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Take 3 teaspoons of reality and call me in the morning

Let’s get real and down to the nitty gritty here. If the Senate bill doesn’t pass the House, we have another 1994 with very little chance of turning the tide since insurers will have their very own shiny new Senators and representatives installed in November, 2010. Here’s what’s at stake, and it’s a hella lot more than a majority in Congress:

  • The future of Medicare. This bill has very real and needed reforms to the Medicare delivery and payment system that if not enacted, guarantees Medicare will be bankrupt in 5-6 years
  • The economy. Yes, the economy. You saw what happened when foreclosures nearly brought down the whole financial system. We’ve put a bandaid on it, but jobs are not plentiful nor will they be as long as employees are this costly to insure. People will continue to lose their homes if they’re unlucky enough to own them and get sick without insurance. It will pile up, and pile up quickly.
  • Public health. This bill had major improvements in primary care, vaccinations, and other critical public health programs.

This is reality, folks. We are not going to turn back the clock and pass something new. Look at what they’re talking about! Do you REALLY THINK you’ll get something better by going back and stripping the bill down to banning exclusions for pre-existing conditions to those under age 19? REALLY?

Wake up. Call your representatives right now. Tell them they need to vote for the Senate bill, work on a compromise for revenue provisions and the excise tax via reconciliation. Then call your union representative and tell them to wake up and start pushing to get this bill through. Hell, even Andy Stern gets that much. There will be technical corrections no matter what, and there will be changes no matter what.

Finally, this goes out to the representatives who voted for this once and now don’t choose to vote for the Senate bill. This is reality: You are not driven by what’s best for this country but what’s best for your re-election hopes. Get over that and do what is right. Do it NOW.

Nothing — NOTHING — is more critical than putting the consumer protections in place. NOTHING. We don’t have the luxury of spending another year letting Republicans jack this around. Either do it. Or lose in November.

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