Friday, June 26, 2009

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) Siding With Health Insurers In Health Care Debate?

HuffPo has the scoop:

In a closed-door meeting of Senate Finance Committee Democratic members and their staff Wednesday evening, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) suggested that if the committee bill didn't have enough votes for a public option it include a ten-year delay between passage of health care reform and the implementation of a public option that Americans could buy into, according to two Democratic aides.

Under the plan floated by Kerry, a public health care option would only be triggered by private insurance companies failing to meet certain criteria after ten years. Known as the "trigger" in legislative lingo, the idea is vociferously opposed by health care advocates who consider it the death of reform.

Reform advocates say that the system is already broken and that there's no need to wait any longer, also warning that the insurance industry might be able to game the criteria and prevent the public plan trigger from ever being pulled.

One source familiar with Kerry's unexpected suggestion said that the idea seemed to have little impact on the meeting and that the senators quickly moved on.

How in the world are senators -- especially Democratic Senators from ultra-blue states like Massachusetts -- thinking they can get away with standing against what the overwhelming majority of people in the country want?

There is no "Plan B" on this one because this is Plan B. Plan A was single payer. Having a robust public option available as soon as possible is the line in the sand, and if the committee doesn't have the votes for it, make them vote again. And again. And again. Keep voting until you have the votes to pass it.