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LAST MAN STANDING for Healthcare Reform: Dennis Kucinich. Progressives: Stand by Your Man!

Posted by randyshannon on March 15, 2010

by Randy Shannon

MoveOn.org is demonstrating at Dennis Kucinich’s Cleveland office. The President brought him to his rally in Ohio to twist his arm.

Along with 76 other so-called Progressive Democratic Congresspersons, Dennis Kucinich signed a pledge not to vote for a healthcare bill that did not contain a public option to control the runaway premiums that people would be forced to pay by the insurance mandate.

Now there is one single Congressman out of that 77 who has the guts and the principle to stand by his pledge to the American people. Dennis Kucinich remains unbought and unbullied, hated by Rahm Emanuel and the insurance lobbyists. While Obama and the Democratic leadership were just funnin’ about the public option, Kucinich was serious.

If the healthcare vote comes down to one vote difference, then Dennis Kucinich’s vote can easily be moved to the yes column by adding the public option. 51 Senators have said they would vote for the public option in reconciliation, a majority. The White House and the the Congressional leadership have sold out to the insurance companies. Only Dennis Kucinich can force them to include the public option.

Help him by joining with thousands of others across the nation who are sending donations to Dennis through the Firedog Lake blog. Join with others who are canceling their affiliation with MoveOn.org. If you want to help go to the link at the end of the article below to contribute. Even $5 will send the message. 

 donate to Dennis Kucinich to send a message that progressives have not become a  tool of corporate America.

Progressives Who Don’t Honor Their Pledge: Corporatists In Sheep’s Clothing

By: Jane Hamsher Monday March 15, 2010 9:09 am // TweetTweet83 Share141  

Last August, progressive groups including MoveOn, DFA and blogs across the country came together to raise over $430,000 for 65 members of Congress who pledged to vote against any health care bill that doesn’t have a public option.

Now every excuse made by the President and Congress for not including a public option has crumbled. MoveOn is demonstrating against Kucinich for keeping that promise, and far from supporting members of Congress who keep that pledge, the unions are threatening them with primaries.

If George Bush had tried to pass a health care bill that was the worst blow to the right to choose since the passage of the Hyde Amendment 35 years ago,  liberal groups would be screaming bloody murder.

Instead, the natural fiscal constituency of progressive members of Congress — those who should be backing them up for standing for progressive values — are whipping from the right.

The veal pen groups have become the enforcement arm for sweetheart deals that Rahm Emanuel cut with AHIP and PhRMA.  And college students across the country are footing the bill, because Larry Summers doesn’t want to tax rich people.

I was on Ian Masters’ show yesterday, and he asked me what I thought of Dennis Kucinich’s position on health care.

I said “I find it odd that when it’s down to Joe Lieberman’s one vote, everybody shrugs their shoulders and says ‘oh well, we just have to write the bill Joe wants, because what can you do, one vote.’  And when it’s Dennis Kucinich’s one vote, which  represents what 80% of the American people want, it’s “lets crush Dennis Kucinich so we can give Joe Lieberman everything he wants.” Somehow the argument keeps switching so that the corrupt deal that the White House negotiated with the pharmaceutical companies gets passed no matter what.”

I still don’t know if they can pass this monstrosity of a bill.  But if  progressives stand down and do nothing while corporate America runs roughshod our institutions and our representatives,  no member of Congress will ever have the political courage to stand up against corporate power again.

Call members of Congress who said they would vote against any bill that doesn’t have a public option.  Tell them to keep their promise.

Tell Diana DeGette and Louise Slaughter to release the letter with the names of 41 members who said they’d vote against any bill that restricts a woman’s right to choose, because this one does.

And donate to Dennis Kucinich to send a message that the progressives are not a  tool of corporate America.

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2 Responses to “LAST MAN STANDING for Healthcare Reform: Dennis Kucinich. Progressives: Stand by Your Man!”

  1. Marc Stier said

    If Dennis Kucinich is the one vote between victory and defeat on the health care bill, then he will have the blood of thousands of Americans on his hands and will go down in history along with Ralph Nader as a shining example of how false idealism has undermined American progressivism and taken American lives.

    Kucinich could have voted for a stronger bill with a public option before. He didn’t. To my knowledge, he hasn’t said he would vote for a bill with a public option now.

    And it really doesn’t matter because we don’t have the votes for a public option in the House right now.

    With Kucinich and a few moderate Democrats we may get a bill that takes a major step toward radically changing the business model of insurance companies and making insurance affordable for almost all of us.

    The bill is not perfect. It’s not what I’ve worked for in the last twenty months. But it will save tens of thousands of lives, keep hundreds of thousands out of bankruptcy, reduce the suffering of millions, and improve the living standard and reduce the anxiety of tens of millions. And like all the other half-way measures and compromised bills that have characterized American reform efforts, including the Social Security Act of 1935 and the Medicare Act of 1965, it will create its own pressure for expansion and further reform.

    First, under the legislation, the federal government as well as individuals will bear the burden of increasing insurance premiums. So to avoid the tax increases needed to pay for higher subsidies, there will be pressure to create a public option to provide the competition needed to hold those premium increases down.

    Second, once the principle of subsidizing health insurance premiums is established, there will be continuous pressure to increase the subsidies and offer them to more and more of the population.

    Third, there will be continuous political pressure to raise the standards for the health insurance plans covered in the Exchanges.

    And fourth, the Exchanges will gradually be opened to large businesses which means everyone.

    So over time, almost all of us will purchase health insurance in the heavily regulated Exchanges, more and more of us will purchase it from a public insurance company or genuine non-profits, and a greater share of our premiums will be covered by tax dollars.

    We may or may not get to single payer that way. But France and Germany have the best health care systems in the world and they don’t have single payer. They have hybrid systems that have multiple, heavily regulated insurers and in which insurance is paid in part by employers and employees but mostly by the state.

    That is the kind of system which will result from the legislation we can enact this week.

    To say no to the immediate reforms we can make now, and to this path toward further reform, in the name of policies that are not attainable today, such as single payer, is not idealism. It is moral self-indulgence. It is the political stance of people who care more about showing how politically pure they are, then they care about actually accomplishing real political change.

    It is the political stance of people who don’t really have anything to lose if we don’t enact any reforms this year. In twenty months of working for health care reform, I’ve met exactly one person without health insurance who said we should wait for something better than we can get. The single payer rallies are full of middle aged white people with insurance. The working class people of color who need reform now are never among them.

    The real idealists are not the people who are always ready to say no to anything possible and insist that we could get something better if we only would try for it.

    The real idealists are the people who know just how hard it is to move this country; who have been organizing in all the tough Congressional districts around the country; who have fought for each of the small victories we have won so far in this campaign; and who know how important it is to have a real victory this week, not just because we care about saving lives and reducing human suffering, but also because we know that political movement are built on victories however small not on noble defeats.

    So yes, write to Dennis Kucinich today. And tell him to help us win a big victory this week that will lead to bigger victories in the future.

  2. Pamela Ter Bush said

    I just saw your annoucement that you are going to vote yes on Obamacare. I am so disspointed in you. Your legacy will not be good. You could have been a hero to so many Americans who may now lose their Medicare coverage. What a sellout to Americans who have lived, worked and paid taxes for over 40 years. I am disgusted. I bet you won’t get re-elected but what do you care? You have Cadillac health care for life. That should be changed and you should be ashamed of yourself. Mark my words – you will not be remembered for anything but a weak man who sold out America for a plane ride…..

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