[More of the same– Heck and Baird, Inc.]
Brian Baird was one of the 39 disgruntled rogue Democrats who voted against health-care reform last November, along with a gaggle of mostly reactionary Blue Dogs– from John Barrow (Blue Dog-GA) and Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (Blue Dog-SD) to Parker Griffith (Blue Dog, now R-AL) and Heath Shuler (Blue Dog-NC). Baird was the only Washington Democrat to cross the aisle and join John Boehner and Eric Cantor in trying to defeat healthcare reform.
State Senator Craig Pridemore, the Blue America-endorsed candidate for Baird’s House seat isn’t challenging Baird to a primary battle. Thankfully Baird is retiring from politics– although not before endorsing a multimillionaire corporate lackey to take his place, Denny Heck. All the lobbyists, special interests and business-as-usual shills are backing Heck. Democratic grassroots and netroots activists in WA-03 are what’s propelling Craig’s campaign.
The video below explains Blue America’s enthusiasm for Craig a lot better than I could in a few hyperbolic words. Please take a look at it as he explains why he supports a clearly flawed healthcare reform bill and how clearly he sees how corporate money is behind almost everything that’s wrong Inisde-the-Beltway.
“As I’ve traveled around Washington’s 3rd Congressional District, one of the things that’s clear is that our citizens and our businesses are hurting. We need to step up and help our small businesses and workers succeed by implementing reforms to reduce their health care costs. The problem right now is that we have a health care system dominated by insurance and pharmaceutical companies and Wall Street.
“I believe we deserve a public option. It is essential that we encourage competition in the health care market place, and the only way to do that is to hold the special interests in Washington, D.C. accountable to the struggling families across our nation. I also know that the bill before us means progress. It will provide coverage to millions of uninsured Americans and end the inhumane practice of cutting off those with pre-existing conditions.
“What’s clear is that my opponent, Denny Heck, is standing on the sidelines when it comes to this issue. He wants to wait it out, see what happens, and then decide where he stands. Make no mistake, I support health care reform and I support a public option and when elected, will step up and do everything I can to lower costs and check the power of the special interests in Washington, D.C.”
What hacks like Baird and Heck don’t want to understand is that less privileged, more exposed families than their own, right in southwest Washington very much need the reforms offered in the health-care bill neither of them is supporting. Yesterday the House Energy and Commerce Committee put out a report that shows how the bill would impact Baird’s constituents:
* Improve coverage for 478,000 residents with health insurance.
* Give tax credits and other assistance to up to 176,000 families and 16,800 small businesses to help them afford coverage.
* Improve Medicare for 116,000 beneficiaries, including closing the donut hole.
* Extend coverage to 53,500 uninsured residents.
* Guarantee that 12,500 residents with pre-existing conditions can obtain coverage.
* Protect 1,500 families from bankruptcy due to unaffordable health care costs.
* Allow 61,000 young adults to obtain coverage on their parents’ insurance plans.
* Provide millions of dollars in new funding for 18 community health centers.
* Reduce the cost uncompensated care for hospitals and other health care providers by $21 million annually.
Craig has a long record of courageous, principled and progressive public service. He’s a good investment for progressives! Please watch the video and consider making a contribution to his campaign.