Today, OFA sent out an email with the subject line: Pass health reform now.
It doesn't (natch) ask members to tell their House reps to pass the Senate bill, or their senators to negotiate a reconciliation patch to mollify the House. It's focused on a letter-writing campaign. But the message is unequivocal:
This isn't a problem we can kick down the road for another decade -- or even another year. We need to pass health reform now.Are you listening, Bill Pascrell?
We're incredibly close. But too many in Washington are now saying that we should delay or give up on reform entirely. So we need to make it crystal clear that Americans understand the stakes for our economy and our lives, and that we want action.
Meanwhile, this very day, Obama shed the ambiguity cloak, telling the DNC:
"So just in case there's any confusion out there, let me be clear. I am not going to walk away from health insurance reform. I'm not going to walk away from the American people. I'm not going to walk away from this challenge. I'm not going to walk away from any challenge. We're moving forward.''Glory hallelujah. To paraphrase Al Gore (1993), it looks like Mr. President got with the program.
His voice rising, he added: "We are moving forward!'' [snip]
"Yes, we could continue to ignore the growing burden of the runaway cost of healthcare,'' said Obama, wearing a suit jacket but no tie. "The easiest thing to do right now would be to just say, 'Ah, this is too hard. Let's just regroup and lick our wounds and try to hang on.'
"We've had a long and difficult debate on healthcare and there are some, maybe even the majority in this town, who say, perhaps it's time to walk away,'' the president told his party. "But here's the thing, Democrats. If we walk away we know what will happen. We know that premiums and out-of-pocket expenses will skyrocket this decade and the decade after that, and the decade after that.''
Of course, as one Congressional aide pointed out recently (I think in a TPM story), there's a difference between cheerleading and leading -- i.e. getting the reconciliation deal done.
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