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Carolyn Maloney: I’ll Vote for a Bill That Doesn’t Have a Public Plan

Carolyn Maloney

Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)

Give Carolyn Maloney credit: she says what everyone else is thinking. The health care bill that comes out of the Senate is going to be shitty, and she wants to be able to vote for it.

This despite the fact that Maloney is a member of the progressive caucus, and the progressive caucus held a press conference saying they would vote down any bill that didn’t have a public plan.

The Progressive Caucus is an embarrassment, and nobody — not even their own members — takes them seriously.

It’s what we’ve known all along and why we started the whip count project. The same thing happened on ACES and on the supplemental. What happens in the House is kabuki to please progressives, and in the end, members of Congress don’t want to take a vote on principle when they could sell it for a ton of pork.

Is it worth passing a health care bill that is little more than a bailout of the insurance industry, just like the ACES bill bailed out the coal industry, or the supplemental bailed out European banks? Should progressive members of Congress hold the line and demand a public plan as part of any health care bill?

You decide:

Call Maloney’s office and ask why she signs on to things she doesn’t intend to live up to: 202-225-7944 DC, 212-860-0606 Manhattan, 718-932-1804 Queens.

Maloney’s full statement after the jump:

To NYCEVE, Jane and the blogging community fighting to make sure health care reform includes a public option:

As you all know, America’s health care ‘system’ is broken. Too many people pay too much for coverage, too many others can’t afford coverage, and overall our nation pays more for a health care system whose results are worse than other industrialized nations. It’s wrong, it’s been that way for far too long, and finally things are aligning in Washington to do something about it.

As we begin this critical debate on health care reform, I want to make sure you know where I stand. I believe universal health care is a fundamental right and value and we must pass it this year.

In terms of how we achieve universal health care, I believe the best way is a single-payer health care system and I’ve long been a co-sponsor of that legislation. But, if single payer isn’t on the table, then we must give all Americans the option of enrolling in a public health insurance plan and I will fight to make sure the public option is included in any health care reform bill.

As President Obama said just this week, a public plan is one of the best ways to bring down costs and ‘force the insurance companies to compete and keep them honest.’

I am confident, in the House, under the leadership of Speaker Pelosi and Chairmen Rangel, Miller and Waxman, we will pass a health care reform bill which includes a public plan option, and I will proudly vote for and support this bill.

I applaud your efforts on this issue and, let there be no doubt, we share the same goal – universal health care. And, as I said, I will vote for and fight like heck to make sure the final bill includes a public option. But, the real question is in the Senate and given the uncertainty there, what I will not do is potentially put myself in a position of having to vote with Republicans to kill a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pass health care reform that provides coverage to millions who go without health care every day.

So, while I agree health care reform must have the public option and I will fight for it; I also believe health care reform is too important to maintain the status quo and, even though I won’t like a bill that doesn’t include the public option, if that happens, the principle of getting people health care who don’t currently have it must come before any one particular method to achieve it.

As a nation, we have been talking about national health care since Harry Truman was President in the 1940s and it’s time to finally get it done. We must pass real health care reform and we must pass it this year.

Carolyn Maloney,

Member of Congress

CommunityFDL Action

Carolyn Maloney: I’ll Vote For A Bill That Doesn’t Have A Public Plan

Carolyn Maloney

Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)

Give Carolyn Maloney credit: she says what everyone else is thinking. The health care bill that comes out of the Senate is going to be shitty, and she wants to be able to vote for it.

This despite the fact that Maloney is a member of the progressive caucus, and the progressive caucus held a press conference saying they would vote down any bill that didn’t have a public plan.

The Progressive Caucus is an embarrassment, and nobody — not even their own members — takes them seriously.

It’s what we’ve known all along and why we started the whip count project. The same thing happened on ACES and on the supplemental. What happens in the House is kabuki to please progressives, and in the end, members of Congress don’t want to take a vote on principle when they could sell it for a ton of pork.

Is it worth passing a health care bill that is little more than a bailout of the insurance industry, just like the ACES bill bailed out the coal industry, or the supplemental bailed out European banks? Should progressive members of Congress hold the line and demand a public plan as part of any health care bill?

You decide:

Call Maloney’s office and ask why she signs on to things she doesn’t intend to live up to: 202-225-7944 DC, 212-860-0606 Manhattan, 718-932-1804 Queens.

Maloney’s full statement after the jump: (more…)

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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