The struggle continues for reasonable, sane, affordable, health care for all citizens regardless of employment status, current health status, age or any other factor Americans and for-profit insurances companies can think of to discriminate among us.
The real victims of passing health care reform, especially a public option, national health plan? Big Pharma and Insurance Companies. Will Ferrell and cast do a fantastic satire on Funny or Die.
I continue to speak out in favor of a public option to my Senator, John Cornyn, a man who seems to value everything I don’t. I remember the days when Ted Kennedy was my Senator and, politically at least, it was like having myself as a senator. Now it’s like having my political opposite as a senator. The things I value, based on my principles, in terms of human rights, health, education and social and public welfare, not to mention a host of other foreign and domestic policy issues seem to be represented in a photographic negative by my federal representatives, Mr. Cornyn, most of all. Here’s Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia and John Cornyn of Texas arguing about who will be allowed to be left out of reforms applied to the health insurance industry:
If you live in Texas (or even if you live elsewhere) and believe that the only alternative to health care reform that ultimately lacks a viable public option is the status quo, give Senator John Cornyn’s office a call
Senator John Cornyn
If you call, maybe you could pretend actually be the Public Option, a neat little idea, I picked up from a MoveOn.org email addressed to me in the voice of the Public Option:
Hi, I’m the public health insurance option.
People have been saying all sorts of untrue things about me lately, so I decided it was time to stand up and set the record straight.
First off: the reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated. I’m happy and healthy. And I’m proud to play a starring role in four of the five health reform bills currently on the table.
Second: I have a lot of friends. President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi support me—as do 77% of the American people.1 In fact, I’m feeling pretty popular.
Senator you sit on the Senate Finance Committee, which is considering a “trigger” proposal that could kill me through indefinite delay.
A “trigger” that would make me wait to become available is just a trap designed to kill me. As Senator Charles Schumer has pointed out, “any reasonable criteria for triggering a public plan has already been met” because insurance companies have already failed to rein in costs and expand coverage.2
Here are some other things you might not know about me:
- I like candlelit dinners, overseas travel, and long walks on the beach. Whoops, sorry—wrong email.
- Some people say they don’t like me because I’m too expensive, but that’s just a flat-out lie. Keeping me around will actually save money—I’d cost 10% less than the typical private plan.3
- I’m the best way to keep insurance companies honest. Like my friend Senator Jay Rockefeller has said, “Without the steady, positive influence of a public plan option in the marketplace, we will never truly solve the health care crisis in this country. Private health insurance has a long history of cutting people off or charging too much for too little.”4
- Over 60 House progressives have publicly pledged to only vote for a bill that has me in it.5 So without me, health care reform doesn’t have enough votes make it through Congress.
1. “New Poll: 77 Percent Support ‘Choice’ Of Public Option,” The Huffington Post, August 20, 2009
2.“A ‘trigger’ for the public health insurance option? Already triggered.” NOW! Blog, May 20, 2009.
3. Letter to Rep. Charles B. Rangel, Congressional Budget Office, July 14, 2009
4. “Rockefeller Unveils Public Plan Option,” Office of Sen. Jay Rockefeller, June 10, 2009
5. “60 Members of Congress Say ‘No Public Plan, No Conference,’” Firedoglake, August 17, 2009