Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Alan Grayson Introduced His First Piece Of Legislation Since Returning To Congress


In November, central Florida voters in Orange, Osceola and Polk counties (FL-09) voted to send Alan Grayson back to Congress. He beat his Republican opponent 165,098 (63%) to 98,984 (37%) at the same time the district gave Obama 61.9%. He was given seats on the Foreign Relations Committee and the Science and Technology Committee. Blue America has already endorsed him for 2014.

Last week Grayson introduced his first bill in the 113th Congress, H.R. 500, the Medicare You Can Buy Into Act. The bill would allow any legal resident of the United States to buy into Medicare at cost-- i.e., Medicare for all.
At only four pages long, H.R. 500 is simple: allow Americans to enroll in Medicare, where they would be eligible for coverage under Parts A and B, as well as Part D’s prescription drug access. Because premiums would be equal to cost, the program would pay for itself.

“In many states, a few private insurance companies control the market, restricting consumer choice and driving up the cost of care. Although the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act attempts to address this problem, more could be done,” Grayson explained. “Why should the insurance companies get all of the options, while we get none? The people deserve a choice. The people deserve a public option. Opening up the Medicare system increases competition and provides more options to consumers.”
The legislation was immediately bottled up by trusted Boehner ally, Dave Camp (R-MI), a virulent anti-Medicare fanatic and the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. The official prognosis at is that they bill has a 3% chance of ever getting out of Camp's committee. But that 3% would change dramatically if a couple dozen Democrats replace Republicans in Congress in 2014. Is that feasible? Tough... but feasible. Below are the Republicans who were elected with the closest margins in November. The DCCC should be finding strong progressives and populists (NOT Blue Dogs) to run against each of them:
Gary Miller (CA-31)- no Democratic opponent in a district Obama won with 57.2%
Rodney Davis (IL-13)- 46.6%
Dan Benishek (MI-01)- 48.2%
Mike Coffman (CO-06)- 48.7%
Jackie Walorski (IN-02)- 49.0%
Joe Heck (NV-03)- 50.4%
Michele Bachmann (MN-06)- 50.6%
Andy Barr (KY-06)- 50.6%
Kerry Bentivolio (MI-11)- 50.7%
Chris Collins (NY-27)- 50.7%
Lee Terry (NE-02)- 51.2%
Keith Rothfus (PA-12)- 51.5%
Dan Webster (FL-10)- 51.8%
Robert Pittinger (NC-09)- 51.8%
Tom Reed (NY-23)- 52.1%
Justin Amash (MI-03)- 52.7%
Michael "Mikey Suits" Grimm (NY-11)- 52.8%
Steve King (IA-04)- 53.2%
Steve Daines (MT-AL)- 53.2%
Jim Renacci (OH-16)- 52.2%
Tom Latham (IA-03)- 52.3%
Steve Southerland (FL-02)- 52.7%
Tim Walberg (MI-07)- 53.3%
Bill Johnson (OH-06)- 53.3%
Larry Bucshon (IN-08)- 53.4%
Chris Gilbson (NY-19)- 53.4%
Vern Buchanan (FL-16)- 53.6%
Jeff Denham (CA-10)- 53.8%
Jon Runyan (NJ-03)- 53.8%
Scott Tipton (CO-03)- 53.5%
Randy Weber (TX-14)- 53.5%
Scott Rigell (VA-02)- 53.8%
John Kline (MN-02)- 54.1%
David Joyce (OH-14)- 54.3%
Fred Upton (MI-06)- 54.4%
Mike Kelly (PA-03)- 54.7%
Paul Ryan (WI-01)- 54.9%
Tom Rice (SC-07)- 54.9%
Jo Pitts (PA-16)- 55.0%
Kevin Cramer (ND-AL)- 55.0%
Buck McKeon (CA-25)- 55.2%
Tim Griffin (AR-02)- 55.2%
Robert Hurt (VA-05)- 55.3%
Scott Garrett (NJ-05)- 55.5%
That's how Grayson's Medicare for all bill will get enacted by Congress and signed by President Obama. And by the way, bolded Republican names were 2012 candidates protected by Steve Israel, chairman of the DCCC, as were John Boehner, who had no opponent at all, thanks to the DCCC, and Eric Cantor. In 2014, they should be targeted and forced to fight for their political survival in a serious way.

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