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It’s Time To Grab The GOP By Tom Price’s Seat

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It’s Time To Grab The GOP By Tom Price’s Seat

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Tom Price, Obamacare

The election of Scott Brown to fill Ted Kennedy’s seat in the U.S. Senate was seen as proof by many that the Tea Party movement was more than just the Fox News’ Mickey Mouse Club.

That surprise Republican win in a liberal bastion took away Democrats’ filibuster-proof majority, which only existed for a few months thanks to a tedious lawsuit by defeated Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman. After January 19, 2010, President Obama’s legislative agenda wobbled and was never able to regain the momentum of his historic first year in office.

Democrats now have a chance to strike a similar blow against a minority president before this Trump Train begins barreling through America’s newly revamped health care system.

Despite substantiated allegations of insider trading in the industry he’ll be overseeing, Rep. Tom Price has been confirmed as secretary of Health and Human Services on a party-line vote. He can now immediately begin to dismantle the ACA, which has long been his goal, along with dismantling Medicare and Medicaid as we know them.

Tens of millions of Americans’ health insurance is now at stake and the more than 55 million Americans on Medicare have nobody in power looking out for them. But we do have a chance to let Congressional Republicans know that there will be a huge cost if they live out their dream of stripping Americans of coverage and weakening health the insurance for all Americans.

Georgia’s governor Nathan Deal has announced that the election to fill Price’s now vacant seat in the House of Representatives will be on April 18, with a run-off if no candidate earns 50 percent or more of the vote to follow on June 20.

Price crushed his Democratic opponent in last November’s election by 23.2 percent, pretty close to the 24 percent margin by which Mitt Romney carried the district in 2012.

But Trump only won the district by 1 percent.

So despite the GOP’s registration advantage in what is essentially Newt Gingrich’s old seat, this race could be damned close — especially if voters look at the ballot and see Trump, regardless of who the Republican candidates are.

Our democracy’s problem is that people love living in Democratic areas — and we have a constitutional republic that rewards well distributed electoral minorities.

People nauseated by the Trump agenda living New York or California — or even Madison, Wisconsin or Ann Arbor, Michigan — have been protesting and organizing to support their elected officials through Indivisible Groups. But their impact is stunted because representatives generally only want to hear from the people whom they represent and can vote for them.

The race to fill Tom Price’s seat is a chance for all Democrats, wherever in this nation they may live, to help derail the Trump Train.

So meet Jon Ossoff, the Democrat running for Price’s seat. An investigative documentarian who is a former congressional aide to the last living speaker from 1963’s March on Washington, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), Ossoff has the two things he needs to consolidate Democrats — endorsements and money. And consolidating Democrats is the key, given an open primary that could see two Republicans in the run off if the left doesn’t unite.

The Daily Kos community has already raised more than $563,000 for Ossoff’s campaign, besting the site’s record of cash support set in 2012 for Elizabeth Warren in just a week. The site is also organizing virtual phonebanks for those who can donate time.

Ossoff’s campaign has just over six weeks to get at least second place in the primary — and these next six weeks just happen to be the most crucial weeks of the battle over repealing the Affordable Care Act. Despite having no replacement and diminishing public support, House Republicans plan to go through with full repeal in March.

Know this: House conservatives have the votes and the immorality necessary to do this. The question is whether they have the same in the Senate, where they can only afford to lose two votes.

If the outrage in the streets and town halls is matched by a stunning electoral defeat in Georgia, it could put the fear of getting gnawed at the polls in the mind of the Republicans who represent swing states. And Democrats focusing their massed collective resources to elect a Democrat in a red state would also put a spike in the terrible GOP “paid protesters” talking point.

It would say, “We pay to protest, fool. That’s how much we care about sick Americans keeping the health insurance they deserve.”

Taking Tom Price’s seat may not shock Republicans exactly in the same way Democrats were shocked by Brown’s win, which offered them a preview of losing the House and then the Senate. But our 45th president never had a filibuster-proof Senate majority and unlike the current loser in chief, our 44th president won a genuine popular vote landslide victory by a margin of 10 million votes.

A loss for the Republicans this spring could shape the debate for the next two years.

Saving Obamacare is not an easy fight but it is winnable. And it’s difficult to get a Republican to do the right thing when his career depends upon not doing it. Right wing donors want the $7 million tax break repealing Obamacare would give to the richest 400 Americans.

If the Tea Party was able to build massive outrage at the idea of people gaining health insurance by taxing rich people, we should be able to build something much larger to prevent the GOP taking insurance from 25 million people so the rich — who have never been richer — can get more tax breaks.

And now here’s something you can do about it.

IMAGE: Newly confirmed Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

 

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12 Comments

  1. dbtheonly February 13, 2017

    Okay. I’m in.

    Let’s GOTV!

    Reply
  2. RED February 13, 2017

    Ok, I’m not saying that I necessarily disagree with hanging on to the ACA right now but I would like to point out that you’re telling Democrats to turn out and fight for a right wing healthcare plan. A plan that still leaves all the profit motive and it’s pharmaceutical price gouging and insurance company and hospitals and everyone else’s price gouging. To fight heart and soul, give our energy and time to a plan that still doesn’t cover millions, still costs twice as much as every other industrialized country’s healthcare and is still growing rapidly too expensive for most Americans. Again granted, it’s light years ahead of the sick Cons and their disgusting lack of morality or any conscience. But I’m still pretty disappointed in Dems and it doesn’t seem like they are ever gonna learn that Con Lite is never going to inspire people, the “we’re gonna screw a little less than the sick Cons.” You find a candidate who tells people that “yeah we wanna give you stuff” without any shame or reservation and the response will be phenomenal because everyone intuitively knows that government has been giving other people lots of stuff and by that I meant the wealthy elite who own our government.

    Reply
    1. Oddworld February 13, 2017

      Also let us not forget that there are doctors opting out of the plan and still more not taking new patients which yet again places further burden on emergency rooms. Unfortunately our for profit Healthcare system is so embedded in our culture the ACA was doomed to failure from the start.

      Reply
    2. secondclassguy February 14, 2017

      Yes i will fight for the ACA even with it’s flaws because i could never bring your argument to the millions hanging by their fingers and their lives. Dr Death Tom Price and the soulless republicans need to understand there are people who care about those lives. If the ACA can be saved then improvements can be made, and yes single payer could then be on the horizon, or a public option

      Reply
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        Reply
      2. RED February 14, 2017

        I won’t really dispute the idea that it’s better to save some rather than none, sure that’s great. But let’s be honest and let’s demand justice and human rights for everyone. First, it is true that ACA has covered millions more people and helped with pre-existing conditions. But here’s a couple of things, it has done absolutely zero to control the cost, zero. So sure people can buy health insurance but help me understand how someone who is sick pays for that insurance, the high deductibles? Personally I’ve got employer health insurance and every day I am terrified that were I to get cancer or something else that prevents me from working, my family is literally wiped out, no home, no college for my kid, and eventually no health insurance. And why does my kid not go to college? Because I’m lazy? Because I didn’t budget wisely? NO!! It’s so that Joe Mansion’s daughter can make tens of millions of dollars! You and I want the same things and both care what happens to each other and our fellow citizens, for both moral and selfish reasons. But let’s quit settling for the crumbs our politicians and elites throw us, including Democrats. We pay twice as much for health care and die younger than any other developed nation. We work longer hours for less and it’s time to quit pretending it has to be that way, it doesn’t. It wasn’t always that way and it isn’t that way in many other places. This nation could have ended poverty if we chose to. And I AM CHOOSING TO, DAMNIT! So, all I’m saying is let’s not fight over saving a few people, let’s fight for saving ALL!

        Reply
        1. secondclassguy February 14, 2017

          I keep hearing about the deductibles being high, wouldn’t that be an easy enough fix if they had the will to do so? And the ACA cost shifts premiums to those more able to afford it, not the other way, like republicans like to do.

          If someone gets cancer or any other disease there are no lifetime caps. I also think deductibles are removed after a period of long illness, but if i’m wrong about that another easy fix. The reason it’s having problems is because it’s been sabotaged for quite some time now

          Reply
          1. RED February 15, 2017

            Dude, I feel like your heart is on the right place, so I don’t wanna yell and get angry. But let me ask life caps or not how the hell do you pay for insurance if you can’t work because your sick? And sure you can fix the deductible with legislation then the insurance companies make it up somewhere else. Think man, let go of the corporate indoctrination we have had all our lives because it is immoral to profit from life and death and it will always be more expensive when there is a profit motive.

            Reply
          2. secondclassguy February 15, 2017

            I’m not angry and i think your heart is also in the right place. As long as republicans hold power neither one of us will rest i’m sure

            Reply
          3. RED February 15, 2017

            Anyone who represents the sick Con party is a piece of garbage, a soulless greed ridden disease sack.But remember Cons couldn’t have done these things without the complicity of Democrats. So all I’m really saying is that it’s not democrats vs republicans any more, those days are over. Now, it’s workers vs corporatist, the wealthy elite vs everyone else. And the way to.wipe the floor with the sick puke Cons is with real progressive, not the sellout corporate democrats, which sadly included Barack Obama also. All those people in the “blue wall” states voted for O, for hope and change, and Obama didn’t out the bankers in jail, didn’t end the wars, didn’t prosecute the numerous war criminals from the previous administration, and ended up getting us the Republican health care plan. And saying it was because of the Cons that he didn’t do these things is flat out garbage. Many of these things he could have done on his own.

            Reply
          4. secondclassguy February 16, 2017

            Well there will never be a check on business as usual until we rid ourselves of citizens united and go to public financing of elections. Corruption, Greed, wars are part of the human heart and landscape, they can be curtailed never eliminated

            Reply
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