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Health Reform and the National Front

July 28, 2009

Last week’s slow-down in health care legislative actions seems to have continued into this week.  With the strong Blue Dog presence in the House’s Energy and Commerce Committee – and their threatening to not vote on the health care reform proposal – Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) has yet to reconvene the committee.  The trouble with the Blue Dogs is that they have enough votes (along with committee Republican members) to block the bill from passing out of the committee.  Their interests are varied as well, making it harder to come to a consensus deal.  Last Friday it looked like progress had been made, but then angers quickly flared to the point that Blue Dog members left Chairman Waxman’s office mid-meeting.  In response, the Chairman suggested that he would cancel the committee’s mark-up, allowing the full House to start debating on the floor using a bill that only contains the mark-ups of Education and Labor and Ways and Means.  With the August recess a week away, Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) loosened her previous ultimatum that the House would vote on the health reform legislation before the recess, but she is still optimistic a vote will be passed before the break.

What needs to happen now? Please CALL the members of Congress about Health Reform! The Senate Finance Committee is debating, behind closed doors, the public option. Energy and Commerce may or may not finish marking up their bill. The House may or may not take a vote on the bill before the August recess. The Blue Dogs may or may not move forward with their support.

Members need to hear from YOU!  Please call or email your members of Congress – both Senators and your House member and tell them you support health reform.  Tell them if you support the public option. Tell them to do no harm to kids. Tell them what you want.

Use this toll free number to reach the Congressional switchboard and ask for your member’s office: 1-800-828-0498

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