The Washington Post's Dana Milbank can't resist taking cheap shots at my man Dennis (leprechaun?!? Really?) before acknowledging the biggest idealist in Washington is talking pragmatic sense. The Kansas City Star's Arturo Mora says Kucinich may make history as the man "who broke the Republican back on healthcare reform."
Mora skips the leprechaun jokes and notes Kucinich isn't the only Catholic getting behind this legislation. Ask the nuns!
Oh yeah, and we're actually talking about legislation that will make our lives better. The House Energy and Commerce Committee reminds us what the health insurance bill will do here in South Dakota:
- Improve coverage for 513,000 residents with health insurance.
- Give tax credits and other assistance to up to 217,000 families and 23,100 small businesses to help them afford coverage.
- Improve Medicare for 133,000 beneficiaries, including closing the donut hole [Grandma, are you listening?!].
- Extend coverage to 45,000 uninsured residents.
- Guarantee that 11,500 residents with pre-existing conditions can obtain coverage.
- Protect 700 families from bankruptcy due to unaffordable health care costs.
- Allow 67,000 young adults to obtain coverage on their parents’ insurance plans.
- Provide millions of dollars in new funding for 46 community health centers.
- Reduce the cost of uncompensated care for hospitals and other health care providers by $116 million annually [House Committee on Energy and Commerce, "The Benefits of Health Care Reform in South Dakota," March 2010].
That's a lot of good for a lot of people in South Dakota. And the report doesn't even mention the 50 South Dakotans who die each year because they don't have health insurance. (The number nationwide: one estimate says 27,500 a year. How many 9-11's a year is that?)
While Herseth Sandlin hems and haws, Dennis Kucinich appears to have the interests of South Dakotans in mind as he gets ready to vote for health insurance reform. Our respects and thanks, Congressman Kucinich.
p.s.: By the way, Mr. Newland, those doctors are bluffing. The Medicus survey is industry agitprop. Don't be fooled by The Man, Bob!
pp.s.: Oh, and this health insurance reform bill cuts the deficit. Cuts the deficit!