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If Health Care Reform fails, it won’t be Republicans’ fault

Just so we’re clear on that. The only ones who can kill health care reform at this point are progressives, and they’re doing a damn good job of it.

Somewhere along the line, compromise turned into a dirty word, and progressives forgot what shades of gray look like. And don’t give me the standard line about starting with the compromise of single payer being taken off the table either. It was never, ever ON the table. Never. Go back and look at the official Democratic Party platform. Single payer health insurance, whether it is the best option or not (and I believe that it is), was NOT AN OPTION. Never. Not in the platform. Never, ever, ever.

Don’t believe me? Go read it – Page 12 of the PDF download; page 10 on the Scribd document:

Covering All Americans and Providing Real Choices
of Affordable Health Insurance Options.
Families and individuals should have the option of keeping the coverage they have or choosing from a wide
array of health insurance plans, including many private health insurance options and a public plan.
Coverage should be made affordable for all Americans with subsidies provided through tax credits and other means.

That is the OFFICIAL platform. Not single payer. Exactly what they are trying to pass right now, today.

Before you get all crazed on me about the public option, go read the next few paragraphs about shared employer/employee responsibility. That, too, was the official platform. Again, it’s what they’re doing right now.

When I read blog posts like this one (Warning: Title is NSFW) and click through to the United Progressives site where I read this “statement on Single Payer today“, I see a cause and effect.

Every single time the single payer advocates get out there and start talking about how the current bill is something other than exactly what it is supposed to be — reform of the CURRENT system, not creation of a NEW SYSTEM — I want to remind them ever so gently that while they wait for their ideal pie in the sky creation, PEOPLE ARE STILL DYING.

Here are my questions for the single payer “nothing else will do” folks.

  1. Are you willing to subsidize the inevitable bankruptcy our family and others will suffer because we cannot currently purchase any protection for our family because of pre-existing conditions?
  2. Are you willing to accept the burden placed on our financial system by the growing number of us who will land on public assistance rolls because we cannot GET any price breaks or coverage for existing problems?
  3. Are you willing to watch our health care spending exceed 25% of GDP?

Are these really acceptable sacrifices to you? Because they are not acceptable to me. It isn’t right that while you all do your best to kill this bill from the left AND the right, those of us in the middle are screwed.

Is this health care reform bill perfect? Hell no, it’s not. Is single payer the better way to go? Hell yes, it is. But listen to me carefully – IT’S NOT AN OPTION RIGHT NOW.

If progressives kill this reform bill with their negativity and nasty emails to supporters, I will promise you that single payer will be a pipe dream none of them will see until they’re 67, provided that age isn’t pushed out further. I also promise that we will never see any real reform, because conservatives will crow over their victory, the left’s base will be broke, bankrupt and demoralized, and you all will still be looking for that perfect ‘thing’.

Start over? WTF? Why not just register for the Republican party, since that’s their song? While you sail with your heads in the clouds the rest of us are sucking canal water!

Here’s a suggestion: Go push for this on a state level. Take advantage of the escape hatch in the Senate bill allowing states to experiment. Do it the Canadian way, one province/state at a time. Just quit screwing every person out there who is currently denied the right to pay for insurance coverage in the process, ok?

Thank you, and happy Thanksgiving.

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