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Stopping “Madoff Medicine”: Demand The Blue Dog Democrats Kill The Government Option and Contain the Costs of Obamacare

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Follow events from Iran this weekend via the Twitter feed #iranelection at, and via Michael Totten’s, Jennifer Rubin’s and other’s posts at CommentaryMagazine’s Contentions blog. The BBC and The New York Times’ Lede Blog are also great sources, as is RedCounty’s IranTracker. Saturday and Sunday could be extremely turbulent given Khamenei’s hard line stance today. President Obama should use his weekend media address to support freedom in Iran and the right of the people everywhere to demonstrate without fear of beatings, imprisonment and murder. The Sunday shows should devote most of their time to updates from Tehran. Some Iranian ex-pats fear a massacre is coming. The only thing the West can do is to focus attention on the protestors, and attention is most easily focused when it begins from the White House. As Mark Steyn said on yesterday’s show, the president’s silence thus far “is the death of Obama’s big speech to the Muslim world in Cairo.” The failure to stand squarely with the protestors signals the mullahs that no price will be paid if they unleash the IRG on the people. Time is running out for the president to do his part.

This is a weekend of great significance on the domestic side of American politics as well as reality about the fiscal and operational impacts of the Obama/Pelosi/Reid proposal to radically restructure American medicine hits home. Yesterday the Washington Post’s liberal blogger Ezra Klein declared the Obama plan in deep trouble. The New York Times and Post today tell you why: It is ruinously, outrageously expensive, producing the sort of gigantic costs that would almost certainly lead to deep rationing, and very quickly. The Times story references a Senate Finance Committee proposal for an “an automatic mechanism would be triggered to achieve those spending reductions” required by ballooning deficits –which is a long winded way of saying “mandatory rationing of medicine.”

This scheme for a vast expansion of government and enormous run of the money printing press is proposed against the backdrop of out-of-control Medicare spending. The new “government option” would crush private insurance very quickly and leave the federal government with only one option to pay for the giant obligations it gathered up to itself –limit or cancel those obligations via federal rules that tightly control what sort of treatment can be given to patients.

They ought to call this scheme “Madoff Medicine,” given that what the Democrats are pushing is a giant fraud that cannot possibly deliver on the promises being made. The danger is that there are slim majorities in both houses that will take a rhetorical win –a political poster really– as worth the enormous cost of the unraveling of American medicine. Our current system is expensive and often unwieldy, but it works, and those with insurance greatly value it and the freedom of choice it provides. The Obama plan proposes to destroy all of that in exchange for the (hyped) promise of universal coverage. The president continues to say that if you like your plan you will be able to keep it —a deeply dishonest characterization of his proposals which will lead to the dumping by employers of their employees into the government plan. It is a giveaway that the president cannot level with the public about what he is proposing. Watch to see if ABC calls him on that next week.

To stop this crazy and ruinous set of proposals requires moderate Democrats to stand up to their own party bosses and the new president and refuse to be pushed into an obviously disastrous vote for a destructive fantasy. The Blue Dog Democrats in the House need to hear from you, especially if you are in thehealth care field, and especially if you are a doctor. Here’s the contact list with phone and e-mail information. Start with representatives in your own state, and then spread out. Some elected leaders won’t take e-mail from out-of-state, so ignore them and move on but do try and leave voice mails –polite and specific voice mails that identify yourself, what you do, and your opposition to the “government option” or “public option” and to the cost of the proposals. Promise to work against anyone who votes for the government option and to contribute to their opponent.

I will publish a list of senators later today for whom the same effort is also crucial. The cracks that have developed in the facade of “bipartisan reform” are deepening now that the realities of the push for Canada-style medicine at extraordinary cost are being laid on the table.

People in Iran are fighting and in some cases dying for the right to hold their government accountable and to be heard by elected representatives. Use the power that we have and that they wish they did have this weekend.

UPDATE: Here is the list of Blue Dog Democrats. Call them right now.


Sen. Blanche Lincoln (18.70% Lifetime ACU rating)

DC Phone: (202) 224-4843

Local Phone: Dumas (870) 382-1023, Fayetteville (479) 251-1224, Little Rock (501) 375-2993, Jonesboro (870) 910-6896, Texarkana (870) 774-3106

Link to E-mail

Declared Opponent: State Sen. Kim Hendren

Address: 1501 Hwy 72 SE, Gravette, AR 72736

Sen. Mark Pryor (18.33% Lifetime ACU rating)

DC Phone: (202) 224-2353

Local Phone: Little Rock (501) 324-6336

Link to E-mail


Sen. Joe Lieberman (15.96% Lifetime ACU rating)

DC Phone: (202) 224-4041

Local Phone: (860) 549-8463

Link to E-mail


Sen. Bill Nelson (37.28% Lifetime ACU rating)

DC Phone: (202) 224-5274

Local Phone: Orlando (407) 872-7161, Miami-Dade (305) 536-5999, Tampa (813) 225-7040, West Palm Beach (561) 514-0189, Tallahassee (850) 942-8415, Jacksonville (904) 346-4500, Broward (954) 693-4851, Fort Meyers (239) 334-7760

Link to E-mail


Sen. Evan Bayh (20.70% Lifetime ACU rating)

DC Phone: (202) 224-5623

Local Phone: Evansville (812) 465-6500, Fort Wayne (260) 426-3151, Hammond (219) 852-2763, Indianapolis (317) 554-0750, Jeffersonville (812) 218-2317, Southbend (574) 236-8302

Link to E-mail

Declared Opponent: Don Bates Jr.

Link to Website


Sen. Mary Landrieu (23.20% Lifetime ACU rating)

DC Phone: (202) 224-5824

Local Phone: Baton Rouge (225) 389-0395, Lake Charles (337) 436-6650, New Orleans (504) 589-2427, Shreveport (318) 676-3085

Link to E-mail


Sen. Jon Tester (16.00% Lifetime ACU rating)

DC Phone: (202) 224-2644

Local Phone: Billings (406) 252-0550, Bozeman (406) 586-4450, Butte (406) 723-3277, Glendive (406) 365-2391, Great Falls (406) 452-9585, Helena (406) 449-5401, Kalispell (406) 257-3360, Missoula (406) 728-3003

Link to E-mail


Sen. Ben Nelson (47.26% Lifetime ACU rating)

DC Phone: (202) 224-6551

Local Phone: Omaha (402) 391-3411, Lincoln (402) 441-4600, Scottsbluff (308) 631-7614, Kearney (308) 293-5818, South Sioux City (402) 209-3595

Link to E-mail


Sen. Harry Reid (18.96% Lifetime ACU rating)

DC Phone: (202) 224-3542

Local Phone: Carson City 775-882-7343, Las Vegas (702) 388-5020, Reno (775) 686-5750

Link to E-mail

Declared Opponent: Robin L. Titus


Link to Website

North Dakota

Sen. Kent Conrad (19.57% Lifetime ACU rating)

DC Phone: (202) 224-2043

Local Phone: Bismarck (701) 258-4648, Fargo (701) 232-8030, Grand Forks (701) 775-9601, Minot (701) 852-0703

Link to E-mail

Sen. Byron Dorgan (16.57% Lifetime ACU rating)

DC Phone: (202) 224-2551

Local Phone: Bismarck (701) 250-4618, Fargo (701) 239-5389, Minot (701) 852-0703, Grand Forks (701) 746-8972

Link to E-mail

Declared Opponent: Duane Sand

Phone: (701) 751-2530


Link to Website

South Dakota

Sen. Tim Johnson (18.36% Lifetime ACU rating)

DC Phone: (202) 224-5842

Local Phone: Aberdeen (605) 226-3440, Sioux Falls (605) 332-8896, Rapid City (605) 341-3990

Link to E-mail

West Virginia

Sen. Robert C. Byrd (28.26% Lifetime ACU rating)

DC Phone: (202) 224-3954

Local Phone: Charlestown (304) 342-5855, Eastern Panhandle (304) 264-4626

Link to E-mail


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