S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Some Thoughts On Health Care Reform

Re Speaker Pelosi -- As follow-up to my Posterous bit Thursday here, courtesy of Michael J.W. Stickings' tweet, is a Bloomberg story on what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is planning when Congress comes back into session. To quote: "U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she won’t be able to pass health-care legislation in her chamber if the measure doesn’t include a government-run insurance plan to compete with private insurers."

The only committee with work left to do is the Senate Finance Committee. What they are considering is some sort of nonprofit cooperative as the public option. The six "negotiators" planned to meet in Washington yesterday at 9:00 PM for about an hour and a half. These senators represent a very small number of the American people. Following are the 2008 estimated state population figures along with the percentage of the total U.S. population (source Wikipedia). The senators include:
  • The Chairman Max Baucus (D-Montana, Est. pop: 967,440 - .31%)
  • Charles Grassley (R-Iowa, Est. pop: 3,002,555 -.98%)
  • Mike Enzi (R-Wyo, Est. pop: 532,668 - .17%)
  • Olympia Snowe (R-Maine, Est. pop: 1,316,456 - .43%)
  • Kent Conrad (D-N.Dakota, Est. pop: 641,481 - .21%)
  • Jeff Bingaman (D-New Mex., Est. pop: 1,984,356 - .64%)
That totals only 8,444,956 people or 2.74% of the total estimated population of the entire United States and its territories. By sheer force of numbers, not to mention politics, there is no way these six could be considered to be representative of all of us or our wishes.

Howard Dean has been unflagging in his optimism regarding the future of truly comprehensive health care reform that includes a public option. He has been seen smiling and firmly pro-reform on several TV news shows recently including Rachel Maddow on Thursday night. Rachel's tweet cited a recent poll supporting the public option that Dean referenced during his interview.

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