Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Perdue won't sign pro-health reform letter

Posted By on Tue, Oct 6, 2009 at 12:25 PM

The Democratic Governors Association asked all 28 Democratic governors to sign a letter to Congress supporting some sort of health care reform this year. Pretty simple, normal kind of political move, right? Out of those 28 governors, though, only 22 signed the letter. One of the six governors who chose not to sign is N.C. Gov. Beverly Perdue.

The letter is hardly a controversial one; it doesn’t mention a public option, and in fact offers no specifics, just a wish that Congress act by the end of the year, arguing that states "will only achieve the health care security and stability they need if we succeed in working together with the Congress and the President to achieve health care reform." The letter didn’t suit Gov. Perdue, however, who has expressed doubts about how much of a burden state governments will bear after a reform bill is passed. Her spokesperson says the governor fears that a Congressional expansion of Medicaid would not be funded by the federal government and would become the responsibility of the states. Which is fine and understandable, but it’s also a completely separate issue from a simple declaration of political support for health care reform in general, such as the letter in question.

Perdue’s refusal to join in even this mild expression of support for reform doubtless has more to do with covering her own political rear in North Carolina (this is also known as kowtowing to conservatives) than a statement about budget worries. The whole episode illustrates why one old political expression just won’t go away: “I’m not a member of an organized political party – I’m a Democrat.”

Divided they kind of stand
  • Divided they kind of stand

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