Some diaries, I don't mind writing twice.
Friends, this is the second time I get to announce the addition of my friend, Dr. Manan Trivedi, to the Orange to Blue fundraising list. Manan is running again in Pennsylvania's Sixth Congressional District, and he needs and deserves your personal support in this rematch in a winnable swing district.
So let me tell you about my friend, what he believes, and why he can win.
Manan grew up in Berks County, where his Indian immigrant parents worked at the Red Cheek apple juice factory. He attended college and med school at Boston University, then joined the United States Navy, where served as the battalion surgeon for a Marine Corps infantry battalion from 2001-03, commanding a medical team that cared for over 1,200 of our troops and hundreds of Iraqi civilians as part of the first ground forces entering Iraq.
For his service, Lt. Commander Trivedi earned the Combat Action Ribbon, the Navy Commendation Medal, and his unit was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation.
After his service in Iraq, Manan earned a Masters in health policy at UCLA. He drew on his experience with combat medicine to become one of the early researchers to investigate the unique mental health issues affecting our troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Trivedi went on to serve as health policy advisor to the Navy Surgeon General and was an assistant professor of medicine at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences. He also served as a health policy advisor to the Obama for America campaign. Manan is now back home in Reading, where he's a board-certified internal medicine doctor at Reading Hospital.
He believes the right things. Look below the fold at his Orange to Blue questionnaire responses. He supports Medicare-for-All, comprehensive immigration reform, and stated flatly that "I support the right of all Americans to organize and bargain collectively without intimidation or fear of retribution." And I can tell you, as a friend of his, that he is a wonk. He cares about getting policy right, and will work hard to do so.
Manan ran for the first time in the 2009-10 cycle. He didn't win. Wasn't our year, anywhere. But as this March 2010 article from The Hill reminds us, he ran with rare courage, even for progressive Democrats, as the only major House candidate last cycle willing to stand up for the Affordable Care Act when its legislative fate was iffy:
Hardly any Democrat running for Congress seems to want to talk about healthcare.One more thing: The Sixth District is different now. It's a few ticks more Republican, thanks to its shifting towards the west out Route 422, but around 50 percent of the district is new to both men, and in an anti-incumbent cycle, Rep. Jim Gerlach's 10 years of unmemorable service carries negative, not positive weight. He's part of the problem, prone to race- and religion-based attacks, and Manan Trivedi will be a solid voice for a better agenda.
Of the 26 leading Democratic House candidates contacted by The Hill, only one would commit to voting for the Senate healthcare bill if and when it comes to the House floor.
Out of the more than two dozen Democratic challengers and open-seat House candidates, only 10 commented for this story. Eight outright declined to comment.
Eight more didn’t respond to several days’ worth of requests via phone and e-mail.
The only candidate to say unequivocally that he would support the Senate bill, which could be voted on in the House next week, is a primary-care physician running to face Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.).
“The answer is yes,” he said flatly.
1. Do you support:
a) A public health insurance option, offered by the federal government and tied to Medicare reimbursement rates plus 5% (H.R. 3200, Subtitle B, including § 223(b)(1)(A), as introduced in the House, 111th Congress)?
As a primary care physician, I've seen firsthand how the lack of competition allows insurance companies to benefit at the expense of patients. I continue to support a public health insurance option as a means of providing more competition in the marketplace and holding the private insurance companies accountable. A public option is one of the many avenues we should pursue to bring down healthcare costs.
My opponent wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, a move that would force Americans with health insurance to continue paying the cost of treating the 40 million uninsured when they access care in emergency rooms. This has been one of the contributing factors to the explosion of health insurance costs for families and businesses, and the Affordable Care Act was an important first step in rectifying this injustice. However, when Democrats controlled the White House and both houses of Congress, we lost an historic opportunity to confront the issue of cost containment.
b) The Medicare You Can Buy Into Act (H.R. 4789, 111th Congress), which would allow all citizens or permanent residents to buy into Medicare?
Yes. Medicare provides healthcare to millions of seniors with a fraction of the overhead costs of private insurance. We should allow other citizens to buy into Medicare to achieve further cost-savings.
2. Do you agree that any immigration reform bill should:
a) Contain a meaningful path to citizenship — one that does not include overly-punitive fines or a touchback requirement — for law-abiding undocumented immigrants currently in the United States;
b) Ensure that expanded legal permanent immigration, rather than expansion of temporary worker programs, serves as the United States' primary external answer to workforce shortages; and
c) Ensure that any non-agricultural temporary worker programs maintain current caps on the total number of non-agricultural temporary worker visas issued, and also include a meaningful prevailing wage requirement keyed to the Service Contract Act and the Davis-Bacon Act?
I support a comprehensive approach to immigration reform. As the son of immigrants, I know we are a nation that continues to prosper because of the contribution of all of our citizens, regardless of their background. We must pursue immigration reform that ensures we continue to attract and retain the best and brightest from around the world while addressing our workforce shortage and recognizing security concerns along our borders, and we must do it all in a way that is consistent with our values as Americans.
In order for any such reform to be successful, anyone coming to this country must clear a criminal background check, register, and pay taxes like the rest of us. Also, anyone already here must apply for citizenship or work visa as appropriate with no special treatment over those already in the process.
3. Do you oppose each of the following changes to Social Security and Medicare:
a) Raising the retirement age;
b) Eliminating or reducing the cost of living adjustment;
c) Directly reducing benefits;
d) Means-testing recipients; and
e) Privatization, so-called "personal accounts," and vouchers?
Yes to all. Social Security and Medicare are promises we make to those in the golden years of their life and I intend to keep that promise.
4. Do you support the Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 1409/S. 560, 111th Congress), including the provision known as "card check"?
Yes. Unlike my opponent, I support the right of all Americans to organize and bargain collectively without intimidation or fear of retribution.
5. Do you pledge to vote against any efforts to extend the temporary tax cuts for income over $250,000 (Public Law 111-312)?
Yes. The only way to get our fiscal house in order is for everyone to pay their fair share.
6. If elected to the House, do you pledge not to join the Blue Dog Coalition?
I will not be joining the Blue Dog Coalition, but am willing to work with members of both parties to create economic opportunity, advance social justice, protect our environment and quality of life, defend our national security, and promote human rights around the world.
7. If elected to the Senate, do you pledge to restore majority rule to the Senate and work/vote to end the filibuster?
I am running for the House of Representatives, but will do all I can to end the filibuster rule in the Senate.