Health reform in current form: right and popular

I think MoveOn Political Action has this exactly right. Today and tomorrow, MoveOn is organizing phone calls and faxes to Congress to pass health reform. Here is MoveOn's message, plain, short and simple:

Dear [Sen/Rep X]

In a year without health care reform...

2.3 million people lose insurance
930,000 people file for bankruptcy
45,000 PEOPLE DIE

As Congress stalls, real people are hurting. Our health care system is broken. It's time to finish health care reform.
I sent my faxes, and I made my calls. You should do yours now, if you haven't already. This is the message we should be sending Congress. We should be telling Congress to pass health care reform, just as President Obama did during his State of the Union.



We should be demanding that Congress act, act without delay, and act without holding health reform hostage to any one provision (even if that provision is the public option). Despite political pronouncements from both ends of the political spectrum, most elements already included in health reform (and in the President's proposal) are popular among the public. In fact, a lot of the provisions are massively popular, and more so than the public option. The Kaiser Family Foundation found in its polls from this month:
  • 91 percent support banning pre-existing conditions and annual and lifetime benefits limits
  • 76 percent support reforming the way health insurance works
  • 72 percent support tax credits for small businesses
  • 71 percent support creating a health insurance exchange/marketplace
  • 71 percent support helping close the Medicare "donut hole"
  • 70 percent support expanding high risk insurance pools
  • 68 percent support providing financial help for low-/middle-income people
(Part of the list taken from this article from The Hill, all numbers verified in the Kaiser poll. In October, a Washington Post/ABC News poll put support for the public option at 57%.) Nate Silver demonstrated a month ago that the popularity problem that health reform faces is not due to its provisions but due to the lack of awareness of its provisions (especially the good ones).

Health insurance reform is the right thing to do. The vast majority of the substantial elements of it are immensely popular, even without a public option. And this is what we will lose if health reform stalls. We will lose everything in the above list, and we will lose out to the forces of the status quo if Congress fails to pass health reform. We will lose this:



2.3 million people lose insurance
930,000 people file for bankruptcy
45,000 PEOPLE DIE
Every. Single. Year. It's time. It's time to pass health reform - with no delay, no obstructions, and no hostage taking from any side of the debate. The President is leading, and the people are backing the substantial reforms already included in substantive numbers. It's time to get it done. Have you made your calls today?

If you would rather make your own calls without going through MoveOn's page, you can do that, too. Organizing for America provides you with a great tool and a script to call. Here are the toll-free numbers to the Capitol Switchboard:

1-866-338-1015
1-866-220-0044
1-866-311-3405