Finally Left Leverage on Healthcare

Niagara FalSenator Bernie Sandersls, Ontario           Maybe progressives and liberals are finally willing to exercise some leverage rather than watching painfully as conservatives and moderates strip every bill that arises down to the bone with health care reform being the latest front page casualty?  There are signs of a stirring.

            SEIU and Andy Stern after having seemed for so long to have been a White House annex office at their headquarters on Dupont Circle finally is snapping back at the evisceration of health legislation.  Trumka and the AFL-CIO are unhappy and balking at the compromises.  MoveOn which has been indistinguishable from Obama’s Organizing for America is sending out emails targeting Lieberman and praising Senator Bernie Sanders and his threats to NOT vote for the health care bill’s Senate version.  There are real discussions everywhere that people gather where folks are trying to find a way to still rationalize supporting so little at this late date in the fight.

            My assumption is still that enough no’s will be held to get the votes come hell or high water.  That assumption is based on the premise that once passed, evolution would improve the features of the package over time.

            Talking to my colleagues in Canada is sobering, since here the evolutionary record is a dilution of health care benefits rather than improvement.   Vision coverage for example  In Ontario national health care pays for nothing.  Not the glasses.  Not the eye check even. 

            I’ve talked earlier about the problems with “opt outs” which are also prevalent in Canada.  Each province (think states Americans) can add or subtract some parts of the package especially when it comes to paying for the costs of drugs and other add-ons to the basic health care package. 

            We need to be careful that we don’t go down from here, like our northern neighbors.

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