Sunday, September 6, 2009

Great American of the Week--Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY)

Rep. Anthony Weiner from New York has been the most visible and effective advocate for truly progressive health care reform over the past months. He's been all over TV talk shows advocating for a single-payer system. Given his preference for single-payer, it would be easy for him to sit back and just criticize the more incremental plans that the President and centrist Dems support. But, like good legislators do, he's fighting in the media and in the trenches to make sure that that plan does all it can to move towards the three basic goals I listed in my first blog post: universal coverage, cutting costs, and improving care. For that reason, he's been one of the leading progressive threatening to hold up reform if it does not include the public option. He's also convinced Speaker Pelosi to allow a floor vote on his amendment to replace the current health care bill, HR 3200, with Rep. Conyers's HR 676, which would create a single-payer system (see summary here).

He's so effective in his TV appearances because he makes health care policy clear. Even someone concerned about government's role in the economy can listen to his clear argument and see that single-payer is the best system for our economy. In my post below, I agreed with Bill Moyers that we have to frame health care reform as a moral issue. It might seem contradictory to laud Rep. Weiner for how he describes cutting costs, a less visceral theme. But Weiner succeeds where Obama fails in describing the importance of cutting health care costs because he frames it in a moral way. It's us versus the insurance companies. They take money from us on each transaction between us and the doctor.

Finally, he's so quick on his feet and quite aggressive. Unlike most Democrats, he's afraid to challenge right-wingers directly and put them on the defensive.

Check him out destroying the Fox and Friends conservative crowd.
The man is quick on his feet. Check him out on the show of Joe Scarborough, another prominent conservative host. He makes Scarborough speechless. I love his explanation for how Medicare-for-All or a large public option can not only cut costs through low overhead and not having to pay shareholders, but through negotiating with drug companies and care providers as a large pool of people. How does Wal-Mart offer such low prescription drug prices? Brilliant.
For being such a champion of single-payer, and standing up for the public option as the only acceptable compromise to take on the insurance companies, Rep. Weiner earns the title of Great American of the Week from yours truly. Haha, like he gives a shit, but whatever.

No comments:

Post a Comment