The 57 members of the House who signed a letter saying they would not vote for a bill without a public option have added three more to their number — Robert Wexler, Emanuel Cleaver and Gregorio Sablan.
Thanks also to Rep. Raul Grijalva, Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus for standing strong against a bill with “triggers.” We already know what governs for-profit health insurance company priorities – putting shareholder profit and executive compensation ahead of the insured’s’ health services. Moreover, passing health care reform without a public option is asking the US taxpayer to underwrite a 10%-25% premium to have for-profits insure the uninsured instead of the public plan, which can do it for 5% overhead. The public option is also the mechanism that forces downward pressure on health care inflation rates.
The progressive caucus must stand strong on the public option and no triggers until the WH, which seams to be brokering this negotiation, treats the caucus with at least the same consideration as blue dog and Republican interests on the other side of the health care debate. It took the month of August to realize Democrats were negotiating against themselves on health care reform. Don’t concede these very important elements of the bill to the interests bought with health care industry campaign donations and ideologues who can’t reconcile the success of Medicare with the need for the public option.