Monday, October 26, 2009

Reform Rx – Opting In to Opt Out

A public option will now get debated in the Senate. The opt-out option announced today by Senate Majority Leader Reid is far superior to the trigger in many ways.

Consistent broad voter support of a public option and your activist efforts kept this fight for fairness alive. The health care lobby came extremely close to killing the public option in the Senate. It is imperative to remind ourselves that they will not surrender. They will try to influence the processes at every single step. And rest assured that they and their surrogates will also resort again to fear tactics.

We need to ensure that the Senate Democratic caucus stands together and that no single member abandons the aspirations and essential needs of the citizens who gave the Democratic party a mandate by slinking off and joining the Republicans in a filibuster even if they might be individually disinclined to support the final bill.

Despite the efforts of our own Senator Snowe, her trigger trick is not the public option version that Senator Reid will offer for debate. But again be forewarned, we have not heard the end of the trigger and the opt-out replacement with a trigger is entirely possible. Maine citizens need to tell Senator Snowe to abandon her allegiance to the trigger; her constituents do not want it

We must intensify pressure on both Senators Snowe and Collins to support substantive health care reform with a robust public option. It is also critical that we be wary of too much attention being given to our Senators when it might cross the threshold into too much concession. We expect them to support our interests and not be granted the capability to barter away our hopes.

(From single payer to supporting a public option as a necessary compromise and now to using opt out as a tactic to win the compromise, my line in the sand is now drawn.)

No comments: