McJoan at DailyKos:
In a call with progressive media yesterday afternoon, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reiterated her determination, in no uncertain terms, to keep pushing to pass comprehensive healthcare reform. (Crooks and Liars has the audio.) Pelosi referred to healthcare reform as "first among equals" in Democratic initiatives to create jobs, stressing that it's a major competiveness issue for the United States, and that our current system hampers job growth and entrepreneurship.
This is what I've never understand about the health care debate: why aren't Democrats—from the president on down—constantly hammering at this point? Our employer-based health care system places a huge burden on American businesses and makes US companies less competitive and makes the US a less attractive place for multinational corporations to do business. Sitting on an airplane at the moment so no time to Google it up, but I recall that a few years ago a major foreign automaker opted to build a new North American auto plant in Canada, and not a US state, because the company didn't want to take on the costs of administering and providing health care benefits for its employees. And so long as health care is tied to employment, as it is in the US, someone who might want to start a new business—a new business that could create desperately needed new jobs—can't strike out on his or her own so long as quitting the current job means losing your families' health care coverage.
Our health care system is insane. It bankrupts and kills people, which offends liberals, and it hurts businesses and stifles entrepreneurship, which should offend conservatives... but somehow doesn't.