Reward Grayson for truth, Rep insurance plan = "Die"

Rep. Alan Grayson has been a key figure in fighting for financial transparency defending civil liberties. He recently made a statement on the floor of the House saying that the GOP health care plan is "don't get sick."

Reward Rep. Grayson for telling the truth. Donate here: on

The Republicans are now likening it to Joe Wilson's outburst in which he called the President a "liar." The difference being, of course, that Wilson was heckling the President during the State of the Union speech, and Grayson was not saying anything nearly as bad as what Republicans have said about the Democratic health care bill in the past.

Rep. Tom Price is introducing a resolution to censure Grayson in the House. It is important that progressives not cower in the face of this blatant hypocrisy and watch him be sacrificed to a right-wing hissy fit like Van Jones, Yosi Sargent and MoveOn have been before him.

Please send a powerful message to those seeking to silence progressives by donating Alan Grayson. Donate here: on

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Daily Pulse: Finance Committee Rejects Public Options, But the Fight Continues

By Lindsay Beyerstein, Media Consortium Blogger

Yesterday, the powerful Senate Finance Committee met to debate two amendments that would have inserted a public option into the committee's health reform bill. Both amendments were defeated as key Democrats sided with Republicans and the insurance companies. David Corn of Mother Jones diagnoses what ails Senate Democrats. It's split personality disorder: "They are the best friends of the health insurance industry. They are fiercest foes of the health insurance industry."

Sen. Jay Rockefeller's (D-WV) strong public option amendment was defeated 15-8 because senators Max Baucus (D-MT), Kent Conrad (D-ND), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Bill Nelson (D-FL), and Tom Carper (D-DE) joined the committee's ten Republicans. In the next round of voting, Nelson and Carper backed Chuck Schumer's (D-NY) amendment, but Baucus, Conrad and Lincoln stuck with the GOP and voted it down. Ironically, as Corn observes, the Senate Democratic communications team was busy emailing blistering indictments of the insurance industry while key members of the caucus were doing the insurers' bidding.

John Nichols of The Nation worries that yesterday's defeat is a sign that Congress is backing away from a public option, which was itself a compromise alternative to a single-payer, Medicare-for-all type system:

Tuesday's day-long gathering of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, where chairman Max Baucus has spent months lowering expectations, offered a sense of just how dim prospects for meaningful systemic change have become.

Baucus, the insurance-industry representative who doubles as a Democratic senator from Montana, long ago rejected the notion that a robust public option might be a part of any healthcare reform measure that would pass the Senate.

The Senate Finance Committee went on to add tens of millions of dollars for discredited abstinence-only propaganda for teens, as Mike Lillis of the Washington Independent reports. Well, at least pseudoscience has a public option. If kids can learn this nonsense for free at school, maybe they'll ditch church, where you have to put your money in the collection plate to hear the sermon.

Chris Bowers of AlterNet argues that a public option still has 51 votes in the Senate. Which means that the Democrats could still pass a healthcare bill by majority vote in the upper chamber, if they decided to forgo their quest for a filibuster-proof 60 and pass the bill through budget reconciliation.

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), chair of the Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee, claims to have the votes to pass a plan with a public option, Lynda Waddington reports in the Iowa Independent. Harkin believes that the full Senate should have the opportunity to vote on the public option, considering that it's part of four out of the five bills that have been approved so far.

The fight for a public option isn't over yet. To date, all of the other health reform bills that are out of committee include a strong public option. The next step is putting these bills together to create the final legislation for the House and Senate to vote on.

This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about health care and is free to reprint. Visit for a complete list of articles on health care affordability, health care laws, and health care controversy. For the best progressive reporting on the Economy, and Immigration, check out and This is a project of The Media Consortium, a network of 50 leading independent media outlets, and created by NewsLadder.

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Public Option now Dead in SFC[UPDATE]

Just in.

The Senate Finance committe "debated" 2 public options - both failed. /first-public-option-amend_n_303228.html

The 1st one had 5 "No" votes from the following Democratic Senators: Baucus, Lincoln, Conrad, Nelson and Carper.

The 2nd option had 3 "No" votes from Dem Senators: Baucus, Lincoln, and Conrad.

Shame on all of the Democratic Senators who voted against these options.

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Progressive Democrat Newsletter Issue 229

Things have been busy for Joy and me. Joy defended her dissertation and is now Doctor Joy Romanski. NYC elections were typically nasty and disappointing. On the sad side, our cat died last weekend. We knew it was coming, but we are still sad to see him go.

This week I have a lot for my NYC readers: a rundown of election results, reminders about David Yassky's corruption, and discussions of the Comptroller and Public Advocate runoffs. But I am also returning to my coverage of the rest of the country.

Here is this week's newsletter:

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Daily Pulse: Howard Dean (Video Exclusive)

By Lindsay Beyerstein, Media Consortium Blogger

Howard Dean on Health Care Reform: Daily Pulse Video Exclusive from Lindsay Beyerstein on Vimeo.

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