Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Early Morning Public Option Report-- Can You Help?


An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll yesterday showed continued growth in support for a public option. Voters want meaningful health care reform with choices for consumers that don't leave them to the mercies of avaricious insurance companies. And as support for the public option grows, approval of GOP obstructionism on health care remains steady at just over 20%, while around 65% of Americans disapprove of the way the Republican congressional caucus is handling the health care debate. It's counterintuitive than dozens of weak, frightened Democrats are joining the Republicans in their opposition.

Let's leave Lieberman's possibly toothless, attention-grabbing threat to join the filibuster of health care reform alone for a moment and assume Harry Reid can work that out with him. And let's close our eyes and imagine that Reid already told Blanche Lincoln that if she makes one more peep about filibustering she's out of her Ag Committee chairmanship. And let's even leave Ben Nelson's demand that the "opt out" (which is bad enough) be changed to an "out in" (which is intolerable). Why? Because we have to deal with the House first and we're not 100% there yet-- not for the public option with a reimbursement rate of Medicare + 5%, the most ideal position left on the table.

Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn says there are 47 hard no votes among conservative Democrats as well as 8 more leaning in that direction (55 in all). There are 256 Democrats-- so 201 after the 55 who have announced they will be crossing the aisle to vote with the Republicans against meaningful health care reform. Far be from me to second-guess Clyburn's numbers but another good source has given me a list of the hard no votes and the undecided votes. First the 43 for sure no votes:

John Barrow (Blue Dog-GA-12)
Brian Baird (D-WA-3)
Melissa Bean (D-IL-8)
Marion Berry (Blue Dog-AR-1)
John Adler (D-NJ-3)
Dan Boren (Blue Dog-OK-02)
Jason Altmire (Blue Dog-PA-4)
Rick Boucher (D-VA-9)
Allen Boyd (Blue Dog-FL-02)
Bobby Bright (Blue Dog-AL-02)
Ben Chandler (Blue Dog-KY-06)
Travis Childers (Blue Dog-MS-01)
Jim Cooper (Blue Dog-TN-05)
Kathy Dahlkemper (Blue Dog-PA-03)
Lincoln Davis (Blue Dog-TN-04)
Joe Donnelly (Blue Dog-IN-2)
Bart Gordon (Blue Dog-TN-06)
Parker Griffith (Blue Dog-AL-05)
Debbie Halvorson (D-IL-11)
Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (Blue Dog-TX-01)
Baron Hill (Blue Dog-IN-09)
Tim Holden (Blue Dog-PA-17)
Steve Kagen (D-WI-08)
Frank Kratovil (Blue Dog-MD-1)
Betsy Markey (D-CO-04)
Jim Marshall (Blue Dog-GA-08)
Jim Matheson (Blue Dog-UT-02)
Mike McIntyre (Blue Dog-NC-7)
Michael McMahon (D-NY-13)
Charlie Melancon (Blue Dog-LA-03)
Mike Michaud (Blue Dog-ME-02)
Walt Minnick (Blue Dog-ID-01)
Harry Mitchell (Blue Dog-AZ-05)
Collin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN-07)
Earl Pomeroy (Blue Dog-SD-01)
Mike Ross (Blue Dog-AR-04)
Heath Shuler (Blue Dog-NC-11)
Ike Skelton (D-MO-04)
Zack Space (Blue Dog-OH-18)
Bart Stupak (D-MI-01)
John Tanner (Blue Dog-TN-08)
Gene Taylor (Blue Dog-MS-04)
Harry Teague (D-NM-02)

On top of that Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01) is leaning no. But there are another 10 Democrats, most of whom are Blue Dogs, leaning yes as of last night:

Dennis Cardoza (Blue Dog-CA-18)
Jim Costa (Blue Dog-CA-20)
Gabby Giffords (Blue Dog-AZ-08)
Ron Klein (D-FL-22)
Daniel Lipinski (D-IL-03)
Dan Maffei (D-NY-25)
Scott Murphy (D-NY-20)
Glenn Nye (Blue Dog-VA-02)
Loretta Sanchez (Blue Dog-CA-47)
David Scott (Blue Dog-VA-03)

If any of these are your congressmembers, it's worth calling their offices and telling them how important this vote is to you and your family. Keep in mind that this has been the Republican message and the Insurance Industry message (as well as their paid whores for months):

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At 7:22 AM, Anonymous Marvin said...

It's so sad and so frustrating to me that we have to fight so hard to get any progress in this country. Even the slightest bit of progress. This is the fight we should be having over medicare for all/single payer not for a public option that won't even be available to most Americans.

But... it is a step in the right direction and we have to fight like hell for it. I'll be calling...

At 9:41 AM, Blogger commoncents said...

Excellent post! I really like you page - keep up the great work!

ps. Link Exchange?

At 12:25 PM, Anonymous Clay Barham said...

Are the Blue Dogs simply rediscovering their 19th century Democrat roots, when Jefferson and Jackson were more important than Rousseau and Marx, as cited in THE CHANGING FACE OF DEMOCRATS on Amazon and, or are they just waiting for a better deal from Obama? I would hope they would be standing again for individual freedom and not the interests of community.

At 1:36 PM, Anonymous Balakirev said...

I understand that there are some warzones in the Sudan where individualism is all that counts. Clay, you should check it out: no restrictions at all! Do whatever you like! Individual freedom like you wouldn't *believe*.

At 3:15 PM, Blogger KenInNY said...

Clay, I have to give you credit for being consistent in your beliefs, but when you say "the interests of community" as if this were some dastardly evil cause, don't you hear how certifiably insane you sound.

"Nosirree, I don't give a fig 'bout no stinkin' interests of community."

Are you sure you're not pulling our leg?


At 3:05 PM, Blogger Rick said...

Even if government run health care was a good idea (it isn't), we simply can't afford it. In case you haven't noticed, the country is bankrupt. Last price tag quoted for this new program was 1 trillion. We all know that is a low ball figure. So, ramble on with your mindless Utopian babel, there is no more money. Again, NO MORE MONEY. Are you listening? We're broke! China and Saudi Arabia own us...wake up!!

At 3:56 PM, Anonymous Balakirev said...

Say, Rick...?

"Even if government run health care was a good idea (it isn't).."

We already have it. It's called Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA. They all work pretty damn well. Oh, and did I leave out the government run health care for all the senators and congresspeople...? This is just providing another layer of health care that like the rest is completely *optional.* Just in case you really, really want to get reamed instead by big health insurance companies, you know.

"... we simply can't afford it. In case you haven't noticed, the country is bankrupt. Last price tag quoted for this new program was 1 trillion. We all know that is a low ball figure. So, ramble on with your mindless Utopian babel, there is no more money."

Did you realize this is paid for by raising taxes slightly on the wealthiest percentage of Americans, and that the tax will not only pay for the health insurance package, but *bring down the deficit by $100 million in 10 years, according to the CBO?* This isn't rocket science, it's been carefully gone over online with a fine tooth comb by a lot of people, who have all the math. Go check what Ezra Klein has to say about this. Or Matthew Yglesias.

Really, we don't need to wake up. You need to spend some quality night time reading before you turn in, getting the facts.

At 9:06 AM, Anonymous Vinny said...

First, where did we get the idea that Medicare, Medicaid, and VA work well? Medicare and Medicaid, just like Social Security, are giant ponzi schemes. If a private entity operated with such unscrupulous numbers, the board of directors would be hanged. Bernie Madoff looks like a saint comparatively.

This healthcare reform program is designed to spend as much money as possible, to collapse the system we have, and drive us into a single payer system for nearly everything, not just healthcare. You could buy every uninsured person in America a "Cadillac" plan from BC/BS and do away with pre-existing condition restrictions, and still come out spending significantly less than the lowest estimates from the CBO. You could legislate that process in about 5 pages, not 1,990.

This is a power-grab thinly veiled under the emotionally appealing idea of giving healthcare to all those poor folks that get turned away from the hospitals every day (you know, because it's not like the law says they can't be turned away regardless of ability to pay, or anything like that).

Reality is, we need to provide catastrophic coverage for about 8 million people that are actually in a position of being uninsured with no recourse. That could be done VERY economically, and without exacerbating the doctor shortage, driving doctors out of business, driving small businesses into the ground with mandates, and driving self employed folks like myself into bankruptcy with new taxes and penalties.

I'm 25 and uninsured, and all this is going to do is leave me uninsured, and spending a few thousand dollars that I don't have to spend every year to subsidize others.


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