Democratic viewpoints on politics, policy and activism

Fighting The White House for the Public Option

I reported late yesterday afternoon that a deal had been made and the White House was talking down the Senate on the Public Option because it wasn’t going to be bi-partisan.  (Never mind that it didn’t stop the White House from signing the stimulus bill earlier this year)

So, a local group in Maine has launched an ad targeting Sen. Olympia Snow who represents a state that went for Obama by 58% to 40% of the vote. They also started a national petition to the President to show support for the Public Option.  I urge you to sign it and see how we can show the White House that its not ok to play politics with our health care for the appearance of bi-partisanship with the Party of No.

“Every day, insurance companies deny care and let people die. Getting one Republican senator’s vote is not worth delaying reform — too many real lives are at stake. We need you to fight and state clearly that anything less than a strong public option is not change we can believe in.” Sign here.”

From Washington: Today's Press Conference for Young People

Speaker Nancy Pelosi along with Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Kathy Dahlkemper (D-PA) held a press conference with representatives from several youth organizations in support of the Young Adult Health Coverage Act which allows young Americans remain on their health insurance plan until they turn 26.  

According to the Speaker

“Young adults are the most uninsured group in the country. They often lose coverage at age 19 when they graduate from high school or a few years later when they graduate from college. Once they enter the workforce, they face new obstacles to getting insurance. Today, they are speaking out and their voices are being heard. For many weeks, young Americans have added to the call to the chorus for reform. They have offered specific proposals about health insurance reform that works for everyone.

Our legislation answers their call by: ending discrimination based on pre-existing medical conditions, capping out-of-pocket costs, focusing on preventive care, investing in workforce training to boost the number of primary care doctors and nurses, creating a health insurance exchange to give Americans a better deal in the individual insurance market, and speaking personally, a public option in the House bill. Today, I’m pleased to announce that our bill will allow young people to stay on their parents’ policy until their 27th birthday if they need it.

Our young people are our future. This is our opportunity to lay a foundation for growth, progress, and prosperity for our youth, and provide affordable, quality health care to every American. It is an opportunity we will not miss.”

The Speaker has been a consistent ally to the youth movement, frequently lending her leadership to issues that support my generation.  Reps. Van Hollen and Dahlkemper should be proud of their work on something so meaningful in the health care battle.  

Sen. Coburn Tells Sobbing Woman Gov't Not the Solution

 In a recent townhall with Sen. Tom Coburn a sobbing woman told the all too familiar story of yet another American who can’t get help.  The wife of a brain-injury victim reached out to Sen. Coburn for help at the event.  What was his response?

“I can help you, but government is not the answer.”

Does Sen. Coburn not work for the Government?  Or was he telling her that he as a doctor will come to her home and provide her with free care and teach her how to put feeding tubes in and ensure that a nurse can come to the house and teach her husband to speak again.

It isn’t clear.  Sen. Coburn simply believes that rather than the government dispatching doctors and other health professionals, that instead we as neighbors are far more qualified.

Well done, Sen. Coburn… stay classy.

   Q: Sen. Coburn, we need help. My husband has traumatic brain injury. His health insurance will not cover him to eat and drink. And what I need to know is: Are you going to help him? Where he can eat and drink? We left the nursing home, and they told us we are on our own. He left with a feeding tube. I have been working with him, but I’m not a speech pathologist, a professional that takes six years for a masters’, and I’m trying to get him to eat and drink again [inaud].

   A: Well, I think-first of all, yeah. We’ll help. The first thing we will do is to see what we can do, individually, to help you, through our office. But the other thing that is missing in this debate is us as neighbors, helping people that need our help. [Applause.] You know we tend to … [Applause.] The idea that the government is a solution to our problems is an inaccurate, a very inaccurate statement.