Here we are, at the end of a week in which I’m sure I wasn’t alone in trying really hard to look away from what was going on in Washington (and failing miserably). As someone who thinks that the Senate healthcare bill as is may not be worth passing, but does not want to see healthcare reform fail again, I’ve been stuck– I can’t really hate on those House members who are unwilling to pass the Senate’s bill, and I think that anyone who calls Rep. Raul Grijalva a “monster” for standing up for a better bill has kind of lost it. But I still don’t want the reform effort to collapse – we need results, and we can’t wait another decade.
So all of that said, Manhattan’s very own Rep. Jerrold Nadler issued a great press statement today explaining how true healthcare reform is still possible, still do-able, and still needs to be done. Read the whole thing. If healthcare reform has been getting you down, this could make you feel a bit better. Via TPM, Nadler’s statement:
"As Speaker Pelosi has said, the House of Representatives does not have the votes to pass the Senate health care bill alone. It is clear that the great majority of the House Democratic Caucus – right, left and center – is unwilling to pass the Senate bill as it stands. But we must not let this fact, or the election results in Massachusetts, cause us to abandon comprehensive health care reform.
"We must instead negotiate an agreement with the Senate to pass a few key changes to the Senate bill through the reconciliation process so that both Houses can pass a comprehensive bill. We can then take various popular insurance reforms that cannot be passed through the reconciliation process – dealing with such subjects as pre-existing conditions, rescissions and annual and lifetime benefits – put them in a separate bill, and see if the Republicans dare to filibuster them. The alternatives – giving up on comprehensive reform or attempting to only pass small pieces separately – are either unacceptable or impractical.
"Though the process of crafting and passing health care legislation has been frustrating and disappointing for many of us, we still have a rare opportunity to enact true reform, and we must not give up."
Several members of NYC’s congressional delegation have really stepped up to the plate during this long, drawn-out, ugly healthcare reform process. Major props to Nadler and to Rep. Anthony Weiner (remember his public debate against Betsy “Death Panels” McCaughey?) for standing up for real healthcare reform, without giving up or giving in.
And now, for kicks, here’s Anthony Weiner explaining for a live audience how Betsy McCaughey is a liar whose pants are on fire: