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US Politics

Your Public Option: Its Now or Never

On the matter of Healthcare, Barack Obama must plant his standard once and for all. The outcome will define his Presidency.

Now is the Time

As the Healthcare debate enters its final days, President Obama must take an uncompromising stand on the absolute necessity for the inclusion of a Healthcare public option to reduce costs and create real competition in the marketplace. Any repeat of his earlier failure to lead on this critical issue will make it extremely difficult to keep his supporters motivated and cause real problems for Democrats wishing to retain their seats in November.

He must dismiss all nonsensical Republican and Blue dog Democrat objections and demand that Congress pass a Healthcare Bill including an unencumbered Public Option, using GOP precedents, as justification for the use of reconciliation, to resolve this important national economicand public welfare issue.

As Think Progress Records -Republicans have used reconciliation on a regular basis,  recent examples include: quote –

“The 2001 Bush Tax Cuts  –  (HR 1836, 3/26/01)  —  The 2003 Bush Tax Cuts  –  (HR 2,3/23/03) – Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 – (HR 4297, 5/11/0 –The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (H. Con Res. 95, ( 12/21/05) ”

“When using the reconciliation procedure to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for domestic drilling in 2005, Senator Judd Gregg R -NH argued, “ The president asked for it, and we’re trying to do what the president asked for.”

“While Republicans seem to be experiencing a particular form of political amnesia from the Bush years, they ought to be reminded that budget reconciliation has been used by several other presidents, including Clinton and Reagan. In fact, Republicans – with Senators Bond and Gregg among the leaders of the charge – were instrumental in pushing through key provisions of their signature legislative agenda, the Contract with America, using budget reconciliation.”  end quote.

Think Progress records:  Earlier examples of Reconciliation.

“Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1980 / Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981/ Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 /
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1982 / Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1983
Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 / Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 / Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 /  Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989 / Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 / Balanced Budget Act of 1995 (vetoed)/
Personal Responsibility and Budget Reconciliation Act of 1996 / Balanced Budget Act of 1997  Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997
Taxpayer Refund and Relief Act of 1999 (vetoed) ? Marriage Tax Relief Act of 2000 (vetoed) ”   end quote.

No Compromise

The President must act to make it clear that he will refuse to sign any bill which fails to provide an unburdened public option (not one which involves trigger provisions ) and that he will not settle for an adhoc compromised bill, which simply maintains the status quo with no chance of delivering the critical healthcare improvements the American people deserve. On the matter of Healthcare, Barack Obama must plant his standard once and for all. The outcome will define his Presidency.

In these final days  it is up to every American who supports a Healthcare  Public Option, to publicly rally behind their President and Members of Congress, to make their wish come true.

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Discussion

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  1. Jay,
    I agree with you. One ambiguity left: the public option should be available to all people living in the USA, not just those who meet a certain income standard. Do you agree with is as well?

    Editor:
    In principle yes. However that would depend on the affordability of that expanded concept in the present depressed economic environment. However only the CBO can independently produce that cost estimate.

    Posted by Cornelius | February 19, 2010, 12:32 am
  2. I agree and have contacted Wyden about signing on to the letter asking Reid to use reconciliation.

    Editor: Well done! Positive momentum is building as people seize the day.

    Posted by David English | February 19, 2010, 10:49 am
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