Rep. John Conyers Warns Obama On Health Care, Sees Democratic Disaster Without Public Option

Democrats face re-election disaster if Congress passes watered-down health care reform legislation.

That was the theme of House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Michigan) at a July 30 gathering of progressives in Washington, DC. Conyers spoke at the fifth-year “birthday party” for Progressive Democrats of America after joining 56 other members of Congress in vowing earlier Thursday to oppose any legislation that does not include a strong public option enabling competition with insurance companies.

“There is no one more disappointed than I am in Barack Obama,” said Conyers. “I’ve told him that to his face.”

The reason? “Buddy, you are wrong on healthcare, and it’s going to cost you big time,” Conyers said. “We’ve got to tell Obama now, or he’ll be a one-term president.”

Conyers alleged that the centrist “Blue Dog” Democrats and Republicans “don’t want anything.” He predicted that the 57 congressional progressives who so far have signed the public option vow would join Republicans and some Blue Dogs in blocking what he called “crap” alternative legislation. He predicted an even worse outcome for Obama and other Democrats if a bill somehow passes without a strong public option, thereby antagonizing the public with higher-costs and worsening coverage.

“Guess what?” said Conyers. “It’s going to fail. Heads he loses, tails he loses.”

Conyers also is leading the fight in Congress to enact the “Medicare for All” bill H.R. 676, whose Senate counterpart is S. 703. The Conyers bill goes farther than a public option in seeking a complete revamp of the nation’s health care system to provide for a “single-payer” solution with lower costs, like that in most Western democracies.

Indeed, even the current U.S. system is heavily reliant on government, as New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote July 31 in “Health Care Realities.”

“This is a serious mistake, Barack,” Conyers warned the president regarding compromise proposals. “And all of us who are going to fight like the dickens for another term have to tell him that.”


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4 Responses to “Rep. John Conyers Warns Obama On Health Care, Sees Democratic Disaster Without Public Option”

  1. anon Says:

    Just speak the truth: the bankers and the health insurers and the corporations have been taking your money and buying your government.

  2. GW Says:

    Conyers may be right, but down here in Alabamaland, the land of the Newhouse right-wing propaganda machine, Blue Dawgs get elected every year standing up for private corporations by the very people they are killing needlessly…

    We Need A National Health Care Plan Now!

  3. John H Kennedy Says:

    We could have had Impeachment if Conyers had served only 1 term

    Rep Conyers is the Champion of Single Payer! and of Impeachment?

    Conyers portrayed himself as the the leading advocate of Impeachment in the US House, but stonewalled impeachment for years and kept Rep. Kucinich’s Bush-Cheney Impeachment Bills from ever being seriously debated or voted on in his House Committee.

    Conyers accepted Impeachment Petition signed by 1.1 Million Voters but ignored it and had those bringing it Arrested.

    Conyers broke a promise to voters to hold impeachment hearings after 08 election.

    He is on the board of Progressive Democrats of America but even they couldn’t get him to stop blocking impeachment.

    If Conyers had started impeachment hearings shortly after he took the HJC Chairmanship, a few thousand US Soldiers who were killed or maimed in Iraq would still be alive and whole. Conyers owes their families an apology.

    Now Conyers is the Champion of of Single Payer health care.
    Given his poor performance on impeachment is Single Payer
    Dead On Arrival? He should quit blaming Obama!

    both a Commission of Inquiry
    and a Special Prosecutor
    For All Their Crimes



  4. Obama Should Learn From Artur Davis Debacle « Andrew Kreig's Blog Says:

    […] Conyers said last summer in my blog last summer. I quoted the longtime Democrat from Detroit as predicting a one-term Presidency for his friend Obama unless he adopted harder-hitting and more progressive […]

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