( – promoted by Clark)

Here are the FDL Action health care reform highlights for Thursday, November 12.

1. Jane Hamsher writes that “Harry Reid says he has a wonderful relationship with the albatross hanging around his neck,” aka Joe Lieberman. Personally, I still can’t comprehend how Lieberman wasn’t booted from the caucus when he not only endorsed John McCain, but campaigned with McCain and Sarah “Wolf Killer” Palin against Barack Obama and Joe Biden in 2008. Argh.

2. Jon Walker blogs about a Washington Post story “that Harry Reid is looking into possibly raising the Medicare payroll tax for those making above $250,000 a year.” Walker believes that “[i]f Reid can get the Senate bill to more heavily rely on taxing the wealthy, and less on taxing employer-provided health insurance benefits, it could reduce the number of contentious issues needed to be settled in conference.” Not that there are any contentious issues that need to be settled in conference. Ha.

3. Jon Walker writes that “[w]hile health reform does not directly address many GLBT issues, it does try to fix many of the problems with our current system that do strongly disadvantage the community.” Let’s hope so, it’s about time this issue is addressed!

4. Michael Whitney writes that “[s]ince Monday, activists from Firedoglake, CREDO, and Democracy for America helped put in hundreds of calls to progressive Members of Congress to find out where they stand on triggers and opt-outs in the final health care bill.” Whitney asks that “you call progressive Members of Congress and find out where they stand on triggers and opt-outs.” Please help out if you possibly can.

5. I report on a new poll by Quinnipiac University that indicates the public option is highly popular in Connecticut, and on balance it’s a political loser for Joe Lieberman to oppose it. Not that he gives a rat’s hindquarters.

6. Jon Walker writes that this is “only one important battle for health care reform,” that even if “a health care reform bill passes this year, there will be at least two more legislative battles before progressives could turn it into a quality universal health care system.” Something to look forward to.

7. Jon Walker believes that Rep. Bart Stupak has no plans to “fold,” and also that if “the pro-choice block in the House is not serious with their threat, the Stupak amendment will be in final bill.” That’s an outcome we don’t want, so let’s hope pro-choice representatives get “serious.” Fast.

8. Jon Walker says that Senator Harry Reid “may pay for reform with Medicare payroll tax on capital gains.” Walker believes that this is “a smart way to raise money and should be a relatively easier sell, as tax increase[s] go.”

9. Michael Whitney reports that “Rep. Michael Capuano’s office is telling constituents that he will oppose a final health care bill that has triggers or opt-outs.” That’s good news, but of course we need more commitments like this. As mentioned above, if you can, please call progressive Members of Congress and find out where they stand on triggers and opt-outs. Thanks.