Archive for August 26th, 2009

by jhwygirl

…are becoming increasingly clear for some, including Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM).

Bingham is a member of what has been called The Gang of Six, the six members of the Senate Finance Committee that is headed up by our Sen. Baucus. The senators who are actually writing the piece of health care legislation that everyone is talking about but no one has seen.

Wanna understand the power of The Gang of Six? Matthew Yglesias of Think Progress does that quite well.

Baucus recently spoke publicly about his support for public option. I think that is great. If Grassley can be tweeting that ‘we don’t need any public option’, then Baucus shouldn’t feel a need to hold back on his personal preferences for a public option.

In fact, I hope that our Senator Baucus speaks more about why a public option is important. As the man who has been working on this very issue for years, Baucus’ support of a public option is something everyone who truly supports reform (everyone – left and right) should want to understand.

by Pete Talbot

Sen. Jon Tester was in town Tuesday to listen to doctors and administrators from our two hospitals. What was the main complaint from these health care providers? Tort reform.

Not public option or affordability or access for their patients but the high premiums they have to pay for malpractice insurance.

And while I agree that the high cost of malpractice insurance needs to be part of the mix in reforming health care, should it be these doctors’ overriding concern? Seems a little self serving to me. I don’t recall ever seeing any impoverished physicians here in Missoula.

My sources on this opinion post are Betsy Cohen’s Missoulian story and KECI’s evening news.

The Lion that Roared

by JC

Ted Kennedy

On the Future of the Democratic Party
At the National Press Club, 1-12-05

In the face of their tactics, we cannot move our party or our nation forward under the pale colors and timid voices. We cannot play Republican clones. If we do, we will lose again, and deserve to lose.

As I have said on other occasions, the last things our country needs is two Republican Parties.

Today I propose a progressive vision for America; a vision that Democrats must fight for in the months and years ahead; a vision rooted in our basic values of opportunity, fairness, tolerance and respect for each other.

These founding beliefs are still the essence of the American dream today. That dream is the North Star of the Democratic Party; the compass that guides our policies and sets our course to freedom and opportunity, to fairness and justice, not just for the few, not just for some, but for all.

At our best in all the great causes for which our party has stood we have kept that dream alive for all Americans, even and especially in difficult times. And we will not fail to do so now.

We have a choice. We can continue to be buffeted by the harsh winds of a shrinking world, or we can think anew and guide the currents of globalization with a new progressive vision that strengthens America and equips our citizens to move confidently to the future.

Our progressive vision is not just for Democrats or Republicans, for red states or blue states. It’s a way forward for the nation as a whole to a new prosperity and greater opportunity for all; a vision not just of the country we can become, but the country that we must become: an America that embraces the values and aspiration of our people now and for coming generations.

It is a commitment to true opportunity for all, not as an abstract concept but as a practical necessity.

To find our way to the future, we need the skills, the insight and the productivity of every American, in a nation which each of us shares responsibility for the future and where the blessings of progress are shared fairly by all our citizens in return.

An essential part of our progressive vision is an America where no citizen of any age fears the cost of health care and no employer refuses to create new jobs or cuts back on current jobs because of the high cost of providing health insurance.

The answer is Medicare, whose 40th birthday we will celebrate in July [2005].

I propose that, as a 40th birthday gift to the American people, we expand Medicare over the next decade to cover every citizen from birth to the end of life.

It’s no secret that America is still dearly in love with Medicare. Administrative costs are low, patient satisfaction is high, unlike with many private insurers, they can still choose their doctor and their hospital.

For those who prefer the private insurance, we will offer comparable coverage under the same range of private insurance plans already available to Congress.

I call this approach Medicare for all, because it will free all Americans from the fear of crippling medical expenses and enable them to seek the best possible care when illness strikes.

The battle to achieve Medicare for all will not be easy. Powerful interests will strongly oppose it, because they profit immensely from the status quo.

Right-wing forces will unleash false attack ads, ranting against socialized medicine and government-run health care. But those attacks are a generation out of date, retreads of the failed campaign that delayed Medicare in the 1950s and ’60s.

Today we are immunized against such attacks by the obvious success of Medicare. It is long past time to extend that success to all.

The Democratic Party’s proudest moments and greatest victories have always come when we would stand up against powerful interests and fight for the common good. And this coming battle can be another of our finest achievements.

Our fragile planet is not a Republican or Democrat or American community; it is a world community.

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