I am really ambivalent about the new health care bill in the Senate. If it came up for a vote and I was voting, would I vote for it? Probably. Because I cannot stand the thought of denying health care to 30 million Americans if nothing passes. As much as this bill is contrary to my principle that if the government mandates coverage, it should only do so with an option for the American people to choose a public option. But I am disappointed in the leadership of this president. I'm profoundly saddened. I tried to put my reactions into a note to the president:
Dear Mr. President,
As a supporter and as a citizen, I write to you today in profound disappointment and with a level of disgust - not necessarily towards you but towards the political process. I don't know what went on behind closed doors with you and the Senate Democratic caucus. I do know that at the end of it all, the American people were denied a choice of a public health insurance option. The bill that you will likely sign will be scarred with the fundamentally bad idea that the government will force Americans to buy a product from private vendors without offering us a public choice.
I would talk about politics, but somehow that doesn't seem appropriate. Mr. President, we are coming up on the first Holiday season of your presidency. At the heels of celebration, you have accepted the demise of the opportunity for the American people to make health care reform happen with our own choices.
I am disappointed that you did not come down harder on the members of the Democratic caucus to make them stick with a public option. I am saddened that you stopped even publicly pushing for such an option. Say what you want, Mr. President, and time will tell the repercussions of this legislation. But you have accepted - and worse yet, made - an immoral choice.
I wish you and your family the best for the Holidays, Mr. President. May the God you believe in protect you and bless you. And may he give you the benefit of a clear moral purpose with a conscience.