Thursday, August 27, 2009

Democrats Need to Grow A Backbone

I perfectly understand that there will be some differences of opinion when it comes to the details of health care reform, but it has become clear that most people believe that something must be done. Recent polling even shows that the vast majority of Americans believe that the best option would be a strong public option. Nonetheless, there are still Republican Members of Congress who are bragging about their role in delaying reform. Mike Enzi, for instance, bragged at a town hall that his involvement in the "Gang of Six" is the reason that we don't have a plan yet that would help Americans receive the care that they deserve.
Enzi found himself under attack at the town hall simply for sitting in the same room as the three Finance Committee Democrats. Republicans in the crowd called for him to exit the talks. He assured conservatives that his presence was delaying health care reform.

"If I hadn't been involved in this process as long as I have and to the depth as I have, you would already have national health care," he said.
Despite the fact that the Republican Senators like Enzi are making it clear that they won't sign on to any plan, there are still some Democrats who are insisting that the bill has to have bipartisan support. While I agree that it would be nice if everyone could just get along on the Hill, it's simply not going to happen. Almost every time that the Democrats sacrifice on something in hopes of getting some Republicans to sign on, the Republicans back out of the compromise at the last minute and demand that the Democrats make more sacrifices. This accomplishes nothing but making the Democrats look weak and diminishing any chance of reform.

As Enzi's remarks prove, this type of behavior will not end and the Republicans plan to be a never ending roadblock to any type of true health care reform. The Democrats therefore need to step up to the plate and do what it takes to pass a bill with a strong public option. After all, that is the type of bill that the American people want because it's the method that will result in everyone being able to have access to affordable health care. If Democrats don't grow a backbone soon, however, we might not get that type of bill passed.

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