This morning, PhRMA and AHIP are seeing their sweetheart deals with Rahm Emanuel fizzle. The Senate is in disarray because the House won’t pass their corporate giveaway, and Harry Reid says their bill is going nowhere.
We won this round. The White House/Baucus bill is DOA.
But none of this would have been possible had Raul Grijalva not stood his ground and refused to budge when every vote counted. Even when it was considered a fait accompli that the public option was obsolete and the Senate must be obeyed, Grijalva stubbornly refused to go along. He showed leadership throughout, and stood on principle when others were fleeing.
He knew that the majority of the people in the country did not want to be forced to pay money to the private insurance companies that they hated, and he stuck to his guns. And over time, the common sense populist wisdom of that position prevailed.
Yesterday, Mike Stark presented him 36,000 signatures that we collected to show support when he was being pilloried as a “monster,” and being told to “to stop making threats, join hands with [his] Democratic brethren, and just get this done” by other progressives.
Mike spoke to Rep. Grijalva at his office on Capitol Hill:
GRIJALVA: The Senate bill for many of us is off the table. There’s just too much in it, And I don’t the lack of a public option. As you well said, there’s a lot of giveaways in it to corporate America. And more importantly it does nothing to really deal with the population of people that need health care in this country. So that’s off the table.
I don’t know what leadership is going to do in terms of demanding that the Senate do a reconciliation vote, and what we’re going to amend that bill with. Or if we’re going to do things in an incremental way. We’re waiting to hear what that decision’s going to be. But as far as for myself and I think others, the Senate bill in its present state is off the table.
STARK: I think a lot of people have got a newfound respect for progressives that are willing to stand on principle, because it’s been a lot of time since that’s happened. And I know I and a lot of people at Firedoglake Action have you to thank for that. So thank you very much.
GRIJALVA: Well thank you very much. And thank you for what you’re doing.
Against all odds, the $1.4 million being spent each day on lobbying failed. Those who insisted that it was unfair to force the country to pay money to private insurance companies without the alternative of a government run program won. We won because of Raul Grijalva’s leadership, and because the public rejected a health care bill that put corporations first and people second.
Now it’s time to return to the task of passing real health care reform. And this morning in the Houuse, Chellee Pingree and Jared Polis are pushing the Senate to reconsider the public option.
But that’s only happening because Raul Grijalva stood strong. Please say thanks by donating to his campaign, because you know PhRMA won’t.