Monday, October 19, 2009

Health Care: PCCC Targets Reid, Burris to the Rescue??!!, Reconciliation for What??!!

This looks to be the big news of the day. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) is hitting our Senior Senator with an ad featuring a Nevadan who knows first-hand the woes of our current health care system... And issues a direct challenge to Harry Reid to include a strong public option in the health care bill.

In my humble opinion, this may be the best way for "outsiders" to pressure Reid. He clearly won't pay attention to "angry bloggers" making wild threats to support Lil' Tark Shark or Sue Lowden (HUH??!!) next year, but I think he will pay attention to those of us who live here, work here, and vote here. If you want to help them put these ads up throughout the state, click here. I hope he's listening.

And if PCCC ads at home aren't enough to get Reid's attention, this should.

The Illinois Democrat, appointed by disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, says he'll only vote for a bill to provide health care to millions more Americans as long as it allows the government to sell insurance in competition with private insurers.

And he says he won't compromise.

"I would not support a bill that does not have a public option," [Roland] Burris, 72, said in a recent interview with The Associated Press. "That position will not change."

Those words caught the attention of the very Democratic leaders who tried to keep Burris out of the Senate, suggested he resign and have shunned him in unprecedented fashion. Burris is not the only Democrat to insist on creation of a government-run health plan. But he is the one who has the least to lose by defying President Barack Obama and the Democrats who once turned him out in the cold rain.

Now things REALLY get interesting! Roland Burris was nearly kept out of the Senate by Democratic leaders, and they have succeeded in making sure he doesn't try running for a full term next year. It seems that Burris is now looking for his "sweet revenge", and his revenge might actually work out quite well for us... Especially if he succeeds in ensuring a good public option is in the merged Senate bill.

And it seems with the "merger" process starting tonight for the Senate health care bill, Sen. Burris and the PCCC could not have picked a better time to speak up.

And finally, it seems the dreaded topic of reconciliation is being brought up. Wait, so Senate leaders are willing to go this route? Wait, hold on... It's actually over an education bill that would redirect federal funds from student loan sharks "loan providers" to actual college student aid programs that work. While this in itself is important, it will be interesting to see if this is also a message that Senate leaders are leaving the door open to reconciliation for health care if necessary.

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