It seems like the debate on healthcare is going to come to a head pretty quickly. It occurred to me that I haven't really lifted a finger to help shape this debate, other than with my close friends. (I was out of town when my Rep held his town hall on the subject.)
So I decided to write President Obama and tell him that the Public Option was a must have.
I just let it fly and the body is found below. If you want to write your own Email to him, do so here:
I intend to flesh mine into a snail mail letter and get it out tomorrow or Friday. I know that snail mail is taken slightly more seriously by the mail-counters.
I supported you strongly during the election-both the primaries and the general election. I gave money, I made hundreds of calls, I worked my friends, I shared your message with anyone willing to listen. But this is the first time I have written you and I'm sorry to say that it is somewhere between a letter of encouragement and one of criticism. I believe that your actions on Healthcare so far are coming close to undermining the very meaning of your campaign. You seem to be forgetting the real meaning of change as understood by those of us who backed you ever since you were a long shot.
First you let Sarah Palin frame the argument about end of life counseling. She called them Death Panels and the media went along with that narrative so that provision was struck from the bill. This is wholly inconsistent with the idea of change. This is letting the craziest person with the loudest voice define the bounds of the argument. Those provisions are important. They should be put back in the bill and you should personally take their real meaning to the American people. Given a choice between Crazy and Idealogical Surrender, the American people will choose crazy. But given a choice between Reason and Crazy, they will choose reason. Reason is on our side. Let's not be afraid of it.
The Public Option is what I am really concerned about it. Today I have read several conflicting reports about whether or not you are going to forego a public option. Don't do that, Mr. President. It would be the wrong thing to do for the country and it would reinforce every cynical voice in the debate.
I understand that we have moderate Dems who have to worry about being re-elected in traditional red states. I can understand them voting against this option. But I can not understand them voting against cloture. The American people elected you and a huge Democratic majority in Congress BECAUSE you supported a public insurance plan, not in spite of it. We can not let the money of insurance industry lobbyists cow us into giving up on this option.
You have two very important jobs on this are and so far, you haven't done very well with them. The first is that you need to explain to the American people who this option will work. And the second is to explain to Democrats that if they don't vote to give this bill with a public option an up or down vote, that you won't lift a finger to help them get re-elected. No speeches. No interference with potential primary opponents-nothing. Draw this line in the sand and they will toe it. History will remember you well for it.
I know that's not your style. I know you want to compromise and to include people from the other side in the debate. But if August proved anything, it's that we're not actually having a debate about healthcare. We're being shouted at by dopes. And do you know why the keep shouting? Because the first thing they shouted was "death panels!" and you gave them what they wanted on that point.
Take back the high road. Take the fight to them. You know that our system is inefficient and bloated. Stand by your principles and the rewards will be enormous.