Monday, January 25, 2010

NV-03: Report from the Dina Titus BBQ

So what exactly happened on Saturday? Well, Dina Titus kicked off her 2010 reelection campaign. She told us she isn't taking anything for granted, but she is hopeful we'll do again what we did in 2008.

She did mention the Massachusetts special election that went horribly wrong this month, but still congratulated all of us here who made calls to MA for the election. And while she did say it will be tougher to get anything sent to the President's desk to be signed into law, she will be working her hardest to get something done on the economy and bring more jobs to Southern Nevada. Oh yes, it looks like her 2010 theme will be all about jobs and the economy.

That's good. But if anything was a little disappointing for me, it would be what Dina said on health care. She said she'd like to see some bill on the President's desk this year, but she seemed resigned to the "likelihood" it will be a limited bill only covering "health insurance reforms" (like ending preexisting condition discrimination and requiring HMOs to spend more revenue on patient care). She mentioned something about the American people "not wanting 2,000 page bills and confusing processes and backdoor negotiations"... I understand that, but it seemed she was using all of this to refer to the reconciliation process and I disagree with Dina on that.

While people are frustrated about where the health care debate has gone, most of us don't want to see the whole thing sidelined or reduced to just a few insurance reforms. We want comprehensive reform, and we don't mind them using the perfectly legal and perfectly ethical path of reconciliation to pass a full package with the public option and with the Medicare buy-in. (Ironically, these are the most popular reforms!) I chatted for a few minutes with Gavin, one of her fantastic campaign staffers, afterward and I told him that we're not upset over her "doing too much". If anything, we want her and Harry Reid to do MORE and we'll fully support them if they keep their eyes on the prize and pass comprehensive reform with the public option and with the Medicare buy-in.

I'm hoping she changes her mind... And I hope you can help me convince Dina to (once again) support comprehensive health care reform that will really work and actually help her win reelection this fall.

Otherwise, I overall liked what Dina said on Saturday. She knows that we can't afford any more Wall Street fat cat corporate bailouts, and that Congress needs to instead focus on job creation for all of us "Main Street folk". She seems ready to take on the Republicans (again), and I feel ready to help her do so (again). And perhaps when she agrees to that better health care option, I'll throw in some extra change here.

So the 2010 campaign is officially on. Dina's running again, and I wish her the best of luck. And as long as she shows some leadership, shows some real backbone, and fights as hard as she can for Nevada's working families, I'll do my part to make sure she can keep up the good work in 2011. :-)

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