Between a crock and a hard place: Why Tom Perriello will vote YES on socialized medicine

| November 7, 2009 | 7 Comments

perriello-filmstripCongressman Tom Perriello, a highly skilled and silver-tongued snake-oil salesman is stuck in a healthcare moment, and he can’t get out of it.

After nearly a year of attempting to bamboozle all of the people, all of the time, the clock is running out on Tom’s chicanery as the vote on H.R. 3962 approaches.

We knew all along that Congressman Perriello was a YES on Cap and Trade, even though he maintained right up until the vote’s eve that he was “undecided.” Of course, he did not disappoint or surprise the faithful Sorros-ites and MoveOn-ers—groups whose support was key to Perriello’s narrow 2008 victory. But, through his months-long barrage of doublespeak he did fool many of his credulous constituents into believing that he was actually considering their objections to the bill.

Now, the moment of truth has arrived, and Tom Perriello must submit or get-off-the-pot, regarding his support of socialized medicine.

The hints as to his ultimate position have been dropping for months, as Congressman Perriello has intimated time and again that he desperately seeks to support nationalized medicine.

Yet, his modus operandi has been to throw a little “red meat” to conservatives by saying that he won’t back a bill that publicly funds abortion or that adds to the federal deficit, and that he remains “undecided.”

The current bill will fund abortion and it is not deficit neutral. So, what is Pelosi’s lap dog to do?

Mistress Nancy needs Tom’s vote, and she will certainly get it. Why? Because “Pandering Tom” Perriello has played all of his cards and now knows that only two choices remain:

A YES vote that will further agitate already outraged Conservatives in Virginia’s 5th Congressional District, but will salvage his rocky relationship with the core-group of socialists that elected him,

or

A NO vote that will not redeem any of his past transgressions against 5th District Conservatives, and that will anger and alienate his socialist base.

It’s a lose/lose situation, Congressman Perriello, but certainly, you’d rather vote YES in order placate your far-left friends (realizing that Conservatives will have nothing to do with you, under any circumstances, in 2010), than vote NO and ensure that both leftists and Conservatives will despise you going into your re-election campaign.

This is what happens to fence-straddlers, Tom: they eventually fall off.

So, good luck with your “decision,” Congressman Perriello, and happy landings!

Update: 11/8/09

We were right. Approximately one hour after publishing the above post, we received the following press release from (soon-to-be-former) Congressman Perriello’s office:

Office of U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello
Representing the 5th District of Virginia
PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 7, 2009

Contact: Jessica Barba, (202) 226-7953

Perriello Supports Health Care Legislation To Reduce Costs, Expand Coverage, and Preserve Patient Choice

Washington, DC –Today, Rep. Tom Perriello voted in support of H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, to make health care affordable for the middle class, provide security for seniors, and reduce the federal deficit. He released the following statement:

Whether for or against health care reform, most people in the district asked me to fight for deficit reduction, a fair shake for rural doctors, and no federal funding for abortions. I helped to score major victories on all three fronts. Today’s vote on health care legislation came down to a simple choice for me: do we sit back and let premiums skyrocket for middle-class families and small businesses, and watch the cost of prescription drugs bankrupt seniors and the cost of health care bankrupt the federal government? Or do we take this step today to support middle-class families and small businesses by encouraging competition to bring down premiums?

The time to act is now, because Virginians deserve a competitive health care market. They deserve access to affordable health care, and they deserve better choices when purchasing insurance.

Our work on this bill is not over. As health care legislation advances through Congress, I will work with my colleagues in the Senate to push for better inter-state competition. But I am proud of the changes I fought for. After hearing from my constituents during over 100 hours of town hall meetings in August, and by continuing those conversations in the months since, I worked to include their ideas in the bill, pushing for legislation that now protect Medicare, ensure deficit neutrality, encourage wellness and preventive care, and protect small businesses.

We can–and should–have the best health care system in the world. I am proud to support this profound shift away from the status quo towards progress and better, cheaper health care for more Americans.

The health care reform legislation meets three key litmus tests that Rep. Perriello set out from the beginning of the debate.

1.++++ Reduces the federal deficit: The independent Congressional Budget Office has confirmed that the legislation reduces the federal deficit by $109 billion in the first decade (2010-2019) and is likely to reduce deficits in the decade following 2019 by up to one quarter of one percent of GDP.+ [PDF of CBO analysis].

2.++++ Ensures equitable reimbursement for rural hospitals: The bill directs the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to study geographic inequities in Medicare reimbursement rates and directs the Secretary to revise payment rates based on the IOM’s findings.

3.++++ No federal funding for abortion: Rep. Perriello voted in favor of the Stupak-Pitts amendment, which ensures that no federal funds will be used for abortion.

How the 5th District of Virginia Will Benefit from Health Care Reform Legislation:

Among the many provisions for families and small businesses in the 5th District, here are some of the most important:

Improves care for those already covered by employer-sponsored plan. Approximately 62% of the district’s population (409,000 residents) receives health care coverage from their employer. Under the legislation, individuals and families with employer-based coverage can keep the health insurance coverage they have now, and it will get better. As a result of the insurance reforms in the bill, there will be no co-pays or deductibles for preventive care; no more rate increases or coverage denials for pre-existing conditions, gender, or occupation; and guaranteed oral, vision, and hearing benefits for children.

Closing the Medicare Part D prescription drug “donut” hole. Each year, 12,500 seniors in the 5th District hit the Medicare Part D donut hole and are forced to pay their full drug costs. The legislation will provide these seniors with immediate relief, covering the first $500 of donut hole costs in 2010, cutting brand-name drug costs in the donut hole by 50%, and completely eliminating the donut hole by 2019.

Protecting and Improving Medicare. There are 130,000 Medicare beneficiaries in the district. The health care reform legislation improves Medicare by providing free preventive and wellness care, improving primary and coordinated care, improving nursing home quality, and strengthening the Medicare Trust Fund. Additionally, the bill requires the Secretary of HHS to negotiate drug prices on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries.

Coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions. There are 10,700 individuals in the 5th district who have pre-existing medical conditions that could prevent them from buying insurance. Under the bill’s insurance reforms, they will now be able to purchase affordable coverage.

Health care and financial security. There were 1,200 health care–related bankruptcies in the 5th district in 2008, caused primarily by the health care costs not covered by insurance. The bill caps annual out-of-pocket costs at $5,000 for singles and $10,000 for families and eliminates lifetime limits on insurance coverage, ensuring that no citizen will have to face financial ruin because of high health care costs.

[Click here to download a fact sheet by the Committee on Energy and Commerce on how health care reform will benefit the 5th District of Virginia.]

Some of the nearly 300 groups endorsing the Affordable Health Care for America Act:

AARP
American Cancer Society
American Medical Association
American Heart Association
American Diabetes Association
Consumer Reports
National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
National Farmers Union

About the Author:

Rob Schilling is founder of The Schilling Show Blog and News; host of WINA's The Schilling Show, heard weekdays from noon to 2 PM; husband; father; and community watchdog.
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7 Comments on "Between a crock and a hard place: Why Tom Perriello will vote YES on socialized medicine"

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  1. Michael Ernette says:

    Rob,

    I feel like a voice that has been crying in the wilderness for months now. Honestly, I think I’ve become hoarse. Anyone who didn’t know that the Good Sir Tom was going to cast an “aye” vote on Health Care Reform missed all the signs to that off ramp! To wit, my simple question has always been, if Perriello ever seriously contemplated the idea of voting against party as he suggested he was going to do in Chatham, then why did he spend his entire whirlwind tour DEFENDING THE BILL? No one who seriously thought he felt otherwise can answer that question for me. I have been preaching about his Aye vote since before the recess, on the very grounds that he is using now. From a tactical standpoint, I have to appreciate the genius…it is a good lesson for a budding spin doctor and political strategist…I mean, James Carville would be proud. But in its simplicity, anyone with common sense could see that his rhetoric belied itself. That’s my two cents.

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