July 17, 2009

This came as a shock to me and I'm still not sure what to make of it.

Jonathan Cohn: AMA Endorses House Bill.

Via Health Care for America Now: The American Medical Association just sent a letter to House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel, endorsing the health reform proposal put forward by three House committees.

This is unexpected. Or, at least, I wasn't expecting it. Recent signals from the AMA suggested they were reluctant to embrace reform, in no small part because they believed a public insurance option would underpay them. But the AMA letter contains no caveats. It is a straightforward endorsement.

And that makes it a pretty big deal. No, the AMA is not as powerful, nor as representative of the medical community, as it once was. But an unqualified endorsement for the most liberal plan out there has large symbolic value, given the role AMA played in killing health care reform for most of the 20th Century...read on

Howie Klein writes:

Yesterday the dependably conservative AMA came out in favor of the House compromise on health care reform. It doesn't include single payer but the robust public option it does include seems like the best deal working families can expect from a political system as corrupted by corporate money as ours is. In a letter to Charlie Rangel, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, the AMA's Michael Maves pledged to work with the House leadership to help build support for the bill with the public. (Presumably that would mean combatting Republican and Blue Dog efforts to diminish the 70-80% support for the public option already showing up in all polling on the subject.)

Just as shocking is that a bunch of freshman Democrats have written a letter to Nancy Pelosi against raising taxes to help pay for the bill.

Twenty-one freshman Democratic House members have signed a letter opposing their leadership's plan to raise taxes to finance a healthcare overhaul.

Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) circulated the letter, saying that the income surtax on the wealthy would place an undue burden on small businesses, some of which pay taxes in the same way as an individual. The letter had 22 signers, all freshmen except for Rep. Paul Hodes (D-N.H.), who is in his second term.

“Especially in a recession, we need to make sure not to kill the goose that will lay the golden eggs of our recovery,” the letter said. “We are concerned that this will discourage entrepreneurial activity.”

Polis voted against the plan at the Education and Labor Committee markup Friday as a protest against the tax. But the letter itself did not threaten that its signers would vote against the bill. Instead, it asks for a different source of money to be found, and says more cost savings should be found so that less money is needed.

What the heck is this? Why is Jared Polis on board? Here's his press release attacking the funding of the House plan. Please contact him here:

Washington, DC Office 501 Cannon House O. B., Washington, DC 20515

p. 202.225.2161

f. 202.226.7840 Frisco Office West Main Professional Building, 101 West Main Street, Suite #101D, P.O. Box 1453, Frisco, CO 80443

p. 970.668.3240

f. 970.668.9830Boulder Office, 4770 Baseline Rd, #220, Boulder, CO 80303

p. 303.484.9596

f. 303.568.9007

Thornton Office, 1200 East 78th Avenue, Suite #105, Thornton, CO 80229

p.303.287.4159 f. 303.287.4385

His press contact is Lara Cottingham at lara.cottingham@mail.house.gov

Jared's also on Twitter: http://twitter.com/jaredpolis

Tell Jared Polis to stop blocking health care reform.

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