Monday, January 4, 2010

Will Jan Schakowsky Keep Her Word?

By FireDogLake's Jane Hamsher FDL

From the letter Jan signed on July 30:

Any bill that does not provide, at a minimum, for a public option with reimbursement rates based on Medicare rates — not negotiated rates — is unacceptable….we simply cannot vote for such a proposal.

Here’s a statement she released on September 3:

“Many Members of Congress — including myself — will not support a health insurance reform bill that does not break the strangle hold of private insurance companies on our health care system. That requires that consumers have a choice of a robust public health insurance plan. I will support nothing short of a robust public health insurance plan upon implementation, no triggers. I believe Congress will pass and the President will sign such a bill this Fall.”

Here she is on September 9 with Cenk Uyger:

CENK: Will you vote for a bill without a public option, or is that your line in the sand, if there is no public option you will not vote for it?

SCHAKOWSKY: No, listen, my bargaining position right now is that without a robust public option I won’t pass the legislation, I won’t vote for the legislation.

She goes on to qualify that she’d be open to hearing other ways to bring about cost containment and competition, but she doesn’t believe that there is one. And in fact, the Senate bill doesn’t contain costs (which will continue to rise). At least the House bill removed the exemption that insurance companies have from anti-trust laws, but Ben Nelson got that yanked from the Senate bill in exchange for his cloture vote.

Here’s Schakowsky on September 25 with Igor Volsky:

“At the end of the day, there will be a public option in the bill.“

And then here she is telling Greg Sargent that she won’t vote for a bill that “blatantly discriminates against women”:

If left as is the health care reform bill would be the largest repeal of anti-choice laws in nearly four decades,” Schakowsky said in a statement emailed my way. “I will continue to work with the Senate and the Conference Committee to make the bill acceptable, but cannot and will not support health care reform that blatantly discriminates against women.”

Of course since Obama has signaled that he approves of the Senate’s language written by Ben Nelson, which allows a ban on abortion coverage for all insurance plans in the exchange and tees up a challenge to Roe v. Wade, maybe she’ll be like “pro-choice” Rosa DeLauro and support that, too.

Of course, Jan “bail” Schakowsky has a long history of signing letters. Remember the one where she said she wouldn’t vote for any war funding that didn’t have troop withdrawal provisions? Well, we all know how that worked out.

Schakowsky’s office numbers are (773) 506-7100, (847) 328-3409, and (202) 225-2111. If you hear anything, let us know in the war room.