MoveOn, the online activist community that played such a critical role in building opposition to the Bush administration and in paving the way for its replacement by the Obama administration, is asking members whether it should now support President Obama’s health-care reform legislation.
The MoveOn "team" admits in an email to the group’s roughly 5 million members that Obama’s proposal is "definitely not the bill most of us hoped for at the start of this fight." But, they add, "it does do some important things."
That’s reasonable, as is the review of comments from MoveOn members who support and oppose the reform legislation as it currently stands.
A sampling from the "pro" side:
We all know if this bill doesn’t pass, Congress won’t be starting over; our choices are this bill now, or no health care reform at all for the forseeable future. -Robert B. from East Haven, CT
Don’t let the good be the enemy of the perfect–I concur. No legislation is perfect the first time. This bill will significantly improve health care–insurance and drug firms behavior…once it is passed and we see results…more change can occur. For me it’s a life decision…pass it now…. -Sheila L. from , CA
A sampling from the "anti" side:
Without a public option, open to everyone, the bill functions as a massive, COMPULSORY (since we will be REQUIRED to buy in) giveaway to the insurance industry. -Katherine A. from Madison, WI
This bill is a windfall for private insurers. It is a mistake to confuse health insurance coverage with health care, if insurance is mandated people will choose the cheapest they can afford which means high deductibles and really no care at all. The only real solution is single payer… -Eithne D. from Boulder, CO
I would have preferred a little more variety in the list of "helpful links" provided as background for MoveOn voters, which was limited to an overview of the president’s proposal from the WhiteHouse.gov site, a CNN report on the highlights of Obama’s health care proposal and a ThinkProgress article on the president’s proposal and the differences between it and the Senate legislation.
It would have been terrific, for instance, if MoveOn had featured something from Congressman Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, who has raised concerns about the legislation from a progressive perspective.