The Progressive Caucus doesn’t plan on releasing the names of those who are signatories until 5:00 pm because they say they want to get to 60. And according to Charles Rangel, when the 3 committee bills get reconciled in the Rules Committee there will be a public plan.

Whether there will be one when the bill gets through the conference meat grinder with the Senate bill is another thing, which is why it’s critically important that members take the Pledge.

Now that we’ve seen how easily the progressives get jammed by the Blue Dogs working on behalf of the insurance industry, I hope everyone can agree that this is going to be critically important.

July 31, 2009

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
U.S. House of Representatives
H-232, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable Henry Waxman
House Committee on Energy and Commerce
2125 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable Charles Rangel
House Committee on Ways and Means
1102 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable George Miller
House Committee on Education and Labor
2181 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Madame Speaker, Chairman Waxman, Chairman Rangel, and Chairman Miller:

We write to voice our opposition to the negotiated health care reform agreement under consideration in the Energy and Commerce Committee.

We regard the agreement reached by Chairman Waxman and several Blue Dog members of the Committee as fundamentally unacceptable. This agreement is not a step forward toward a good health care bill, but a large step backwards. Any bill that does not provide, at a minimum, for a public option with reimbursement rates based on Medicare rates – not negotiated rates – is unacceptable. It would ensure higher costs for the public plan, and would do nothing to achieve the goal of "keeping insurance companies honest," and their rates down.

To offset the increased costs incurred by adopting the provisions advocated by the Blue Dog members of the Committee, the agreement would reduce subsidies to low- and middle-income families, requiring them to pay a larger portion of their income for insurance premiums, and would impose an unfunded mandate on the states to pay for what were to have been Federal costs.

In short, this agreement will result in the public, both as insurance purchasers and as taxpayers, paying ever higher rates to insurance companies.

We simply cannot vote for such a proposal.


Update I:  Text of the letter, which now has 57 signatories.

Update II  The letter now has 60 signatories.

  1. Lynn Woolsey
  2. Raul Grijalva
  3. Carolyn Kilpatrick
  4. Jerry Nadler
  5. Phil Hare
  6. Lucille Roybal-Allard
  7. Keith Ellison
  8. Earl Blumenauer
  9. Mel Watts
  10. Donna Edwards
  11. John Olver
  12. Dennis Kucinich
  13. Laura Richardson
  14. Maxine Waters
  15. John Conyers
  16. Judy Chu
  17. Maurice Hinchey
  18. Hank Johnson
  19. Diane Watson
  20. Jackie Speier
  21. Bill Pascrell
  22. Lloyd Doggett
  23. Marcy Kaptur
  24. Mazie Hirono
  25. Bob Filner
  26. Linda Sanchez
  27. Marcia Fudge
  28. Barbara Lee
  29. Andre Carson
  30. Sheila Jackson Lee
  31. Michael Honda
  32. Jim McDermott
  33. William Lacy Clay
  34. Jim McGovern
  35. Yvette Clarke
  36. Eric Massa
  37. Chellie Pingree
  38. Jesse Jackson, Jr.
  39. Elijah Cummings
  40. Bennie Thompson
  41. Gwen Moore
  42. Donald Payne
  43. Fortney “Pete” Stark
  44. Ed Towns
  45. Corrine Brown
  46. Alcee Hastings
  47. Nydia Valezquez
  48. Luis Gutierrez
  49. Grace Napolitano
  50. Albio Sires
  51. John Tierney
  52. Mike Capuano
  53. Chaka Fattah
  54. Jose Serrano
  55. SamFarr
  56. Bill Delahunt
  57. Eddie Bernice Johnson
  58. Robert Wexler
  59. Emanuel Cleaver
  60. Gregorio Sablan
Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of 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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