The past couple days on Calitics, we've had Jason Rosenbaum detail grassroots efforts over Dianne Feinstein's confusing comments about and reticence to sign on to comprehensive health care reform. First he highlighted Health Care for America Now's petition urging Feinstein to get on board with health care reform. Then he deconstructed Feinstein's official statement on health care, which was unsatisfactory.
Feinstein is an important part of this debate. She doesn't sit on any of the relevant committees, but she has cachet in Washington, and with real health care reform coming down to just a handful of votes, her views will be crucial to the debate going forward. At a time when 85 percent of respondents to a Field Poll support a public health insurance option to compete with private industry, Feinstein must not be allowed to ignore the will of her constituents, as she did in her vote to authorize the war in Iraq.
Fortunately, practically every progressive organization in the state and even the country is hammering Feinstein for her naysaying, and demanding that she stay true to the principles she laid out, including controlling costs, expanding coverage and stopping the bad practices of the insurance industry, by endorsing a public health insurance option as part of any reform package. In addition to Health Care For America Now, MoveOn created an ad and drove phone calls to Feinstein's office. Today CREDO Mobile joined the fray with a petition asking her to support the public plan, and the return receipt after you sign offers a one-click retweet of a Twitter message to spread the word, which is innovative. The Courage Campaign also has a letter calling on DiFi to stand with the President and support a public option. Courage Campaign also offers one-click forwarding of the message to Twitter, Facebook and MySpace (MySpace still exists?).
Health care reform is the make-or-break issue of this year, and Dianne Feinstein needs to hear from every one of her constituents about it.
(In addition, Firedoglake is whipping the public option in the House, with the goal of finding 40 Democrats who will commit to opposing any bill that DOESN'T have a strong public option contained in it. Presuming that all Republicans will vote against any health care reform, this would have the effect of changing the incentives in Congress, currently tilted toward what the most conservative elements of the Democratic coalition would accept, and move them instead toward what the liberal base of the coalition will demand in exchange for their vote. There are lots of California Democratic House members on their list, so head over and get to the phones!)