Surprise! Democrats Looking to Resuscitate the Public Option

In the wake of Scott Brown’s election in Massachusetts last month and the outcry from millions of Americans throughout last year, the shining star of the Democratic Party leadership’s idea of health care reform–the so-called “public option”–is laying naked, exposed and dying on an operating room table.  Now, it appears that nearly 20 Democrat senators are warming up a defibrillator and preparing for an attempt at revival.

According to the New York Daily News, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand have added their names to a letter urging party leadership to not only put the public option back into play, but also to pass it using the simple 51-vote majority of the reconciliation process reserved for budgetary measures.

The other senators who signed the letter:

  • Michael Bennet (Colorado), who penned the letter
  • Barbara Boxer (California)
  • Sherrod Brown (Ohio)
  • Roland Burris (Illinois)
  • Dianne Feinstein (California)
  • Al Franken (Minnesota)
  • John Kerry (Massachusetts)
  • Frank Lautenberg (New Jersey)
  • Patrick Leahy (Vermont)
  • Jeff Merkley (Oregon)
  • Barbara Mikulski (Maryland)
  • Jack Reed (Rhode Island)
  • Bernie Sanders (Vermont)
  • Tom Udall (New Mexico)
  • Sheldon Whitehouse (Rhode Island)

These people just aren’t listening to the facts.  The public option is merely the first step toward a single-payer system, and as House Republicans have already noted, the effects would be devastating.

  1. Democrats’ Government Takeover Will Cost Middle-Class Families and Small Businesses Billions. Though House Democrats don’t know (or won’t say) how much their government takeover will cost, here’s what we do know: the plan will make health care more expensive and hit the middle class particularly hard with higher taxes, rationed care, and new health care costs. As millions of families and small businesses are struggling to make ends meet while making responsible choices, this plan forces those that make responsible decisions to foot the bill for those who don’t.
  2. Democrats’ Government Takeover Will Cost Tens of Millions Their Current Health Care Coverage. The House Democrats’ plan could force more than 100 million Americans out of their current health care plan and onto the government rolls, according to a Lewin Group study published earlier this year. A Congressional Budget Office report on a similar plan authored by Senate Democrats that would force at least 23 million Americans off of their current plans. According to the Associated Press, even the White House admits that the President’s promises about allowing the American people to keep their health care shouldn’t be taken literally.
  3. Democrats’ Government Takeover Will Cost Millions of Americans Their Jobs. The House Democrats’ plan would impose employer mandates and cost jobs by requiring some employers – especially some small businesses – to pay a new eight percent tax to Washington. The plan would also slap employers that are unable to offer coverage the government deems adequate with another new financial burden. These two new taxes will make it more difficult than ever for small business owners to reinvest in their businesses and create and retain good paying jobs. Using the economic model of the President’s own economic advisors, an employer mandate would result in 4.7 million Americans losing their jobs.
  4. Democrats’ Government Takeover Will Put Bureaucrats in Charge of Key Medical Decisions. Instead of keeping patients and doctors in charge of key medical decisions, the House Democrats’ plan will give Washington the power instead. And if you’re outraged with what Washington’s done with the bailouts, just wait until you see what Uncle Sam does with your health care.
  5. Democrats’ Government Takeover Will Cost Future Generations Money They Don’t Have. The House Democrats’ bill simply shifts the burden of debt from one generation to the next. Our nation can’t sustain the Medicaid and Medicare programs now. At a time when families and small businesses already are being crushed under the weight of historic debt, a new government-run program will only further add to the bill passed along to our children and grandchildren.
  6. Democrats’ Government Takeover Will Cost Seniors Key Medicare Benefits and Options. In order to expand health care benefits to some seniors, House Democrats will slash coverage millions of other seniors depend on. These benefit cuts will ultimately eliminate choices for seniors.
  7. Democrats’ Government Takeover Will Place a New Mandate on Individuals. The House Democrats’ plan mandates that every American buy health insurance or pay a hefty penalty to Washington equal to almost two percent of their income. This would force more Americans into government-run system that will make health care more expensive, ration care, and put bureaucrats in charge of medical decisions.
  8. Democrats’ Government Takeover Will Raise Taxes on Families, Small Businesses. Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) readily admitted that the Democrats’ health care “reform” plan would be financed with tax hikes. The Associated Press reported that, “Democrats are considering everything from taxing soda, to raising income taxes on upper income people earning more than $200,000, to a federal sales tax.” Exactly how many new taxes will there be to bankroll this government takeover? When do Democrats plan to reveal them?
  9. Democrats’ Government Takeover Is a Missed Opportunity To Reduce Health Care Costs. The House Democrats’ plan does not include even a shred of medical liability reform, missing an opportunity to drive down health care costs by reducing costly, unnecessary defensive medicine practiced by doctors trying to protect themselves from trial lawyers.
  10. Democrats’ Government Takeover Harms Small Businesses, Costs Jobs. The House Democrats’ plan uses the amount of an employer’s annual payroll to define “small business,” which is troubling news for millions of Americans who depend on these engines of economic growth. Based on the Democrats’ definition of small businesses only those with, on average, less than 10 employees will be spared from new taxes through employer mandates. This leaves a huge number of small businesses to deal with the onerous and expensive mandates of the House Democrats’ government defined health benefit plan (“small businesses” are traditionally defined as employing less than 500 people). These small businesses employ 47.3 million employees and provide those employees $1.7 trillion in wages annually. The House Democrats’ new employer mandate and taxes on these businesses will make it more difficult to retain these jobs and wages.

And these people simply are not listening to the American people, who have shown time and time again in polls and at rallies and at town hall meetings that they do not want government involved in health care, that they see how single-payer systems affect nations like Great Britain and Canada, and that they want none of it for this country, which was founded on principles of liberty and individual freedom.

At a time when America is waking up and speaking out against the expanding size, scope and reach of the federal government under the leadership of both parties, a stubborn run toward forcing the despised public option through the legislative process via a loophole meant for budgetary measures alone would be a death knell for the Democratic Party.  It’s the kind of myopic ideological fanaticism which has Democrat lawmakers like Evan Bayh and so many others retiring rather than continuing to subject themselves to a radical far-left bent on political suicide.  And it’s the kind of egregious partisanship which the American people will not easily forget.

That people like Schumer, Boxer, Feinstein and others simply do not care about the will of the people should be evidence enough that, to them, this is not about providing affordable health care to millions of Americans but rather is about government control.  Millions of Americans who do not currently have health insurance can become insured at a lower cost through the very measures championed by the House GOP — facilitating interstate competition among the 1700 companies currently providing health insurance to Americans, allowing individuals and especially small businesses to pool risk for group buying power, permitting people to make their own health care desicions through health savings accounts, and instituting responsible lawsuit reform. But Democrats like Schumer, Boxer and Feinstein are less interested in achieving real goals than they are in laying the groundwork for exponentially increased government involvement in nearly every aspect of daily life — that they’re willing to ignore the will of the people and risk utter destruction of their party in order to do so should concern every American who values our representative republic.

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Comments

  1. Sam says:

    They’d resuscitate Chairman Mao if it were possible.

  2. Dee says:

    I can hardly wait for November.

  3. Gail B. says:

    And I thought I was hardheaded!

    “…myopic ideological fanaticism….” You certainly identified the problem!

  4. Here’s why using Reconciliation to pass the Dems #hcr bills WILL NOT WORK: http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/79423-gop-finds-loophole-in-reconciliation-ploy

  5. Using Reconciliation to pass the Dems #hcr bills WILL NOT WORK. Here’s why: http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/79423-gop-finds-loophole-in-reconciliation-ploy

  6. John Feeny says:

    This is now about nothing more than appeasing the lobbyists that ‘invested’ in the careers of these lunatics. I hope these ‘Democrats’ are happy; by accepting money from very powerful people in order to make themselves powerful, they’ve become slaves to the agenda of the wizards behind the curtain.

  7. gerri says:

    All I can hope for is that the Republicans stand fast and do NOT mess up between now and November. I hope that this can be a positive turning point for the party and this country will be able to turn back around. All Obama is doing is shooting himself in the foot. Americans do not want him messing with healthcare anymore. They want unemployment problems addressed and handled. A new contract with America from the Republican party would be nice.

  8. jacksmith says:

    A LINE IN THE SAND – From jacksmith – WorkingClass

    http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2010/01/30/debbie-wasserman-schultz-senators-lied-about-supporting-public-option/

    Call your representatives and demand an answer. Do you or don’t you support a public option. Do you or don’t support democratic MAJORITY RULE! We DEMAND! to know.

    http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2010/01/21/fixing-health-reform-through-the-reconciliation-sidecar-13-improvements-6-ways-to-save-money-4-important-benefits/

    YOU! are dying and suffering needlessly every day http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/27055

    http://firedoglake.com/2010/01/21/ma-voters-seek-more-and-faster-change-economy-jobs-top-concern-taxing-health-insurance-very-unpopular-poll-says/

    My Fellow Americans and People Of The World

    A strong Government-run MEDICARE like Public Option is STILL! CRITICAL!

    We have had a long hard struggle to find out what would be the BEST! that this congress and the Whitehouse could do to fix our highly dangerous, poor quality, most costly, and MOST! disgraceful healthcare delivery system in the world. It is clear that congress can do much more for the American people than what is proposed so far.

    It is clear that congress can pass a strong GOVERNMENT-run public option CHOICE. Available to everyone on day one. Expand Medicare and not levy any new taxes on workers healthcare benefits and plans. LET THIS BE YOUR LINE IN THE SAND!

    Lastly, there can be NO! INDIVIDUAL MANDATES without a strong Government-run MEDICARE like Public Option CHOICE. Or the American people WILL! and SHOULD! revolt with an all out CIVIL WAR against congress and this Government.

    House and Senate progressives and the tri-caucuses should aggressively push for the inclusion of a strong Public Option, Medicare expansion, and no new taxes on workers healthcare benefits and plans. If the obstructionist kill meaningful healthcare reform, then you should kill this bill. Because it will be far worse than the healthcare disaster we have now. It’s failure will be on the obstructionist heads. And they will be punished and replaced.

    WITHOUT A PUBLIC OPTION CHOICE, THIS BILL WILL KILL FAR MORE AMERICANS THAN IT WILL SAVE.

    What is proposed in the Senate bill is the worst case scenario for health-care reform. It would shift trillions of taxpayer, public and private dollars into the hands of the private insurance industry (The single most costly, deadly and dangerous product sold in America). And it would compel by law millions of Americans to financially support this oxymoronic criminal enterprise. You cant have a individual MANDATE WITHOUT A STRONG PUBLIC OPTION CHOICE!

    You will have NO! realistic way of controlling cost and quality. Cost will continue soaring through the roof bleeding the American people dry, and KILLing our economy. And our quality of healthcare will continue to decline below our current ranking of “WORST! quality of healthcare delivery in the developed World”.

    From the very start, the American people have been crystal clear about what they wanted. They wanted a humane single payer system like the rest of the developed world has (HR676). Or at least a humane strong GOVERNMENT-run public option CHOICE!! This is what the American people gave the democrats control of the house, control of the senate, and control of the Whitehouse to do.

    Those of you that can, should prepare now to remove every member of congress that fails to support YOUR healthcare reform with a strong Public Option, Medicare expansion, and no new taxes on workers healthcare benefits and plans. Run against them in teams if you have to. But take them out. And replace them with a strong single payer or PRO PUBLIC OPTION CHOICE candidate.

    Now! is the time to bring maximum pressure on your members of congress. Contact your representatives and spread the word.

    The Public Option http://tinyurl.com/yfftf76

    H1N1 IS A WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION!

    I have to tell you now that the H1N1 virus is a man-made WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION! and TERROR! It is a WEAPONIZED version of a flu virus. It has swept the planet infecting millions. And causing a global pandemic that has killed tens of thousands, and injured millions.

    The H1N1 virus is the product of the DISGRACEFUL, GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX! It was released in the U.S. in Texas in early January of last year, but not recognized until around April 2009 in California. The reason I know this is because when it came to America, it came to see me FIRST! How sweet…

    This was around the time the MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX! assaulted the Whitehouse with all their devils deals to cripple and weaken YOUR! healthcare reform. Especially your right to have a single payer system like HR676 (Medicare For All) which most of you wanted.

    They don’t even want you to have your HUGE!!! compromise position of a strong government-run MEDICARE like Public Option CHOICE. To compete with their DISGRACEFUL, GREED DRIVEN, MURDEROUS, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT PRODUCT (The single most costly, deadly and dangerous product sold in America).

    They also wanted to take away your rights to have your government meet it’s responsibility to use it’s full power to regulate, negotiate, and control drug cost, healthcare cost and quality. Something every other civilized country in the developed World has done for it’s people. Their Greed! moral degeneracy and lack of patriotism knows no bounds.

    Many of you will remember that before we knew about H1N1. I posted a open message to the President and Congress warning them to be vigilant about their health, and cautious about any medical advice they received. As I said then “they will not hesitate to try and hurt you”.

    The U.S. and the World have been under a BIOLOGICAL TERROR ATTACK! for over a year now. It is CRITICAL that We The People Of The United States take away control of our healthcare system from the GREED DRIVEN MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX!

    For our own National security, and the security of the world.

    A Strong, government-run, MEDICARE like Public Option CHOICE. Available to everyone on day one, with the full unfettered power of the federal government to regulate, negotiate, and control cost and quality. Would be the most workable way to deal with this global crisis at this time. Including patent suspensions as needed for national security or the greater good.

    As an American I invite the peoples of the World to help us fix our healthcare crisis. And bring pressure on our government to meet it’s responsibility to protect global security by controlling, and removing the corrupting influence of GREED and the PRIVATE FOR PROFIT motivations from healthcare in the U.S. and around the World.

    I call on the governments of the World and the global intelligence community to track down these MASS MURDERERS, and bring them to justice. CONNECT THE DOTS! And be vigilant that they don’t slip in another viral strain on you under the cloak of H1N1 sequestration.

    Further, the proposed patent protection on biologic’s must be stripped from the US bill. And greatly shorten/restricted, or abolished completely. This is a grave danger to humanity and global security.

    I think President Obama is doing the best he can at playing the disastrous deck of cards he inherited from the previous administration. And I think he is doing an excellent job. But the wolves and devils of the medical industrial complex! are trying to exploit, and take advantage of his good heart, and desperate desire to help suffering Americans. But we must be strong and insist that healthcare reform be done right for the American people. Or everyone loose’s.

    This is all I can say in a message post. I’ll try to find a way to tell you more later.

    God Bless You My Fellow Human Beings

    jacksmith – Working Class

    p.s. The so-called nominal H1N1 virus is designed in such a way as to make it more lethal to children and young adults. The medical community must be more vigilant of secondary bacterial infections in the young caused by H1N1. And remember, a viral infection is also a transfer of genetic code to you. Think about it, and be vigilant. :-(

  9. Anonymous says:

    Wow, a blog within a blog 3:19.
    y a w n

  10. John Feeny says:

    Is it just me, or is Jackass aptly named?

  11. LisaGinNZ says:

    I’m still amazed people think a) current USA situation is “inherited” like wittle wee Obama+minions had NOTHING to do with growing USA debt or b) there are still quite a few 9/11 ‘truthers’ out there believing everything over at Infowars (as 2 examples)…ok yea and C02 causes warming…

    Hey, the earth is flat, doncha know! I “know” this ’cause read it on a blog! :)
    /snark off

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