FDL Action Health Care Update: Monday (11/9/09)

Here are the FDL Action health care reform highlights for Monday, November 9.

1. Jon Walker summarizes the passage of health care reform (HR 3962) as “a truly historic moment…[that] will help millions of Americans,” but also “at best bittersweet” from a progressive perspective. In the end, this bill “will at least provide progressives the tools they can use build with.” It certainly “will not be the end of health care reform.” In other words, we all could be working on this issue for a looong time to come.

2. Jon Walker asks “the 37 House Democrats who voted against health care reform because it is too liberal, why are you even Democrats?”  Walker adds, “I’m not big on party purity tests, but there are some things that are so essential that they are at the heart of what it should mean to be a Democrat.” Things like providing high-quality, affordable health care to all Americans.

3. Jane Hamsher writes about her appearance this morning on “Democracy Now” with Dennis Kucinich talking about the House of Representatives’ Saturday night health care vote. Among other things, Hamsher points out that “[w]ith the exception of Kucinich and Massa, all of the House progressives abandoned their July 30 pledge to vote against any bill that didn’t have a public option with rates tied to Medicare.” Apparently, a pledge ain’t what it used to be on Capitol Hill.

4. Jon Walker argues that there are two reasons to use “reconciliation” to pass health care reform: 1) to “save the public option;” and 2) to “kill the Stupak amendment.” In the final analysis, Walker concludes, “if a bill is passed under regular order that does not contain a real public option but contains the Stupak amendment, it is because Harry Reid refused to use reconciliation.”  I’ve posed this question many times before, but I still don’t understand how Republicans were able to force through their agenda from 2001 to  2006 with a bare majority in Congress, yet it’s so hard for Democrats with large majorities in both chambers. Any theories?

5. Jon Walker writes that in “three hours on Saturday,” he managed to do what “women’s organizations failed [to do] in legislative and media battle on the issue” of women’s reproductive rights; namely, “coming up with a…strategic counter-proposal or attack to undercut Stupak.”  Maybe it’s time for pro-choice organizations to hire Jon Walker? Ha.

6. Michael Whitney says that now is the time “to refocus our efforts to secure a public option in the final bill that’s signed by President Obama.” In addition, we need to be “nailing down enough Members of Congress to stop triggers or state-opt outs from appearing in the conference report bill.” Something tells me this is going to be an intense next few weeks.

7. Yours truly blogs about Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) comparing health care reform to the 9/11 attacks. Sadly, this type of insane rhetoric is becoming typical of Republicans these days.

8. Jane Hamsher asks whether Planned Parenthood and NARAL will “score” the Stupak amendment, which “[s]ome are calling…the worst assault on a woman’s right to choose since the passage of Roe v. Wade.” If it’s that bad, pro-choice groups should “score” it, right?  Seems pretty obvious.

9. Jon Walker writes sarcastically, “Surprise! Ben Nelson Demands The Stupak Amendment!”  Yes, what a huge surprise that was. Not.