Democrats in Congress are there, right now.

What should they do?  I think they should abstain from any vote on Health Care and give a press conference to tell their constituents why.  I envision the press conference going something like this:

“Ladies and Gentlemen, I appreciate you coming today to hear me out on an issue that is very important to the American people.  That issue, of course is Health Care.  The current debate has been long and very partisan.  Poll after Poll tells me that the people of this country and my constituents as well are against the current health care plan in Congress.  They are against its passage by over 3 to one.  I cannot ignore my constituents.  On the other hand, I am under great pressure from my party and our Administration to be a good Democrat and go along with the plan.  If I do not, I am told I will lose the support of my party and can forget getting appointed to any cushy job after I lose my position in the Congress.

I have been loyal to my party for the full 20 years I have spent here in Washington, D.C.  I have voted with my party over 90% of the time during that period.  Some of my fellow Democrats are now telling me that none of that counts.  Either I vote for the Health Care plan or I will be ostracized.

I have been loyal to my constituents.  For years, I have brought to the floor of the House the bills that my Union Supporters have asked for to level the field with Management.  I have worked on and voted for the bills my constituents want and need.

In short, I find myself between a rock and a hard place.  Who deserves my greatest loyalty?

I have decided that the only reasonable course of action is to abstain from any votes on the healthcare plan until Congress and the Administration get serious and listen to the people of our land.

If I have learned nothing in my 20 years here, I have learned that the people hold the power and they should.  The people have the common sense to see that the debate about health care is no longer about them.  It is not about making our health care system more responsive to the people’s needs.  It is about politics.  My party, I am ashamed to say, is afraid that if they don’t pass a health care bill, ANY health care bill, they will be seen as weak.  In order to save face, they are willing to pass any bill that will allow them to say they won.  This is not about winning and losing.  This is about doing what is right.

The right thing to do is to listen to the people.  They want their health care to be more affordable.  They want their insurance policies to be portable, not tied to their employer.  They would like to see more people able to afford health care and not have to depend upon an emergency room to meet their needs.  They want to choose their Doctors, nurses, and hospitals.  They fear a system that will resemble the Post Office or the IRS.  They fear the country going into another 100 Billion Dollars in debt each year.

If, however, I vote as my constituents want me to, I will be stripped of all power to help my constituents in the future.  Instead they will have a new representative who will do  as he is told by his party bosses.  My constituents deserve better.

Here is my pledge to my party and my constituents.  I will abstain from voting for any health care bill that increases our debt.  I will abstain from voting for any health care bill that uses smoke and mirrors to make it look prudent, like collecting 10 years of taxes to provide 6 years of services.  I will help write a new bill that will allow people to keep their health insurance regardless of who their employer is, regardless of where they live in this great land, and regardless of any preexisting medical conditions.

I also promise to report regularly to my constituents as to our progress to change the debate away from politics and back to health care.  I promise to expose every threat made against me and every plum offered to me regardless of whether it comes from a lobbiest or from the White House.  I will listen to the people because they are the ones who sent me here to do their work.  I will be loyal to my party and its basic principles, but I will not stoop to those within the party who think that party politics and power are more important than the people they were elected to serve.

I will encourage others, who, like me, want to see health care solutions come from Washington, not hardball politics, not more debt, not more power and control centered in our capitol city.

Thank you for your time.  I hope the next time we do this it will be to announce that enough Members of this Legislature have decided to abstain to allow this bill to die the death it deserves.  I hope, then, to be able to announce that we are working on a haelth care bill that will increase competition, lower prices and and meet the needs of the people.

What do you think?  Do you think your Democrat Senator or Congress person should see this and act upon it?

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