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The good news is that over 100 House Democrats from the Progressive, Black, Hispanic and Asian-Pacific Islander Congressional Caucuses and more than 20 Senate Democrats have come out in strong support of a strong, viable public option as a competitive player in health care reform.

The New Democrats, which is a 50-member caucus in the House of Representatives, are silent on the issue of the public option for health care reform. However, one of their members, Rep. Jason Altmire (D-PA), shared his views on the public option. Let's say that he represents the same sort of moronic thinking as Senator Ben Nelson in that the public option might be "unfair" for the murder-by-spreadsheet private insurance industry.

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Here's what Jason Altmire said in an article in the The Hill, a congressional newspaper, about the public option as a competitive player in health care reform:

On the public plan, Altmire suggested there might be a way to create the program without exploding the private market. "You have to do it in a way that’s not predatory to private insurance," he said. "The way you set your rates is key to that."

Oh, hell no. Rep. Altmire has it all wrong. The public option helps LEVEL the playing field, and it is NOT predatory to private insurance companies. It helps keep them honest, as President Obama has said. We NEED a strong, viable public option that is like Medicare.

So, please call Rep. Jason Altmire at 202-225-2565. Let him know that he's wrong about the public option, and that YOU need the public option because it helps level the playing field, and keeps the private insurers honest by lowering premiums and making health care more affordable for Americans like you.

And Rep. Ron Kind also issued stupidity along the lines of Rep. Jason Altmire's thinking. Here's what he said in The Hill:

Kind offered praise to a proposal offered by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) under which the public plan would be subject to the same rules as private insurers. "Chuck Schumer advanced the ball a bit," Kind said.

Moreover, Kind said that Congress could activate a public plan issue if insurance market reforms do not adequately expand coverage to the uninsured. "There’s always the potential for dropping in the public plan at a later date," he said.

Oh, hell NO. We NEED the public option right now. We can't afford to have it at a later date, and we do NOT need the New Democrats to sign on with the Schumer so-called compromise.

So, please call Rep. Ron Kind's office at (202) 225-5506. Let him know that we CAN'T AFFORD to have the public option at a later date. We NEED the public option right now. We need a strong, viable public option that is a competitive player. We do NOT want the New Democrats to handicap the public option in favor of the private insurance companies.

Also, please call EVERY MEMBER of the New Democratic Coalitionto let them know that we need them to be on board with the rest of the Democrats in favor of a strong, competitive public option.

If you go to their membership list on the website, you'll see that they've rather helpfully put a clickable link under each member's name to their own websites where you can contact them.

Here's the full list of the New Democratic Coalition membership. You can CALL this number at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to each member's office.

Ellen Tauscher (CA), Chair
Ron Kind (WI), Vice-Chair
Artur Davis (AL), Vice-Chair
Adam Smith (WA), Vice-Chair
Joseph Crowley (NY), Vice-Chair/Whip

Jason Altmire (PA-04)

Michael Arcuri (NY-24)

Brian Baird (WA-03)

John Barrow (GA-12)

Melissa Bean (IL-08)

Shelley Berkeley (NV-01)

Bruce Braley (IA-01)

Lois Capps (CA-23)

Russ Carnahan (MO-03)

Chris Carney (PA-10)

André Carson (IN-07)

Travis Childers (MS-01)

Joe Courtney (CT-02)

Henry Cuellar (TX-28)

Susan Davis (CA-53)

Eliot Engel (NY-17)

Bob Etheridge (NC-02)

Bill Foster (IL-14)

Gabby Giffords (AZ-8)

Charles Gonzalez (TX-20)

Jane Harman (CA-36)

Stephanie Herseth (SD-AL)

Brian Higgins (NY-27)

Baron Hill (IN-09)

Rush Holt (NJ-12)

Darlene Hooley (OR-05)

Jay Inslee (WA-01)

Steve Israel (NY-02)

Ron Klein (FL-22)

Rick Larsen (WA-02)

John Larson (CT-01)

Tim Mahoney (FL-16)

Carolyn McCarthy (NY-04)

Mike McIntyre (NC-07)

Kendrick Meek (FL-17)

Gregory Meeks (NY-06)

Charlie Melancon (LA-03)

Harry Mitchell (AZ-05)

Dennis Moore (KS-03)

Jim Moran (VA-08)

Chris Murphy (CT-5)

Patrick Murphy (PA-8)

Ed Perlmutter (CO-07)

David Price (NC-04)

Loretta Sanchez (CA-47)

Adam Schiff (CA-29)

Allyson Schwartz (PA-13)

David Scott (GA-13)

Joe Sestak (PA-07)

Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-20)

David Wu (OR-01)

Originally posted to slinkerwink on Fri May 08, 2009 at 06:39 AM PDT.

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