Thirty Senate Dems Urge Public Option

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Thursday, October 08, 2009 at 4:23 pm

Thirty Senate Democrats today urged Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to include a public insurance option in the bill the Democrats bring to the chamber floor, perhaps as early as next week.

We have spent the better part of this year fighting for health reform that would provide insurance access and continuity to every American in a fiscally responsible manner. We are concerned that – absent a competitive and continuous public insurance option – health reform legislation will not produce nationwide access and ongoing cost containment. For that reason, we are asking for your leadership on ensuring that the merged health reform bill contains a public insurance option.

The letter, spearheaded by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), also drew the support of Democratic Sens. John D. Rockefeller (W.Va.), Russ Feingold (Wis.), Pat Leahy (Vt.), Daniel Akaka (Hawaii), Tom Udall (N.M.), Kristen Gillibrand (N.Y.), Roland Burris (Ill.), Ron Wyden (Ore.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Michael Bennet (Colo.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Jack Reed (R.I.), Jeff Merkley (Ore.), Frank Lautenberg (N.J.), Ben Cardin (Md.), Al Franken (Minn.), Robert Casey (Pa.), Barbara Mikulski (Md.), Daniel Inouye (Hawaii), Ted Kaufman (Del.), Arlen Specter (Pa.), Maria Cantwell (Wash.), Robert Menendez (N.J.), John Kerry (Mass.), Herb Kohl (Wis.) and Paul Kirk (D-Mass.), as well as Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.), who caucuses with the Democrats.

Three thoughts: First, the list of supporters is deceptively thin. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), for example, has been among the most vocal proponents of the public plan, but his name doesn’t appear on the letter.

Second, the Finance Committee included a provision allowing states to create their own public plans to negotiate with providers and compete with private insurers for the sake of bringing costs down for consumers. That’s not the robust national plan many liberals are pushing for, but it is a public plan. The Democrats’ letter is silent on whether the state plan provision would satisfy their demands.

And third, the letter acts as if Reid has the final say on the matter. He doesn’t. Even if the majority leader ignores this entreaty and goes with the Finance Committee’s state-based health co-ops, there will be plenty of time later to amend the bill. After all, this debate is just beginning.

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Pithy
Comment posted October 9, 2009 @ 4:08 am

STILL NOT SATISFIED – WILL CANTWELL IN REALITY PROTECT THE POOREST?

“The Cantwell proposal is based on Washington's Basic Health Plan, which she said results in lower-cost, high-quality coverage, generally delivered through managed care, as the state uses its purchasing power in negotiations with insurers.”
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/health/20

With the exception that Cantwell's amendment applies only to person earning greater than 133% of the poverty level, and (in itself) ignores those less fortunate.

“The bill proposed by Mr. Baucus would expand Medicaid to all American citizens earning up to 133 percent of poverty. Ms. Cantwell’s plan effectively broadens it further.”
-New York Times, 10-01-09

In such a senatorial den inhabited by specious lounge-lizards like Senator Baucus, few would be surprised if the provisions for such dramatic and nation-wide expansions of (presently state-determined) medicaid eligibility standards (to all individuals with income below 133% of poverty level) bites the cutting-room floor in the sausage factory.

Where would *that* leave the “least among us”?

In Cantwell’s very own State of Washington (under it’s own Medicaid eligibility standards), individual persons (without children) are presently (and may well remain) completely *ineligible* for any kind of Medicaid assistance (excepting the mere handful of persons accepted into the already-cut and further budget-threatened GAU and GAX programs).

“… 'In our state we’re producing efficient health care,' Ms. Cantwell said. 'Better care at lower cost.' …”
-New York Times, 10-01-09

Such slick-sounding bites ring rather hollow in Cantwell’s own state to individuals with incomes less than 133% of the poverty level.

The (state-funded) Washington Basic Health Plan (BHP) is not (and may well not in the future) be an option for such unfortunate members of society, as Governor Gregoire herself specifically requested (and got from the state legislature) an approximately 40% cut in the BHP’s budget in the Spring of 2009:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews

With well less than 10% of the state’s uninsured citizens currently able to be enrolled in the BHP, now the Governor rumbles about possible upcoming gubernatorial requests of the state legislature to eliminate the program entirely, stating:

“Do we devastate the Basic Health Plan? Do we completely gut it? We are almost to the point where we have as many people covered as we do on the waiting list.” (-Gregoire, 09-29-09):
http://www.theolympian.com/thepoliticsblog/stor

With Senator Baucus’ integrity and credibility long ago sold off, will (if Medicaid eligibility policy remains unchanged in the federal legislative process) Senator Cantwell turn her back on the very *poorest* individuals in her own State?

Such a “sweet spot” for *all but* the poorest individuals in Cantwell’s own state would be a saccharine coated dose of strychnine for the “least among us”, and moral leprosy itself.

Does Cantwell have such a moral spine (to protect the “least among us” as a core and necessary imperative) – or does she just “play one” on TV?

Please, if you would, Senator Cantwell, clarify your position to the public on this matter, forthwith.


Adam
Comment posted October 9, 2009 @ 7:22 pm

The HMOs'/insurers' opposition to the 'public option' is more bluster than anything. Like Medicaid and Medicare, it would just pull bad risks out of their actuarial pools.

Something there's considerable consensus on–from conservatives, to liberal (Single-Payer) and 'socialist' (NHS-type) advocates–is getting employers out of the healthcare loop. Even BISMARCK went for individual policies, when he created the German Krankenkassen system. Obama's stubborn fetishization of employer-funded insurance is puzzling and problematic.


DOUGLASFIELD
Comment posted October 12, 2009 @ 6:54 pm

~ WHILE THEIR CHILDREN FIGHT IN OUR U.S.MILITARY~THEIR FAMILIES BACK HOME ARE DYING WITHOUT HEALTH CARE ~

.
**JUST MAYBE AMERICA NEEDS A FEW MORE REVOLVING DOORS IN OUR U.S. CONGRESS **

OUR COUNTRY COULD REALLY USE MANY MORE SINCERE AMERICANS LIKE OUR TWO U.S. SENATORS FROM MAINE WHO CONSIDER THIS COUNTRIES 45 MILLION POOR AMERICAN MEN WOMEN AND CHILDREN WITHOUT PROPER HEALTH CARE LIKE THEIR OWN FAMILY AHEAD OF THEIR ELECTED POLITICAL FAMILY **

45 MILLION POORER AMERICANS HAVE OBVIOUSLY BEEN TOUCHED BY ANGELS WITH THE PEOPLES TWO U.S. SENATORS SNOWE AND COLLINS OF MAINE.

LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS THANKS THESE SPECIAL WOMEN FROM THE CARING STATE OF MAINE FOR SHOWING THE REST OF AMERICA THAT GODS VILLAGE OF ANGELICA BEINGS CAN EVEN BE HERE WITH US EVERY~DAY IN THE FLESH.
——————————————————————————————————————————
~ OUR U.S.CONGRESS AT LEAST DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE…THEY AFFORD POORER AMERICANS THE SAME EMERGENCY ONLY HEALTH*CARE THAT ILLEGAL ALIENS RECEIVE ~

AMERICA~LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT~ 45,000 DEAD POOR AMERICANS LEAVE U.S. EVERY*YEAR DUE TO 3rd WORLD HEALTH CONDITIONS ??

** POLITICS IN AMERICA IS VERY SIMPLE TO UNDERSTAND WHEN OUR MIDDLE~CLASS & WORKING POOR CITIZENS ARE ALL BEING FORCED 2 ALLOW BIG $$$ TO CONTROL THE PEOPLES HALLS OF THE U.S.CONGRESS..

~ SADLY,OUR VERY OWN AMERICAN HEALTH*CARE SATANIC VERSES HAS KEPT 45 MILLION POOR AMERICANS IN 3rd WORLD HEALTH CONDITIONS~

DON'T WORRY BE HAPPY ~ THE WORLDS SELECT BILLIONAIRES AND THEIR FRONT CORPORATIONS WILL ALL GET ON BOARD THE NEW HEALTH~TRAIN OF $$$…**ADDING 45 MILLION MORE AMERICAN CITIZENS TO THE CURRENT GIVEN PROFIT MARGINS + WITH A FUTURE AMNESTY PROGRAM
(6 months) AFTER NEXT U.S.PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION = $$$$$$$$$………

WEALTH~CARE FOR ALL THE HEAVILY INVESTED INTERNATIONAL AND AMERICAN BILLIONAIRES IN THE CURRENT U.S.HEALTH FOR THE WEALTHY ONLY SYSTEM WILL NOT END ANYTIME SOON… IT WILL ONLY BE RE~ARRANGED TO MAKE SURE ALL THESE MEGA CAPITALISTS PROSPER IN JUST ANOTHER FASHION .

THE FINE ART OF DENYING 45 MILLION AMERICANS HEALTH~CARE IN OUR JUDEO~CHRISTIAN NATION IS NOT RACIST AT ALL… IT'S JUST OUR BEHIND THE SCENE WEALTHY ELITE CITIZENS USING THEIR TREMENDOUS WEALTH TO DIRECTLY INFLUENCE OUR U.S. CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES IN KEEPING ALL THE little poor folk down *

AMERICAN RELIGIOUS LEADERS ALL ACROSS THE USA HAVE ALWAYS BEEN ABLE TO COUNT ON THEIR RELIGIOUS FLOCK TO CONTRIBUTE(TITHE)THEIR HARD EARNED MONIES TO THEIR MINISTRIES EVERY WEEK. THE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS ATTENDING RELIGIOUS SERVICES IN THE U.S. ARE MIDDLE~CLASS AND WORKING POOR CITIZENS WHO NOW DESPERATELY NEED THE HELP AND SUPPORT FROM THESE SAME U.S.RELIGIOUS LEADERS IN LOBBYING THE U.S.CONGRESS TO PROVIDE PROPER HEALTH~CARE FOR ALL POORER AMERICANS.

***THERE ARE CURRENTLY AN ESTIMASTED 45 MILLION MEN WOMAN AND CHILDREN WITHOUT HEALTH~CARE IN THE WEALTHIEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD????

SILENT AMERICAN RELIGIOUS LEADERS WHO ALL HAVE HEALTH~CARE FOR THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILIES IS MUCH MORE FRIGHTENING THEN THE POSSIBLE DENIAL OF A FUTURE HEALTH~CARE PLAN FOR ALL…

**45,OOO AMERICANS DIE EACH YEAR IN THE WEALTHIEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD DIRECTLY RELATED TO THEIR LACK OF PROPER HEALTH*CARE.

LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS IS A WWW VOLUNTEER LOBBY FOUND WITH ANY SEARCH ENGINE. (424-247-2013)


digg » Blog Archive » The Advantage of Bringing A Bill With A Public Option to the Floor
Pingback posted October 20, 2009 @ 8:47 am

[...] week, a group of 30 Democrats sent a letter to Reid (D-Nev.) urging the Senate majority leader to include a public option in the compromise [...]


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