Red state Democrat goes on health care offense: "Start talking about the public option"
The Republican push to repeal Obamacare, destroy Medicaid, and eliminate coverage for 22 million poor and sick Americans is temporarily stalled in the Senate. Facing GOP defections and intense public opposition, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell conceded he may not have the votes to do it. Democrats are wasting no time using this window of opportunity […]
The Republican push to repeal Obamacare, destroy Medicaid, and eliminate coverage for 22 million poor and sick Americans is temporarily stalled in the Senate. Facing GOP defections and intense public opposition, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell conceded he may not have the votes to do it.
Democrats are wasting no time using this window of opportunity to change the national dialogue on the future of health care, as exemplified by Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill.
McCaskill, who a month ago publicly shamed the Senate Finance Committee for holding no hearings and excluding Democrats from the health care working group, just held a town hall in Macon, in which she not only expressed confidence the Senate repeal bill would fail, but also advocated expanding Obamacare with a public option.
“I was against it at the time. So I think I made a mistake on that,” she said.
This is not the first time this week McCaskill has signaled this shift. She made the same comment at another town hall on Wednesday:
"It's time to start talking about a public option." – Senator McCaskill on healthcare.
— Boone County Dems (@BooneDems) July 5, 2017
While McCaskill has always personally favored a public option, she accepted its removal from Obamacare as a compromise during its original passage, and long expressed doubts about its political viability. Her new endorsement of the policy, at a forum in a county Trump won by 56 points, signals a national shift.
McCaskill is not alone. All over the country, there are signs of increasing political momentum for a public option.
In Nevada, the state legislature passed a bill that would have essentially converted Medicaid into a public option, by letting people in the health insurance exchanges buy into it. Only a veto from Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval stopped it from becoming law.
Now that Republicans have proved their inability to lead on health care policy, it is time for Democrats to show that they hear the concerns of the American people and have their own progressive alternatives. McCaskill’s push for a public option marks the start of that conversation.
Abortion care and transgender health care are ‘parallel struggles’ in 2024 legislation
Last year, lawmakers approved the Reproductive Health Protection Act, which shields health care providers in Maryland from liability if they help out-of-state patients obtain an abortion, as long as the services provided are legal under Maryland law.By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - February 16, 2024
Jackson bill seeks to lower the price of insulin, ease access for nonprofit manufacturers
More than 1 in 10 adults across Maine have diabetesBy Evan Popp, Maine Morning Star - February 14, 2024
Oregon lawmakers look for ways to curb prescription costs
Lawmakers are weighing an array of pharmacy bills this session that could rein in prescription prices and allow pharmacists to treat people for COVID-19By Ben Botkin, Oregon Capital Chronicle - February 12, 2024