Defending the Kucinich amendment
Back in July, the House Committee on Education and Labor did something right, something that could make all the difference in the world to millions of Americans, unless we allow the congressional "leadership" to unceremoniously undo it.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, introduced in the committee an amendment that would effectively allow states to improve on our healthcare system if they choose to, allow them to create state-level single-payer healthcare. There are bills to do this in several state legislatures already. Such a bill has passed and been vetoed in California twice, where a change in governor is imminent.
President Obama told the committee chairman, George Miller, to oppose Kucinich's amendment, and he did so, leading off the voting with a resounding "No." But the Democrats voted 14 to 14 with one member passing and two failing to vote. And the Republicans voted 13 to 5 with one member failing to vote.
That added up to 27 yes votes and 19 no votes. Some Republicans may have voted yes simply because the chairman voted no, but they said they were voting yes for states' rights. And that would be a sensible, decent, and constitutional position.
Why shouldn't states be permitted to do better, as well as worse, than Washington, even if the insurance companies bring in less blood money?
If the House merged bill that Pelosi unveils today does not include the Kucinich amendment we should oppose the Health Care Reform bill as a bail out for health insurance parasites.