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No Health Care Reform, No Dolla

I got a call from the Democratic Governors Campaign Committee today, telling me all about how important it is to support Democratic candidates for governorships because redistricting is coming up and there will be repercussions in the House.

I get calls from all of them – the DNC, the DSCC, etc.  I gave a pretty good amount to Obama in 2008 so now I’m on all the lists.  I told the guy the same thing I’ve been telling all of them.  I was nice about it, and so was he, but I asked him to make sure the message gets passed up the chain:  no healthcare reform, no dolla.

Actually the guy who called and I had a pretty decent conversation, with me explaining that I was telling him the same thing I’d been telling all the others – that I will probably be giving to individual candidates, but until the Democrats pass healthcare reform, my wallet is closed to the institutional entities who help fund the entire slate.  This for the simple reason that contributions given through these groups will go, in part, to the very same Democratic asshats who have made passing anything nearly impossible despite large Democratic majorities in both House and Senate.  I said that at this point I wondered what difference redistricting will make, since we have so many Democrats who don’t believe in being Democrats.  He brought up the expected schedule for the votes on reform, and I said, great, when they get it done, you can call me back.  But make sure you let them know that until they get health care reform done, my wallet is closed.

I hope when you get calls, your reply is similar.  They’re getting some heat from the unions who are giving them essentially the same message, except in the case of the unions the message is a bit stronger, as in “vote yes or we’ll primary your ass.”  It doesn’t hurt for them to hear it from the rest of their base. 

And please, if you’re one of the folks who oppose the reform as it now stands because it’s not single-payer, or doesn’t have a public option, let’s not bother rehashing all of that again.  D. Aristophanes over at S,N! definitively settled that argument several months ago with his brilliant HCR Ponies vs Shit Sandwiches graph:

sadsenpref

I’m fully aware how much better the bill could have/should have been.  But I’m also fully aware that I’m currently subject to the tender mercies of the individual insurance market, which in a lot of cases is equivalent to not having insurance, and that my business partner who was recissioned last year won’t be able to get insurance again if this bill doesn’t pass.  That’s not only a terrific personal stress for her, it’s a threat to our business.  I’m also aware that my friend who has had weird intermittent episodes of internal bleeding will continue to go undiagnosed because she doesn’t have insurance (and now can’t get it thanks to her pre-existing condition), so she has to go to the state charity hospital every time she gets two or three pints low on blood.  That’s the type of care that the Republicans are bragging about – how any person can go to an emergency room and get treatment.  My friend might die before she makes it there in the next episode, but there hasn’t been a whole lot of effort put into finding out where she’s bleeding out and why it happens on a 9 or 10 month schedule, because as an uninsured person, no one’s in charge of her case.  So they just pump her up with blood, keep her in the hospital a few days, and then send her home until the next time.  I’d guess that so far, her mystery illness has resulted in at least $75,000 in hospital expenses passed on to insured patients in the form of increased fees for treatment, supplies, hospital stays, etc.  $75,000, and no one has really even worked on figuring out what is causing the problem.

That’s stupid, and it needs to stop.  At the very least, the Senate version of the bill – the only one that can pass now – will allow both my friend and my business partner to purchase insurance, with subsidies if needed.  Multiply them by 15 million.  Now tell me that we should “kill the bill” because it isn’t going to help enough.

And then tell the next caller for the Democrats that their only hope is to pass the bill.

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