Baucus. Grassley. Conrad. Bingaman. Snowe. Enzi.
These six Senators are about to destroy the health care reform push. The bipartisan group has been holding secretive talks for months to craft passable health care legislation. But on the same day that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office releases findings that the public option—health insurance offered by Uncle Sam—would not drive private insurers out of business, these six senators decide that they will strip the public option from health care legislation.
Whom do these six senators serve: the majority of Americans who want a public option (as demonstrated by eight separate polls), or the wealthy corporate interests and their lobbyists buzzing in their ears in the Washington echo chamber seeking every scrap of pork and favors they can finagle?
The public option is essential to reforming health coverage. The public option will restore competition and lower costs (how about savings of $265 billion over 10 years?) The public option will be especially good for the rural communities all six of these Senators represent.
Bipartisanship is a nice sentiment, but it's not enough to justify do-nothing legislation. Baucus, Grassley, Conrad, Bingaman, Snowe, and Enzi need to hear from someone other than the lobbyists. They need to hear from us that the public option is what the public wants and what will work.
I suspect South Dakota's Senator Johnson and Representative Herseth Sandlin could use similar reminders. Pass the public option... or don't come asking me for my vote.
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