Republicans aren't bringing a health reform plan to the summit because they don't want to reform health carePosted on February 24th, 2010 by Jason Rosenbaum in Congress Watch
Yesterday, Republican leaders finally confirmed that they weren't going to bring a health care bill to the President's summit tomorrow. Why? Because they don't actually want to reform health care (emphasis added):
The Senate GOP leadership is brushing off Dan Pfeiffer’s demand this morning that Republicans clarify whether they’ll produce a bill in advance of the summit, and won’t put forth a “comprehensive proposal,” aides say.
This morning on the White House blog, Pfeiffer challenged GOP leaders to say whether they’d be bringing a bill to the summit. “The Senate Republicans have yet to post any kind of plan,” Pfeiffer wrote, adding that “we continue to await word from them.”
Asked for comment, a senior Senate GOP aide emailed:
We fundamentally disagree with a comprehensive proposal to reform health care. We think a step by step approach on areas where we agree is the best path forward. We will not be posting a comprehensive alternative to commence a staring contest.
Of course, health care advocates have known this all along. Republicans have no solutions to the crisis in our health care system because they don't view it as a system in crisis.
However, the position that health care in this country doesn't need fundamental reform is a dangerous position to take. Never mind that every day we go without reform, 6,821 more people lose their health insurance [pdf], 2,548 more people file for bankruptcy because they got sick, and 60 more people die [pdf] because they don't have the coverage they need. Declaring that as a party Republicans "fundamentally disagree with a comprehensive proposal to reform health care" is radically out of step with the American people.
The latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll is only the latest in a series showing the elements of health reform are popular:
Other parts of reform are really popular too, like the public option.
And majorities want comprehensive health reform passed:
And even more will be disappointed or angry if reform doesn't pass:
If Republicans think going with nothing is going to win them broad support, they haven't been reading their polling.
Democrats need to work to make sure the reform that passes works for everyone in America and has the popular elements in it - they must pass health care that works for us and pass it now. Today, we're helping to put in 1 million message to Congress to send them that message, and Melanie's March is arriving in DC to a huge rally with Senators attending the summit, so we'll get to tell that message to these Senators in person.
Getting health reform done right is more than good policy for the country, it's popular, too. And it will show America that Democrats won't accept the party of NO's strategy.