Okay, Mr. President, I’ve had it.
I voted for you when you were promoting a pretty specific plan that promised a “public option” to keep the health insurance companies honest. It wasn’t the healthcare plan I wanted. I was looking for a single payer plan. But I was willing to compromise.
Now I feel I’ve been screwed, Mr. President. By you, Mr. President. Not deliberately screwed. It's just that you're acting like a timid mouse, more interested in getting along with everyone who doesn't want to go along with you than in getting us what you promised. And that includes getting along with Max Baucus, the Montana Senator in the photograph.
What Senator Max Baucus is trying to foist on us isn’t a plan. It’s a blueprint for failure. It’ll make healthcare more expensive for many of us, pay for itself by taxing other health plans instead of high incomes, and generally make a mess of things. It's the kind of healthcare reform plan that an insurance or drug company would promote to make us hate the idea of a healthcare reform. Which may be why Baucus wrote it the way it's written.
Max Baucus, we know, is on the take from health insurance companies and drug companies.
He and the other “Blue Dog Democrats” (“Blue Vermin Democrats” would be more like it) don’t have the public's interest at heart. It’s time for you to reign them in. Or swat them down.
Mr. President, here are several
things you can do
1. Right off the bat, stop calling it the “public option."
“Public option” is Washington wonk jargon. Americans like Medicare, as evidenced by the screaming hordes who rail against so-called “socialized medicine” and then end their tantrums by screaming, “And don’t you touch my Medicare, either.”
Well, the public option is Medicare. So start calling it what it really is, “Reliable Medicare for any citizen who wants it.” That’ll go a long way toward shushing up the foaming-at-the-mouth morons in the crowd.
2. Reach out with that powerful presidential iron claw you have at your disposal, grab Max Baucus by the throat, and throttle him within an inch of his political life.
Lyndon Johnson was a master of this. You can do it, too. Haul Max’s butt into the Oval Office. Sit him down in a nice comfy chair, smile sweetly and say, “Baucus, starting in 90 seconds, you’re a dead man walking in this town.”
Mention that any bill that benefits something or somebody in his state will be vetoed, as long as you’re President, unless the appropriation for his state is stricken form the bill. Mention that you’re going to mention this to other Senate Democrats — and that you will make him a pariah whose mere presence is blocking their own pork from reaching their own states. Mention it to Senate Republicans, too.
While you’re at it, mention that you’re mighty suspicious of all that money he’s taking from the drug and insurance companies, and you’re thinking of asking the U.S. Attorney General to look into the possibility of influence peddling and bribery. Oh, and of course mention an up-and-coming young Montana Democrat who you might support in the next primary.
3. Then go on to the next Blue Vermin senator.
Keep on doing that until the Blue Vermin Democrats are trembling in their shoes about what might happen if they don't revamp the bill to what you were promising during your election campaign.
4. Forget about bi-partisanship.
You tried it. The Republicans blew off your overtures.
It’s time now to deliver for the people who voted for you, before you blow it, Mr. President. Give us the health care bill you got elected on!
Respectfully (but very crankily) submitted,
The New York Crank