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. Joe

    We currently have a public opion it is called "Medicade". Why not use it and save billions trying to create something new.
    Or is it not good enough, dont expect something for free.

    October 19, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  2. Demo In Ohio

    Reid and Pelosi give Democrats a bad name, both need to move onto their Govt paid retirement and health insurance..

    October 19, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  3. otto zarkovich

    The all inclusive party has this type of leader... out of touch..
    caught up with self importance...
    willing to help those that do not have...but not with his money...
    We should be asking "what was the co-pay for Dodds surgery??"
    Lets cut pay and benefits for our congressional leadership
    If they had to use cobra insurance the hot air would cease

    October 19, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  4. EDDIE

    If there is no public option I think the democrats can look forward to severe backlash and will probably start loosing seats like the repubs did.I for one will not vote if they leave out the publc option.What is the point if there is nothing in there that forces the healthcare industry to be honest.We already have in law in place since 1945 and that has been nothing but ignored.

    October 19, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  5. Ben

    The current health care system has several problems. First, rising premiums taking up a greater and greater portion of American incomes. Second, rising costs translate into rising Medicare and Medicaid expenses, taking up a greater and greater portion of America's public funds. Third, there's millions and millions who are simply denied health coverage.

    A bill without a public option will still do a good job at fixing #3 above. But if you force private insurers to accept everyone...and make it illegal for them to cap benefits...the prices *will* go up. They are private, for-profit entities, and they will not let their profits go down.

    The only way to solve the price/cost problems is to offer a public option.

    October 19, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  6. James P.

    If OBAMA wants to be able to impose his ideas, which get him elected, he must use his influence, if necessary ruthlessly, to get
    both REID and PELOSI ousted from their congressional leadership positions and substitute them by strong, but moderate individuals able to reach to the DEm conservatives and the GOP.

    October 19, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  7. mary

    why do people think that congress needs 60 votes to pass public option when public option will be added to the bill and it would take 60 votes to get it out.
    there will be public option weather you like it or not.
    we do need it to be able to afford insurance for everybody.
    All these people that oppose it have health care through their employer.
    have you tried to buy insurance if your employer doesn't supply it.
    My insurance just went up another 30% this year and I didn't even use it.
    Something has to be done

    October 19, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  8. A realist

    It amazes me how so many conservatives whine about "entitlements" and "get the government out of my paycheck." Here's an idea. Go to your Congressman and tell them that you plan on giving back your social security and medicare checks because you want lower taxes. Yeah right. You'll be cashing your checks just like everybody else- still whining about "big government."

    October 19, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  9. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, North Carolina

    With all due respect and sympathy to Ms Slaughter, it really isn't the obligation of the taxpayers of this country to pay for her medical services.

    And, please, CNN and everyone else, abolish the label "progressive!" It's just a polite euphemism for "socialist."

    October 19, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  10. billy123

    Senator Reed,

    I have voted for you since I moved to Nevada in 1992. Please support the Public Option in the Senate version of the health care bill!


    October 19, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  11. Randolph Carter, chairman of the death panel

    What polls are y'all referring to which show a majority of Americans opposed to the public option? A little research has me finding that most polls show support of the public option including polls of doctors and small business owners. I think CNN truth squad should set the record straight on the question of polling numbers. The few polls I could fing showing a majority opposed were highly partisan "push polls" which used tricky wording to elicit the desired response. I'm confused. Have a nice day!

    October 19, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  12. Ed in Atlanta

    All the Baucus bill does is ratchet up the costs without any benefits whatsoever for a few years so that more people are uninsured and willing to succumb to the Democratic master scheme. The insurance companies have it EXACTLY right, if there are MASSIVE taxes on drug companies, medical equipment manufacturers, etc prices HAVE to go up, the cost of medical care has to go up and the insurer's, who pay for it, will have to raise premium rates. There is no way around this situation. It is simple economics. No, the dems won't raise your taxes, but they will tax the hell out of everything else and let business pass the increases on to you. Wake up America, before it is too late. This isn't about your health care, or the evil insurance companies, its about a power grab by the Federal establishment. When they control your health, THEY CONTROL YOU!!

    October 19, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  13. Sea.gem

    ..and the Left says the right is fractured...both sides have wackos that force their idiot agendas...

    October 19, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  14. billy123

    Believe me if the GOP had 60 votes in the Senate and control of the House they would not have a problem passing their RIGHT WING CRAP and President George W. Bush in the White House. Please Deems show some back bone and do not let the GOP and the insurance companies win this fight!

    Support the Public Option NOW!

    October 19, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  15. Michelle

    It's unfortunate that in the world we live in the only acceptable course of action according to some is to force your will on those who do not support your views. Both left and right think this way. Harry Reid is an idiot, but to accuse him of not being forceful enough is absurd. He lives to force this thru congress.

    October 19, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  16. Nathan

    Kudos to liberal action groups in Nevada for putting the pressure on Senator Reid. If it were left up to him, he'd be happy enough just passing a health care insurance mandate that would funnel billions more $$ into the pockets of insurance companies. He needs to know that not pushing for a public option could cost him his job.

    October 19, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  17. Doug, New Jersey

    These far left libs are crazy. Obama and the Dems can't just serve the communist main dish off the bat, they need to slowly pass out the appetizer hoping people wont notice the taste and get used to it, then blindside us with a hefty dose of communism that will extinguish the flavors of freedom, rights, our way of life, and our hard earned wealth.

    Can you imagine how great of a nation this would be if the lib sheep always looking for a hand out and a punishment for Americans who work hard and play by the rules, re-directed the energy of their misguided hate and anger towards working hard and bettering the lives of them and their families? The libs and their media will stop that at all costs, since if we were all good hearted people who believed in personal responsibility, playing by the rules, and congratulating our neighbors on the fruits of their hard word and determination, there would be no more Democrat party. I just ask that each Democrat think about the consequences of our vote, you can start by watching the video of that poor honor student being beaten to death in Chicago. This is a direct result of decades of Democrat leadership in that city.

    October 19, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  18. Rob

    If Obama/Pelosi-care was in place, nurse Slaughter wouldn't have to consider her situation because the government controled health rationing board would have denied her the surgery to begin with. They would have given her a bottle of Advil and told her to toughen up. The option is anything but public, and woud lhardly be an option. You want to make healthcare in America REALLY bad? Go ahead and pass the public option.

    October 19, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  19. Hugo

    Blah, blah, blah, Public Option, blah,blah,blah, minority civil rights, blah, blah blah, 45,000 dead without healthcare insurance, blah, blah, blah, How many dead with healthcare insurance?, blah, blah, blah 17% of American businesses leave the US, blah, blah, blah, weakened US dollar, blah, blah, blah, FOX news isn't news but MSNBC & ABC are?, blah, blah, blah, largest home foreclosures ever, blah, blah, blah, Nuclear Iran, blah, blah, blah 2050 Hispanic majority, watch out blacks you'll be no.2 in the entitlement line behind whites, blah,blah,blah, record high unemployment and a dead housing and realestate market, blah, blah, blah Russia tells Hillary to FO, blah, blah, blah, if this is Obama World, please let me off, I just want to take care of my family in the FREE World!

    October 19, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  20. Jackie in Dallas

    It is time to earn all those perks you have, and all the times you were re-elected on auto-pilot! Develop a backbone. Either become a leader or get out of the way and let a true Democrat lead.

    October 19, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  21. Jose

    If we lose site of the forest because we are only looking at the tree in front of us, it will be a sad day for this country.

    October 19, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    "80% of Americans are happy with their health care, we don't want the government to screw it up. "

    80% of people who have health care are happy with THEIR health care. That's roughly 80% of 80%, which is 64%. Moreover, a good portion of those people, such as myself, are happy with their health care BUT STILL WANT A PUBLIC OPTION. You're either being lied to and believing it when people throw that oft-mischaracterized statistic at you, or you just plain old don't understand.

    October 19, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    "The constitution specifically warns against a strong, intrusive federal government."

    No it doesn't. Please quote where it says that....we're waiting...

    October 19, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  24. bob in LA

    I hope these one issue voters realize they will be losing twice. One by getting rid of a perosn they admit to like but again when the guy that wins votes for many more than one issue that upsets them.
    Reid strated this campaign ofr health care with a very progressive agenda. His job is to get reform and this means comprimise.
    Start bending America- we are fighting everything and getting nothing as a result.

    October 19, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  25. Jackie in Dallas

    Fools and their freedoms are soon parted...

    I'd ask where you were when the Bush Administration passed the Patriot Act, but you were probably in a bunker.

    Granting a freedom - the freedom to have access to health care - is not taking away a single freedom from you. You have insurance and want to keep it? Fine. But preventing me from having equal access is NOT fine. Wait until your company drops your insurance because it is too expensive...you'll change your tune.

    October 19, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
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