If Paul Partyka was in Congress instead of Suzanne Kosmas, we would have had one more critical vote for health care reform.
The bill that passed the House was not perfect...nor could it be. There are things that I hated about it, such as the Stupak amendment. However, as a Democrat, I never would have allowed opponents to kill the bill and defeat not only our best, but our only chance at reform. If that had happened, healthcare reform would have died. Again. And this time, it would have been permanent. With a Democratic supermajority in the House and Senate, and a Democratic president in the White House, if we couldn't get reform passed now...we never would have.
But had Suzanne Kosmas gotten her way, the very same person who rode into office on the coattails of Barack Obama campaigning on healthcare reform, the bill would have been defeated.
That means millions more would be denied insurance because of a pre-existing condition. Millions more would be without any type of health insurance for their families because of job loss or rescission. And millions more would die.
I asked Paul Partyka what he would have done. He told me that he believes in Heathcare Reform and would have voted to move the bill to the Senate "to continue the process and not slow it down". On the other hand, the Democrats that worked hard to elect Kosmas watched in amazement at her betrayal of our signature issue by joining Republicans in voting to defeat reform.
I wrote to Kosmas and she emailed me back to tell me the bill doesn't do "enough" to rein in costs (so...best to do nothing??) and that her decision was based on conscience. Absolute Malarkey.
According to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, this is what the bill would do for Florida 24 residents:
• Improve employer-based coverage for 463,000 residents.
• Provide credits to help pay for coverage for up to 176,000 households.
• Improve Medicare for 122,000 beneficiaries, including closing the prescription drug donut hole for 11,700 seniors.
• Allow 21,000 small businesses to obtain affordable health care coverage and provide tax credits to help reduce health insurance costs for up to 19,800 small businesses.
• Provide coverage for 92,000 uninsured residents.
• Protect up to 1,400 families from bankruptcy due to unaffordable health care costs.
• Reduce the cost of uncompensated care for hospitals and health care providers by $12 million.
What does she present to say it costs too much? NOTHING. However, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office says the Democratic bill with a strong public option SAVES tons of money.
Again, we need a better Democrat. Not a Creigh Deeds Democrat.
We need Paul Partyka.
It isn't just that he is a real Democrat that will fight for healthcare reform. He has an amazing American success story involving a tough immigrant upbringing with a displaced family to achieving the American Dream through hard work and education. I knew Paul Partyka as mayor when I lived in Winter Springs. Winter Springs is a very conservative city in the most conservative county in Florida, yet Partyka served two terms here as mayor, and then served as an official with the Seminole Democrats. He is currently the president of the Oviedo-Winter Springs Regional Chamber of Commerce. He is also currently a managing partner at a commericial real estate firm.
More importantly, he is a Democrat with true Democratic principles. Most importantly, he is a Democrat who can win.
Suzanne Kosmas cannot. The Obama Democrats who worked tirelessly to put her in office will not be there for her in 2010. The independents will not vote for someone who doesn't stand for something. And the GOP she tried to appease with her vote? They will go for the real conservative in the race, thank you very much.
This is what primaries are for. I handily endorse Paul P. Partyka for Congressional District 24, and urge my fellow Democrats to do the same.