PEEK

Don't Let Congress Take a Vacation Before Passing Healthcare Reform

This isn't a healthcare crisis, this is a state of emergency.

This isn't a healthcare crisis, this is a state of emergency. 14,000 Americans are losing their coverage every day, and 17,000 are forced into bankruptcy every week because they can't pay their medical bills.

So what's Congress doing?

Going on vacation.

This Friday, the House is scheduled to leave town and the Senate will follow a week later. They won't return until September -- that's right, September 8.

They need to hear from you -- now isn't the time for R &R.

We've waited 55 years for this moment -- since President Truman first tried to pass universal healthcare. With a strong Democratic Majority in the House, filibuster-proof 60-member Democratic caucus in the Senate and President Obama in the White House -- we are on the cusp of real reform.

But now the GOP -- abetted by too many conservative Dems -- is attempting to delay, obstruct, and ultimately kill reform. This vacation just plays into their hands -- giving them more time for scare tactics, further enriching the lobbyists, and increasing the likelihood that some weak kneed Democrats will sell out on the public option and progressive funding.

At a time when millions of Americans can only afford -- at best -- a "staycation", Congress needs to stick around town and vote on a bill. Majority Whip James Clyburn gets it. (Ed Schultz has been all over this on his show too.)

Katrina Vanden Heuvel is the publisher of The Nation
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