MoveOn and the public option: trying to put lipstick on a sow.

Promoted. Originally posted 2009-06-06 16:29:06 -0400. -- GH

I just got an email from MoveOn.  Some of you may have gotten it as well.  I'll just cut to the main thrust of this email:

Since taking office, President Obama hasn't said much about a key plank of health care reform: the public health insurance option. Some worried he had backed off from his support of it.

Who would that be?  The health insurance industry?   If The Public Option passes, the health insurance industry will foist it's worst customers - those in poor health - onto the taxpayers.  They will keep the healthiest customers.  The Public Option will not be competitive.  It will have higher deductibles and copays.  Many still won't be able to afford it.

Then the right will point to it as the kind of expensive, crappy program that liberals love and use it as proof positive that a private alternative is always better than a public one.

Then you can say goodbye to Single Payer.  It would be better to never have the public option at all than to have it and lose our opportunity for real change. 

But this horrifying email from an organization I thought we could all trust just gets worse.  It, and my reply, follows.

Yesterday, all that changed. Obama said: "I strongly believe that Americans should have the choice of a public health insurance option operating alongside private plans. This will give them a better range of choices, make the health care market more competitive, and keep insurance companies honest." 1

This is a huge deal. It's Obama using some of his massive political capital to take a crucial stand

A crucial stand?  He's basically selling out the only solution to the healthcare crisis and kowtowing to the healthcare industry!  MoveOn thinks this is a crucial stand?  For whom?  Not for us, that's for sure!

A public health insurance option is the heart of real health care reform. And with the right wing united against it, we need to show Congress just how many Americans stand with Obama on this. Can you sign the petition supporting Obama and the public health insurance option?

The right wing would stand against ANYTHING!  ANYTHING Obama or the Dems proposed.  You see, there's this thing called the Overton Window and what Obama, with this statement, and Baucus before him have done is try to move the Overton Window away from Single-Payer and towards The Public Option.  What the Republicans are doing by fighting even The Public Option is to strengthen the move away from discussion of the only viable solution to the healthcare crisis:  Single Payer.

I'm sorry, but why the hell would I sign a petition for an option that is no option at all?  MoveOn do you have a clue?  Who's side are you on anyways?

This is a critical moment on health care. A key Senate committee is just days away from releasing a first draft of reform legislation, and the right-wing attacks are aimed at making sure it's watered down.

Yes, I agree, it IS a critical moment on health care.  Emphaisis on that last word because insurance is not care.  What Americans need is health care, not a peice of shit insurance option that the next Republican president will eviscerate anyways and in the meantime won't do a thing to change the crime that is the health insurance industry.  Watered down?  Are you kidding me?  The Public Option, by it's very existence, is a watered down alternative to Single Payer!

It doesn't get anymore "watered down" than that MoveOn.

But if hundreds of thousands of us speak up, we can show Congress that Americans demand real health care reform with a strong public health insurance option. As the President also said yesterday, "In 2009, health care reform is not a luxury.  It's a necessity we cannot defer."

Here's an idea:  How about if hundreds of thousands of us speak up and show Congress that Americans demand real health care reform with NO insurance option of ANY kind!  Because what Obama said is true, it's a necessity we cannot defer.

Sign the petition today and show Congress that Americans stand with President Obama on health care reform. Clicking here will sign your name:

Forgive me if I don't include your link MoveOn.  What you've sent me I find unforgivable.  So instead, I believe it's time we sent a message to YOU, MoveOn:

Stop supporting the Public Option and get your asses behind Single Payer!

So to send that message I suggest you click on THIS link:

That's the link to unsubscribe to MoveOn.  And when they reply, and they will, explain to them WHY you feel MoveOn no longer represents the progressive movement and why you think they've sold out to the insurance industry.

Oh, and this was my reply:

What Obama said really disappointed me. That MoveOn is touting it as something good disappoints me even more.  The public health insurance option is a total cop out.  What Americans need is not more health insurance, what they need is more health CARE.

Single Payer is the only option we should be discussing.  The public option is smoke and mirrors.  What it will result in is the insurance industries taking on the healthy americans, whom they will still deny coverage for, while the american taxpayer will be left footing the bill for the high end customer that will be what qualifies for public health insurance.

It's a losing proposition and MoveOn should know better than to try to put lipstick on a sow.

No votes yet


However, irrespective of them as an organization or what they advocate. A strong healthcare option can bring us closer to single-payer insurance, especially if there is a unified public health insurance program encompassing veteran's care, children's health  and medicare.

I think your approach to politics in general is far more radical than I am these days. Personally I've had my fill of the good old days waiting for the red telephone to ring.

There are a lot of people dying right now for lack of any access to health care and others who are tied to rotten, confiscatory private health plans because they have serious health conditions and are not otherwise insurable.

Regulations are being proposed to regulate the cost of private health insurance to prevent cotton-picking the healthy and charging exhorbitant rates to those with preexisting conditions or simply not insuring them. I would like to see single-payer insurance, and I want to see a strong public health insurance option, better than medicare, but I absolutely refuse to accept your absolutist stance.

That does not mean that I support Move-on. As a matter of fact I don't. I don't know if you are aware that they have had a completely overhaul and a new leadership. The old Move-on is no more.


to be naive enough to think that the public option won't get twisted and distorted into something we don't want it to be.

I'm done trusting the Democrats to do the right thing.  Since Bobby got shot, they haven't done squat for us.  And I've watched this go on for far too long. 

If I had even a smidgeon of hope that the public option would turn into what you hope it does, I'd be all for it.  But it won't.  That's not me being an absolutist or a radical, that's just me seeing the world for what it is:  corrupted by special interests.

This Congress and these Dems won't do it the right way.  I promise you they won't.

Let's come back here with 20/20 hindsight and see what happened and remember what could have happened instead had we stuck to our guns and demanded more of them.

Howard Dean contends that a strong public insurance option can be a step toward single payer insurance. The question is what happens next. Do we continue to expose the private insurers? Do we continue to fight for single-payer insurance. His answer and mine is yes. Successful organizing is an ongoing process. It is not a one-shot effort to elect a president or get a bill passed. A "victory" is always only a small step further, a skirmish in a continuing struggle win or lose.