This upcoming week will be *the* critical week in the health care fight. Speaker Pelosi is expected to start the process for the House to hold its final vote to approve the Senate Bill. The vote will probably take place at the end of this upcoming week.
Right now, they are probably still a few votes shy of the majority they need:
“Can Nancy Pelosi Get the Votes?” Michael Barone, Wall Street Journal, 3/11/2010
Hence, this is an *extremely* risky move by the Democrats.
Normally, a Speaker wouldn’t plan on voting on such major legislation unless he or she was sure of having enough votes.
But the Democrats are also (correctly) concluding that time is not on their side. They have made the calculation that if they push for it now, then maybe then can squeeze out the last few votes via a combination of threats and bribes. For example, they have “sweetened” the deal for the wavering moderates by promising billions of dollars of new student loan subsidies.
On the other hand they recognize that if they wait much longer, then when these wavering Congressmen go back home for the Easter recess, they will get an earful from their constituents who are strongly opposed to the bill, and they’ll lose even more support.
Hence, from the Democrats’ perspective, it’s now or never.
From our perspective, this means three things:
1) We are winning.
We have a chance to defeat this terrible bill.
In particular, do not get discouraged when you read the inevitable news stories about how the Democrats are “close to getting the votes” or how Pelosi is “confident she’ll have the votes”. She has to exude an aura of public confidence, otherwise her coalition will quickly unravel.
Polls repeatedly show Americans opposed to ObamaCare:
“Why Obama Can’t Move the Health-Care Numbers” Rasmussen and Schoen, Wall Street Journal, 3/9/2010
Similarly, head counts of House Democrats also show that they don’t quite have enough votes yet:
“Scrambling for votes, Democrats face uphill climb to pass healthcare reform” The Hill, 3/13/2010
“The Hill’s ‘Whip Count’ on ObamaCare” — as of 3/13/2010
If they had the votes, they’d have already passed it by now.
2) We have to keep the pressure up.
The Democrats are pulling out all stops to find some way to get this through now, before the critical Easter recess.
At this point in time, the single most important thing you can do is tell your Congressman to vote “NO” on this bill: http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml
This is especially important if your Congressman is one of the undecided or swing votes on this “Code Red” list:
But even if your Congressman is a firm “Yes”, it’s still important to let them know. If even the liberal Democrats from “safe” seats consistently hear that their constituents are against it, it will give the wavering moderates more political cover to vote “No”. They can tell their Pelosi, “Even *your* constituents hate this thing — there’s no way I can support it”.
*** Our counter-pressure is our best weapon against the pressure that the statists will exert on these wavering Congressmen. ***
Your letter doesn’t have to long or eloquent. It just has to convey certainty, passion, and moral conviction. Something short and simple like:
“Please vote NO on this terrible health care plan! If you vote yes, you will destroy the ability of me and my family to receive good health care in the future. This is personal! If you vote yes, we will never forgive you for hurting our lives and trampling on our basic freedoms.”
(You may wish to adapt that to suit your own style and values.)
Feel free to use all contact methods – phone, fax, and e-mail. And please feel free to contact them multiple times over the upcoming week. In this context, repetition is a virtue!
And of course, if your Congressman is a probable or firm “No”, then thank him or her for his position. They also need our moral support.
3) If you have friends or family in other parts of the country, tell them to do the same thing and contact *their* Congressmen:
If you need intellectual ammunition for them, one of my personal favorites is from the AFCM website:
“Fifty Fallacies About Health Care” by Richard Ralston http://afcm.org/fallacies.html
Jared Rhoads’ Lucidicus Project also has a good set of OpEds: http://lucidicus.org/editorials/archive.php
And of course, FIRM has its archive of articles/OpEds: http://westandfirm.org/articles.html
I personally think that the most important thing we can do in the next few days will be to directly contact our Congressmen and have friends/family do the same. LTE’s and OpEds will still be important, but not as much as before. (That said, I’m stilll going to continue writing and/or disseminating some of my earlier writings to people I know around the country.)
This is the endgame, folks. Most political observers regard the health care bill as a 50-50 “toss-up” or “too close to call”. It really could go either way. What happens this week will set the course of this great country (for good or for ill) for decades to come.
Your voice could be the critical difference in swaying the right one or two minds. If you value your lives and your freedom, the time to speak up is *now*!
(Anyone is welcome to forward or repost this e-mail to any appropriate recipients or venues.)
Paul Hsieh MD
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