This morning, the New York Times has a front page article asking, whether Democrats can pass a healthcare bill.
There's a far more urgent question, can Democrats fail to pass a healthcare bill?
Well, with 59 votes in the Senate, one would think that Democrats would summon the courage to pass legislation. The United States of America is a grotesque healthcare outlier.
The noble and historic Democratic goal of making healthcare part of the social fabric in the United States, and bringing us up to the standards of the rest of the industrialized world appears to be in jeopardy. What happens if Democrats fail to fulfill their historic mission?
And if Democratic cowardice wins the day, then what?
And to those of you who ask, if not the Democrats, then what? My answer, I don't know--yet.
On Thursday, President Obama spoke about Melanie Shouse an uninsured campaign worker diagnosed with breast cancer who told him she wanted to be buried in an Obama t-shirt. How can I let her down, the President asked? "How can I say to her, "You know what? We’re giving up"? How can I say to her family, "This is too hard"? The President is correct. His party is moving down a very dangerous path.
Melanie Shouse who could not afford health insurance, was cremated wearing her Obama t-shirt.
Here's how I feel. More demoralized and angry today than during the eight years of George Bush. I'm so sorry to say this, but it's the truth.
We have seen the enemy and it is us.
Perhaps counter-intuitively, some Democratic advocacy groups, including the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy for America, which was founded by former Gov. Howard Dean of Vermont, insist that a main problem with the health care legislation is that it is not progressive enough.
These groups have been hounding members of Congress to insist on including a government-run insurance plan, or public option, in the final version of the health care legislation, which they say should be accomplished using a parliamentary tactic known as budget reconciliation. Budget reconciliation could allow changes to the Senate health legislation to be adopted by a simple majority, overcoming the Republicans’ filibuster threat.