Senate Dems–Get Some Balls On Health Care Reform!

In Uncategorized on June 17, 2009 at 2:32 pm

I’m tired of these Senate Democrats playing whack-a-mole with the public option in health care reform, trying everything they can to avoid putting it in legislation. I especially am even more upset with the staffers on the HELP committee being rolled by the Republicans by releasing an INCOMPLETE bill without the public option for a CBO score.

That was incredibly stupid of them to do so. It’s time for the Senate HELP Committee to include the full public option that is a strong, robust Medicare-like public option in the full mark-up of the draft legislation!

Will you please join me in telling them so today?


I’ve had enough of these Senate Democrats and Republicans playing politics with a strong, robust Medicare-like public option, which is supported by 65% of Americans. We desperately need a strong, robust Medicare-like public option that is AFFORDABLE and OPEN to all Americans, and helps keep the insurance companies honest.

Mcjoan was right in her diary yesterday about why we NEED to pressure the HELP Committee members, and to prevent them from being rolled again. Here are the numbers of the HELP Committee and their members below along with the usual talking points.

First, start off with by telling these Senators you want a strong, robust Medicare-like public option THAT IS OPTION A, not OPTION B OR C [see below for three options in committee draft] in the mark-up of the draft legislation, and to include it when releasing the bill for a FULL CBO score, then go into these talking points below.

Tell Senator [Name] that you DO NOT want the 7-year trigger for the public option and take it off the table, and that you want him to support an affordable strong, robust Medicare-like public option. We NEED a strong, robust Medicare-like public option NOW OPEN TO ALL AMERICANS AND AFFORDABLE, not more of the SAME broken system that’s given us unaffordable premiums, little private insurance coverage, and rising co-pays. Also, DON’T TAX OUR EMPLOYER HEALTH BENEFITS. Instead, follow the proposal by President Obama to tax the wealthy above $250,000, eliminate the overpayments in Medicare Advantage, and put tax capital gains to help fund health care reform. TELL YOUR SENATOR NO ON THE SCHUMER COMPROMISE AND NO ON THE CONRAD CO-OP COMPROMISE.

Tell Senator Dodd to STOP PLAYING POLITICS to appease the Republicans and release the details public option in the HELP committee bill draft!

CALL Senator Dodd at (202) 224-2823

You can e-mail the HELP committee as well here at

Also, don’t forget to CALL these Senators on the HELP Committee with the talking points above and why you want the HELP committee draft to have a strong, robust Medicare-like public option, that is NOT THE SCHUMER COMPROMISE OR THE CONRAD CO-OP proposal!

Tom Harkin (IA): (202) 224-3254
Barbara A. Mikulski (MD): (202) 224-4654
Jeff Bingaman (NM): (202) 224-5521
Patty Murray (WA: (202) 224-2621
Jack Reed (RI): (202) 224-4642
Bernard Sanders (I) (VT): (202) 224-5141
Sherrod Brown (OH): (202) 224-2315
Robert P. Casey, Jr. (PA): (202) 224-6324
Kay Hagan (NC): (202) 224-6342
Jeff Merkley (OR): (202) 224-3753

Also, tell President Obama at the White House not to pursue bipartisanship for bipartisanship’s sake with the public option as a bargaining chip in health care reform, especially when Rahm Emmanuel was the one behind the “7-year trigger” compromise proposal. Let’s make President Obama know that we don’t want the 15% that is traded away for “bipartisanship” to be the public option.

This is what President Obama has told visitors in private at the White House:

The president has told visitors that he would rather have 70 votes in the Senate for a bill that gives him 85 percent of what he wants rather than a 100 percent satisfactory bill that passes 52 to 48.

CALL the White House at: 202-456-1111 and E-MAIL them as well!

Please CALL Senator Max Baucus at (202) 224-2651

Please CALL Senator Olympia Snowe at (202) 224-5344

Please CALL Senator Charles Schumer at 202-224-6542

Please CALL Senator Edward Kennedy at (202) 224-4543

Please CALL Senator John Rockefeller at (202) 224-6472

Please CALL Senator Ron Wyden at (202) 224-5244

Please CALL Senator Kent Conrad at (202) 224-2043

Please CALL Senator Jeff Bingaman at (202) 224-5521

Please CALL Senator John Kerry at (202) 224-2742

Please CALL Senator Blanche Lincoln at 202-224-4843

Please CALL Senator Debbie Stabenow at (202) 224-4822

Please CALL Senator Maria Cantwell at 202-224-3441

Please CALL Senator Bill Nelson at 202-224-5274

Please CALL Senator Robert Menendez at 202-224-4744

Please CALL Senator Thomas Carper at (202) 224-2441

Also, can you please CALL these THREE chairmen in the House of Representatives, especially Rep. Waxman who’s leading the charge on health care reform below?

Ways and Means Committee Chair Charlie Rangel (202) 225-3625)

Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Henry Waxman (202) 225-2927)

Education and Labor Committee Chair George Miller (202) 225-3725)


Capitol Hill 800-828-0498

Remember again, this is the three options for the public option in the HELP Committee draft:

Option A: A public health insurance plan operated by the Federal government with a payment schedule that is set in statute and is based on Medicare.

Option B: A federal health insurance plan that is operated under contract from HHS but would play by the same rules as commercial health insurance carriers. The federal government would contract with an entity to administer the plan as well as provide start-up costs (e.g., 6 month reserve). The plan would be required:

(1) to be a non-profit or cooperative entity
(2) charge premiums at a level to cover costs of paying claims, making quality improvements, and administering the plan and (3) re-pay initial start-up costs. Every state gateway must offer the federal public plan. In addition, States would be permitted to operate their own public plan if the plan meets requirements established by the Secretary.

Option C: Drop public plan option. [That’s it. That’s the whole thing.]

Screw the two other options! I’m in favor of Option A in the HELP Committee draft, which is basically a strong, robust Medicare-like public option.

If you want a strong, robust Medicare-like public option, then the time to fight is here and NOW! Let’s not stop on making these calls!

A strong, robust Medicare-like public option is the line in the sand for me. Is it the line in the sand for you as well?

Please REC this diary up so others can see the phone numbers and make the calls today!

  1. I’ve called ’em all, but I also let them know I’m fed up with Democratic inaction and backpedaling:

    I’m a lifelong Democrat, from four generations of Democrats, but today for the first time I thought about re-registering as an independent.

    The a strong, Medicare-like public option is the line in the sand for me as a Democrat.

    If Democrats in power can’t effect programs that serve the American people, then maybe I do need to go elsewhere.

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