THERE'S NO RUSH?
That's what the leaders of the Democratic Party apparently believe about the need to pass health care reform.
Under the headline, "Democrats back off on health bill, say there's "no rush'," the Associated Press reported today that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said exactly that. In the same article, Senator Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, was reported to have said, "I think right now it's a timeout and the leadership is reevaluating."
I wonder if the senators have anyone in their extended families who is among the estimated 45,000 people who will die this year, while there is "no rush." That is the number of deaths that the American Journal of Public Health recently estimated to occur in the United States each year due to the lack of health insurance.
After reading the AP article, I received an email from Paul Begala on behalf of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Paul was checking in with me and other past contributors to get more money for the DCCC. In part, his plea said:
Renew your 2010 Democratic membership from the DCCC at the special rate of $25 and show the world that Democrats support strong, immediate action to block powerful corporate lobbyists from hijacking our democracy.
Still trying to deal with the cognitive dissonance between the senators' "no rush" statements and this call for "immediate action," I sent off this reply:
"Not gonna happen Paul. Fool me once ""
I am an independent voter, but have voted Democratic nearly 100% of the time. Yet I, and many of my progressive friends and relatives, have had it with the President and other Democratic Party Leaders. Big promises and no action (or even, in some cases, contrary and harmful action) are a poisonous mix for us.
And the Dems never seem to get it. Even now the President veers off on another wrong track while the leaders in Congress stall. Today, Harry Reid says, "There's no rush." Tell that to the 45,000 a year who die in the present health insurance system. The message our elected officials have to hear is: deliver the change you promised. Don't back off or regroup - charge and fight. Single payer or public option - not the Senate bill or some watered-down crap. Financial industry reforms that help the people, not the plutocracy. You will not get another dime from me, unless and until the Congressional Democrats deliver.
We all need to get on the horn to the Democratic leaders to tell them that this is not the time to delay or regroup. If they think that is the message from the electorate, then the midterms will be an historic disaster for them. Call or write the President, your representatives, and your senators today and tell them to grow a backbone and fight for us NOW.