Where’s Pallone?

When I checked the ActBlue page to see who took the pledge to support a public option, highly regarded progressive representative Frank Pallone isn’t on there.

Where’s Frank?

Rush Holt is there.  Bill Pascrell is there.  Don Payne is there.  Albio Sires is there.

Where’s Frank?  Does he support a public option?  Is he willing to take a stand?  Or is he willing to go along with those who would kill the best chance we have to provide health care for all Americans AND save money in the bargain?

Where’s Frank?  Interested voters want to know.

Comments (11)

  1. Rosi Efthim

    DBK, you might have been out of NJ long enough that you’ve forgotten something key here:

    Frank Pallone is the sponsor of HR 3200, and Chair of the subcommittee in the House out of which the bill originates. He is also – not inconsequentially – also a key player in developing direction and message for the House Democratic caucus. Know how lucky that makes us here in NJ, that he’s from here?

    There’s a reason why firedoglake left him off their whip list. He’s not just an ordinary House player in this thing.

    He’s already proven himself.

  2. Nick Lento

    If Pallone were to fail to act in harmony with the progressive caucus, and vote against any bill (at any point in the process) that fails to include a ROBUST (i.e. not a watered down) public option; it would be in direct violation of everything that he has stood for publicly.

    Ideally, one would like Pallone to actually sign on with the progressive caucus’s letter in which they publicly pledged to stand hard and fast for a robust and solid PUBLIC option.  

    By signing on to that letter to Obama, the liklihood of a watered down PO even being offered to the House decreases.  It’s not too late for Pallone to sign on….no doubt the progressive caucus would welcome him aboard with arms open wide.

    Bottom line: if the crunch comes and the progressive caucus is forced to follow through and vote down a bad bill; then I am confident, along with Scott and Rosie, that Pallone will honor his word and stand with the progressive caucus.  To do anything less would be beyond bizarre.


    The more interesting question is whether anyone in the New Jersey Democratric delegation (aside from Rush Holt and Donald Payne who are heroically standing tall for single payer) will speak out on the floor in favor of Weiner’s initiative on behalf of single payer.

    I know of no one in our delegation who (when pressed) won’t admit that some form of single payer is the ideal (the gold standard) of health care reform.

    The rationale they offer for not actively supporting single payer is that it’s “off the table” and that “we don’t have the votes”.

    Obviously, for at least on day…..thanks to Nancy Pelosi and Henry Waxman, the single payer option will actually be ON THE TABLE…and folks will have the opportunity to stand up on their hind legs and voice their support for the ideal……and to then vote for it.   Even as a symbolic gesture this can be a very very very powerful vote……and guess what folks, if enough people actually vote for what they claim to be their ideal….then the bill will actually pass!!!

    It is my hope that all of our congressional Democrats will avail themselves of this opportunity to take a stand for the ideal to which many of them have paid lip service.

    The fact is that America will, eventually, have a single payer system, if only for the reason that the private health insurance industry is a completely failed business model that wastes our money and winds up indirectly killing twenty thousand Americans a year who have no coverage and die as a result.

    Simply being able to show up at an ER when one is in extremis is a far cry from real health care.

    It may take another election cycle to get single payer…..or it may take another decade or even two; but it will happen.  

    In an environment where people want universal coverage (everybody in, nobody out), no disqualifications for pre existing conditions, no deductibles, no copays, dental and vision coverage, and real/high quality care for all (not just those with “high end” insurance) there is only one solution that can fulfill those criteria in a way that won’t bankrupt the country…and that’s the single payer system…….which, again, folks like Pallone and Rothman have already conceded is the best way to go in an ideal world.

    What we all must understand is that the only thing that is in between the current reality and the aforementioned ideal is the health insurance industry that has addicted our elected representatives to its money/”contributions”.

    The health insurance industry, and its allies, are what’s behind the massive and ugly disinformation/political terror campaign we are now seeing.

    These cynical evil bastards are playing with fire in the sense that, in order to kill even the weakest of reforms (public option) they are willing to agitate and mobilize the craziest and most undemocratic elements of our nation……some of these are people who, if they could, would see the government fail all together so they could set up their own little militia fiefdoms.  

    For the health insurance industry to make common cause with the far right crazies and to lie through their teeth just to hold on to their profits is a threat to our national security……and for what?  So they can keep on taking their 30% off the top of every healthcare dollar we spend to cover their “costs”.  That’s about as close to evil as you can get without putting on a devil costume and selling your soul outright to Satan.

    This is not an industry that anyone in the Democratic party should be taking any money from or be beholden to.

    DBK, thanks for your diary.  The issues here are just beginning to be aired.   No matter what happens with these bills this year; the underlying dynamics aren’t going away.

    The health insurance industry has many billions of your/our money left to spend to weaken and kill any reforms that manage to pass.  They don’t stop.  They won’t go away.   They will continue to hire thousands of lobbyists, pr people, political “consultants” and operative and to “contribute” as much as they legally can to any congresscritter willing to be bought off.

    This fight is just barely starting folks….and it’s a fight for life and for the heart and soul of our democracy itself.


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