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Kucinich: 'A firm no'

From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
With President Obama today campaigning for health reform in Dennis Kucinich's congressional district, Kucinich's office reiterated to First Read that "he is a firm no," according to spokesman Nathan White.

The health bill isn't progressive enough for Kucinich, who voted against even the House-passed bill, which included a public option.

Kucinich wrote an op-ed in Sunday's Cleveland Plain-Dealer, outlining his position. He said, in part:
"President Barack Obama is in northern Ohio on Monday to campaign for his health care plan, and I will be here to welcome him. I have met with the president three times to discuss how we can work together to address the serious deficiencies in our health care system. Even at this late date, I am hopeful that the White House will be able to reinstate key reforms that passed the Education and Labor Committee on which I serve.

"Unfortunately, the president's plan, as it currently stands, leaves patients financially vulnerable to insurance companies. It requires all Americans to buy private health insurance policies, while failing to ensure those policies do what they are supposed to do -- protect people from financial catastrophe caused by injury or illness. ...

"Absent a strong public option or legal protection for states that wish to pursue single payer, the bill that the president is proposing is a step in the wrong direction. Even with the few modest improvements in the bill, the insurance companies will still have dozens of loopholes to deny care and continue to find ways to leave Americans with the unpayable bill."