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The “Government Option” Debate: Call Senators Baucus, Conrad and Dodd ASAP

Wednesday, June 10, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The New York Times reports that a trio of powerful, hard-left Democratic Congressmen are close to pushing through the federal government take-over of American medicine via the so-called “government option,” which would effectively establish “single payer” in the U.S. Congressmen Charles Rangel, George Miller and Henry Waxman are driving this radical proposal through the House and have thus far faced no opposition within their own ranks. Only a small amount of opposition has surfaced in the Senate.

“We saw a Washington takeover with banks,” Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, the chairman of the Senate Republican Conference told the Times. “We saw Washington try to take over student loans. We see a Washington takeover with car companies. And now we see an attempt to have a Washington takeover with a government-run health care plan.”

What most Americans with insurance don’t seem to realize is that many if not most of their employers will quickly dump them into a government-run plan as a way to limit health care costs and increase profits. Even teachers and other public employees are going to wake up to find that their districts, cities, counties and states have off-loaded their expensive, gold-plated plans into the “government option.”

“Americans want reform that addresses the high cost of care and gives everyone access to quality care,” the Washington Post quoted Republican Mitch McConnell as saying on the Senate floor last week. “But creating a government bureaucracy that denies, delays and rations health care is not the reform they want. They don’t want the people who brought us the Department of Motor Vehicles making life-and-death decisions for them.”

Stopping the “government option” should be a priority of organized labor that has won their workers excellent health coverage, but they are as cowed as the AMA and the hospitals by the Obama/Pelosi/Reid hard-left edge of the Democratic Party.

There is very little time left to stop the destruction of American medicine as we know it, and that effort must be led by doctors who know what it means when bureaucrats begin to decide what treatments will be approved for which patients –rationing.

I wrote about the responsibility of doctors here, and have provided
The key contacts in the Senate are Max Baucus, Kent Conrad and Chris Dodd. Call their offices via 202-225-3121. Tell them you oppose the “government option” and that you will work to defeat them and to fund and elect their opponents if the government option is part of the Senate’s plan.

Dodd is already on the ropes in Connecticut. If his opponent Rob Simmons gets funded by angry doctors and other medical professionals, Dodd is finished. He knows that and opponents of the “government option” need to tell Senator Dodd that his willingness to work for the destruction of their practices means their willingness to work for his retirement.

I’ll provide a list of other Democratic senators who have to hear the same message later today.

If you are an M.D., consider joining forces with other doctors who are fighting to save American medicine from the control of the hard left:

UPDATE: Democratic senators, up for re-election in 2010, who need to hear from you via 202-225-3121 include:

Arkansas’ Blanche Lincoln

New York’s Kirsten Gillibrand

Indiana’s Evan Bayh

North Dakota’s Byron Dorgan

Colorado’s Michael Bennet

Pennsylvania’s Arlen Specter

Oregon’s Ron Wyden

Washington’s Patty Murray and

yes, Nevada’s Harry Reid. If Majority Leader Reid felt pressure in Nevada, he could single-handedly defeat the “government option.” As of yet, he doesn’t.

Doctors need to call these offices via the Senate switchboard, 202-225-3121 and deliver the blunt message: The government option will cripple American medicine and anyone who supports it is an enemy of doctors and health care professionals.

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