Progressive Revival

The time to fight for a public option healthcare program is now.  As reported on the Huffington Post, the Senate finance committee has offered a bi-partisan proposal that would drop the public option for health care:

These officials said participants were on track to exclude a requirement many congressional Democrats seek for large businesses to offer coverage to their workers. Nor would there be a provision for a government insurance option, despite President Barack Obama’s support for such a plan.

This is bad news for those of us who think that one of the most important groups to be considered in the health care debate are the 50 million or so who do not have health insurance at all.  In an earlier post I wrote about Christianiizing the health care debate in which I said:

The impetus for our need to correct our health care system is not that it is failing the rich – it is that it is failing the poor, the fifty million or so  Americans who have no or little health care and for whom getting sick requires deciding whether or not to risk bankruptcy to get healthy.  Christianizing the health care debate would give the concerns of poorest of our society equal weight to the concerns of the wealthy.   

This new plan by the senate finance committee does little or nothing for those who are most vulnerable.  It may be telling that the members of the finance committee come from the great states of Iowa, Montana, North Dakota, New Mexico,  Wyoming and Maine. Not states with big populations of people uninsured, although the rural poor in these states could probably use more assistance than they are getting. 

President Obama made the mistake of leaving the country while health care heated up, and then distracting the country by getting involved in the Gates/police controversy.  The health care debate has gotten dangerously off course.  it is time for all of us who support the government option to call our senators and make sure that a government option is offered – health care is too important to be left in the hands of the insurance and pharma industries and their lobbyists   


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