Thursday, September 03, 2009

Progressive Caucus v. Obama

Progressive Caucus co-chairs Lynn Woolsey and Raul Grijalva sent a letter to President Barack Obama. The Progressive Caucus makes it clear any bill without the public option is "unacceptable." The letter is reaction to news the White House has Sen. Olympia Snowe writing a health care trigger bill. This would mean true health care reform would be delayed until cost overruns "trigger" a reaction. Private health insurance premiums and Medicare costs are already out of control. Blue Dog Democrats and some Republicans support a trigger bill because it would delay reform.

Dear President Obama:

Thank you for continuing to work with Members of Congress to draft a health reform bill that will provide the real health care reform this country needs.

We look forward to meeting with you regarding retaining a robust public option in any final health reform bill and request that that meeting take place as soon as possible.

Public opinion polls continue to show that a majority of Americans want the choice ofa robust public plan and we stand in solidarity with them. We continue to support the robust public option that was reported out of the Committees on Ways and Means and Education and Labor and will not vote for a weakened bill on the House Floor or returning from a Conference with the Senate.

Any bill that does not provide, at a minimum, a public option built on the Medicare provider system and with reimbursement based on Medicare rates-not negotiated rates-is unacceptable. A plan with negotiated rates would ensure higher costs for the public plan, and would do nothing to achieve the goal of providing choice and competition to keep rates down. The public plan with set rates saves $75 billion, which could be lost ifrates are negotiated with providers. Further, this public option must be available immediately and must not be contingent upon any trigger.

Mr. President, the need for reform is urgent. Every day, 14,000 Americans lose their health care coverage. We must have health care reform that will effectively bring down costs and significantly expand access. A health reform bill without a robust public option will not achieve the health reform this country so desperately needs. We cannot vote for anything less.

We look forward to meeting with you to discuss the importance of your support for a robust public plan, which we encourage you to reiterate in your address to the Joint Session of Congress on Wednesday.

Lynn Woolsey
Raul Grijalva

The Progressive Caucus makes up 60 votes in the House. Nancy Pelosi made it clear there are not enough votes, if the public option is taken from the bill. Obama's math on the votes is insane. There is no guarantee Snowe will even vote for her own bill. The Snowe bill would automatically lose 60 House votes. I tweeted this comment on Twitter. David Shuster, of MSNBC, and others retweeted my post.

@DavidShuster Interesting how Obama governs, as if Dems don't have supermajorities. Imagine if Bush banked on Wellstone and Feingold in 2002

Obama already made an agreement with pharmaceutical companies to block Congress from negotiating for cheaper drugs. An Obama health care plan, without the public option, would mandate every adult American buying private health insurance. This isn't reform. This is Obama being the industry's leading insurance agent. Democrats need to vote against any bill that is an insurance industry giveaway. It is better that Obama not pass any health care bill than legislation that would make taxpayers dependent on the insurance industry. My advice to Democrats is the party can survive without Obama. Republicans lost power by supporting every horrible Bush policy initiative.

Democratic presidents Truman and Johnson got health care with progressive policies. Obama is proposing a neoliberal vision that will be a financial windfall for insurance and pharmaceutical companies. Obama never objected to Max Baucus writing a bill that excluded the public option. Obama himself stated the public option is not essential. The public option was the carrot on the vstick for progressives. Silly rabbit, did you really believe Obama.

Back in June, Obama refused to commit to the public option. Progressives have to save America from President Barack Obama.

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At September 03, 2009 8:31 PM , Blogger libhom said...

I will never vote for any politician who would actually attack the middle class and support a fraudulent "reform" that doesn't even have a public option.

Everyone in the House and Senate should be supporting Single Payer. Anyone who won't even support a compromise like a public option is completely bought and paid for by big money campaign contributions and future lobbying fees after they leave office.


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