Where we stand in Healthcare Reform

In response to AMERICAblog, BooMan has another useful piece up concerning what to make of the politics of the White House administration in Healthcare Reform:

But, you probably want to know, when is the administration going to
make a stand? Honestly, I don't know if they will. But, if they do,
they will probably do it once both the House and the Senate have passed
their own versions of the bill.

If you want to identify a sign of capitulation, look to the House, not
the Senate. There is no reason to make the Democrats in the House take
a tough vote on a robust public option if the whole thing is going to
be jettisoned in Conference. As long as Pelosi is standing firm, you
should maintain your optimism. If the House passes a robust public
option and the Senate passes something less (perhaps a state opt-out
provision, for example) then the time for the White House to come down
hard in favor of the House version is in the Conference Committee.

At this point in time we haven't seen anything from the ongoing debate that should have us alarmed over the direction of it all, yet. With everything we have seen and heard it is realistic, and I am even optimistic at that, that we will see a relatively strong public option in the end. And it will likely come as they go to conference between the House and the Senate and mash together the final bill.

But, like any sane advocate and activist, that does not mean we can or should just sit back, watch and wait for this to play out hoping for the best... (Read on)

If you look at what seems like a snails pace of movement, we are probably still on track for getting the final bill ready to go sometime on or around the Thanksgiving deadline they had originally hoped for before the end of the year. That means we still have to work our butts off to make sure that they all know what we want and what we expect every step of the way.

Plan on everyday being a working day when you are advocating for your own interests and against the interests of BIG business, of which the insurance industry certainly is. Here, with a h/t to TheFatLadySings, is where you can find some info you can use today and everyday in order to put pressure on Harry Reid:

Action Diary: Help Pass the Public Option Today!

The battle for health care reform remains fluid. Various proposals
have been working their way through Congress. At each stage of the
process, a different sort of concerted action is required to insure a
meaningful bill and a robust public option. We have reached another
critical juncture, and your help is badly needed.

After sitting on its hands for months, Senate Finance finally passed
a bill out of committee last week, enabling the process to move
forward. At this point in the Senate, the Finance proposal (which is
the weakest and perhaps most expensive of all the draft bills) must be
merged with the bill drafted by the Senate HELP (Health, Education,
Labor and Pensions) Committee. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will
be key to our success.

Here are some facts, links and tools that will help you to contribute to our effort.

Sustained pressure on everyone involved in the debate is the only real tool we have, and while being optimistic about it all, I still think we need to keep it up until the very end if we are to be certain of getting anything resembling honest reform.

Below is the contact information for another big player in the Senate mashup of their version of the bill. Though Senator Dodd is already a strong supporter of a Public Option, for which you might want to thank him, here is a smaple of what you might want to let him know:

"I want to thank Sen. Dodd for supporting the Public Option. I'd also like him to know that I expect healthcare reform to provide Universal Coverage; that a Public Option is available from day one; And that the Public Option be available to everyone that wants it. And please support and enable state's rights so they may be able to start a single payer program if they want to."

Here are some ways to contact Senator Dodd:

U.S. Senator Chris Dodd

448 Russell Building | Washington D.C., 20510
Tel: (202) 224-2823 | Fax: (202) 224-1083

30 Lewis St Suite 101 | Hartford, CT 06103
Tel: (860) 258-6940/(800) 334-5341 —CT only
Fax: (860) 258-6958

You could also contact the last big Senate player in this... Senator Baucus. Though, I would suggest you modify your message to him:

"I am truly disappointed that Sen. Baucus is not strongly supporting the Public Option. I'd
also like him to know that I expect healthcare reform to provide Universal
Coverage; that a Public Option is available from day one; And that the
Public Option be available to everyone that wants it.
And please support and enable state's rights so they may be able to start a single payer program if they want to."

Here is Senator Baucus' contact info:

From MT (toll-free): 800-332-6106

Main Fax: 202-228-1493

TTD: 202-224-1998

511 Hart Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20510
(202) 224-2651 (Office)
202) 224-9412 (Fax)

0
No votes yet