So here's how it went. I tried calling Senator Reid's DC office, and no one answered. I then tried the Las Vegas office, and fortunately a staffer answered when I tried the local office for the second time.
The staffer wouldn't make any commitments as he told me that nothing has been finalized yet. I asked him to ask Senator Reid to either fight his hardest to keep a public option in the health care bill, or at least drop the individual mandate to buy private insurance if a public option agreement can't be reached.
The staffer promised to give Reid my message.
Now I know my lone voice only counts so much, so I'm counting on you to do the same thing. Please join me and my DFA friends in calling our Senator and demanding he either fight harder for the public option, or at least drop the individual mandate to prevent criminalizing good people who can't afford crappy HMOs.
And if someone from Reid's office gets frustrated at you, remind him/her that we are doing this to HELP Reid and other Democrats.
Without the choice of a public option, forcing Americans to buy health insurance isn't just bad policy, it's political disaster for Democrats -- a ticking time-bomb for years to come.
Does anyone think Republicans won't use this against Democrats in 2010?
What about in 2014 after the mandate goes into effect and the press reports all the horror stories of Americans forced to choose between paying their monthly health insurance bill to Aetna or paying rent?
The mandate is toxic and Democrats will own it. By the 2016 presidential election, is there any wonder how this will play out for Democrats?
Hell, I'll say this may cost Obama his reelection in 2012 if he pursues the "forced HMO LeiberCare mandate"! And if someone from The White House or the Congressional "leadership" reminds you that "there are still good things in the bill", remind them that Sarah Palin has already promised to repeal the entire bill if she becomes President. And again, this individual mandate is so toxic that this may even give her a real opening in 2012.
Oh, and by the way, did I mention this is just plain BAD POLICY?
Here's the deal, Senate leaders are all over Washington claiming they finally have a healthcare reform bill they can pass, as long as they remove the public option. After all, they say, even without a public option, the bill still "covers 30 million more Americans." The problem is that's not really true.
What they are actually talking about is something called the "individual mandate." That's a section of the law that requires every single American buy health insurance or break the law and face penalties and fines. So, the bill doesn't actually "cover" 30 million more Americans -- instead it makes them criminals if they don't buy insurance from the same companies that got us into this mess.
A public option would have provided the competition needed to drive down costs and improve coverage. It would have kept insurance companies honest by providing an affordable alternative Americans can trust. That's why, without a public option, this bill is almost a trillion dollar taxpayer giveaway to insurance companies.
Again, this is a craptastic deal that "Holy Joe" Loserman is trying to force upon Democrats. We need to urge Harry Reid to reject this bogus "deal" and move forward with a real bill that will really help us. Please call Harry Reid's DC office at (202) 224-3542, his Las Vegas office at (702) 388-5020, his Reno office at (775) 686-5750, and/or his Carson City office at (775) 882-7343, and ask him to either fight like hell for a real public option or at least drop the individual mandate from the bill!