Marketplace Scratch Pad

A dollar a day ’til the end of time

Scott Jagow Jul 29, 2009

A friend forwarded me an email from the Democrat National Committee which asks people to donate a dollar a day on their credit cards until Congress passes real health care reform. That, of course, prompted the question: what if Congress never passes real health care reform?

Here’s part of the email from Mitch Stewart, Director of Organizing for America:

You’ve probably seen the headlines: Opponents of change are doing everything they can to delay health insurance reform. As a Republican strategy memo concluded, “If we slow this sausage-making process down, we can defeat it.”

They’re betting that as time goes by, our energy will flag, our movement will weaken, and they’ll ultimately be able to block any change.

But they just don’t get it — thanks to the regular Americans who are reaching out in neighborhoods nationwide, our movement is expanding every day…

So I want to ask you for something unusual: Can you chip in $1 each day until we pass real health insurance reform? A huge response will show the insurance companies and their allies in Congress that their delay tactics will only make our movement stronger.

How will it show them? Well, I called up the DNC, and the guy who answered the phone explained that these donations would go to grassroots efforts to get real reform passed. The website says donations will help “keep training volunteers, hiring organizers, running ads, organizing local events, bringing constituent voices straight to Congress, and make sure real-life stories are heard louder than the lobbyists’ spin.”

But the website also says this:

Your contribution will be used in connection with Federal elections and is subject to the limits and prohibitions of the Federal Election Campaign Act.

I’m guessing the money goes into a general fund, so essentially, you’re just donating to the Democratic cause. I’m pretty skeptical this money will be set aside specifically for promoting the health care agenda. More:

We’ll bill your credit card for 30 days’ worth of donations now and once every month until real health insurance reform is signed into law. When the bill is signed, we’ll refund a prorated amount for that month.

What if Congress keeps dragging its feet? What kind of credit card bill will that be? Or what if Congress passes faux health care reform instead of real reform? Does that mean you’ll still be charged?

I just found the whole thing… well, unusual… as Mitch Stewart put it in the email.

They do say money talks, but I might be more inclined to save my money in case real health care reform doesn’t pass. Or should that be does pass?

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