Democrats: Stand Up And Deliver HealthCare Reform

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[Black Star News Editorial]

Forty-seven million Americans don't have health insurance. These Americans deserve coverage.

The mechanics –whether there will be a public government program that competes with private insurers or a cooperative system that allows the private sector to leverage large pools of people seeking coverage—can emerge during the negotiations in coming weeks and months.

Republicans have already declared their intent to defeat healthcare reform and turn the exercise into a “Waterloo” for President Barack Obama. Republicans just want to score political points even as hundreds of thousands of Americans continue to lose jobs and their healthcare coverage. Wavering Democrats must not support such a myopic strategy.
For healthcare reform to succeed, the U.S. economy must become buoyant in the next several months.

Republicans praying for a Waterloo will do everything in their power to frustrate the Administration’s programs to rescue the economy. In other words, Republicans seem to be on a mission to fulfill Rush Limbaugh’s publicly stated wish: To see President Obama fail, regardless of the cost to all Americans.

Blue Dog Democrats must not support Republicans on this suicidal and insane strategy. Their opposition to healthcare reform is part of their overall mission to sink the entire ship with an eye towards regaining the White House in the future--forget about the corpses along the way.

It’s true that healthcare reform will be very costly. Estimates range from $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion. But healthcare reform is an integral part of any recovery program--indeed, it's impossible to heal the national economy while the nation remains in ill health.

The Administration has promised to ensure that more than $500 billion of the cost of healthcare reform comes from savings in Medicare and other entitlements.

This means more than $600 billion will have to come from new revenue sources.

It's only fair that individuals that have been blessed, through circumstances, inheritance, or their ingenuity, to be willing to help meet the cost of comprehensive healthcare reform.

President Obama has vowed to protect middle class Americans and indicated that he would not support any extra taxes on Americans making less than $1 million.

President Obama had insisted on a vote in the House before the summer recess in early August because he does not want his Administration to lose the momentum on healthcare reform.

Going into the fall and the spring there will be no shortage of crises to deal with; an economy slowly rising from hibernation; the costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; the environmental crises; and the intolerably high levels of unemployment.

There is widespread belief that there might be a need for another multi-billion dollars stimulus package within the next six to eight months.

So it's understandable why the president has been campaigning aggressively for healthcare reform, which he hopes will become his signature legislation.

So-called "Conservative" Democrats have stalled the planning, concerned about the deficit that additional spending will entail. This is an unwise strategy and plays right into Republican hands.

If a popular president like Barack Obama can't get Congress to support a comprehensive health coverage program for all Americans,  no other president will be able to do so in our lifetime.

Will members of the House and Senate --including the so-called Blue Dogs-- rise to the occasion and support healthcare reform that will provide coverage for all Americans? Will they instead disappoint and protect fellow multi-millionaires?

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