Grijalva on the public option


by David Safier
Last night I cited some statements from Giffords' Tucson town hall that made me hopeful about her movement toward supporting a strong public option.

If you've been reading national blogs today, you've seen there are some noises that Obama is about to give up the public option. All rumors, mind you. Maybe trial balloons. Maybe totally without basis. Who knows?

But Grijalva is quite clear about where he stands, in today's Press Release:

“I have grave concerns about calls reportedly being made from the Administration to health care reform advocacy organizations supporting the choice of a public option insurance plan.
“I truly expect the President to live up to the promises he has made to America about real change and that he truly stands for uninsured Americans and working families that need and are demanding a choice of a competitive public option when he addresses Wednesday's joint session of Congress.
“Without a public option, this bill is not real reform. Real reform would lower and contain health care costs, precisely what inclusion of a public option would achieve.  Without a robust public option, reform will enrich pharmaceutical and insurance companies because it will lack any significant competition and incentives to drive down health care costs for consumers.”


  1. This morning, after reading that the president was “courting” Olympia Snowe, I was overcome with frustration and phoned the White House. They have a battery of volunteers answering the phones and I left the following message: Mr. President, for heaven’s sake, quit trying to make nice with Republicans who only want you to fall on your face. Rather, get the message we, the people who worked to get you elected, are sending: We want serious reform, a single payer system. Demanding bipartisanship from people who don’t even understand the meaning of the concept is demeaning to you and to all of your supporters. Rather, get a bunch of the Blue Dogs in and point out to them that they are in the majority because we, the people, worked our hearts out and voted for you. We did not vote for you to use your life and treasure trying to find at least one Republican who would work with you! The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome – it ain’t a gonna’ happen! PULEEZE!!!!

    When Lyndon got passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, he called in all his chips, twisted all arms and intimidated anyone who needed to be intimidated to get that act passed. If not for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, you, sir, would not be president today!!!!

    Your experience organizing communities in Chicago required different skills than you need today. You are not an organizer of poor and downtrodden people today – you are a leader – so PULEEZE – LEAD!!!


  2. Former insurance executive Ben Nelson, Lieberman (whose wife is aa medical industrial complex executive), and Blanche Lincoln from Arkansas (where Limbaugh is more popular than the president, and polls show a hard-core right winger beating her in the next election). Lincoln is the only one up for re-election in 2010.

  3. I keep hearing from Senate Democrats that there aren’t the votes for a public option in the Senate. What I would like to know is which Senate Democrats would vote against a public option… so we can primary the bastards.

  4. As a lifelong Democrat (active since 1955) and having been in the private sector , working a job 24-7,being told by the Government that I MUST contribute to Social Security and Medicare because it will be there when I retire , as a baby boomer find that BOTH Social Security and Medicare will NOT be there for Senior Citizens NOT because it failed but because the various Administrations and Congress has spent all the money set aside for Senior Citizens and now tells them as Van Jones says; ” GO #$&*&%$ YOURSELVES;SCREW YOU!”

    I also am a lifelong AFL-CIO Union Member and organizer , so I understand BOTH businesses concerns for costs for employee Health Insurance and Labor’s reasons for wanting a Government Option to relieve Business of the Costs Involved.

    Let me point out that since the 1940’s when Health Insurance was made available as an incentive for employees because wages were frozen ; private citizens were and are forbidden from providing there own employee insurance and the Government provides tax credits for businesses to insure employees but forbids American Citizens from buying Health Insurance across State lines or buying employee insurance for themselves!

    These are what BOTH what Grijalva Giffords whole rationale for the so called Public Option are ,saving The Unions for Grijalva and Saving Business expenses for Giffords!

    Here is the Plan I would have pushed in Congress if elected.

    1) Protect your Healthcare CHOICES.

    2)End Discrimination by Insurance Companies.

    3)Lower Prescription Drug Costs to people not on Medicare or Medicade and enable buying Drugs across State Lines and from Canada and Mexico.

    4)Make Health Care more Affordable by enabling those who are younger to take Catastrophic Heath Care and can elect to have a “Deductable” like offered in Car insurance of YOUR CHOOSING; and including Tort Reform and Tax Credits for Buying your own Health Insurance.

    5)Improve Care by eliminating pre -existing Conditions as a means to deny coverage.

    6)Guarantee Stable Health Coverage and incourage competion of Private Insurance by enabling you to purchase Health Insurance across State lines and portability from Job to Job.

    7)Reduce Waste, Fraud, Abuse and Inefficiency by mandating Congress to do its job of oversight; NOT having Congress try to take on every aspect of personal Choices that should remain with your Doctor Patient confidentiality.

    8)Expand Care at Home for Senior Citizens so they do not have to turn all there assets over to family members to make them “Indigent” in the eyes of The Government so they qualify for Medicare and Medicade payments for catastrohic illnesses and treatment and nursing home care and costs.

    9) Set up a three tiered system of Coverage that Private insurance can cover;
    1)American Citizens from Birth to 21 years of age; having Healthcare designed for their age group and needs.
    2) American Citizens from the ages of 22 to 54 years of age ; focus on wellness and prevententative care.
    3) American Citizens from ages 55 to Death designed for the need for increased care and prescription Drug Coverage.

    Return The Congress to the role of oversight in Health Care for All Americans through Private Choices of Private Insurance available across State Lines with REAL TEETH of Enforcement.

    Take The Department of Health and Human Services Out of The Executive Branch of Government and have the Secretary “ELECTED every four years by The American People in a “NON-PARTISAN ELECTION,” making him or her dirctly accountable to “WE THE PEOPLE” for our Health Care and oversight provided through the Private Sector; able to negotiate Healthcare Costs and Prescription Drug Costs Directly and independent of Lobbyists and The Executive Branch; but can be held accountable to Congress and the People!

    This plan would be a start to restoring confidence and trust in our Healthcare system; and continue to modify any part of it as the evolution of Healthcare in America Changes our length of Life and Quality of Life.

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