Sunday, November 8, 2009

Over the mountain

Across Afton Mountain from the Shenandoah Valley we find ourselves in a different political universe. Much of the Valley is strong Republican turf and the congressman from the 6th District, Bob Goodlatte, rarely if ever breaks from his party ranks. Goodlatte, who has a good number of constituents who will benefit from meaningful healthcare reform, was nevertheless a predictable NO vote yesterday.
But, just a few miles across the Blue Ridge, freshman Democrat Tom Perriello of the 5th District voted for the legislation. Last summer, Perriello held 21 town hall meetings on healthcare reform across his sprawling district. He'd been working behind the scenes to influence the legislation so it won't add to the deficit, to protect Medicare, and to assure it will be fair and beneficial to rural areas like much of his district. After the historic vote, Perriello stated:
[The bill is] profound shift away from the status quo towards progress and better, cheaper health care for more Americans. [It] will make health care more affordable for the middle class, provide security for seniors and reduce the federal deficit.
Whether for or against health care reform, most people in the district asked me to fight for deficit reduction, a fair shake for rural doctors, and no federal funding for abortions. I helped to score major victories on all three fronts. Today’s vote on health care legislation came down to a simple choice for me: do we sit back and let premiums skyrocket for middle-class families and small businesses, and watch the cost of prescription drugs bankrupt seniors and the cost of health care bankrupt the federal government? Or do we take this step today to support middle-class families and small businesses by encouraging competition to bring down premiums?
The time to act is now, because Virginians deserve a competitive health care market,” he continued. They deserve access to affordable health care, and they deserve better choices when purchasing insurance.
Perriello has been hammered for weeks in TV ads sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and other conservative/GOP groups. Several potential Republican challengers are on the campaign trail attacking Rep. Perriello. The barrage of misleading litter will continue all the way until November 2010.
Right now it appears unlikely that Democrats will field a candidate against Bob Goodlatte in the 6th District. So, I'd like to make a modest proposal to progressives and Democrats in the Shenandoah Valley - make a "Thank You" donation to Tom Perriello's reelection campaign. It is quick and easy to do online and it will send a message that Democrats across the state are standing with Rep. Tom Perriello because he had the courage to do the right thing for his district and country.


Anonymous said...

Tom Perriello did not speak for the people of the 5th and we WILL show him the door next November. Anybody want to make a bet on this one ?

Mary said...

Some Dems voted no because the bill doesn't go far enough and it will only increase profits of the insurance industry. You can see why Rep. Kucinich voted no here.

Agitator said...

Coarse Crack... why does it take 2000+ pages to fix simple things like the right to buy insurance across state lines, equitable tax treatment for individuals buying single coverage, etc, etc... Why are so many Dem Reps being bought off with pork for their vote on this? shouldn't that tell you something about this plan??????

Don't buy the Lib-Dem plan when they've been part of this 50 year+ problem. You and I will fix this problem, not this mutated plan.

Vancouver real estate agent said...

"...why does it take 2000+ pages to fix simple things..."

I wonder that too. But there will be nothing left of the bill if it gets through the Senate. I'd say they'll water it down so much it won't be worth the paper it was printed on.

I'm glad I'm only watching this from abroad..

Good luck to you all,

Progressive said...

VancouverREA, how do you like your insurance up there. We keep hearing how horrible it is. I was in Quebec several years ago and everyone I talked to was pretty satisfied, although they were worried about some of the changes being proposed.

Anonymous said...

Between Holy Joe "I'm bought and paid for by the Hartford insurance companies" threatening a filibuster and the Catholic Bishops strokin'' the Democrats on abortion, getting anything meaningful thru the Senate will be damn tough. Not to mention the millions being spent by the insurance industry and business groups to scare the bejesus out of Americans and intimidate Congress. Divided Dems + religious dogma + big $ spreading fear = Repubs and big pharma win again.

Anonymous said...

Gallup has a good poll out while voters views of Republicans have only gone up 4% since June the way they view Democrats have gone down 6% Tom Perriello get ready for the door next year at this time you will be looking for a job.