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Obama Puts Single Payer and Public Option Back on the Table

At the National Governors Association, President Obama just threw his weight behind a bipartisan effort in the U.S. Senate to allow states to innovate with health reform, including adopting a public insurance system or single payer health care system by 2013 instead of 2017. The governors embraced the state innovations waiver proposal, since conservative states want to weed back the federal health reform, and states like California might like to push ahead with public insurance options or single payer health care systems. The idea is to let states meet federal targets anyway they want to, rather than how the federal government prescribes, by 2013 rather than the current 2017 deadline. This is one of Obama’s only moves left, and a smart one. It gives progressive reformers in California and elsewhere the ability to move forward on ambitious reform plans that can pass at the ballot box in 24 states but would never get the time of day in Washington. Facing strong legal challenges to the individual mandate, Obama did the right thing by offering flexibility to states to meet targets for access and benefits in the Affordable Care Act.  He took a page from longtime labor leader Joe Hill: “Don’t Mourn, Organize.” He’s giving those of us who favor a public insurance option to the private insurance market an opportunity to move our states forward. We better take Joe Hill’s advice too and start organizing. In my book, The Progressive’s Guide To Raising Hell, I point out how the initiative process in 24 states and the District of Columbia are the best hope to get the type of health insurance reform that Obama promised in 2008.  Today’s announcement, if Republicans in Congress bite, lets us act on ambitious reform via ballot measure before 2014, the date mandatory insurance is set to take effect.  Game on. Read the original article on The Huffington Post.
raisinghell Jamie Court is the author of The Progressive’s Guide to Raising Hell.

Will Patients Beat Blue Shield Again… This Time With the First Online Ballot Petition for Rate Regulation

Shouldn’t the CEOs of health insurance companies like Blue Shield have to sign under penalty of perjury that their rate hikes are justified? If the first online signature gathering for a ballot petition is successful, Californians will vote on that proposition in November, and are almost sure to approve. One year ago I stood at […] Read More..

California Democratic Lawmakers Revive Schwarzenegger Scam To Sell Off Historic State Properties in Order to Save Their Pay

California’s Democratic state lawmakers announced a budget plan to keep their paychecks coming that included one of the worst ideas Arnold Schwarzenegger had since impregnating his kids’ nanny. If lawmakers don’t pass a budget today, they lose their pay tomorrow. So Assembly Democrats have included in their hastily-assembled budget plan Schwarzenegger’s political love child, selling […] Read More..

Do-Not-Track-Online Goes On National Map With Rockefeller Bill

U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller did the American people a great favor today by introducing the Do-Not-Track-Online Act of 2011. iPhone and Android users should not have to worry about being spied on by their smart phones. We should be able to say no to Google and Facebook when they violate our privacy daily by tracking […] Read More..

Will the President Gridlock West LA as Prelude to Earth Day? He Should Read the Gas Station Signs

The email warnings are flying in West Los Angeles about how the President’s motorcade will once again gridlock afternoon rush hour. The cause: two mistimed, ill-placed Hollywood fundraisers on opposite sides of the traffic jam known as West LA. There’s probably no major city as pro-Obama as Los Angeles, or state so solidly in his […] Read More..

Google CEO for Commerce Secretary? How About Madoff for SEC?

The strong buzz in Washington, DC is that Google CEO Eric Schmidt is President Obama’s top choice for Commerce Secretary and an appointment is coming soon. The CEO who made billions collecting our personal information online and serving us up to advertisers, the guy who created online privacy problems, would head the federal agency responsible […] Read More..