Got an e-mail “Action Alert” yesterday afternoon from Oregon Republican Chairman Bob Tiernan urging me to bombard the state’s Democratic congresspersons with phone calls opposing the “Obama-style health care reform” package that just cleared the Senate Finance Committee.
Tiernan waxes positively apoplectic over the finance committee bill – which in fact is a weak-kneed, limp-wristed, half-assed, token measure that fails to include any feature that would curb skyrocketing health insurance costs.
“As Republicans and responsible freedom-loving Americans, we cannot sit still and let this come to the Senate floor for a vote without letting our ranking Senator hear what we have to say! We must be heard!” Tiernan shrieks. The bill “robs our pocketbooks, threatens our freedom and would constitute one of the biggest governement [sic] takeovers in our country's history.” (Bob must have been so excited that he forgot to run spell-check.)
Exactly what this terrible “government takeover” is taking over isn’t clear, since the bill offers no government-backed alternative to private health insurance (the “public option”), much less creating anything remotely resembling “socialized medicine” as it exists in Britain, Canada, and practically every other country in the developed world.
The meaning of the phrase “Obama-style health care reform” is pretty obscure too, since Obama has not proposed any health care reform bill of his own and has not endorsed the finance committee bill.
Whatever. Tiernan’s ravings make it obvious that the Republican Party is never going to support any health care reform, no matter how innocuous.
Tiernan orders his troops to flood the offices of Oregon’s Democratic senators and representatives with phone calls: “Enough is enough! The time to act is now! Put their numbers - all of them - into your cell-phones under speed dial and start calling their offices daily until they hear you! We must not sit back and let this happen! This push towards government-run health care is the biggest potential power-grab by the government of all time!”
It’s a familiar right-wing ploy: Get a small number of people to make a lot of noise so the media and the politicians will think they’re a large number of people.
Fortunately two can play at that game. So here, thoughtfully provided by Bob Tiernan (thanks, Bob), are the phone numbers of the Washington offices of Oregon’s Democratic senators and House members:
Sen. Ron Wyden: (202) 228-2717
Sen. Jeff Merkley: (202) 228-3997
Rep. David Wu: (202) 225-9497
Rep. Earl Blumenauer: (202) 225-8941
Rep. Peter DeFazio: (202) 225-6416
Rep. Kurt Schrader: (202) 225-5711
Enter these numbers into your cell phones and use your speed-dial to call, call, CALL! until our congressional delegation gets the message that Oregonians want REAL health care reform – including, at a minimum, the public option – and we want it NOW!
(Sorry, I only managed to work in two exclamation points compared to 11 in Tiernan’s e-mail. So here are some extra ones – throw them in wherever you want: !!!!!!!!!)