When Americans don't see the cost of their monthly premiums being lowered, you know who they'll blame for not making health care reform affordable for them? The Democratic Party.
Many of the Democrats who want to drop the public option have absolutely no idea of the politics of this fight. If the public option is dropped, the lobbyists who spend over $1.4 million a day won't stop. They'll go after these regulations and weaken the national and state exchanges. It's precisely why we must draw the line in the sand on the public option, and why we must get these 55 Democrats in the House to join their colleagues in drawing the line in the sand for the public option!
Here are the five Democrats that we did research yesterday on, and found out information such as this:
- Rep. James Clyburn took over $77,500 from pharmaceuticals and health products, and $36,500 from the insurance industry. He took donations from the worst insurers in the health insurance industry such as $1,500 from American Health Care Association PAC, $2,000 from HealthSouth Inc. PAC, $2,500 from Humana, $5,000 from UnitedHealth, and $2,500 from WellPoint.
- Rep. Lois Capps took over $28,000 from health professionals, and $10,000 from pharmaceuticals and health products. She took donations from private insurers such as $1,000 from WellPoint, $1,000 from HealthNet, Inc., $2,000 from Cardinal Health Inc. PAC, and $1,000 fromBaxter HealthCare PAC.
- Rep. Gary Ackerman took over $16,000 which is mostly from the AFLAC PAC, and New York Life Insurance. He has not taken money from PACs representing the worst insurers in the health insurance industry. He, however, has taken individual contributions from lobbyists representing hospitals, medical associations, and pharmaceuticals.
- Rep. Christopher Van Hollen took over $33,000 from health professionals, $15,800 from pharmaceuticals and health products, and $11,900 from the private insurance industry.
- Rep. Jarod Polis is largely self-funded and hasn't taken money from PACs and lobbyists to the extent that Rep. James Clyburn has taken. However, he refuses to answer questions about whether he'll vote against a bill without a public option whenever he posts on Dailykos, and will not answer questions about his hypocrisy on supporting H.R. 676 which includes a tax on the wealthy, when he opposed HR 3200 for having a tax on the wealthy.
There is absolutely no reason for these 5 Democrats to worry about drawing a line in the sand for the public option in the way that their 65 colleagues have and they're in incredibly safe districts! Unless these Democrats are worried about publicly committing themselves, and if the final bill comes down without a public option, they feel they'll have to support a mandated bailout of the murder-by-spreadsheet industry.
That would be terrible if it was true. And it's why we need to get them on the record in supporting the public option in the FINAL bill by joining their 65 colleagues in the House.
We have five more Democrats today for us to do research on with the help of The SunLight Foundation, which has provided us with access to their tools and resources:
- Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)
- Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA)
- Rep. Artur Davis (D-LA)
- Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA)
- Rep. Robert Andrews (D-NJ)
And once again, here's a comment from puredesighee on why this project is important:
Wouldn't it be very useful to have them on record, clearly stating what they will and will not support in a bill or in conference? It both keeps them accountable to their constituency -- which is part of their job description -- and gives them ammunition against pressure to compromise on the core issues of health care.
I can think of no valid reason not to get a clear statement from every member of Congress on their core commitments regarding passing or not passing a health care bill. To me, that seems like practical and intelligent Democracy.
You can start with the accountability process by researching their FEC contributions, how much they have on OpenSecrets, who's hosted political fundraisers for them, and the individual donations from lobbyists on behalf of firms that represent the worst insurers: AHIP, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, Humana, and UnitedHealth.
After doing research, we'll know who's taken the most money from special interests, and who should be rightly held accountable by us. That's what the accountability process is about, and it's democracy in action. This is one of the "stick" parts of our carrot and sticks program at FDL.
And here's how the stick part is going to be carried out after we choose the most compromised Democrat out of these 55 Democrats who "professes" support for the public option but won't take a firm stand for it in the final bill:
- A dedicated landing page collecting all of the crowd sourced information about their relationships with lobbyists and their voting history
- Educational calls into every Democratic household in the district letting them know the member won't take a stand to defend the public option
- Post cards to every Democratic home in the district, directing them to the website and letting them know the member's history with lobbying interests
- An automated call-in number for people who can't login to the website
Without the stick part, these 55 Democrats will feel absolutely no repercussion from not having taken a line in the sand for the public option, and it's why we have to flex our muscle on this as a part of the netroots, and this is democracy in action--holding our elected officials accountable by actually doing something about it. Some may not like it, but this is what we have to do since these 55 Democrats won't join their 65 colleagues in the House who stuck their necks out for us.
If you want to see more stuff like this, then please help support our work (since we do literally work for you guys) by donating to our fund at Firedoglake! Your donations go to our living stipends, expenses, and travel costs, including awesome tools like these.
Now, let's keep holding our elected officials accountable for the public option as a required component of the FINAL bill!
Please RECOMMEND this diary to hold our elected officials accountable on the public option as the line in the sand!
And please vote on the 5 Democrats that we did research on yesterday in the poll below:
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