I'm already seeing diaries from people giving up on the fight for the public option as an essential cost containment in health care reform. I've had enough of the handwringing, so if you want to stop handwringing for a second, then why don't you help me make phone calls to the Congressional Progressive Caucus today and write letters to the editor if your Representative is one of the 65who signed the letter to Kathleen Sebelius saying he or she would vote against a bill without a public option?
This is what I want you to do today--help me and thousands of other Americans in killing the trigger on the public option and arguing against co-operatives. If your Representative who signed the letter sees your letter in the newspaper asking him or her to stand against a trigger on the public option, then that Representative knows there's support in his or her district for taking a strong stand for a trigger-free public option in the final bill!
PLEASE CALL these Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus today to thank them for supporting the public option, and saying that you don't want a trigger on the public option. Here are the talking points for your phone calls to these Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus today:
Hi [Representative's Name]. I want to thank you for supporting the public option, but I don't want you to support a trigger on the public option! A trigger on the public option would be a surrender to the private insurance companies. Please don't let the insurance lobbyists win by allowing a trigger on the public option. Also, please STAND TOGETHER as a Member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus to fight for the public option in the final conference bill!
Right now, there's a diary on the recommended list asking us to show support for Representative Raul Grijalva, who's the leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. He needs our support more than ever to fight against the triggers on the public option! Here's the statement which he released last night:
“I am pleased that President Obama made the right choice to recognize the importance of a public option as part of the health care reform legislation. A public option is the most effective way to achieve our goals of controlling costs, eliminating abuses of patients by insurance company abuses, and providing quality health care to all.
However, the President needs to be more direct on what the public option means and what it will do for the American people.
President Obama was elected to bring change and progress. I fear that if my party and the President do not appreciate the mandate the American people have given us, the people will lose confidence in the idea that they can vote for change and get what they voted for. We in the majority must have the courage to do what is in our power to do, and pass a bill that guarantees access to affordable, quality health care.
Doing nothing is not an option. That is why I oppose efforts to delay and kill real reform with a so-called “trigger”. We cannot wait and just hope that the insurance companies will develop a conscience. The defenders of the way things are want to diminish and destroy the public option because they fear it will be effective. A national insurance plan would have the bargaining power to get lower drug prices and better deals with health providers.
We cannot rely solely on the insurance companies' good faith efforts to provide for our constituents. A robust public option is essential, if we are to ensure that all Americans can receive healthcare that is accessible, guaranteed and of high-quality. Health insurance reform is an investment in our future that we cannot afford not to make.”
And as for the letters to the editor, we sent out an e-mail asking people to write about their Representative supporting the public option, and by the close of midnight, over 250 people sent over 1,500 letters to the editor. Wow! If you want, you can be one of these people writing letters to the editor about your Representative as one of the 65 Progressiveswho drew a line in the sand for the public option as a necessary element of the bill.
Please RECOMMEND this diary to CALL and HOLD our elected officials accountable on the public option as the line in the sand!
Please follow me on Twitter @slinkerwink to get the latest action updates and news about the public option as an essential element of real health care reform! Also, please follow nyceve on Twitter @nyceve1.
Now, for a round-up on the research we did yesterday on the 5 Democrats.
- Rep. Ed Markey took a couple of PAC donations from some heavy-hitters. However, he took thousands of dollars from lobbyists representing hospitals, and pharmaceuticals. There weren't any major insurer that these lobbyists represented.
- Rep. Mike Thompson took thousands of dollars from a few heavy-hitters such as the Molina Healthcare PAC, whose CEOs strongly oppose a public option, and WellPoint, Inc., whose former VP wrote the Max Baucus health plan. He also took a thousand dollars from Steven Champlin, a lobbyist who represents America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), and $1000 from former Senator Daschle, who supported the idea of co-operatives, and formerly argued against the public option, before flipping and saying that he "supports" the public option.
- Rep. Kendrick Meek has taken thousands of dollars from PACs representing private insurers, hospital systems, medical device makers, and pharmaceutical companies. He's also taken thousands of dollars from health care executives, and lobbyists such as David Castagnetti who represents America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), Humana, and major pharmaceutical groups.
- Rep. Bobby Rush hasn't really taken donations from any of the heavy-hitters representing the health industry. He has taken contributions from a couple of lobbyists representing major pharmaceutical companies.
- Rep. Doris Matsui's taken a few PAC contributions from pharmaceutical companies. However, she's taken thousands in donations from some of the worst lobbyists such as Steven Champlin and Michael Berman who represent America's Health Insurance Plans, Steven Glaze and Andrew Quinn who represents Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Timothy Columbus who represents Cigna.
And here are the five Democrats we need you guys to help with the research on today:
Rep. Jane Harman
Rep. Tim Ryan
Rep. Robert Brady
Rep. Michael F. Doyle
Rep. Peter Welch