Fair. Balanced. American.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Maurice Ferré

Facing Kendrick Meek in the Florida Democratic Party, he's smart enough to do what Martha Coakley didn't attack an unpopular system from the left, while appearing to be principled. That's what the present political moment requires, which is why outsiders have a huge advantage right now.

This comes from a recent Ferré campaign email:
"I am supportive of healthcare reform and believe Americans urgently need it," said Ferre. "Unfortunately, the current bills before Congress do not live up to the promises that President Obama and Democrats promised the American people in 2008."

"I formally changed my position on the pending healthcare bills in Congress because President Obama's 2008 healthcare proposal has been so badly bastardized in Congress that it's nothing better than a goldmine for special interests," said Ferre, who gave a speech reflecting his stance on health care at the South Dade Democratic Club at 7:30pm on Tuesday, before the polls closed in Massachusetts.

Ferre supports a plan that would ensure that health insurers cannot deny people coverage for pre-existing conditions or drop them mid-treatment and provide coverage to everyone regardless of sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, income, health, work or marital status.

"We need a plan that removes anti-trust exemptions, protects Medicare, and keeps costs down; a plan that allows everyone in the United States to have suitable healthcare," said Ferre.

"It is unthinkable that Congress would pass a bill that mandates all Americans buy coverage from insurers, when the discussion should have been focused on changing insurers' unscrupulous ways and lowering costs," said Ferre. "Instead, insurance companies stand to gain 30 million new customers. Campaign contributions and the fear of losing elections have led Democrats to reward failure and to miss the entire point of healthcare reform."

Outright opposition to the bill in the way Ferré frames it would have harmed Coakley, since her support for the President got her a lot the majority of late deciders. But if she had bothered to campaign and express her support for changes to existing health care legislation, she would have excited progressives, and sausage production-hating independents. And she wouldn't have lost the union vote 53-47.
Ferré is smart enough to know that this debate will be over by the time of the general election. By positioning himself as an honest outsider in tune with progressive ideals, he has (only slightly) better odds at beating Kendrick Meek in the Democratic primary and facing Crist-vanquisher Marco Rubio, in what could be a classic Senate race.

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