Monday, October 26, 2009

Inching Closer Toward Health Care Reform

I can't recall exactly how many times in the past few months I heard some pundit proclaim that "the Public Option is dead!" I refused to believe it.

I knew that whatever passed wouldn't be as good as it should be, and would be nowhere near what we need to truly provide affordable, quality health care for our citizenry. But I always believed that, in the end, we'd have some semblance of a public option.

But I never thought that Harry Reid would emerge the hero! On that count, I was wrong! And I'm thrilled to admit it!

Harry Reid held a press conference this afternoon in which he said that the final Senate bill will have a public option, with states having an opt out provision.

Cool! Let the Republican led states try to wiggle out of the public option after some of their citizens have been enrolled for a year, and see them fall out of office! Works for me.

Once it's passed, it'll be up to us to strengthen the program, and expand it so that anyone who wants to buy into the system is able to. But I realize we'll have to take it one step at a time. Perhaps we can call it patience for patients.

It's still far from perfect. The biggest problem is that none of the benefits of this reform will take effect until 2013! So I was thrilled to see an article in today entitled "Dems Push for Benefits to Start by 2010" Now, that's what I'm talking about!

So, I reached out to Carrie Budoff Brown who authored the piece, and she'll join me tonight on Air America.

I wasn't alone in my contention that Harry Reid was an ineffective and spineless excuse for a Senate Majority Leader. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee had been running spots in Nevada targeting him, which appear to have paid off in a big way today. Tonight, we'll also check in with PCCC co-founder Adam Green to congratulate him and find out what comes next!

And we'll get the big picture from Democratic party insider Brent Budowsky, who was an aide to former Senators Lloyd Bensten and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He can be read on The Hill's Pundit's blog, and occasionally also writes a column for the paper. "Public Option Will Win" will appear tomorrow, and he'll speak with us, at length, about it tonight.

It is a jam-packed show tonight, but we should have time to get your thoughts in too, if you call 866-303-2270! Listen live from 11pm-1am ET here, and join in the live chat by clicking on the link below the player.