Well, his wife might have some insight, folks. The bill before Congress will finally deliver on the urgent needs of all Americans. It would make their lives better and do so much good for this country. That, in the end, must be the test of reform. That was always the test for Ted Kennedy. He's not here to urge us not to let this chance slip through our fingers. So I humbly ask his colleagues to finish the work of his life, the work of generations, to allow the vote to go forward and to pass health-care reform now. As Ted always said, when it's finally done, the people will wonder what took so long. I remember this moment, one which almost didn't happen: And I would be shocked to hear anything else from Kennedy's widow and loved ones.
UPDATE ec.19 5:00 P.M. – The Senate Bill is pretty much settled as of Saturday afternoon as Reid’s manager’s amendment has been read, is being debated, and will be voted on shortly. It does not include a public option or Medicare Expansion the two elements of the bill that provide market based cost control against medical cost inflation. Nonetheless, click on the link and ask for these reforms now so that Kerry and Kirk know that’s what you want.
Democracy for America contacted members today with a message:
We just got back the numbers from DFA’s joint national polling with the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and the results are striking:
Only 33% of voters approve of the Senate’s current plan to pass a bill without a public option but with a mandate forcing Americans to buy insurance.
The good news is the poll shows Democrats the roadmap to victory:
59% of voters still support a healthcare reform bill with a public option.
Sen. Kerry attacked Howard Dean over his apparent “Kill the Bill” stance. This week, for example, Howard Dean wrote in a Washington Post op-ed that real health care reform needed a public option that would ‘…give all Americans a meaningful choice of coverage.’ I was surprised to read that because back in 1993, then-Governor Howard Dean called Medicare ‘…one of the worst federal programs ever and a living advertisement for why the federal government should never administer a national health care program.’ Tough talk. The only problem is that it’s not exactly true. According to FactCheck.org, Dean’s 1993 statements about Medicare were taken out of context in the 2004 primary race. Here’s the problem: the ad doesn’t give the full Dean quote. What Dean really said makes clear he was attacking the Medicare bureaucracy and red tape, not the benefits paid to seniors. Criticizing the bureaucracy is a very different thing from criticizing the benefits offered by the program. Kerry should know better. I don’t necessarily agree with Dean’s stance on the Senate bill, but I greatly appreciate his public comments that have helped reframe the debate over health care reform. What I don’t appreciate are the [...]
Cross-posted from Blue News Tribune. Just do it. Yesterday, I wrote that a bad bill is the worst possible outcome. I’ve changed my mind. Even Howard Dean, speaking on On Point on WBUR yesterday, said the Senate bill does some good things. OK, then. Let’s take it. I’m not crazy about the mandate; it’s an imperfect solution. Some have said it will be a windfall for insurance companies. But you know what? Health insurance is not all that profitable. It’s a business that looks like a cash cow from the outside – like, say, a ski resort, when all you see is person after person shelling out nontrivial cash to ride down a hill. But then you look a little closer and consider all the administrative costs and all the regulatory issues and all the payouts, and it’s a lot less profitable. The real profit drivers at insurance companies are their investment portfolios. Are insurance CEOs overpaid? Of course. Are they more overpaid than automotive or technology CEOs? A harder question. So then the question is, do we accept an imperfect bill? Yes, for a simple reason: We’ve been here before, and we failed. We’ve got a far better chance [...]
Globe: State Senator Anthony Galluccio pleaded guilty today to fleeing the scene of car crash in October and was sentenced to six months home confinement with two notable exceptions. The Cambridge Democrat, who has been convicted twice of driving under the influence of alcohol, will be allowed to leave home for church on Sunday and to cast a vote in the state Senate in Boston. Does anyone know how many other Senators have criminal records? It will be interesting to see how the august body handles this latest blow to its reputation. As to the release conditions, surely the reporters should have written “votes in the Senate.” Or is the incarcerated politician going to be allowed to leave for only one vote. If so, I wonder which vote that might be. Or maybe they mean that after each vote he casts, he has to go back home again before he casts another one. The “Galluccio” bumper stickers on Cambridge taxis have a much more pointed message all of a sudden — each one a tiny reproach: next time, take a cab.
Moveon.org presents, “Lieberman Socks.” Borowitz Report: Senate unveils “Compromise Care:” WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) – The United States Senate today unveiled details of its health care plan, tentatively called CompromiseCareTM: – Under CompromiseCareTM, people with no coverage will be allowed to keep their current plan. – Medicare will be extended to 55-year-olds as soon as they turn 65. Lots more here. Daniel Kurtzman: “Santa Claus, as you know, has a plan to fly around the world to deliver toys to all the good little boys and girls. Unfortunately, it’s being blocked right now by Joe Lieberman.” -Jimmy Kimmel “The Golden Globe nominations came out yesterday. President Obama picked up a nomination for best Democrat acting like a Republican. So, congratulations.” -Jay Leno “They found 22 million missing White House e-mails. You hear President Bush’s excuse? He said he never bothered to ever send any of them because he couldn’t find a stamp.” -Jay Leno “Governor Schwarzenegger is in a bit of a feud with former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin right now. They’re fighting about global warming. Palin says it isn’t proven. Schwarzenegger said she’s ‘living in the Stone Age.’ And Palin really should know not to mess with Arnold Schwarzenegger. [...]
Also ripped from David’s interesting 7-Up health care thread. NeilSagan writes (quoting Adam Green via Yglesias): What do the things the Dem Leadership in the WH and Senate didn’t do tell you about what’s driving Obama? Since you asked, “What exactly should they be doing?” here is the list of what it would have looked like if Obama was willing to exert leverage and actually fight. – Threaten to veto any bill without public option. – Barnstorm Connecticut before Lieberman dug in his heels (Connecticut, where Obama campaigned for Lieberman in 2006, and where voters want the public option by 3 to 1). – Barnstorm across Maine (where voters want the public option 2 to 1, Independents 3 to 1, and where only 24% of voters like Snowe’s trigger). Instead, Emanuel met behind-closed-doors with a senator out of touch with her own constituents and tried to cut a deal for a trigger nobody wants. – Publicly leak that Obama is furious that he went to bat for Lieberman’s chairmanship, and Lieberman is threatening to filibuster reform. – Publicly leaking that reconciliation is on the table [...]
Moved up from David’s interesting 7-Up health care thread. Hubspoke writes: Special to Charley We both worked for John Edwards in NH. I think we were both moved by Edwards’ condemning the destructive influence of corporations and lobbyists on democratic government and believed his stated commitment to fighting it if elected. So I copy two passages from Glenn Greenwald’s latest post – The underlying divisions in the health care debate – for your reaction. Thanks. As I’ve written for quite some time, I’ve honestly never understood how anyone could think that Obama was going to bring about some sort of “new” political approach or governing method when, as Kilgore notes, what he practices — politically and substantively — is the Third Way, DLC, triangulating corporatism of the Clinton era, just re-packaged with some sleeker and more updated marketing. At its core, it seeks to use government power not to regulate, but to benefit and even merge with, large corporate interests, both for political power (those corporate interests, in return, then fund the Party and its campaigns) and for policy ends. It’s devoted to empowering large corporations, letting them always get what they want from government, and extracting, at best, some [...]