Here are the FDL Action health care reform highlights for Tuesday, December 15. We’ll call this the “Joe must go” edition.
1. Jane Hamsher writes about the “manufactured outrage of Joe Lieberman” regarding criticism over “money paid to his wife Hadassah by the Susan B. Komen ‘Race for the Cure.'” Hamsher adds that “if Senator Lieberman is ‘deeply offended’ by the suggestion that his wife is a lobbyist, one has to wonder what he did for all those years when she was working for the biggest lobbying firms in Washington DC.”
2. Jon Walker comments angrily on the message from the White House that Democratic Senators should “do anything to pass a bill with the title of “health care reform,” even if that “health care reform…helps almost no one for four years, will not lower drug prices, will not slow down the out-of-control growth of health care costs, will make most Americans health insurance worse, will leave millions uninsured, provide no competition for the insurance companies, and not end medical bankruptcy in this country.” Getting excited yet?
3. Jane Hamsher says it’s “time to hold progressives in Congress to their promise” to “do what they have repeatedly promised to do – vote against any bill that does not have a public option.” Hamsher urges everyone to “Call progressive members of Congress now and ask them if they intend to deliver on their promise to vote against this bill.”
4. Jon Walker argues that “Without the option of a government-run insurance entity or extremely tight regulations to guarantee everyone has access to quality, cost effective health insurance, an individual mandate is both immoral and bad policy.” Other than that, it totally rocks! (snark)
5. Michael Whitney asks for “help to run a TV ad in Nevada telling Harry Reid to be brave – or lose his seat.”. Specifically, the “ask” is for Reid to use reconciliation, to not allow Joe Lieberman to write the health care bill, and to “restore democracy to the country and the Senate.”
6. Jon Walker points out that “Joe Lieberman has never made a secret about his desire to bring down the public option,” and that “Harry Reid must have known this whole time that he would never get Joe Lieberman’s magical 60th vote on a bill with a public option.” The bottom line is that if “Reid had gone with reconciliation, Joe Lieberman would not be writing the bill as we speak.” So why didn’t he? Did he actually trust Joe Lieberman to do the right thing here? If so, all I can say is “wow, just wow.”
7. Jane Hamsher says she agrees with Howard Dean’s call to kill the Senate health care bill. Hamsher concludes: “If I wanted Joe Lieberman writing a health care bill, I would’ve voted for John McCain. Howard Dean is right. Kill LieberCare.”
8. Jon Walker notes that “While everyone has been fretting about Joe Lieberman, Ben Nelson has remained an equally big hurdle to get 60 votes for cloture.” Believe it or not, even though Nelson “has already played a big role in removing the public option, preventing the bill from ending the anti-trust exemption for health insurance companies, and possibly killing the CLASS long term insurance program,” he also wants abortion language that “will likely end up one of the biggest rollbacks of women’s reproductive rights in a generation.” In short, with Democrats like these, who needs Republicans?
9. Jane Hamsher reports that even though Byron Dorgan “had the votes to pass his drug reimportation amendment, which would have saved the public over $100 billion and the government $19 billion,” it’s not going to happen because…you guessed it, “Joe Lieberman says it can’t be part of LieberCare!” So here’s the bottom line choice for the White House and Harry Reid: either tell Joe Lieberman to take a hike and go to reconciliation, or pass a watered-down health care “reform” bill without its best, and also most popular, elements. I believe this is what’s known in the vernacular as a “no brainer,” but why does something tell me the great brains in Washington, DC won’t be able to figure it out? On second thought, maybe it’s not their brains as much as it’s their spines, specifically their willingness to stand up to bullies like Joe Lieberman?