It’s the Democrats that are Blocking the Public Option

Nate Silver in the FiveThirtyEight built a statistical model to explain and predict whether a particular senator supports the public option (http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/06/special-interest-money-means-longer.html).  Contributions were tallied from two industry codes: F3200 (Accident & Health Insurance) and H3700 (HMO’s). Lobbying contributions appeared to have the largest marginal impact on middle-of-the-road Democrats. Liberal Democrats were likely to hold firm to the public option unless they received a lotof remuneration from health care PACs. Conservative Democrats may not support the public option in the first place for ideological reasons, although money can certainly push them more firmly against it. But the impact on mainline Democrats appeared to be quite large: if a mainline Democrat has received $60,000 from insurance PACs over the past six years, his likelihood of supporting the public option is cut roughly in half from 80 percent to 40 percent. It’s all about the $$$.

If the healthcare insurance industry was not allowed to make political contributions, the model predicts, 47 senators would currently support the public option, as opposed to the 38 who actually do at this time. In other words, the insurance industry’s influence appears to swing about 9 votes against the public option!

The Republicans are not holding up healthcare reform-it’s the Democrats. There are 21 Democratic senators that are against the public option. Right now there is only one party in Washington-the Democratic Party. The Republicans represent some fringe lunatic minority. America needs a Progressive Party that speaks for the average person and is not bought by special interests.

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