Over this weekend, I was thinking about how the debate has shifted over from not having a public option to having the public option, but with one major caveat---a goddamned trigger placed on it to ensure that it never gets off the ground!
We can't just say that we support a public option when we call Congress today. Because they might support a public option too-with a trigger on it. Always make it clear whenever you're calling that you oppose a trigger on the public option, and that you don't support the co-ops scam!
Nyceve and I need your help more than ever. Will you please join our PublicOptionNow!Google group in order to stay in touch with us about the latest action updates, news, and information on the battle over a trigger-free public option? You also can follow me on Twitter @slinkerwink, and nyceve on Twitter @nyceve1.
I have a major new media project for you guys today. It's about time they see our faces on why we support a trigger-free public option!
See that picture? It's of me, and I'm holding a sign that explains why I want a trigger-free public option. Blue Cross Blue Shield denied my claims five times before they finally paid. I hate Blue Cross Blue Shield, and the thought of them having their lobbyists work overtime to kill the public option by putting a trigger on it makes me livid. We can't allow the insurance lobbyists to win this fight.
Will you please join me in the new media project by following these two simple steps below?
- Take a picture of yourself with a sign explaining why you want a trigger-free public option.
- You can e-mail the picture to me at pleasehelpfreebarneythedog at gmail dot com.
Once I have the pictures, I'll work on creating a web video with these pictures showing the need for a trigger-free public option, and I'll upload it to Youtube. I'll need your help in making it viral, so I'll be posting it on Dailykos when my work with that is done.
This is precisely why we can't allow a trigger on the public option--it's a way for politicians to kill it while at the same time proclaiming their support for the public option, as I wrote about this weekend in a post called "The Truth About The Trigger Scam On The Public Option."
Here's an excerpt below explaining the battle we're up against with these insurance lobbyists whispering sweet nothings into lawmakers' ears:
One of these lobbyists, Colette Desmarais, works with Mehlman, Vogel, and Castagnetti, one of the largest lobbying firms in D.C. that represents America's Health Insurance Plans and Humana. Prior to her employment with Mehlman, Vogel, and Castagnetti, she worked with Senator Grassley as his top policy aide on the Senate Finance Committee. She was instrumental in writing the legislation for the Medicare prescription drug benefit and the Medicare Advantage programs.
One such legislative trigger that Colette Desmarais helped write in Medicare Part D is the one that Timothy Noah wrote about in the Slate article:
In 2003, when Congress added a drug benefit to Medicare, it worried that its new program to provide coverage through private plans subsidized heavily by the government would prove ineffective. But a trigger to end the program focused only on whether these private plans would serve all regions of the country, which they did. The trigger failed to address the real problems that emerged: fraud, abrupt changes in formularies and drug charges after beneficiaries signed up, and high costs. Meanwhile, a separate trigger in the bill required the president to address projected shortfalls within 15 days of receiving notice that 45 percent or more of Medicare funding was drawing down general revenues. Congress would then appropriate the necessary additional funds under an expedited procedure. But when President Bush notified Congress in 2006 that the 45 percent threshold had been exceeded, Congress did nothing. The threshold has been exceeded every year since then. Congress continues to do nothing.
And guess what? Colette Desmarais was also formerly employed by the Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, the one regional co-operative that politicians in Washington have been touting as a "compromise" to get rid of the public option. And before that, her former employer was America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP). The lobbying door just keeps on revolving with these people at Mehlman, Vogel, and Castagnetti.
It's why a legislative trigger won't work. It's the same playbook used by lobbyists like Colette Desmarais who's now whispering about the legislative trigger and regional co-operatives in these politicians' ears.
So, 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!
The Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus are taking the whip count today to see who'll draw a line in the sand for the public option today. It's why we need you to make these phone calls today to let them know we have their back!!
Please RECOMMEND this diary to CALL and HOLD our elected officials accountable on the public option as the line in the sand!
Now, let's keep holding our elected officials accountable for the trigger-free public option as a required component of the FINAL bill!
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