Gabrielle Giffords, a Blue Dog Democrat, wrote an editorial in the Arizona Daily Star, about the need for health care reform that includes a strong public option that lowers everybody’s costs and competes with private insurers. Here’s an excerpt from her editorial about the public option:
We need reform that puts patients first. It is not right and not fair that insurance companies can deny coverage because of pre- existing conditions or impose lifetime limits on service.
I support reform that allows Americans to keep their current health-care program, keep their doctors and keep their hospitals.I support reform that creates competition through a strong public option that lowers everyone’s costs and competes with private insurers.I support reform that allows Arizonans who lose their jobs to afford insurance so they can get back on their feet without fear of getting sick.
I support reform that will slow the growth of health-care costs and does not impose new taxes or burdens on our nation’s most valuable economic contributors, small businesses.
Here’s how the House health care bill will help Rep. Giffords’ constituents in her Arizona district:
America’s Affordable Health Choices Act would provide significant benefits in the 8th Congressional District of Arizona: up to 13,400 small businesses could receive tax credits to provide coverage to their employees; 12,400 seniors would avoid the donut hole in Medicare Part D; 950 families could escape bankruptcy each year due to unaffordable health care costs; health care providers would receive payment for $69 million in uncompensated care each year; and 52,000 uninsured individuals would gain access to high-quality, affordable health insurance. Congressman Gabrielle Giffords represents the district.
This is why I know that if the House Tri-Committee health care bill gets onto the floor with the public option, the national insurance exchange, and the subsidies for the middle class intact, that we have the votes to pass health care reform because the Blue Dog Democrats aren’t united as a caucus against the public option.
Right now, the seven Blue Dogs on the Energy and Commerce Committee don’t share Rep. Giffords’ opinion on having a public option that lowers everybody’s costs and competes with private insurers. The seven Blue Dogs want no subsidies for middle-class families, only for the lower class families, prefer state-based co-operatives, and would love to have the public option as a fallback. The only reason that health care reform on the House side is bottled up is because of the seven Blue Dogs on the Energy and Commerce Committee.
We’ll see if the seven Blue Dogs accept Chairman Waxman’s suggestion about an Independent MedPAC authority as a compromise in order to support the passage of the bill out of the committee and onto the House floor. I’ll be on the alert for any scheduled mark-ups in the Energy and Commerce Committee this week so we can do liveblogging here at the Campaign Silo.
Also, Chairman Waxman has proved to be rather helpful by publishing a district-by-district summary of how the House health care bill will benefit the constituents in the districts of these lawmakers on the Energy and Commerce Committee, including the constituents of the seven Blue Dogs. Please feel free to check out the district-by-district summary for these seven Blue Dogs below:
Shameful, isn’t it? Want to help keep up the pressure on the Blue Dog Democrats, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and the Tri-Caucus members to do the right thing for us Americans by working to pass health care reform this week that includes a strong public option within a national insurance exchange and offers subsidies to the middle-class along with stringent regulations on private insurers? Then please help donate to our campaign in this fight for health care reform. We’re going to raise up to $32, 274 to continue this fight with more resources and get more people involved in this once-in-a-lifetime fight.