Friday, March 26, 2010

Senate Republicans Don't Want to Work a Full Day, Do They Need Naps

The Senate Republicans are now attempting to block all work by the Senate after 2 pm. How are they doing this? By objecting under Senate Rules to any committee hearings that take place after 2 pm. Now, since most of the work in the Senate is done in committee, this means that committee hearings have to stop by 2 pm.

Now, apparently the Senate Republicans want the media to think that they are doing this as some sort of retaliation for the Democrats passing health care reform by reconciliation. We think, however, that they just want to take afternoon naps. Think about it, your average Republican Senator is a white guy who is in his late 50s or 60s. They need naps. They want naps. This is a good way to get naps.

When, however, you are blocking unemployed workers from getting benefits, it doesn't look too good to want to cut short your own work day, but, hey, if that's what they want, then they should go for it. Of course, Democrats need to point out to voters the desire of Republican Senators to avoid doing a full day's work for more than a full day's pay.

Palin Targets Boccieri, Let's Back Him!

It seems that the half-term governor of Alaska, or the half-wit governor, whichever you prefer, has targeted Representative John Boccieri with defeat in the 2010 elections. This is, of course, because Boccieri decided to stand with the people of the 16th Congressional District and not the insurance companies in the recent vote on the House floor.

As readers of this blog know, we were pretty critical of Borrieri when he voted against the health-care reform plan when it first came up for a vote. We thought that his vote was a betrayal of promises he had made to Medina County Democrats when he asked us to support him in 2008. We weren't happy with the explanations he gave to a group of Democrats who met with him in December in Medina.

We were very pleased, therefore, when he voted for the health care bill when it came back from the Senate. We were happy when he voted for the bill amending the act, and we were happy when he voted for the final package of amendments late Thursday.

Us being happy, however, isn't going to help him win re-election. What will help him win re-election is Democrats supporting him, both financially and with time. This morning, we donated to his campaign. We urge all Medina County Democrats to do the same.

You can donate to Boccieri's campaign by clicking here. You can sign up to work for his re-election by clicking here. Don't let Palin win this November! Let's tell her that it is our district, not hers.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Call Congressman John Boccieri and Tell Him Thanks!

Contact Representative John Boccieri and tell him thanks for voting for health care reform:

Boccieri District Office

300 W Tuscarawas St.
Suite 716
Canton, OH 44702
(330) 489-4414
(800)826-9015

Boccieri DC Office

1516 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-3876

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Congressman John Boccieri To Vote Yes on Health Care Reform Bill

Representative John Boccieri, OH-16, announced yesterday that he will be voting for the health care bill when it comes up for a vote on Sunday. Previously he had voted against the health care bill when it came up for a vote last fall. Since then, there have been changes made to the bill in the Senate that addressed concerns that Boccieri had regarding the cost of the bill.

In the last week, several Democratic representatives who had voted against the health care bill have announced that they are now supporting the health care bill. This group includes Dennis Kucinich as well as Representative Boccieri.

Readers of this blog know that we were critical of Boccieri's "no" vote on health care reform last fall. We are very happy that he has decided to vote "yes" on Sunday. We realize that he will be criticized for this vote from opponents of health care reform,and we realize that voting for the health care bill will result in Boccieri being subjected to right-wing vilification. We are confident, though, that when the final returns come in next November that he will be re-elected, in part because he did the right thing on health care.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Republican Position on Health Care: 'I got mine, screw you."

Earlier this week we published a piece entitled "Whose Side Are You On?"You can read the prior post by clicking on the link in the previous sentence.

In that piece, we opined that if you aren't for health care reform, then you are with those who really don't care if 30 million Americans don't have insurance, or are denied medical insurance because of pre-existing condtions, or have their medical insurance policies rescinded when they make a claim.

This position led to a writer who calls himself/herself "Be Responsible" writing to protest that he/she doesn't fit into either of the categories that we set forth in our above menioned blog entry. Here is his or her's comments:

I am not on either side that you mentioned and either are millions of other citizens. Older people don't want their services cut by half a billion dollars as in the senate package and people like me and teachers want to keep their present health care coverage.

For example, I was sick 3 months ago, called my doctor's office at 8:05 AM, he saw me at 8:30, examined me, wrote a prescription, I paid my co-pay, and took my first pill before 9 am. Sorry, I don't want to lose that !

If anyone thinks that I will get that same care by adding 30 million people and subtracting all the doctors, like mine, who said he would quit, is fooling themselves. Yes, EVERYONE wants the Fraud and rates to come down.

What's wrong with making the insurance companies actually compete?

By opening up all 50 States to all the insurance companies watch the rates drop !!

And stop the ridiculous law suits with Tort reform.

We don't need another big inefficient bureaucracy.

And we can not add to the debt anymore or all our money will be totally worthless.

Be Responsible's comment is all about him or her. It is typical of the attitude that most Republicans have, "I got mine, screw everyone else."

Nowhere does Be Responsbile talk about the needs of those who have no medical insurance, or get denied coverage for pre-existing conditions, or see their medical insurance rescinded just when they need it most. Nowhere does Be Responsible talk about the thousands of people who are forced into bankruptcy because of a lack of medical insurance or the thousands of people who die earlier than they would have to if they had medical insurance.

Be Responsible talks about how tort reform and allowing medical insurance companies to sell insurance across state lines will somehow miraclously lower health insurance costs. Of course, what Be Responsible doesn't talk about is how the Republicans had both the Congress and the White House for six years. During that time, we didn't see national tort reform, we didn't see legislation passed to allow the selling of medical insurance policies across state lines. What we did see was an unpaid for expansion of Medicare drug benefits with absolutely no payment mechanism.

Here's question for Be Responsible and all the other Republicans who badmouth Obama's plan: What did you do for the six years you ran the national goverment to lower medical costs, or expand coverage, or increase competition in the medical insurance industry. Oh, that's right, not one damn thing.

So here is a news flash to Be Responsible: The lack of health care for every American is am moral issue, not just an economic one. It is a national shame that this country can't do what every other Western country, including Japan and Germany, our former enemies, have managed to do and that is cover every citizen with adequate health care.

All of the misery the present system is causing to millions of Americans apparently doesn't matter to Be Responsible as long as he/she has his/her medical insurance. Personally, we think that most Americans are bigger than that, but we shall see.

Friday, March 12, 2010

"Whose Side Are You On?"

A prominent Ohio Democratic politician recently commented on what he considers to be the crucial question in any election. The question is: "Whose side are you on?" That question is really at the heart of most domestic policy and political disputes. It is seen in the health care debate.

If you are opposed to the Obama plan, then you are for maintaining the status quo. Sure, you can say that you want a single-payer plan, or Medicare for all, or some other plan, like the plan offered by Senator Ron Wyden, but the reality is that its either the current plan or the status quo.

Why do I say that? Because it is obvious that there aren't the votes in either the Senate or the House to get a national payer plan. There aren't the votes to expand Medicare to all Americans, regardless of their age. As far as the Wyden plan goes, there probably aren't the votes to pass that plan either, especially once people realize it does away with the employer paid health insurance benefit.

So, its either the Obama plan or the status quo. Now, if you are for the status quo, then you are on the side of the insurance companies. You are on the side of those people who don't care if 30 million Americans are without health insurance, or if Americans are denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions, or if insurance companies try to rescind coverage just when people need it most. If you are against the Obama plan, then that's the side that you are on.

Now, if you are on that side, then you are not on my side, or my family's side, or my friends' side, and, if you are a U.S. Congressman running for re-election, then I am not voting for you. If this attitude results in the election of a Republican, I can live with that. The Republican won't be on my side, but either are you, so there's really no difference. Further, if you are defeated in 2010, then there's a chance the Democrats can nominate and elect a Democratic who is on my side in 2012.

Think of it as a example of single-issue voting, only from the Left, not from the Right.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Call John Boccieri and Tell Him to Support Health Care or You Won't Support Him

The Columbus Dispatch ran a story yesterday that said that Congressman John Boccieri is now "undecided" on whether to vote for the Senate healthcare bill when it comes back to the House. If you live in the 16TH Congressional District, and want healthcare reform, now is the time to make sure that Bocceri hears from you. The numbers to call are:

Boccieri District Office

300 W Tuscarawas St.
Suite 716
Canton, OH 44702
(330) 489-4414
(800)826-9015

Boccieri DC Office

1516 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-3876

As always, be police and civil, but let the staffer know that you are willing to consider not voting in the Congressional race if Bocceri votes against healthcare reform.