As part of HeadCount's "What's Your Issue?" campaign, we publish regular updates on each of six issues. The following is our latest Health Care Reform update.
Since the last health care update, MTV's reality show "Jersey Shore" and the character "The Situation" have been fist pumpin' their way into the cultural spotlight. Perhaps it's just what America needs right now. But the health care debacle is still the situation in politics - one that has changed a bit since the last update. The Democrats' health care reform efforts got stopped in its tracks when Republican Scott Brown won an upset victory in the race for the Massachusetts Senate seat previously held by the late Ted Kennedy. With that, Democrats lost their sixty-vote super-majority in the Senate, which means they can no longer prevent a Republican filibuster. This could mean we're totally back to the drawing board on health care reform. No wonder the country is looking for a little escape and entertainment. So let's have some fun with health care and Jersey Shore.
* The Situation went on The Tonight Show and nicknamed Conan O'Brien "The Solution." Well, what's the solution now for health care reform? An option supported by some Democrats is a quick vote on the same exact bill the Senate approved, meaning it would not go back to the Senate for another vote. But Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said the current Senate bill would not receive the necessary House votes. Led by President Obama, other Democrats support a pared-back health care bill containing only those provisions that are not controversial. These provisions would include pre-existing conditions coverage, a national insurance exchange, a Medicare amendment and the expansion of Medicaid. On the other hand, many Republicans reject the idea of a slimmed-down version of the current legislation and call for just starting over.
* So the question is what does the PUBLIC want? What do YOU want? Where is YOUR voice on this matter? The latest Rasmussen reports indicate that 58% of voters now oppose the plan supported by President Obama. As for popular aspects of reform, more than 70% support creating a new national insurance exchange and requiring health insurance companies to accept applicants with pre-existing conditions. As for the least popular aspects, the majority of voters strongly reject Medicare cuts and excise taxes on "Cadillac" health plans provided by employers. Also not to be overlooked, 78% of voters expect it to cost more than projected.
* The music community has been pumpin' its fists as well. Musicians in Vermont have assembled a CD with proceeds benefiting the Healthcare is a Human Right Campaign of the Vermont Worker's Center.
HeadCount band Nine Inch Nails is hosting the story of Eric De La Cruz on the main page of their website. Eric died last year partly because he was unable to obtain health care due to a pre-existing condition.
Want to know more? You can follow our daily headlines on Twitter or check out our Health Care Reform Issue page. If you want to try a little democracy in action, email your Senators and Congressional reps. 'Cause Health Care Reform is a situation that's worth pumpin' your fists for.