One of the most frustrating aspects of the health care reform debate has been the opposition in the U. S. Senate, not just by Republicans, but even more so from Democrats. They are the ones in power, and while Obama campaigned partly on a promise of heath care reform, one would think that getting reform would be a no brainer. Not to mention that the majority of the public wants health care reform, and more recently, polls have shown that they want a public option. Just yesterday a Washington Post poll showed that 51% would prefer a public option, and only 37% cared whether there was Republican support or not. The public is in favor of a public option and they don’t care about the politics of the fight, they just want it passed. That’s a pretty overwhelming push behind Democrats in Congress for a public option.
Another frustration has been the conventional wisdom that a lot of money from the health insurance industry and lobbyists are largely responsible for the slow down and wavering of any efforts to get reform through. That has seems mainly part of the problem, but still, with the overwhelming polls and the increase of grassroots pressure on members of congress, there is still a lot of push-back.
Now there might be another reason behind the struggle. Over this past summer several Republicans involvement in the right wing religious cult known as “The Family” came to light amid several scandals, mainly involving Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) and the Gov. of South Carolina, Republican Mark Sanford. This cult came to light seven years ago in a story published in Harper’s magazine, and more recently in the book “The Family,” both written by Jeff Sharlet.
Now there is an article by Adele M. Stan on AlterNet that illustrates how The Family and several of its members are involved in slowing down health care reform. It points out what it calls The Family’s “key men” who will most likely try once again to defeat reform in service of their “Supply Side Jesus.” It also points out that while the opposition could largely be written off as being purely partisan politics, another explanation could be due to the theology and ideology of this cult.
And it doesn’t only involve Republicans.
One Democratic Senator’s name from the article in particular got my attention, due to the fact that he has been extremely elusive in his stance on the health care reform bill. He wouldn’t commit one way or another to the public option for quite some time before finally voting against it in the legislation passed last week in the Senate Finance Committee. This didn’t make much sense to a lot of his constituents. Now there might be another possible explanation for his indecisiveness. In the article, amid the now familiar names of several Republican members of The Family standing in opposition to reform is none other than Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL). It states as follows:
One of The Family’s few Democratic members, Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, seems to have felt his loyalties torn by health care reform, refusing to stake a position on the Finance Committee bill until the 11th hour.
This begs the question, if Sen. Nelson is a member of this right-wing religious cult that see’s health care as a privilege, and not a right, where do his loyalties lie? Is this the reason he has turned a blind eye to his constituents in Florida who want, and desperately need health care reform that includes a public option?
The full test of the article is here.