Friday, September 11, 2009


Why we can’t wait!
by Charlie Leck

One of my daughters put this video on her FACEBOOK page yesterday. I found it very moving. I thought I’d post it here for you to see. The number of uninsured people in this country is rising alarmingly. Something must be done. Health care reform without a public option is not health care reform. Be sure to let your Representative and Senators know that Health Care Reform legislation must have a public option.

Arnold S. Relman, M.D. and Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School pointed out, in an article in the NY Times, what was missing from Obama's speech on Wednesday night.
"The main drivers of medical inflation are fee-for-service payment of physicians, and all the other incentives in the current medical care system for increasing providers’ income. We will not control costs without major changes in the way medical care is organized, delivered and paid for. Without such changes our health care system is not viable for much longer, but hardly anything of substance was said about that. In fact, the president emphasized his determination to keep the structure of the present system largely intact by steering a middle course between the major reforms advocated by liberals and the free market approach favored by conservatives. He even seems willing to abandon a strong public insurance option in order to get something done now.

"This political strategy may work in the short term, but certainly not for long. I’m afraid history will not heed Mr. Obama’s intention to be the last president who will have to fight for health reform. Until a political consensus for major change appears, the struggle will continue."
Obama's willingness "to abandon a strong public insurance option in order to get something done now" is precisely what scares me and it is what we all have to keep screaming about -- loud enough and long enough that he will hear us. We must scream to him and to our Senators and our Congressperson.

A large number of my readers are upset with me, that I have been so harsh and so critical of the President. I'm sorry, but nothing has been so important in my lifetime for the future of this nation. I am ashamed that our country cannot take care of its ill and injured properly. I am ashamed that people, through no fault of their own in most cases, are driven into poverty but serious illness. It should not happen in a country that considers itself great. It often does happen.

Andy Driscoll, the Driscoll Group, from whom I get regular emails had this to say on Tuesday to his regular readers. He suggests a petition demanding a public option. I signed the petition. Here's your chance to sign it.
Dear Friend,

If we don't make a stand now for a public option, the Obama administration may hedge on its plan for health care reform.

On Wednesday, the president is expected to lay out his vision for health care reform at a joint session of Congress.

But there are already troubling signs that the Obama administration might be open to passing health care reform without any provision for a public insurance option similar to Medicare that could compete with private insurance companies. For example, reports came out on Friday that President Obama held a conference call with House progressives and asked them how far they'd compromise on the public option.

For those of us who support single payer, a robust public option is the compromise. Aside from single payer, a health care bill without a robust public option is just more of the same.

I just signed a petition to tell President Obama that the public option is not optional and that he should tell Congress and the voters that he will not sign a bill without a robust public option similar to Medicare.

I hope you will sign this petition too. Please have a look and take action.

Thanks, Andy

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