UPDATE: If you want, you can thank Tom by contributing to his reelection campaign.
UPDATE #2: The News & Advance confirms that Perriello will vote "yes," noting that "he's convinced that the bill will not use tax dollars for abortion, and also has provisions that could reduce the number of abortions."
UPDATE #3: Tom Perriello's statement.
After all of the valid ideological debates, health care reform for me comes down to whether this bill will save money for working families and small business and whether it will keep our hospitals and clinics from closing their doors. It will. At this moment, we either move towards solutions or point fingers while our health care system, our federal treasury, and our middle-class families go bankrupt. I will not sit by while that happens to our nation and our families. I came to Washington to do what is necessary, not what is easy, and reforming our health care system ranks near the top of that list.
This legislation will reduce our federal deficit by $1.2 trillion, and for a family of four making $60,000 a year, they can expect to see their costs lowered by $1,000-$2,000 every year under this legislation, and probably more over time. That is real money back in the pockets of working families at a critical time.
I believe this health care reform legislation is a critical step forward for America. But I cannot support the backroom deals and kickbacks infamously inserted into Senate side, like the Cornhusker Kickback and the Louisiana Purchase. Nor can I support the crushing 40% tax that would fall on many middle-class families under their bill. So I am prepared to vote yes on health care reform as soon as 51 Senators commit to seeing this reconciliation bill through to completion.
Prior to President Obama's speech on health care reform today at George Mason University, there was the standard "pregame activity" by protestors and supporters of various sorts. Here are a few photos, I'm hoping to get better ones later from people with real cameras instead of Flip videos...
P.S. Speaking of video, I'm uploading President Obama's excellent speech to YouTube now, hopefully it will be available later this afternoon or this evening at latest.
UPDATED: Excellent new photos thanks to Mary Lee Cerillo!
Congress, and its Catholics, should say yes to health care reform.Speaking of "common good" Catholics, I certainly hope that my friend Tom Perriello ends up voting "yes" on this bill, imperfect as it is, for the reasons laid out by the National Catholic Reporter, the Catholic nuns, and many others. Thanks, Tom.
We do not reach this conclusion as easily as one might think, given the fact that we have supported universal health care for decades, as have the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Catholic Health Association and other official and non-official organs of the Catholic church. There are, to be sure, grave problems with the bill the House will consider in the next few days. It maintains the squirrelly system of employer-based health care coverage that impedes cost reduction. Its treatment of undocumented workers is shameful. It is unnecessarily complicated, even Byzantine, in some of its provisions. It falls short of providing true universal coverage.
Nonetheless, the choice Congress faces is between the status quo and change -- and the current bill is a profoundly preferable step in the direction of positive change. The legislation will lower costs, not only for individuals and small businesses currently burdened by rising premiums, but for the Medicare and Medicaid programs, which threaten to strangle the federal budget. It will extend health care coverage to 30 million Americans who currently lack it. Finally, a society that covers most of its citizens will be a society more likely to eventually cover everyone -- our immigrant brothers and sisters included.
The current health care bill, for all of its problems and all of its controversies, will further turn our society in the direction of solidarity and away from the Social Darwinism its opponents prefer.
Congress, and its Catholic members who seek to promote the common good, should vote yes.
"Will 'Obamacare' health care reform become law in the United States?" According to the "prediction market" Intrade, the chances are now up to 80%. Let's hope Intrade is accurate, and let's also hope that these four Virginia Democrats all vote "yes" this weekend. As far as I'm concerned, there's no good reason for them to vote "no," and I'm really not interested in any excuses at this point. Just. Do. It.
1. CUCCINELLI RENEWS THREAT TO CHALLENGE HEALTH-CARE REFORM
2. CUCCINELLI: PRIVATE GROUPS CAN BAR GUNS IN PUBLIC SPACES
3. STATE SCHOOLS WILL LOSE $700 MILLION IN 2 YEARS
4. TWO REPUBLICANS TO CHALLENGE BARKER FOR SENATE IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA
5. DEMOCRATS CRITICIZE MCDONNELL FOR ATTENDING NATIONAL REPUBLICAN FUNDRAISER
6. CANTOR MEETS WITH SALAZAR TO URGE DRILLING OFF VIRGINIA'S SHORE
8. GOP CANDIDATES PRESS PERRIELLO - AND EACH OTHER
11. VIRGINIA EXECUTES MAN IN 1999 MURDER OF WOMAN, RAPE OF HER SISTER
24. PASS THE BILL
30. TYSONS PANEL TO WEIGH DENSITY MAXIMUMS, 40-YEAR SPAN FOR PLANNING
31. METRORAIL OUTAGES ON ESCALATORS, ELEVATORS FRUSTRATE RIDERS
34. VIRGINIA DEMOCRATS CRUCIAL TO HEALTH-CARE REFORM VOTE
A few key points on this video. First, note that anti-healthcare-reform "tea partier" after "tea partier," when asked, can NOT name specifics in the bill (or anywhere else) to back up their heated rhetoric/talking points. Second, note that when asked where they got their information, it's from totally biased (which they admit when asked) sources like "Fox News" and not from actually reading and understanding the legislation. Third, note how time and again, tea partiers in this video simply deny facts they find inconvenient, like the FACT that there are 30 million people without health insurance in this country. Fourth, note that lack of compassion, for instance that people without health insurance should just "go to the hospital." Fifth, note the cult-like worship of Glenn Beck and his "principles." Finally, note the excellent job the interviewer does in trying to pin these people down and letting them attempt to respond. It may not be a "circus," exactly, but it sure is funny at times. If you find "dark" and "disturbing" to be funny, that is.
P.S. Check out this graph, courtesy of Nate Silver at 538.com, which demonstrates that conservatives are moving in a completely different direction on health care reform as liberals and moderates in this country. Gee, I wonder if 24/7 echo chamber brainwashing by Faux News, Rush, Glenn, etc. might just be causing that. Hmmmm.
UPDATE #2: See Paul Krugman's "Why We Reform" for an intelligent, well-informed argument (the exact opposite of what we see in the above video) why we need health care reform now.
Good news courtesy of Sean Holihan. Congratulations to Krystal Ball, quickly becoming the inevitable nominee in the 1st CD!
UPDATE: Marc Broklawski calls out the Robinson campaign on its "sore-loser act" and adds that they "should be ashamed at the way they have conducted themselves throughout this entire process." He concludes, "There really is only one option left for Scott to salvage his reputation and any dignity he may have left: get behind Krystal and exit this race." Ouch. The truth hurts.
The Coffee Party USA - now with 170,000 Facebook fans, by the way - is out with results from its first straw poll, this one on health care reform. The results are striking: 73% support health care reform but would strongly prefer that it include a public option, while another 17% support the current health care reform bill (without a public option). Only 8% of Coffee Party poll respondents outright oppose the current health care reform bill. In sum, we're starting to see the ideological outlines of "Coffee Party" membership, and at least after the poll on health care reform, it's looking highly progressive.
P.S. Needless to say, I presume that a similar poll of "Tea Party" members would come up with wildly different results.