Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The Senate Says, "No, We Can't" To The Public Option

We're tired of hearing excuses from Senators Reid, Baucus, and others that they don't have the votes for a strong public option. They just got Al Franken as their 60th Democratic Senator. No more excuses. We can't afford any more excuses from this Senate while insurance premiums go up every year, and more Americans drop their health insurance coverage to keep food on the table and pay the gas and phone bills.

Real lives are at stake while Senators are busy playing the bipartisanship game to scuttlebutt the public option in order to be "fair to the private insurers." They have their priorities wrong. It shouldn't be about being fair to the private insurers, it should be about being fair to those who have been suffering for too long without health insurance due to pre-existing conditions, unaffordable insurance premiums, and junk insurance policies with few benefits. It's time to be fair to us for a change.

Right now, the insurance industry would love nothing more than Senator Baucus's bill to pass out of the conference committee without a strong public option, and only with a state-based co-op plan with very little bargaining clout. It'd be a mandated bailout for them with us being forced to buy their junk insurance plans. That's their dream and the worst nightmare possible for us. Senators like Baucus, Conrad, Landrieu, Wyden, Lincoln, Cantwell, and others need to drop their "bipartisan" fetish and start thinking about us for a change, instead of the private insurers. They need to stop saying, "No, We Can't," and say, "Yes, We Can," instead to the public option.

Please continue to call the White House, your Senators, Representatives, and even use President Obama's OFA phonebanking tool to call their Senator in support of [Single Payer or] a strong Medicare-like public option that that is immediately available, can deliver quality health care with affordable premiums, and help keep the private insurers honest by being available everywhere on day one as a competitive player.

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I urge you to keep asking for Single Payer as the best way to pressure for a good, working, affordable and sustainable public option.

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