Tuesday, August 25, 2009

MT Dems to Baucus: “Public Option at minimum”

Montana Maven covered the bulk of the details here, and I wrote about it here. But I wanted to post a little background and make sure everyone had a chance to see the actual documents (links below).

Here’s some background from Montana Maven:

It has been one week since 8 Montana Democratic Central Committees delivered their resolutions for single payer or a strong public option in a health care bill to President Obama and Senator Baucus at the Belgrade Town Hall Meeting in Montana on August 14. More central committees were holding meetings to vote on their own resolutions and the count is now at 18. (Out of our 56 counties in Montana, 11 counties do not have a central committee and 10 are pretty much non-functional, so these 18 represent a whole lot of activists). Many chairs of the committees, like myself,had been frustrated much like our founding brothers because "our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury and neglect". Yes we had all received the same form letter from the Baucus office even when we asked very specific questions.

Here’s a link to one of the letters Maven references in the last couple of sentences. Here’s the nut graf from the letter in question:

At our monthly meeting on July 9, the Carbon County Democratic Central Committee came to the unanimous opinion that health care reform in America must contain, at a minimum, the offering of strong public option. We believe that a strong public option as part of a larger federal health insurance exchange is the MINIMUM measure necessary to facilitate any type of meaningful reform, and cost containment. Although not as ideal as a single payer option, a strong public
option is a feasible compromise, and has broad public support both nationally and here in Montana. In order for a strong public option to effectively result in reform and cost containment it must include the following components:

  • National coverage
  • Available to all Americans
  • Portability
  • Publicly run and administered with full transparency and accountability to congress
  • No exclusions for preexisting conditions

Eighteen of the state’s 45 Democratic central committees signed on to a “unified statement” basically endorsing the ideals listed above. Here’s a link to a full copy of that statement.

Here’s the press release that accompanied the unified statement.

That’s all.

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