Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Kill the Bill: Say No to LieberCare

Hi, it's with great sadness that I write this, but after 6 months of progressives expending blood, sweat, and tears fighting for meaningful healthcare reform it appears that the Democratic supermajority that controls the House and Senate is willing to cave in to Joe Lieberman and pass a bill that does not come close to achieving real reform. Not only that, but it sounds like the White House actually pressured progressive legislators to cooperate with Lieberman, rather than forcing Lieberman to cooperate with us. Some people think that passing this bill is better than nothing, but I think that passing LieberCare is worse than nothing, and here's why:

(1) Passing the bill does not achieve the most important reform: reining in the costs of insurance. The public option was the only legitimate way of reigning in costs, since it took out the profit motives and provided competition against the industries that have shown no respect for human life. Without a public option, insurance companies can continue to raise premiums without any consequence. Since healthcare is an essential need that all of us have, these insurance companies basically have a monopoly on an asset that we need to survive.

(2) What's worse, this bill actually mandates that people buy private insurance. That means that it forces individuals to give their money to the same companies that have been screwing us over for years. And federal taxpayer money will also be used to supplement these mandates. In other words, we are GIVING BILLIONS to the insurance companies, who will inevitably use this money to fight against any future reform. So this bill would actually make it harder to pass meaningful reform in the future.

(3) Joe Lieberman has lied repeatedly without consequence, and has proven that he only cares about his self-interest. Since he only cares about his self-interest, he will throw hissy-fits like this on any meaningful legislation from here on out. In other words, if Democrats always capitulate to LIeberman, and Lieberman always cooperates with greedy corporations, then the Democratic Party will NEVER pass any substantial legislation that challenges the control big money has over our government. Passing a crappy bill now would send a signal that we're never going to stand strong on any meaningful reform, which of course will provide corporations with an obvious roadmap for defeating future needed reforms (such as climate change legislation or the employee free choice act).  

So that's why I believe that LieberCare is worse than no reform at all. I believe that it actually is a step in the wrong direction. And I'm not alone; both Howard Dean and Markos Moulitas have both said that we should kill the current bill.

Of course, better than killing the bill is to make it a better bill, but this can only be done if Senate Democrats get some guts and take the steps needed to go around the fillibuster. I'm not sure what the best way to fight for this is, but one interesting looking campaign is FireDogLake's campaign to pressure Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who is currently in a dangerous reelection fight. Here's the link to help with that campaign: http://www.actblue.com/page/reconciliation?refcode=email1215

Also, as usual, contact your Senators and Representatives AND the White House and tell them that we won't support a bill that's not meaningful reform, and that means we need a bill with the PUBLIC OPTION! There's no excuse for continuing to let people die due to a compromised insurance industry. Even though it looks hopeless, please join me in fighting until the end!



1 comment:

  1. There is too much "dealing", and protectionism for the Big Pharmacueticals in all this too. I cannot for the life of me see any difference in this administration and previous administrationms that paved the way for huge corporations to maintain a monopoly. (ie Monsanto)
    Mercantilism must come to an end.