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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 12:50 PM
Original message
Defeating the Coalition to Kill Health Care Reform
Edited on Tue Aug-25-09 12:56 PM by ProSense
Mike Lux

Defeating the Coalition to Kill Health Care Reform

For those of us continuing to fight for the President's proposals on health care- including covering everyone at a price they can afford, strong regulations on insurers, tough cost containment measures, and a public option to keep insurers honest- it can get discouraging sometimes. I continue to be concerned by the number of progressive friends I have who have become convinced that we cannot win this fight, and are on the verge of giving up. I believe that we are very much in this fight, that there is a clear path to victory, and that it would be a tragedy for those of you who have been fighting for this moment for so long to give up now.

It is easy to get discouraged. The array of forces in outright opposition- insurance companies, somewhere between 98% and 100% of Republicans in Congress, the massive right-wing attack machines- is huge and very loud. Traditional media is so relentlessly negative and cynical that it frequently seems as if they have just joined the coalition mentioned in the previous sentence- I guess they prefer covering a train wreck to seeing something substantive done. And the conventional wisdom/establishment-oriented Democrats who are all too ready to give up the fight for really comprehensive reform and just take the easier path of not really taking on the powerful insurance industry are perhaps the most discouraging of all- they have probably done more to undermine enthusiasm for the President's goals than anyone.

But for those of us fighting this battle in the trenches every day, it is clear that there is a path to victory. It's far from a lock, it will require work and backbone by progressives, but the path is in front of us. And my sense is that more and more people are seeing it as a real possibility- David Sirota had a column today on it, Chris Bowers has been writing about it, Digby and many others as well. And progressive groups and the Congressional Progressive Caucus are doing meetings every day, continuing to work the strategy.

So how do we win this fight?

  • Hold the progressives in the House to only vote for a public option. So far, so good. They've signed multiple letters, taken multiple pledges, sent a very clear message about their determination. They need to stay strong.

  • Get the Democrats in the Senate to accept that this will have to be a Democrats-only bill. This seems to be moving in the right direction. Schumer sent exactly the right message over the weekend, and it's clear things are beginning to head that way.

  • Split the bill into two parts in the Senate, with the public option and the financing going through the reconciliation process. Democats are sending signals that they are moving in that direction as well.

  • Get enough Senators on board for the public option. The whip count DFA and we at OpenLeft have been running shows us at 45. We need five more, and there are several Democrats I think are prime possibilities to come along if this is the path we go down.

  • Above all, don't panic. There will be some rough days ahead. Certain Senators will keep saying we can't get this done, and pundits will continue to shed the worst possible light on each day's events. But we just need to hang tough, hold strong, and keep working.
We are within range of a truly historic victory. Right now is exactly the wrong time for conventional wisdom Dems, or progressive activists, to throw in the towel.

more


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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 12:56 PM
Response to Original message
1. Telling the truth about the PO would be a good thing. People respond to the truth. They
want to know why they should fight for a public option that will only enroll 10 million people in 10 years that won't cut costs, that is only available to a very limited amount of people, and that isn't anything "like Medicare."
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 04:59 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. Are you opposed to defeating the "coalition"? n/t
Edited on Tue Aug-25-09 04:59 PM by ProSense
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 05:19 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. I was adding another bullet point to the list. Tell the truth. It works far better than persuasion
through misleading.

People need to know, truthfully, why they should fight for a public option that won't bring down costs, that will only enroll 10 million people in 10 years, and won't provide access to anybody but a tiny sliver of the American people.

They need to know why they should fight for a public option that isn't anything at all like the public option that they have been told about these last 8 months.

If you can honesty give people a good reason to do that, they will fight for it. Heck, I would too.

But you have to level with people.
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tosh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 12:57 PM
Response to Original message
2. Thank you SO MUCH for posting this here.
Edited on Tue Aug-25-09 12:57 PM by tosh
I am an eternal optimist who has believed in a national health system (of some kind) since 1976, but I have moments when the defeatists get to me. I was just having one of those "Well DAMN, if they get their mandate with no public option..." moments when suddenly your OP appeared.

:hi:

(edit sp.)
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Thanks. The naysayers and obstructionists want us to become discouraged.
Not a chance.
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wroberts189 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 01:06 PM
Response to Original message
3. We will win this battle... :) knr nt
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 01:11 PM
Response to Original message
4. From Clive Crook, member of the coalition
Obama's health reform nightmare

...I think Obama needs to drop the public option, despite the dismay this will cause among progressive Democrats, and he needs to be honest about the need to raise taxes to pay for universal coverage. His strategy has done a very improbable thing: it has alienated centrists and progressives alike. He cannot repair his standing with both of those groups, and must now choose whose support he needs more. In any event he must start being clear, consistent, and honest.


Clive = delusional







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