October 19th, 2009
02:54 PM ET
13 years ago

Progressives hit Harry Reid on health care

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/10/19/art.reid.cnn.jpg caption="Liberals are attacking Harry Reid in a new television ad."]

(CNN) - Days after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid launched a pair of campaign ads in anticipation of a potentially difficult reelection bid, the Nevada Democrat is taking heat in his home state from liberal activists upset over the likelihood that the final Senate health care bill will not include a public option.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a liberal political action committee with the express goal of electing progressive candidates to federal office, is launching a new ad in Nevada this week that asks, "Is Harry Reid strong enough?"

The 30-second commercial features a longtime Nevada nurse, Lee Slaughter, whose health care is refusing to pay for complications dealing with broken hips.

"Iā€¦voted for Senator Harry Reid many times," Slaughter says. "But in 2010, I'll only be voting on one issue. I'm watching to see if Harry Reid is strong and effective enough as a leader to pass a public health insurance option into law."

The ad will begin running Wednesday in the Las Vegas media market on broadcast and cable. The group, which boasts a membership of 225,000, is hoping to raise $100,000 to keep the commercial on the air. The group's recent ad taking aim at Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Montana, raised over $230,000.

The spot comes 5 days after Reid went up with two campaign ads in Nevada, "Hard Work" and "Jobs," as the four-term senator braces for what will likely be tough re-election fight.

The most recent poll of Nevada voters suggests Reid trails both his Republican rivals in hypothetical 2010 match ups. According to a Mason-Dixon survey commissioned by the Las Vegas Review-Journal and released last week, Reid is down 10 points to Nevada GOP Chairwoman Sue Lowden and down 5 points to businessman Danny Tarkanian. The poll also indicates that half of Nevada's voters have an unfavorable view of Reid, with 38 percent viewing him favorably.

Reid is also facing fire from the right meanwhile as the Republican National Committee begain running a radio ad in the Reno media market last week that links the Nevada Democrat to what it calls the failed economic stimulus package.


Filed under: Harry Reid • Health care • Popular Posts
soundoff (259 Responses)
  1. John

    If Harry Reid cannot get a strong health care bill passed when his party has 60 votes in the Senate, he is not an effective majority leader and should be replaced with someone who is. It does not take 60 votes to pass any exact version of health care reform – just 60 votes to stop debate and come to a vote on something. He should be able to get people to vote to end debate to pass a bill, even if it is not exactly what a handful of Senators want. If he cannot do that, he is not an effective leader.

    As to the right-wingers here talking about Democrats trying to force government down people's throats, all I can say is why are YOU opposed to giving people choices? If the public option is as bad as you say it is, nobody will choose it.

    October 19, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  2. Debbie

    Polls show the majority of American's want a public option.

    It will be a tough fight because of 1) Insurance companies they are big contributors to Congress 2) Church groups

    Harry Reid is a Mormon and he is following his faith. I can't fault him for that but he should then resign as he has vowed to uphold the Constitution of the United States. If he can't do both in good conscience he should resign.

    October 19, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  3. Randolph Carter, chairman of the death panel

    Matthew, Detroit, Been there, read that. Rand is cool when you're 18 and curious about the world. Digging Rand when you're an adult is sociopathic. Have a nice day!

    October 19, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  4. johnrj08

    I think Reid's weakness is evident to everybody in the country who has seen his non-committal and evasive responses to questions about his support of the public option. Reid's soft-spoken style comes off as pure political show with no real convictions about anything. How this milquetoast came to be Senate Majority Leader is a real black-eye for the Democratic Party.

    October 19, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  5. File under "Sarcasm"

    Come Harry, go all out. Stop messing around with "healthcare reform", just nationalize the medical industry and make the far left happy.

    October 19, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  6. John

    We need health care reform but not at any cost. Any program that is managed by the government will FAIL. Just as social security is a failure, Medicaire, Fanny Mae is a failure, Freddy Mac is a failure. Fix the ridiculous insurance costs by allowing competition across state and national boundaries. Fix the broken Tort system that put such a high risk factor on each movement within the system. Each of those is paid in higher insurance. Make incentives for companies to pick up the cost for their workers both as needed and preventive. Fix the problem for people that work not the freeloaders.

    October 19, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  7. vic bullard

    All democrats are now viewed as weak and cowardly. Harry is right at the top. If they would push a public option through, it would greatly improve their stature. Now..they are just old ,tired ,defeated politicians.
    definitely not for reelection. Bye Bye Harry and the Blue Dogs.

    October 19, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  8. Jerry in Florida

    Is Reed strong enough? That's a definite "NO". Another question: Can he handle the heat? Another definite "NO". However, do Americans want the government option? That's another definite "NO".

    President NObama and his cronies have done enough damage already.

    Mr. Reed, you Nancy (Pop-Up) Pelosi, Catty Castor, President NObama and others need to start listening to the American people. Otherwise, you can kiss your "cushy" jobs good bye.

    Yes Mr. Reed, I am a life-long Democrat.

    Mr. Reed, are you really listenin???

    October 19, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  9. liz

    Can't the Democrats find someone better than him? He might as well be a republican if he's not going to support real health care reform. And to all the paranoid right-wingers who posted here, nobody wants to take complete control of anyone, we're just trying to fix THE MESS YOUR 'PRESIDENT' MADE and keep everyone from going bankrupt due to huge increases in health care costs. Try looking past the end of your noses and see the catastrophe looming for this country if we don't get this right!

    October 19, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  10. Rick

    Yes, please Harry, saddle our businesses with more of society's burden in this great welfare state....that ought to make it easier for businesses to compete with overseas companies that are kicking our tail.

    You want jobs to come back? You want prosperity to comeback?

    Then stop enabling people to shift their burden on to the backs of productive members of our society.

    Galt 2010

    October 19, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  11. vic bullard

    How did "Fox (FALSE) News (joke) find it"s way into the conversation. Anyone that listens to False news is a lost cause and has not idea what is really going on...

    October 19, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  12. Enough

    The failed stimulus ad should do more to get Reid out of office than anything else. Reid is a failed and arrogant politician who needs to retire.

    October 19, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  13. Joe

    I love it when brain dead republicans try and talk up health care, and scare everyone of its cost. Where were these republicans like matthew in Detroit when Bush gave a 1.3 TRILLION !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! dollar tax cut to the rich in 2001, I did not hear of one pathetic republican dispute that. Second where were these republicans when the bush administration decided that it was time for this country to go to war, and put a bill on this country that has lasted for over 7 years and still going. Just shut up and let a real President do his, and keep listening to your lord and savior little man syndrome rush limbaugh:)))))

    October 19, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  14. Jim in Miami

    The ad should simply state – 'Give me, give me, give me...' The crux of this entire debate is nothing more that an entitlement grab by people who seem incapable of self-responsibility ... crying and coersive politics is a lot easier than actually earning something.

    October 19, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  15. Tom B

    Harry Reid is being weak by not pushing this through. 62% of Americans approve a public option (according to PollingReport) – 55% according to the Washington Post. Saying that the majority of Americans do not approve a public option is simply not true.

    October 19, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  16. Matt

    LOL They are eating their own.

    October 19, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  17. Ron Feuer

    Harry Reid is a pipsqueak of man. How did this mealymouthed Las Vegas man ever make it to politics?...maybe because blackques could find him easy to push around? Just a little too easy would be the case. He has the looks of a leprechaun and the voice and stature of one also. He should be retired to serving up ice cream in a white uniform while playing Michael Jackson's seventies sogs patrolling the Las Vegas slum areas in a Hummer. What a guy! Democrats need some surly, smart white dudes to quell off attackers to the American established economy that is now going to hell in a handbasquet. Blackques in politics love to spend whitey's money any way they can...so I maintain that speakers in Congress with Harry Reids demeanor and presentation should be banned as politicians. No time for fooling around with little punques such as this guy.

    October 19, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  18. Bill in Calif

    NO MATTER HOW YOU SUGAR COAT IT LIBS, this new WELFARE program under the guise of HEALTH CARE is a POISON PILL that will seal the fate of your so called 'progessive' agenda. R.I.P. DIMRATS 2010.

    October 19, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  19. Eric

    The only difference between progressives and liberals is that progressives think there's a difference...

    October 19, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  20. John

    America spends far more than any industrialized country on healthcare and gets the worst results. This is partly because America has a handful of health insurance giants that collude in the same despicable practices, but it's mainly because we're only the industrialized nation that does healthcare for profit.

    The problem with that should be obvious. Illness isn't market-driven–you're not going to get your appendix removed just because your insurance covers it. But the current system has a perverse incentive to produce a sicker populace.

    The end result: a vicious cycle of lessed coverage leading to increased illness, more expen$ive emergency care, leading to even more increased costs.

    And we're paying for all of it, every penny.

    There WILL be a public option. Maybe not this year, but eventually. Because it will become painfully to all but the most committed ideologues that the rising costs are unsustainable.

    October 19, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  21. Michael M. Noonan

    Anyway Reid dies politically, even from the left, is fine with me.

    October 19, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  22. Right Leaning Independent

    First of all the Public option will not be free. There will be a cost and all Americans are going to have to pay for it in the form of higher taxes no matter how the politicians tell you it will be paid for. Also, for those that want to bring up other nations with government provided health care, Germany is running such a deficit in their healtch care fund($10.96 bilion) that they are now trying to move toward a more market driven health care program with people purchasing policies from "gasp" private insurers! The tax rate for the German government provided health care is 14.9% of the workers gross pay! And in Italy where i recently visited some business associates, they tell me that it can take 2-3 months to get in for important tests like CAT or PET scans. You can buy a seperate policy that gets you in to the doctor in 1-2 weeks but that is much like buying a regular insurance policy here in the US. So basically, therirhealth plan is ok if you have a cold or broken arm but not serious illnesses. One person told me that his dad came to the US for his scans and than took his test results back to Italy for treatment. My point being, the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. Investigate a little further and it will be amazing what you learn.

    October 19, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  23. Duke

    Victim of democrat greed let me explain something to you.

    Just because you hear it on Fox news doesn't make it true. I actually work in the insurance field and I can tell you unequivically that a majority of people want a public option because they don't have any other options. Since your homeboy let the insurance companies run wild, they've been getting away with declining whoever for whatever. Don't even sit here and pretend like you have a clue of what you're talking about cause I can assure you, you don't. You're band of leaches already had their run and now you're as good as over and done. Your party has won one popular vote since 1988. that is one popular vote in 20 years. that is one in five elections. You're not relevent anymore. Crawl back to your trailer in arkansas and have a good cry with Glenn Beck and the rest of the tea baggers.

    October 19, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  24. Dirty harry

    Don't listen to em harry, we do not want our healthcare messed with.

    October 19, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  25. Tania

    no power grab, Bob in Pa - thank God you haven't gotten really ill yet (or your family). Who's paying for your health care now? your high and growing premiums? what about any pre-existing condition they'll pounce upon you? think about all this when you do get ill (God forbid)

    October 19, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
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