How to Make Republicans Choose Between the People and the Big Health Insurers

09/21/2010 12:54 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

On September 23, 2010, key provisions of the Affordable Healthcare Act (aka, Health Care Reform, or "HCR") become active.

As of that date, it shall be illegal for insurance companies to drop your coverage when you become ill. It shall also be illegal for insurance companies not to insure your children due to pre-existing illnesses. And, parents will have the right to insure their children up to age 26 under their policies.

The day should not be allowed to pass, however, without calling the Republicans to task. With votes.

I propose "Sense of the Senate (and House)" Resolutions that read as follows:

"The Senate (House) joins the American people in celebrating September 23, 2010, as the day when insurance companies will no longer be allowed to drop peoples' coverage when they become ill, or to refuse to insure children due to pre-existing illnesses, and when parents will have the absolute right to insure their children up to age 26 under their policies. This is a day, long overdue in America, that the people shall have a new birth of freedom against the dictatorial powers of health insurance companies".

Bring this to the floor of each chamber for a vote. Yes or No. Up or Down. The American people or the insurance companies.

Let us see what the Republicans do. If they vote in favor of this resolution, they will have associated themselves with President Obama's health care reform, and alienate their base. If they vote against it, they will have voted for the insurance companies and against the American people.

We know where Rush, Beck, Palin stand. I suspect we also know where Senator Jim DeMented (R-SC) stands. On the House side, we can probably predict where the "Tea Party " caucus will wind up. Would it not be great for Taryl Clarke (Bachmann's bright, reasonable and wonderful opponent) to have this albatross to hang around Bachmann's neck?

There is one additional benefit. It would convey to the people of this country that Democrats are indeed proud of what they have achieved. Not perfect, but a giant first step. Something that can be built upon in the future. Until now, Democrats have conveyed the message, "we didn't really mean it". This would provide them the opportunity of reversing that perception.

Of course, Ms. Bachmann et al. will refer to something in the Constitution -- which they probably have not read, and certainly do not understand -- and rail against the federal government.

But, using federal power to free people from the dictatorship of the insurance companies? Providing health care security, guaranteeing children's coverage, enabling 26-year-olds to be covered under their parents' plans.... versus some abstract and totally false reading of the Constitution?

That's an argument we can win -- big time.