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Speaker Pelosi Moving Away From ‘Blue Dogs’ Over Public Option

September 22, 2009

As many of us know there can be no true health care reform bill that is worth the time and effort if there is no public option in the final draft.  That is why it was so very good to read today in the The Hill that Speaker Pelosi, always a leader on this issue of the public option, is working for the best  health bill possible.

Speaker Pelosi is backing away from a deal she cut with centrists to advance health reform, said a source familiar with talks.

Pelosi’s decision to move away from the agreement that was made with a group of Blue Dogs to get the bill out of committee would steer the healthcare legislation back to the left as she prepares for a floor vote.

Pelosi is planning to include a government-run public option in the House version of the healthcare bill. She wants to model it on Medicare, with providers getting reimbursed on a scale pegged to Medicare rates.  

“The speaker is full-steam-ahead,” said a senior Democratic aide.

But a Pelosi aide said nothing is final, and the proposal to revert to the more left-leaning version of the language would be vetted before the entire Democratic Caucus.

Blue Dog Democrats, many of whom represent rural districts where Medicare reimbursement rates are low, vehemently oppose tying the public option to Medicare.

Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.) and a group of fellow Blue Dogs had negotiated a deal with Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) in July that would remove the link to Medicare. Under that plan, officials with the government-run plan would negotiate individually with providers.

That move, which drew howls of protest from liberal members, prevented the bill from getting stuck in committee. But Ross returned from the August break saying he couldn’t support a public option under any circumstances, essentially withdrawing his support for the deal.

Pelosi is now effectively withdrawing her support. In leadership meetings last week, she said the public option in the House bill should be linked to Medicare.

  1. September 23, 2009 11:55 AM

    I might argue the road to hell are those who fail to be their brother’s keeper, and extend the hand of help. Health care in this country is a moral question that too few think about in that context.

    When you write about the cost of health care running out of control you seem to forget the cost increases of insurance. If you factor in all the elements that might exist for a family making $45,000 it becomes very clear that the ability to buy health insurance might not be possible. Have you checked out policies for pre-existing conditions?

    To make everyone be covered brings the cost of health care down. Since that seems to be your only concern over and and over again I would think it would make you happy.

    Finally, the same type of claims made by the other side was heard at the time of S.S. and Medicare, and today no one would advocate removing those two vital programs for the nation as they work for the betterment of us all. Same will be said about the ideas you now take apart over and over.

    Funny you never offer a counter-plan of your own.

    A new study has found that 451 people in Wisconsin die each year because they lack health insurance. So when you talk about the ability to pay for insurance you miss the mark by a mile. People already die from the way you wish to see health care continued. Is that moral?

  2. Ferrell Gummitt permalink
    September 23, 2009 10:02 AM

    The road to hell is more often paved with a little greed. If too many American’s who are above the medium income of $45,000/year are dumb enough to let the Government give them a subsidy then we all are doomed. Once the government starts to “subsidize” our healthcare not as a means to help some of the marginal citizens but to control the bulk of us we are on a short road to slavery. The government cost of healthcare will continue to spin out of control and since it will be mandatory to show all income and to buy the “government public option” we will see more and more of our disposable income sucked away to “make up for the cost of the subsidy” through premiums or taxes. We will still be allowed to live only as long as we can keep our premium payments up. This is the proverbial camel’s nose under the tent and it is very, very possible. We never do seem to learn not to expect a free lunch.

    Obamacare reduces options It will mandate what must be covered. You will no longer have the choice for catastrophic care insurance. Instead you’ll have to purchase insurance that covers everything and you’ll get no discounts for not smoking or drinking. This isn’t freedom.

    Doctors won’t be able to use different approaches to dealing with your disease – the government will dictate the approved procedure. They are likely to say that old people don’t deserve to have treatments that are unlikely, but might, make them well – especially if it’s expensive. Who’s going to come up with medical innovations if the government won’t let people try them? Especially if they are expensive?

    According to my copy of the Constitution, you do not have a ‘right’ to health care. The rights in the Constitution do not force any one to do anything for you. Your right to free speech does not make me have to listen. your right to assemble does not force me to get you to the assembly.

    A ‘right’ to health care forces someone to take care of you. Last time I looked, the 13th amendment outlawed slavery.

  3. jacksmith permalink
    September 22, 2009 10:13 PM

    ATTENTION!! Congress Has The Votes Needed To Pass A Public Option – TODAY

    Why A Strong Public Option Is Essential – By jacksmith – Working Class

    Robert Reich explains the pubic option:

    Hollywood Supports The Public Option 🙂

    It’s not just because more than two thirds of the American people want a single payer health care system. And if they cant have a single payer system 77% of all Americans want a strong government-run public option on day one (86% of democrats, 75% of independents, and 72% republicans). Basically everyone.

    It’s not just because according to a new AARP POLL: 86 percent of seniors want universal healthcare security for All, including 93% of Democrats, 87% of Independents, and 78% of Republicans. With 79% of seniors supporting creating a new strong Government-run public option plan, available immediately. Including 89% of Democrats, 80% of Independents, and 61% of Republicans, STUNNING!!

    It’s not just because it will lower cost. Because a strong public option will dramatically lower cost for everyone. And dramatically improved the quality of care everyone receives in America and around the World. Rich, middle class, and poor a like.

    It’s not just because it will save trillions of dollars and prevent the needless deaths of millions more of YOU, caused by a rush to profit by the DISGRACEFUL, GREED DRIVEN, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX!

    It’s not just because every expert in every field, including economist, and Nobel laureates all agree that free market based healthcare systems don’t work. Never have and never will. The US has the only truly free market based healthcare system in the World. And as you all know now, IT IS A DISASTER!

    It’s not just because providing or denying medically necessary care for profit motivations is wrong. Because it is WRONG! It’s professionally, ethically, and morally REPUGNANT!, Animalistic, VILE and EVIL.


    The public option is ESSENTIAL because over 200 million of you are trapped in the forest of the wolves. Which is the forest of the DISGRACEFUL, GREED DRIVEN, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX! With no way out except through needless inhumane suffering, and DEATH. While the wolves tear at your flesh, and rip you limb from lib. Then feast on your lifeless bodies like a dead carcase for transplant parts.

    At the most vulnerable times of your lives (when you were sick and hurting), millions of you have had to fight and loose cruel, but heroic battles. Fighting against the big guns of the DISGRACEFUL, GREED DRIVEN, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX! in the forest of the wolves. All because you have no place else to go. You have no other CHOICE!

    But the PUBLIC OPTION will give you someplace safe to go. And it will give us someplace safe to take you. The public option will be your refugium (your refuge). Where the wolves cannot get at you when your down, hurting, and vulnerable. Where everyone who needs it can find rest, security, comfort and the care they need. Protected by the BIG GUNS of We The People Of The United States. THE MOST POWERFUL PEOPLE AND COUNTRY ON EARTH.

    This is why it is so critical that we do not lead another 50 million vulnerable, uninsured Americans into the forest of the wolves, without the protections of a Strong Government-run public option. We The People Of The United States MUST NOT LET THAT HAPPEN to any more of our fellow Americans. If healthcare reform does not contain a strong public option on day one. YOU MUST! KILL IT. Or you will do far more harm than good. And millions more will die needlessly. Rich, middle class, and poor a like.

    To those who would continue to obstruct good and true healthcare reform for the American people, and who seek to trap millions more vulnerable Americans in the forest of the wolves. We will continue to fight you. We are prepared to wage all out war against you, and will eagerly DESTROY! you. Time…is…UP! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! No Co-op’s! No Triggers! NO INDIVIDUAL MANDATES! without a Strong public option on day one.

    Healthcare reform can be the GREATEST! Accomplishment of our time and century. A time when future generations may say of us, that we were all, AMERICAS GREATEST GENERATIONS.


    I therefore call on all my fellow Americans and the peoples of the World. To join us in this fight so that we may finish becoming the better America that we aspire to be for everyone.


    I have been privileged to be witness as many of you fought, and struggled to take your first breath, and your last breath on this earth. Rich, middle class, and poor a like. Life is precious.

    Whatever the cost. WE! MUST SUCCEED.

    God Bless You My Fellow Human Beings

    jacksmith – Working Class

    Things You Can Do To Help NOW!

    No Triggers!


    Krugman on heathcare (

    Senator Bernie Sanders on healthcare (

    John Garamendi on the Public Option and the Grassroots:

    Howard Dean on the Public Option

    We’re Number 37! in quality of health care

    Twitter search (#welovethenhs #NHS #hc09 #hcr #healthcar #obama #p2 #topprog #) Check it out.

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