Monday, June 15, 2009

It's Not Too Late To Save Health Care Reform


Ben & Blanche yuck it up-- they have great insurance & we don't

Blue America is a complete madhouse. I was told by a congressional staffer today that the only organized effort standing in the way of the War Supplement is the unprecedented work Jane Hamsher is leading. She is blowing everyone's mind back on Capitol Hill and if it passes at all it will be because Emanuel went crawling to Republicans-- although I think Jane may have thrown some flies in that ointment as well. We hear Eric Cantor had a complete fit today and started reeling some of Rahm's "converts" back in.

So that's Blue America East. Here on the West Coast one of our key players, John Amato, who first came up with the whole idea of Blue America doing something to help guarantee that there would be a robust and vital public option, just lost his dad. It's a tragedy for John and we all join him in his mourning. It's doubly painful for him right now because he is so completely committed to Blue America's newest campaign, virtually his baby. And that brings us to Digby, chained to her desk.

Digby's been writing TV scripts for a whole week to try to salvage health care reform from the tender mercies of Democrats who have grown worthless to working families after millions and millions of dollars in legalized bribes from the Medical-Industrial Complex and the Insurance Giants. Robert Greenwald is standing by with a camera crew ready to start shooting. The first batch of ads are going up on TV in Arkansas and, man, do we need help. We have a new Blue America Page that I want to urge you to visit today.

Nothing is more important to the American people than passing health care reform that reduces costs and provides security and coverage for everyone. The economy and the nation's competitiveness will not recover if this isn't done and this may be our last chance to get it done for another generation. Since single payer was taken off the table before the debate even started, the only way to reduce costs and increase coverage is to create a quality public plan choice that will keep the insurance companies relatively honest.

There are several Senators who are resisting this necessary reform and either backing toothless substitutes that will do nothing to rein in the medical industry's unnecessary waste and outrageous profits or looking for excuses to do so. Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, who sits on the finance committee and is running for office in 2010 is one. She has so far equivocated, saying that she's concerned that "if all Congress comes up with is a government-backed plan, then there will be very little incentive for the private industry to be able to be competitive perhaps in the plans they will be offering and the individuals they will be offering.” That's just nonsense. The only incentive these insurance companies will have to stop gouging their patients and hobbling the entire economy is to be forced to compete with a health plan that puts patients over profits.

Perhaps it's not surprising that Lincoln is showing so much compassion for the poor insurance companies. She's taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from them over the years. In fact, she's already received $14,500 from insurance companies for her 2010 campaign, the second highest of any senator up for re-election next year. And the only reform they support is reform that will get the taxpayers to pay the overpriced premiums for the 47 million uninsured without having to change their ways. The fact is that insurance companies are not in any danger of going out of business because of the public plan choice unless they continue the kind of practices that have brought us to this crisis.

A quality public plan is the only way we can ensure that health care reform will reduce costs and increase coverage. It's imperative that Senator Blanche Lincoln get off the fence and support it.
Blue America needs your help to run some ads in Arkansas to persuade her that selling out to her insurance company supporters just won't do. We need for people to tell her that she must stand with the American people who are desperate for real health care choices that will reduce costs and increase coverage.

Please donate what you can to our campaign.

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