Thursday, December 17, 2009

Health Care Reform Bill: Rumbling from the left

There seems to be a little bit of unhappiness coming from the left regarding the Senate’s health care reform bill. Lets take a quick look at some of the unhappy campers.

Senator Bernie Sanders: “As of this point, I’m not voting for the bill”

While appearing on Neil Cavuto’s show yesterday, Senator Bernie Sanders had this to say:

I’m struggling with this. As of this point, I’m not voting for the bill. … I’m going to do my best to make this bill a better bill, a bill that I can vote for, but I’ve indicated both to the White House and the Democratic leadership that my vote is not secure at this point. And here is the reason. When the public option was withdrawn, because of Lieberman’s action, what I worry about is how do you control escalating health care costs?
Sanders is a radical lefty, he was the one who introduced the 700+ page single payer amendment yesterday that Tom Coburn forced to be read. I do believe that his reasons for opposing the bill are ideological. However, I do believe that Obama and Reid will find a way to make Bernie cave.

SEIU leader Andy Stern: Where do we go from here?

Andy Stern has a letter out today on SEIU’s website calling for a fight for the public option.

SEIU does not accept that this monumental effort - that this reform that is so necessary to the health and wellbeing of our economy, our families and our future - can be over without a fight. A fight to make it work for you and your families.
Last night, we held a meeting with your International Executive Board--leaders from across the country. Leaders who know you, who understand what you are going through, and above all else, who believe that every one of you deserves a chance to weigh in on our next steps.
We talked about everything that makes this reform meaningful:
The 30 million more people who will have healthcare they can count on;
The people who will no longer lose their coverage if they get sick;
All of us who no longer have to worry about being denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions;
Women who will no longer be discriminated against just because of their gender.
But we also recognized, that like you, we have concerns.
And while it is not entirely clear what the Senate bill will look like, it is becoming clearer that:
For many people, care will still be too expensive to afford.
Some of you would face an additional burden because your health insurance benefits would be taxed.
And the best way we saw possible to hold insurance companies accountable was no longer an option.
So we asked ourselves - and we are asking you - the most critical question we have of this entire debate: where do we go from here?
I am not buying this one bit. Andy Stern maybe making noise in order to get the tax on “Cadillac Plans” dropped, but as far as opposing the Senate bill in total, I doubt it.

Howard Dean’s WaPo Op-ed: Health-care bill wouldn't bring real reform

From the Washington Post:
If I were a senator, I would not vote for the current health-care bill. Any measure that expands private insurers' monopoly over health care and transfers millions of taxpayer dollars to private corporations is not real health-care reform. Real reform would insert competition into insurance markets, force insurers to cut unnecessary administrative expenses and spend health-care dollars caring for people. Real reform would significantly lower costs, improve the delivery of health care and give all Americans a meaningful choice of coverage. The current Senate bill accomplishes none of these.
Out of the three, Howard Dean seems the most credible to me. He is not currently involved in the workings; rather he is a lefty looking at the bill from the outside. I think Howard Dean really is looking for leftwing reforms rather than government control. The big question is, does Howard Dean still carry enough clout to cause pressure to kill the bill? Stay tuned.


1 comment:

Janelle said...

Dr. Dean needs to go back into the practice of medicine and then he might have credibility.

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