for it.

Here is a GREAT CNBC interview done this morning with (my hero) Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY9). Weiner is extremely bright, very articulate, and KNOWS this issue. Watch:

The bottom line is this, folks: YOU either fight for health care or everyone loses.

Losing means those of you WITH insurance will still have caps (lifetime and illness), your policies can and will continue to be rescinded, your premiums will continue to rise dramatically, your insurance will REMAIN forever tied to your job and you will have no back up if you lose your job and cannot afford escalating and temporary COBRA rates, you can be back-charged by the insurance companies for things they have already paid for if they decide they WANT you to and you made one teenie weenie error on your app (and geez, is there anyone that probably hasn't?) etc.

For those of you without insurance, or who cannot GET insurance, you will continue in limbo without health care just as you are now.

If we blow this chance it is blown for years. So if you are NOT actively working on this... please start now.