This isn't an exciting post. It may not even be interesting to most. But to me it's deadly important.
President Obama ran on reforming a broken health care system. Heck, I think most Democrats, Hillary Clinton certainly, campaigned on the same. Their basic concerns were similar, their path to reform was different however.
Anyone who thought there wouldn't be fierce opposition to any real reform doesn't remember the Early 90s when President Clinton tried to do the same thing. Of course we are told his plan failed because they came in like gangbusters and proposed a plan and wanted congress to accept it.
The new idea was to allow congress to submit plans on a bipartisan level thereby giving more hope to the proposed bills passage. Now, of course, we see that didn't work either. And why should it have?
If the Republicans had truly wanted health care reform they would have proposed it years ago when they held the majority in both houses. Now that they are the minority they are doing everything in their power to protect insurance companies from having to compete on a level playing field.
Howard Dean finally said, the other day, that this bill is bad, and it needs to be tossed out and we need to begin anew. Yes, I know, it's much easier said than done.
But if we pass this bill which removes the expanded MediCare scenario and the public OPTION then we are left with a weak, skeleton of what we had hoped to do. And when news reports and Republicans begin to scream about how much this Health Care Overhaul is costing the country while giving relief to only a handful, well then how do we ever expect to build on it.
And we, as Democrats, are playing directly into their hands. By bending over backwards for an Independent Senator who one moment says he's for expanded Medicare and the next says he's against it is just laughable.
The head of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) said today in relation to the bill and Senator Lieberman "The result of this senator saying 'we can't?' The public option is declared impossible, Americans cannot purchase Medicare at an earlier age. The health insurance reform effort we have needed for a century is at risk."
And by risk he implies that his powerful union will not support the bill.
Cut Lieberman loose. Why is it that we as Democrats have to sacrifice our principles for this one turncoat who has done little other than ask his former party and the president to jump higher and higher still.
This agreement was so close, but when the BUY IN OPTION to Medicare was eliminated and the Public OPTION as well it is obvious that to some it is more important to say we have achieved something even if what we have achieved is nothing at all.