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Premature Congratulations

ClickNow_Reid I know it’s fun to get he pom-poms out, but what exactly is everyone celebrating?

MoveOn, which was asking members to pressure Obama last week, is now shifting gears to make sure the Democratic Party gets in line and votes to block a filibuster.

Health Care for America Now was championing Reid for “standing up” and doing the right thing, collecting more than 20,000 signatures on a thank-you petition to the leader.

Progressive Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) portrayed the opt-out plan in political terms, suggesting in his statement he was confident states would side with families, not insurance companies.

Reid hasn’t said what this “opt-out” will include, and as Brian Beutler notes:

According to [NBC’s Chuck] Todd, the White House is telling Reid, “You’re the vote counter, but don’t come crying to us when you need that last vote. That said, I’ve also been told, OK right now it’s this ‘opt-out,’ the compromise could end up being the ‘opt-in’ and maybe this is what Reid was doing here–going with the ‘opt-out’ so the ‘opt-in’ was the compromise rather than the trigger being the compromise.”


[T]hey seem to be telling him that this may be a gambit on Reid’s part to do compromise down further, rather than simply settling on the lowest common denominator (the trigger) right away.

If veal pen orgs enjoy the role of being toadies to the party, I guess everyone needs a hobby. But I question the wisdom of switching tactics and heaping praise on Reid for maybe doing something he gives only the vaguest details about.  Perhaps articulating what they expect to see in the final bill such that he deserves praise might be more appropriate for a progressive organization advocating for health care reform.

A better response:

Trumka also called for a “robust” public option that would compete effectively against insurers that have a stranglehold in some markets. He alluded to a recent American Medical Association study that pointed out 94% of the nation’s major markets are considered to be anti-competitive and singled out Alabama as a market in which one insurer controls nearly 90% of the health-insurance business.

A proposal under consideration in the Senate for states to opt out of a public option is not considered “robust,” Trumka said. 

“It’s on its way. It’s not there yet,” he said

For us, we’re adjusting our phone bank script into Nevada slightly, to address the fact that Reid announced “good intentions” yesterday.  But that’s awfully weak, and if as the White House alludes it’s simply the first step on the road to triggers, it’ll be just another nail in Reid’s political coffin.

So we’ll be continuing our phone bank efforts to progressive Nevada Democrats, asking them to urge Reid to bring a public option up for a vote in the Senate — and whether they will support a primary against him if he doesn’t.  Because we certainly will.

Call Nevada Democrats now and keep up the pressure on Harry Reid

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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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