a citizen’s journal by Thomas Nephew


2010 Health Care Pledge for a public option or single payer health care system

Congress, why do you ignore the majority
Public option supporter, 9/13/09

The goal of this pledge is for Americans who support either a “public option” or a “single payer” health care system to motivate their representatives and senators in the strongest way possible: by withholding any support from candidates who failed to vote for a bill including either provision.

The pledge:

We, the undersigned, pledge not to support and to oppose *any and all* incumbents (Democrat, Republican, or otherwise) in the Senate or House in 2010 who

(1) voted against each of (a) a public option and (b) a single payer health care reform bill (HR 676) in the 111th Congress when the opportunity before the full House or Senate arose, or who
(2) demonstrably prevented the possibility of such votes (e.g., by voting to allow filibusters to continue), or
(3) who voted for a reconciliation bill that failed to incorporate either a public option or single payer option, or
(4) — if no such votes take place — who failed to co-sponsor such reforms or vote for them in applicable committees.

By “support,” we mean
(1) contributing money to,
(2) working as campaign volunteers for, or
(3) voting for such incumbents.

By “oppose,” we mean supporting suitable primary challengers to such incumbents whenever possible, and supporting suitable third party challengers in the general election whenever that is necessary to provide a choice for single payer or public option health care reform on the 2010 general election ballot.

By “public option,” we mean an immediate public option, not one “triggered” by future events (since experience shows Congress routinely ignores such triggers), and not a system of “regional coops” (since these are likely to create a “race to the bottom” state with the weakest health insurance legislation).

This petition is not affiliated with any organization, but those who sign it will have self-identified as people who will only support proponents of meaningful, structural health care reform, and should seek out such candidates.

Once health care reform situation is clarified by final votes or filibusters, I’ll do the following:

  • Provide a list of “F’s on health care reform” — Senators and Representatives who have failed to meet any of the four conditions above, and where possible, a list of their primary and/or general election opponents.
  • Notify suitable challengers (who do support single payer or public option) to these candidates of the possibility of petition signers’ support by directing them to the petition.
  • Contact petition signers with an message seeking permission  to send occasional additional messages as the 2010 election campaign season proceeds, and suitable challengers to “F’s on health care reform” are found.  I will not provide any petition signer’s email addresses to any candidate.

This space will serve as a place for updates on the progress of the petition and the progress towards a public option or single payer health care system.

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One Response to “2010HCP”

  1. » Blog Archive » Never say never: more debate about the public option Says:

    […] Posted by Thomas Nephew on September 22nd, 2009 Click to  pledge that if incumbents vote against both a “public option” and “single payer,” you’ll work against them in 2010.  More here. […]