Needlessly Prolonging the Debate

I didn’t have a chance yesterday when our Senator, Joe Lieberman, came out against the public option and intended to side with the Republicans to turn the upcoming debate into the usual circus.

This morning, though, I wrote to the Senator and suggest everyone else in the state do so.

The argument against a public option is fairly absurd. Medicare and Medicaid are government options. Our federal bureaucracy is already meddling with people’s health care so what’s the difference? When I posed that to Deb, she gave me a blank look – she wasn’t sure either.

The need for health care reform is clear. The statistics, no matter which ones you use, point to a need for reform. Costs are spiraling up, our level of care does not compare well with out countries, there’s less bang for the buck, and the private companies are doing nothing to fix matters themselves.

I’ve seen reports on the startling sums being spent by lobbyists to preserve the status quo or neuter many of the proposals floating through Congress. Imagine if those sums were gone, that profits were reduced and costs lowered?

Many things disturb me about the way the Health Care debate has progressed, especially the fear mongering, misinformation, and attempts to maintain what clearly does not work. Our country should be constantly reinventing itself, working to improve things when at all possible. Some things are debatable, others are clear cut. Health reform falls into the latter category.

So, when something obvious eludes one of my elected officials, I worry. Ever since Joe Lieberman demonstrated his unwillingness to accept his party’s rejection with grace, his independent manner has indicated he is less interested in representing his people than remaining in Washington. When I wrote to him, I stressed that there’s been no attempt made by the Senator to ask the opinion of his constituents on the issue. Our congressman, Jim Himes, braved some nasty town meetings, but at least came to talk with us.

Joe, it seems, doesn’t care.

6 comments

  • Jack Scheer

    After Senator Lieberman’s announcement yesterday, I wrote to my senators (Mikulski & Cardin) urging them to support the use of reconciliation to pass HC reform legislation if necessary. I know the Democratic caucus is reluctant to go that route, but I’m hopeful they’ll get over that reluctance in a hurry so we can get this thing passed soon.

  • Steve Weiner

    I couldn’t agree more. The arrogance the insurance company is displaying–that they can pretty much buy off elected officials–is shocking. Unfortunately Lieberman is part of the problem.

  • My advice, as a meddling Canadian happy with his country’s version of the “public option”: Hang in there. Do not give up on this.

  • All that money on all that lobbying came directly from our premiums and was taken away (stolen, morally speaking) from patient care.

    My uncle, a US Senator, has seen (and tries to avoid succumbing to) what he calls “Incumbent’s disease,” wherein a person has been in the Senate so long that he feels it’s owed to him, that that’s where of course he belongs and he cannot imagine anything else. He thinks he’s too important to fail to stay in office, and it warps him.

  • Sounds like your uncle has the wits to appreciate the situation! Good to know!

  • Remember he ran on the line of Connecticut for Lieberman, not Lieberman for Connecticut. Truth in advertising, there. I can’t wait to work for his opponent in 2012. (I was a Lamont volunteer, too.)

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