Congressman Dennis Kucinich has stated that he is willing to
effectively kill the government run health care bill by voting
against the party line and sticking to his own principles.
Kucinich explained his position on MSNBC's Countdown last night,
noting that the absence of a public option to provide competition
to insurance companies is pivotal.
"This bill represents a giveaway to the insurance industry,"
The representative from Ohio said. "$70 billion dollars
a year, and no guarantees of any control over premiums, forcing
people to buy private insurance, five consecutive years of double-digit
"I told the president twice in two different meetings
that I couldn't support the bill if it didn't have a robust
public option and at least if it didn't have something that
was going to protect consumers from these rampant premium increases,"
Kucinich, who voted against the narrowly-approved House bill
in November, has previously stated that he supports a health
care overhaul in the form of a single-payer or Medicare-for-all
system. However, he is adamant that the current bill is geared
toward private insurance company profiteering.
"The fact is that one out of every three health care dollars
goes for corporate profits, stocks options, executive salaries,
advertising, marketing, the cost of paperwork - this bill doesn't
change that." he said.
Kucinich stated that even if it meant he had the deciding vote
in the House, he would oppose the legislation.
"If that sounded like a no, you're correct," the
Congressman told guest host Lawrence O'Donnell, describing the
proposed reform as akin to "building on sand."
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It is widely acknowledged that a failure on behalf of the Democrats
to pass the health care legislation could cost them the midterm
elections in November.
In January, Kucinich
savaged Democrats over the health care bill, noting
that "There's nothing liberal about giving insurance companies
carte blanche to charge anything they want for health care."
"We lost the initiative the minute that our party jumped
into bed with the insurance companies. And soon they were looking
at increasing taxes as a way of subsidizing insurance companies.
It's just madness." the congressman added.
A majority of 53% remain opposed to the health care reform,
according to the latest
figures from Rasmussen. Just 20% strongly favor
the plan, while 41% are strongly opposed.
When it comes to health care decisions, 51% say they fear the
federal government more than they fear private insurance companies,
according to the survey.