Thursday, August 13, 2009

In Response to Bipartisanship

The discussion for months about health care reform has been focused around bipartisanship. The President has failed to “draw lines in the sand” and it is damaging the prospects of meaningful health reform. The Senate Finance Committee has spent months hiding from the public, structuring a plan that is likely to have the most influence of what the final health reform bill will contain. I agree that methods in which to pay for health reform need to be debated amongst Democrats and Republicans. Health reform should not be done entirely on the backs of the wealthy. We cannot allow this bill to be turned into another rhetorical “welfare program.”

Yet, when it comes to debating the structure of the plan the President and Congressional Democrats need to put their feet down. Health reform should not be passed without a public option, health insurance co-operatives with government seed money and infrastructure, or at the very minimum a provision that if free market solutions fail to achieve their goals within a certain time period that a public option will be implemented.

Am I the only one that feels that this incredible opportunity for reform and what we worked so hard for in the campaign is slipping away?

President Obama has continued to speak in generalities so he can spin any health bill as a success. In doing so he has weakened the liberal position on health reform and allowed conservatives to take the driver seat. The energy against reform is building by the day. We must combat the opposition with clear ideas and comprehendible solutions; not the generalities, pandering, and drama that so often echo in the halls of Capitol Hill. The President has outlined what he wants in a plan but has refused to give specific details of what it must include to warrant his signature.

Organizing for America is asking volunteers to sign a pledge stating their support for these three elements of health reform.
  • Reduce costs — Rising health care costs are crushing the budgets of governments, businesses, individuals, and families, and they must be brought under control
  • Guarantee choice — Every American must have the freedom to choose their plan and doctor – including the choice of a public insurance option
  • Ensure quality care for all — All Americans must have quality and affordable health care
I signed the pledge and you should too,, but we should be doing more than asking the Senate Finance Committee and other members of Congress to stand with the President. We should be able to inform them of what the health reform bill MUST contain for our President to sign it.


OB said...

I think NYT does a good job here with laying out the different proposals. However, they must have forgotten to put in the part about how you will have to sit in front of a panel that will judge whether or not your productivity output is high enough to be kept alive...

nolan said...

I just read an interesting article by Paul Begala
Of course something is better than nothing and he does make a good point: If we don't get everything we want now it doesn't mean we can't get it later.

I don't know were I fall on this. I have spent so much time saying we cannot give in but I don't know if I can take a total failure. I also don't know if the administration nor the country could handle one.

ShamRockNRoll said...

Good post, Chris. I just came across an excellent video clip that sums up my thoughts on "bipartisanship." I'll post it now...