Dream Never Dies
Submitted By Todd on February 20th at 9:22am
Endangered Colorado Democrat Michael Bennett has written a letter to Harry Reid asking him to keep the Public Option alive.
Dear Leader Reid: We respectfully ask that you bring for a vote before the full Senate a public health insurance option under budget reconciliation rules.The letter is co-signed by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, and Sherrod Brown of Ohio. It makes all the usual arguments in favor of a government insurance company.
As Democrats, we pledged that the Senate health care reform package would address skyrocketing health care costs and relieve overburdened American families and small businesses from annual double-digit health care cost increases. And that it would do so without adding a dime to the national debt.And it asks that the reconciliation process be used to allow Democrats to pass the measure without having to overcome a filibuster, which requires 60 votes.
There is substantial Senate precedent for using reconciliation to enact important health care policies. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Medicare Advantage, and the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA), which actually contains the term ‘reconciliation’ in its title, were all enacted under reconciliation.With a total of 19 Democrats on the record in support of Bennett's proposal, we know which is the party that makes Washington such a partisan, contested town.
Obama was with Reid in Nevada Friday, appearing at a town hall meeting to rally support for the health care overhaul... "Health care has been knocking me around pretty good," Obama said at his stop at a high school in the town of Henderson. "It's been knocking Harry around pretty good."We've been around the block on this, the Obama administration is over in terms of meaningful legislative achievement, having spent all of its political capital on health reform, and they're being whipped at the polls over it. Nevertheless, the leftists keep pushing the unconstitutional, unpopular proposal.
But the president suggested that was due more to misinformation about the plans than to general unpopularity of the overhaul, and he defended the Democratic bills that have passed both houses of Congress, but have not been reconciled into one piece of legislation.We know they're base tweaking, trying to keep their activist, Move-on Daily Kos base from declaring war, but they are dangerous because they fear not passing health reform and offending liberal primary voters, still, more than they fear angering mainstream Americans, the silent-no-more majority.
Reid, who says he personally supports a government-sponsored plan as one option in a reconfigured health care system, had to drop that idea to get a bill through the Senate last December, when he needed 60 votes to pass sweeping legislation. But a spokesman for Reid says if the Senate now turns to a budget procedure that requires 51 votes, Reid will work to allow another vote on a public option.The heart and soul of the Democratic Party right now is the activist left, and that's who is being serviced by the Bennett Letter. Without the energy of these activist behind them, Democrats have nothing, which is why they're willing to risk giving birth to a hundred more Scott Browns.
President Obama is expected to unveil his own health care bill early next week, in anticipation of a bipartisan “health summit” set for Thursday.Give us a freakin' break. I'll sign on to a letter that makes that demand, and so will the vast majority of Americans. The Democrats are so over.