Saturday, November 07, 2009

Congressman Harry Mitchell - "History Calls"

From an email from the Congressman (bolding theirs, but links are adjusted from their email to direct links) -

Dear Friend,

I want you to be among the first to know that when the House of Representatives votes on a health insurance reform proposal, I will be voting “yes” in order to move reform forward.

As you know, I’ve been preparing for a vote to reform our healthcare system since I was sworn into office in 2007. I’ve worked with my healthcare advisory committee for over two years and I’ve heard from doctors, patients, health care professionals, seniors, students, small business owners, and thousands more concerned Arizona families over the past few months who were both for and against health care reform.

One thing is clear: almost everyone believes that our current health care system is broken and doing nothing is not an option.

I firmly believe that we must act now to take serious steps to lower health care costs for working families, end the practice of denying patients health care because of pre-existing conditions and make quality health care affordable for every American.

Later today, the House of Representatives will be considering the choice between moving health care reform forward for further improvement or voting against advancing reform all together. This will be one of the most important votes that I take in over 35 years in elected office and I have arrived at my decision after careful consideration.

I still have concerns with the bill, but I believe that doing nothing is not an option. This bill is not perfect. In Congress, no bill ever is. Yet, I do think it contains significant improvements from the earlier bill circulated this past summer. I believe improvements need to be made and can be made, but in order to do so, we have to move the process forward.

Republican Olympia Snowe recently said, “So is this bill all that I want? Far from it… but when history calls, history calls. And I believe the consequences of inaction dictate the urgency of allowing for every opportunity to demonstrate capacity to solve this monumental issue.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Our opponents remain immersed in partisan rhetoric and are concerned more with scoring political points for the 2010 election than with delivering solutions to solve big problems. Knowing the headwind facing us, I could do the political thing and
vote to do nothing. However, playing it safe will fail to take on the big problems we face like healthcare and immigration reform. And you didn’t send me to Congress to do nothing.

Make no mistake about it: Republicans in Washington and opponents of reform are going to do everything they can to use this vote against us. They have already spent millions to run misleading television ads, including here in Arizona , and you can bet the house that they’ll re-double their efforts to defeat me.

I’m ready for the fight – but I’m going to need your help – and this is how you can help right now:

1. Show your support through Facebook, Twitter and email your friends and family! Your support is “virally” important!

2. Contribute $25, $50 or $100 to help raise the resources to fight back!

3. Email a Letter to the Editor supporting moving reform forward! Give your name and address @; or @; or @ eastvalleytribune; or your local community paper.

4. Sign up for a “Take Action Early: Day of Action” to volunteer to go door-to-door or staff a phone bank.

You will play a critical role in fighting back the lies that will come. Thanks for your ongoing support – I’ll need it more than ever!




Thane Eichenauer said...

I wonder if this vote will be used by Mitchell's opponents come a year from now. I personally think that a minority of people believe that government solutions are the best answer. The media however is overwhelming in its uncritical advocacy of government.

This sad super-size version of Romneycare may, if America is lucky, manage to prevent Mitt Romney from becoming President in 2012.

cpmaz said...

Of course this vote will be used against him by the three (or more) Republicans who run against him next year.

The real question is whether voters in the district will hold the vote against him, or whether they will give him credit for trying to represent the best interests of his constituents.

I think he will have to work hard for reelection, but given the demographics of the district (majority R registration), he *always* has to work hard for reelection.

I think this will be a big net positive for him.

Eli Blake said...


The answer is that the members of Congress who were most likely to lose their seats in the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress were those who refused to support the Clinton health care reform bill.

Democrats the last two election cycles have run on health care reform and last year then-candidate Obama openly advocated a robust public option. And he won, and so did these members of Congress.

So I agree with Craig-- this will be a net positive for Harry Mitchell and the rest who vote for it. The ones most likely to have to pay the piper are those who don't support what Democrats were elected to achieve.

Eli Blake said...

Final roll call vote is here:

I don't think I will ever understand Dennis Kucinich. Apparently he voted against it because it isn't liberal enough for him (Kucinich is known to support a single payer plan.)

On the other hand the solid Republican wall that Boehner was able to deploy against the stimulus got its first crack-- Republican Anh Cao (the Republican who defeated corruption-soaked Willie Jefferson last year in an otherwise overwhelmingly Democratic district in New Orleans) apparently got an earful from his constituents and broke with his party. Maybe only a small crack, but now that the wall has been breached it will be interesting to see how Boehner prevents any more GOP defections.