Tide Turns in the Bay State. On Tuesday, the voters of Massachusetts delivered a stunning blow to government-run health care by electing Republican Scott Brown to the U.S. Senate. Brown, who campaigned on Bay State opposition to government-run health care, represents a crucial vote against the Democratic health care legislation.
If you are wondering if your support of NCPA's efforts to educate the public about government-run health care has made a difference, Tuesday's election results are your proof! If you are wondering if your 480,000 telephone calls and 10,000 letters to Congress are making a difference, the total confusion on Capitol Hill today is proof that they are!
Time is of the Essence! Now that Scott Brown has won in Massachusetts, it is urgent that the Action Army telephone and letter writing campaign be immediately targeted toward the 64 moderate Democratic members of Congress in "three waves" with the appropriate messages from their constituents imploring them to vote against government-run health care. It will cost $54,000 to do that. Please givewhatever you can to this goal today. Your support is crucial to keeping us in the trenches, fighting government-run health care and producing the patient-driven health policy solutions you deserve.
Government-Run Health Care Wounded, Not Dead. Having lost their supermajority in the Senate, Congressional Democrats now face tough choices as they consider how to proceed on health care. Several options exist, but none are guaranteed to succeed for the Democrats:
Option #1: Approve the Senate Bill In Its Present Form. If the House approves the Senate health reform bill without amendment, then the legislation would go immediately to President Obama for approval. This option is unpopular with House Democrats and liberal union bosses because the Senate version does not include the sweetheart deal for unions, which would exempt them from the 40% tax on high-cost insurance plans. The Senate bill also contains taxpayer funding for abortions, which many pro-life House Democrats oppose.
Option #2: Vote before the Oath. If the Senate votes before Scott Brown takes the oath of office, then out-going Massachusetts Senator Paul G. Kirk would vote on the legislation, not Brown. This option, however, seems unlikely since many Senate Democrats have already indicated that any substantive votes on health care should wait until Scott Brown is sworn in.
Option #3: Entice a Republican to Cross Over. If Senate Democrats find a Republican to support the health reform bill, then they could pass a reconciled version through the Senate. Democrats secured many of their votes for the bill by promising federal aid to Senators in exchange for their vote; they could try the same tactic on a Republican Senator. This option, however, puts Democrats on display as using federal tax dollars to buy support for an unpopular policy.
Option #4: Try, Try Again. If Democrats admit the unpopularity of current proposals, then they could return to the drawing board and craft a more moderate, bipartisan and successful version of health care reform. This option, however, would likely infuriate the liberal wing of the Democratic Party and admit failure on one of President Obama's flagship proposals.
With this week's stunning events, Congress is uncertain to how to proceed and anxious to hear your voice! Take 5 minutes and join the fight:
THANK YOU! From all of us at the NCPA, thank you for your support! Your continued financial support, in whatever amount you can afford, will help make the difference. Together, we can win the fight for health care that is affordable, workable and fair.
Thank you for your support of the NCPA.
Jeanette Nordstrom National Center for Policy Analysis www.ncpa.org
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