As I am sure many of you did, I received an e-mail this evening from Senator Baucus about health care reform. In a 1200 word e-mail, Senator Baucus used the phrase “health care reform” sixteen times, without ever giving any specific information about what his proposal would do to reform health care, and that’s exactly why he’s no longer fit to lead this fight.
Though the e-mail helpfully asks, “… what does health care reform mean for
Montana? How will reform affect you and those you love?”, nothing in the e-mail answers those questions. Instead, Baucus is telling his constituents everything they want to hear, but nothing they need to know.
There’s a reason that conservatives and Tea Baggers are shaping the debate on health care. Proponents of a better system have nothing to defend, nothing to get passionate about, nothing to care about. Baucus’s secretive negotiations
with people who want no reform, rather than engagement with those who do, has endangered the entire process, in a moment when Democrats control the Congress and the Presidency.
Platitudes and generalizations are not going to bring health care reform supporters to meetings. They’re not going to make us call and talk to our friends. They’re not going to make us care.
The other side in this debate has passion: ill-informed, occasionally moronic passion, but passion. They have something to fight against. When, you, Senator Baucus, won’t reveal any details of your plan, we don’t have anything to fight for—nor any reason to believe that you’re finally putting our interests ahead of the pharmaceutical and insurance industries.
Your “uniquely American solution” is shaping up to be nothing more than the unique and broken health care system we’ve endured for decades.
It’s time to lead, Senator Baucus, or get the hell out of the way.