Not giving up on the Public Option

I just received the following from MoveOn, and thought that it was worth sharing.

Senate progressives are organizing their colleagues to fight for the public health insurance option. Can you call Senator Carl Levin and urge him to join in?

Right now Majority Leader Harry Reid and other Senate leaders are deciding what to include in the health care bill that goes to the Senate floor this month—and he’s paying close attention to what his fellow Democratic senators are saying about it.

So Senators Sherrod Brown, Jay Rockefeller, and Russ Feingold have written a letter to Reid insisting that the bill include the public option, because it’s the only way to create real competition and hold insurance companies accountable.

The Brown letter is a big opportunity to build momentum for the public health insurance option in the Senate. Can you call Sen. Levin and urge him to sign?

Here’s where to call:

Senator Carl Levin
Phone: 202-224-6221

Sen. Reid has publicly expressed his support for the public option—which has been included in bills already passed by four out of five congressional committees. But he’s facing unrelenting pressure from conservative senators and industry lobbyists who oppose it.

That’s why it’s so important right now for progressive members of Congress to band together in support of the public option.

Already over 60 members of the House have taken a pledge to vote only for a bill that includes it.

Now, with this new letter being organized in the Senate, we’ve got a chance to show that any bill without a public option is a nonstarter.

Can you call Sen. Levin right away and urge him to sign the Brown letter?

And, while you’re at it, why not call Stabenow too, and, for that matter, your member of Congress?

Speaking of members of Congress, I just checked and it doesn’t look as though our own John Dingell has signed that House pledge referenced above. The only two Michigan Representatives to do so were John Conyers and Carolyn Kilpatrick.

And, for what it’s worth, I’ve searched for a copy of this letter that was supposedly sent to Harry Reid by Sherrod Brown, Jay Rockefeller, and Russ Feingold and I can’t seem to find any evidence of it. If someone could point me in the right direction, I’d appreciate it.

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  1. jacksmith
    Posted October 7, 2009 at 2:32 am | Permalink

    A state based insurance plan is NOT!! a Public Option. Nor is it a Strong, National, Medicare like Public Option.

    A majority of voters would rather have a Democrats only bill with a Public Option. Rather than a bipartisan bill without a Public Option.

    ATTENTION!! Congress Has The Votes Needed To Pass A Public Option – TODAY

    Why A Strong Public Option Is Essential – By jacksmith – Working Class

    Robert Reich explains the pubic option:

    Hollywood Supports The Public Option :-)

    It’s not just because more than two thirds of the American people want a single payer health care system. And if they cant have a single payer system 77% of all Americans want a strong government-run public option on day one (86% of democrats, 75% of independents, and 72% republicans). Basically everyone.

    It’s not just because according to a new AARP POLL: 86 percent of seniors want universal healthcare security for All, including 93% of Democrats, 87% of Independents, and 78% of Republicans. With 79% of seniors supporting creating a new strong Government-run public option plan, available immediately. Including 89% of Democrats, 80% of Independents, and 61% of Republicans, STUNNING!!

    It’s not just because it will lower cost. Because a strong public option will dramatically lower cost for everyone. And dramatically improved the quality of care everyone receives in America and around the World. Rich, middle class, and poor a like.

    It’s not just because it will save trillions of dollars and prevent the needless deaths of millions more of YOU, caused by a rush to profit by the DISGRACEFUL, GREED DRIVEN, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX!

    It’s not just because every expert in every field, including economist, and Nobel laureates all agree that free market based healthcare systems don’t work. Never have and never will. The US has the only truly free market based healthcare system in the World. And as you all know now, IT IS A DISASTER!

    It’s not just because providing or denying medically necessary care for profit motivations is wrong. Because it is WRONG! It’s professionally, ethically, and morally REPUGNANT!, Animalistic, VILE and EVIL.


    The public option is ESSENTIAL because over 200 million of you are trapped in the forest of the wolves. Which is the forest of the DISGRACEFUL, GREED DRIVEN, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX! With no way out except through needless inhumane suffering, and DEATH. While the wolves tear at your flesh, and rip you limb from lib. Then feast on your lifeless bodies like a dead carcase for transplant parts.

    At the most vulnerable times of your lives (when you were sick and hurting), millions of you have had to fight and loose cruel, but heroic battles. Fighting against the big guns of the DISGRACEFUL, GREED DRIVEN, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX! in the forest of the wolves. All because you have no place else to go. You have no other CHOICE!

    But the PUBLIC OPTION will give you someplace safe to go. And it will give us someplace safe to take you. The public option will be your refugium (your refuge). Where the wolves cannot get at you when your down, hurting, and vulnerable. Where everyone who needs it can find rest, security, comfort and the care they need. Protected by the BIG GUNS of We The People Of The United States. THE MOST POWERFUL PEOPLE AND COUNTRY ON EARTH.

    This is why it is so critical that we do not lead another 50 million vulnerable, uninsured Americans into the forest of the wolves, without the protections of a Strong Government-run MEDICARE like public option. We The People Of The United States MUST NOT LET THAT HAPPEN to any more of our fellow Americans. If healthcare reform does not contain a strong MEDICARE like public option on day one. YOU MUST! KILL IT. Or you will do far more harm than good. And millions more will die needlessly. Rich, middle class, and poor a like.

    To those who would continue to obstruct good and true healthcare reform for the American people, and who seek to trap millions more vulnerable Americans in the forest of the wolves. We will continue to fight you. We are prepared to wage all out war against you, and will eagerly DESTROY! you. Time…is…UP! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! No Co-op’s! No Triggers! NO INDIVIDUAL MANDATES! without a Strong MEDICARE like public option on day one.

    Healthcare reform can be the GREATEST! Accomplishment of our time and century. A time when future generations may say of us, that we were all, AMERICAS GREATEST GENERATIONS.


    I therefore call on all my fellow Americans and the peoples of the World. To join us in this fight so that we may finish becoming the better America that we aspire to be for everyone.


    I have been privileged to be witness as many of you fought, and struggled to take your first breath, and your last breath on this earth. Rich, middle class, and poor a like. Life is precious.

    Whatever the cost. WE! MUST SUCCEED.

    God Bless You My Fellow Human Beings

    jacksmith – Working Class

    Things You Can Do To Help NOW!

    No Triggers!


    Krugman on heathcare (

    Senator Bernie Sanders on healthcare (

    John Garamendi on the Public Option and the Grassroots:

    Howard Dean on the Public Option

    We’re Number 37! in quality of health care

    Twitter search (#welovethenhs #NHS #hc09 #hcr #healthcar #obama #p2 #topprog #) Check it out.

  2. Scott K
    Posted October 7, 2009 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Didn’t I read all that on another post?

  3. Hank
    Posted October 7, 2009 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Is spam still spam when you agree with it?

  4. NTO
    Posted October 7, 2009 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

    On health care, Voinovich pushes subsidy, Brown a public option

    Saturday, October 03, 2009
    Stephen Koff and Sabrina Eaton
    Plain Dealer Bureau

    Washington- Ohio’s two senators re-entered the health-care debate Friday from vastly different perspectives, with Democrat Sherrod Brown petitioning colleagues to include a government insurance option while Republican George Voinovich said he worried about seniors’ benefits being cut.

    Brown is seeking other senators’ signatures for a letter to give to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid next week.

    “We are concerned that – absent a competitive and continuous public insurance option – health reform legislation will not produce nationwide access and ongoing cost containment,” the letter says. “For that reason, we are asking for your leadership on ensuring that the merged health reform bill contains a public insurance option.”

    Voinovich voiced concern about a different aspect of the proposed health-care package, which would save money in part by ending extra payments the government gives to private insurers for covering health care for senior citizens.

    About a quarter of the nation’s seniors are in these plans, called Medicare Advantage, and the plans get more taxpayer money than traditional Medicare pays its providers. In turn, Advantage plans often provide additional services such as vision or dental care. Some insurers say they might have to cut services or go out of business if the government pares its subsidies. Dueling government studies and testimony suggest that both sides could be right – that the Advantage plans are not as cost-effective for taxpayers as originally planned, but that the plans might pare services if cut.

    Humana Inc., a leading insurer, recently advised its Advantage patients to contact lawmakers to state their concerns about potential cuts. The Department of Health and Human Services and its Medicare arm in turn told providers to stop sending communications to patients that could be misleading.

    “Seniors on Medicare should not be subjected to misleading information about their Medicare benefits,” HHS’ Nick Papas told the Associated Press. He said that “certain communications from a major insurance company” may have violated regulations.

    Voinovich on Friday joined the complaints of other Republican lawmakers, some of whom have vowed to hold up nominations of President Barack Obama’s health nominees because of what they say is a gag order on insurers.

    “I don’t see how Medicare’s ‘gag order’ helps seniors,” Voinovich said. “Over the past several weeks, I have talked to many Ohio seniors who are very happy with their Medicare Advantage coverage and who deserve to know if the benefits they are currently receiving are going to disappear. The way I see it, this is a violation of First Amendment rights, and I hope that the secretary will consider reversing the department’s decision.”

    To reach these Plain Dealer reporters:, 216-999-4212, 216-999-4212

  5. StabeNO
    Posted October 7, 2009 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    They know it’s pointless to contact Stabenow’s office.

    So, who are we Dems going to run against her next time, anyway?

  6. Meta
    Posted October 8, 2009 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    From Sam Stein:

    A health care compromise that would establish a national public option for insurance coverage that individual states could opt out of, is being “very seriously considered” by Senate Democrats, a key Democratic lawmakers said on Thursday.

    Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told MSNBC that he and his colleagues have discussed the “opt-out” public option compromise as a way to get a bill past a Republican filibuster. The proposal is designed to get the support of progressive members of the Democratic Caucus — who are committed to a government-run insurance option — and conservative Democrats who are worried about what a public plan would have on the private markets in their states.


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