Healthcare: Bonnie and Clyde go to conference

The president must come out swinging for the people so we don’t have the repeat of the results that have yielded huge profits, salaries and bonuses by Wall Street, banks, insurers, Big Pharma and now big polluters after the non-event at Copenhagen.

Going forward, the Senate is now eBay. On every major vote, the 60th Democrat will put him- or herself up for auction. Followed by the 59th vote, the 58th vote, the 57th vote, and soon, the other 56 will demand their fair share of pay-for-play. Meanwhile, they will all preach the gospel of cutting the deficit, while pay-for-play is paid for by taxpayers and, usually, benefiting the special interests at taxpayers' expense.

1. Let’s pass the Senate bill but wage a real and hard battle in the conference committee.

2. House liberals must play hardball, with true resolve, courage and commitment and refuse to ever support a conference report that does not include the public option. If they cannot do this, they should herewith give healthcare speeches waving white flags and be honest about it. Though I believe there are enough true, sincere, courageous House Democrats to win back some of what has been lost.

3. Isn't it amazing that the Democrats of the United State Senate now favor keeping legal price-fixing, price-gouging and collusion by eliminating the provision that would repeal the antitrust exemption for insurers? The Senate Democrats now favor insurance companies’ price-fixing and -gouging and collusion, which one might call the endorsement from hell, done on behalf of their fundraising devils.

4. House Democrats should fight for the public option, for the Dorgan amendment to import safe lower-priced drugs, and to repeal the continued legalization of price-fixing and -gouging and collusion. Senate liberals must fight hard to support them in conference, and fight much harder than they did in the Senate.

And again, every Democrat throughout America represented by a Democratic senator should contact him or her first, to urge him or her to support the strongest position in conference and to urge him or her to replace Sen. Lieberman as chairman and deal with this problem once and for all. Lieberman can do what he wants but should not have the power, budget and staff of a major committee at the sufferance of a Democratic Caucus that has already put up with far too much from him for far too long.