Dennis Kucinich sponsored an amendment which make the House bill include a single payer provision. The amendment passed on a 25-19 vote, with help from
19 14 of Kucinich’s Republican friends, who rightly see this amendment as a poison pill. Liberals everywhere are celebrating this as a victory for health care reform. They are wrong.
A key reason why health care reform has been winning to date has been that the plans would let you keep your insurance if you like it. And while progressives may not want to believe that people like their insurance plans, there are some people that do. Appeasing their fears is important.
Further, the delivery system is really irrelevant. What matters is stopping the discrimination the chronically ill currently face, and providing access to a choice of an insurance plan which doesn’t have the for-profit constraints of the current system.
The House bill does those things. It is a good bill. But if Blue Dogs were threatening to vote against the solid, if moderate, House bill, then there is no way that they are going to vote for a bill which includes single payer.
Dennis Kucinich knows that single payer health care reform will be voted down on the House floor. He knows that his amendment could cause health care reform to fail, and he should know that 39 million Americans will be left in the waiting room for decades as a result of his misguided action.
I’m not sure he cares. According to Common Cause, Kucinich accepted $654,000 in donations from the health care industry over the past eight years. In my view, it’s clear that Kucinich is playing both sides in this debate. It’s a real shame that progressives can’t stop being excited over being told what they want to hear, and look at the real consequences of Kucinich’s actions.