Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dear MoveOn member, Urge Cooper to oppose the Senate Health Care bill

To my progressive friends and especially to my siblings,

I know that politically we don't agree on much of anything and so you may be surprised that I am forwarding to you an email I received from MoveOn. I bet you are also surprised to find that I am a MoveOn member aren't you? One can become a member of MoveOn by just joining by email; you do not have to pay a membership fee. Trust me, I have never contributed to MoveOn but I am a member. See, the letter says "Dear MoveOn Member."

Some of you, I suspect, are also members of MoveOn yourself but maybe you missed this email. Some of the others of you are equally as "progressive" as MoveOn members but may never have gotten around to joining. Anyway, I am sure you respect the roll played by this fine progressive organization. I am sure you support their work on behalf of social justice and the downtrodden of the world. I did not want you to miss their most recent message on health care reform.

MoveOn is urging their members to call Representative Jim Cooper's office and urge him to oppose the Senate version of the health care bill. Their thinking is that if the House stands firm that the Senate will buckle and the final bill that passes will be a bill closer to the House bill which contains the public option. I am not a professional political strategist and I don't know if MoveOn is correct but this political strategizing seems like a game of high stakes poker and MoveOn must think they have the winning hand.

My view, and what I hear from the people I listen to, is that if the final bill contains a public option there will not be enough votes in the Senate to pass it. So, I want the progressives to urge the House to not buckle and to hold firm for the public option. I fear that if the House does capitulates to the Senate that the Senate bill that is before us will pass. While the Senate bill is not as bad as the House bill, it is still a bad bill. I want it to fail so we can start over and do real reform that includes tort reform, the ability to purchase insurance across state lines and that brings market forces to bear on health care cost. I want reform that empowers the individual, not the state.

While I would hate to get the House bill when we could have gotten the less bad Senate bill, I say roll the dice and go for broke. So, dear progressives please follow MoveOn. Please call Jim Cooper and urge him to oppose the Senate version of health care. Tell him to stand firm. In addition to making the health care bill more likely to be defeated, I suspect that if Cooper holds firm in support for the House bill instead of the Senate bill without the public option, he will be more susceptible to being defeated the next election.

If you remember, when voting for the House Bill, Cooper said he was only voting that way in order to move the debate forward and that he really did not support the public option. Cooper is a leader of the Blue Dogs and often talks conservative but always votes liberal. I have liked Cooper. He is obviously a smart man. He has a depth of knowledge about a lot of issues and probably understands more about the threat posed by this nations massive debt than anyone else in Congress. When he talks I find myself agreeing with him. The problem with Jim Cooper is he never votes the way he talks. He had me fooled for a long time. He still has a lot of people fooled and gets a lot of support from Republicans and conservative Democrats. Go ahead, put Cooper on the spot. I would like for Cooper to show his true colors. If he votes for a final bill with a public option, I suspect he will face tough Republican opposition next time he runs.

Don't trust me and take my advice on this; here are your marching orders from MoveON.

Dear MoveOn member,

The Senate health care bill is being gutted one piece at a time, and people are fed up. A new poll shows growing opposition to health care reform—from progressives angry at moves to drop the public option. Governor Howard Dean called the bill "the insurance companies' dream," while former insurance executive Wendell Potter said, "It absolutely is a big gift, a big bailout to the industry."1

The Senate, led by Joe Lieberman, has gone too far—and there's tremendous momentum to fight back. But some House conservatives are reportedly considering support for the weak Senate bill.2 Your representative, Jim Cooper, is a member of the conservative Blue Dog Caucus. Can you call Rep. Cooper right away and urge him to oppose the watered-down Senate bill? Make sure he knows that voters are outraged by the Senate's weak bill and want real health care reform with a strong, national public option.

After the Senate bill passes, leadership from both sides will meet to merge the two bills into one in what's known as a "conference committee." In theory, both sides will negotiate and pieces from each bill will be included in the final legislation, which then goes to President Obama. But pressure on leadership to pass the weakest bill or a near-unchanged version of the Senate bill will be intense—from conservatives like Joe Lieberman, and from those arguing that we can't to risk losing their votes. So to end up with a strong final bill, all House members need to stand strong in support of
their version of the bill and its key pieces like the public option.

The House bill is, in nearly every way, stronger than what's in the Senate. It
would cover 36 million Americans, create real competition with a national public option, provide stronger subsidies for low income Americans, hold insurance companies accountable with real regulations, and much more. Of course, it also contains the awful anti-choice "Stupak" provision, which is just another reason we need strong progressive voices leading up to conference.

Can you call Rep. Cooper today and tell him that the Senate bill is unacceptable? Make sure he knows that you're fed up with the gutting of the Senate health care bill and want real reform with a strong, national public option.

Here's where to call:

Representative Jim Cooper
Phone: 202-225-4311
Then, let us know how it went by clicking here:
Thanks for all you do.
–Kat, Stephen, Ilyse, Lenore, and the rest of the team

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories


  1. I predict that no matter what happens with public opinion, Oboma is going to get some kind of health care bill. I believe it will be watered down, but there will be a bill.

    Every family should have a “go to” person who can give answers to political and issue concerns, as suggested by Rush Limbaugh. Learning how means starting at the roots, the beginnings and differences between two sides of the same coin, which is all there is. One side is long established, where the few rule the many, irrespective of their labels. The other side is the newest, that of individual freedom and limited government. Why do many follow each side, and why the conflict between them? What side do current issues come from, such as health care, cap and trade as well as amnesty for illegal immigrants? What side of the coin most impacts the lives of your family, to whom you provide the answers? Call up for the roots of both sides and improve your understanding of the issues so you have the answers.