Ads thanking Boswell and other health care reform news

Health Care for America NOW and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees are running television ads this week thanking 20 Democrats in relatively tough districts who voted for the House health care reform bill last Saturday. If you live in the Des Moines viewing area, you may have seen this commercial about Congressman Leonard Boswell:


Corporate-funded conservative groups have targeted Boswell in negative ads this year because of his vote for the climate-change bill in June. Ads attacking the health care reform project (many funded by insurance industry fronts or the Chamber of Commerce) have been plentiful this summer and fall too. It makes sense for reform advocates to thank Boswell, as Iowa Republicans are gearing up to challenge him with State Senator Brad Zaun or some other well-known figure.  

In other health care reform news, Tom Harkin is among the Senate Democrats trying to keep the "Stupak amendment" language on abortion out of the Senate's version of health care reform. He's absolutely right that some people pushing amendments are trying to kill the bill rather than make it better. A lot of questions have been raised about whether defeating the bill was Representative Bart Stupak's main goal. Since 1992, Stupak has been involved with the fundamentalist Christian "Family" group and has lived in their house on C Street in Washington.  

Stupak claims that as many as 40 House Democrats would reject health care reform without his amendment, but yesterday House Whip James Clyburn said the Stupak amendment only gained 10 votes for the bill. Meanwhile, more than 40 House liberals are threatening to vote down the final bill out of conference if it contains the Stupak language.  

Final note: MyDD user Bruce Webb wrote an interesting piece about what he views as "the most important and overlooked sentence" in the House health care reform bill:  

Most of the criticism of HR3962 coming from the left revolves around the belief that the House bill has no premium and so no profit controls, that it in effect delivers millions of Americans into the hands of insurance companies who can continue to raise premiums at will while denying care by managing the risk pool in favor of those unlikely to make claims. This just is not true, not if the provision in this one sentence is properly implemented. In a stroke it guts the entire current business model of the insurance companies, based as it is on predation and selective coverage, and replaces it with a model where you can only make money by extending coverage to the widest range of customers and or delivering that coverage in a more efficient way.

 Like they say, go read the whole thing.

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Follow Grassley's advice to find affordable health care

Health Care for America Now, in conjunction with the Iowa Citizen Action Network, is running an online ad that links to a “job application” citizens can fill out to request a position with Senator Chuck Grassley’s office.

You may recall that Grassley told a constituent at a recent town-hall meeting to “go work for the federal government” if he wanted the same health insurance plan the senator enjoys:

Excerpt from an ICAN press release, which I have posted in full after the jump:

Senator Grassley, whose health care bills are picked up by taxpayers, pays $356.59 a month for health insurance.  The most he pays when visiting a doctor or hospital is $300. His “Let Them Eat Cake” attitude ignores the plight of working families, farmers, and small business owners in Iowa who don’t have adequate, affordable health care and are going broke trying to keep up with insurance premiums and medical costs.

“Polls show that the majority of Iowans, like the majority of people in America, want health care reform that achieves quality, affordable health care for all,” said Betty Ahrens, Executive Director, Iowa Citizen Action Network. “Senator Grassley keeps blocking progress in the Senate Finance Committee. He talks about bipartisanship but is showing no intention of compromise, and after his comments in Waukon, we know just how out of touch Senator Grassley is with the real struggles of his constituents in Iowa. Everyone here should see this video, and we will do what we can to make sure Senator Grassley knows his “Get a Job Like Mine” solution to the health care crisis is unacceptable.”

Excerpt from the “job application”:

I work hard, and I pay my taxes, but I cannot keep up with health care costs that are rising four times faster than wages if I can even get health care at all, what with all the denials of needed care that my insurance company throws in my way. Meanwhile, Members of Congress get health care that’s affordable, and nobody is going to deny care to an elected official!

Senator Grassley has so graciously offered to provide me health care as good as he has if I work for the federal government, and so I am applying for a position in Senator Grassley’s office in the hope he will make good on that promise. If he cannot, the only hope I have to obtain quality, affordable health care for me and my family is if Senator Grassley drops his opposition and supports real health care reform – reform that gives me a choice of public or private insurance, make care affordable, and delivers good benefits.

Volunteers will deliver the “job applications” to Grassley’s office next week. Although he’s not going to change his mind about a public health insurance option, we can show how out of touch he is with Iowans.

Fortunately, a group of Senate Democrats are strongly committed to the public option, dimming prospects for a bipartisan compromise on health care that would please Grassley.

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