Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Reform Rx – Going It Together

Today’s New York Times is reporting that the Democrats may be ready to “go it alone” on health care reform. There has been several later stories that indicate perhaps that is not being presently planned. However, we should move forward without Republican support that will not be forthcoming in any case, but it is not the solo venture that is being implied.

The American people want substantive health care reform in overwhelming numbers. Even among registered Republicans there has been a desire for government involvement in health care. Without doubt, lies not facts, are effective in misleading and confusing voters and eroding reform support. Action now is appropriate to counter ongoing Republican deception.

President Obama has patiently, beyond expectations, and very generously extended the hand of bi-partisanship to Republicans in Congress. It has been repeated slapped away and defeat of health care reform is seen by many Republicans as the means to “break” the President. Their have not contributed to reforming health care at all.

Republican partisan activity assisted in delaying reform action. Instead of using the slow down they urged to “get it right” on legislation, they used it to spread blatant falsehoods about death panels, socialism, taxes, et cetera to sow discord into public debate to derail reform.

Republican partisans incited disrespectful activity to shut down productive citizen dialogue with elected representatives. They stood aside when the fringe labeled President Obama a Nazi or Communist and took a pass on strongly condemning the gun toting intimidation occurring near public forums.

The 2008 election was an endorsement for the President and Congress to substantively reform health care with robust government involvement. It was one important contributing factor to why Barack Obama won in an electoral blowout, why Democrats have a 60 seat majority in the Senate, and why there is a 78 seat Democratic advantage in the House of Representatives.

It is now evident that it is an illusion that any but a tiny group of Republicans will join us. The Republicans have been the party of “no” at every turn and have exaggerated their minority clout in every part of the health care debate to kill reform. They requested inclusion but never compromised and promise to vote against reform. They have bargained in bad faith.

It is time for all Democrats to unite and lead. Let’s craft the definitive Democratic bill that will fulfill public aspirations. Despite media chatter, our “blue dog” caucus shares Democratic core values and we can successfully work together. We will be supported by a large majority of voters. The Republicans will unfortunately be “going it alone” on their continual hyper-partisan course.

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