Saying thanks and rewarding good behavior is important, too.

As everyone knows, we’ve been pretty upset at the Obama administration and some members of Congress over the health insurance reform debate. On Sunday, it looked like the Obama administration was going to drop the public option — a provision that Obama has repeatedly told us is critical to reining in the insurance industry. That’s proven to be unacceptable to many members of Congress. Since Sunday, a number of progressive members of Congress have stood up and basically said, ENOUGH!

Those members need to hear a big thank you from the progressive community. We need to strengthen their resolve. And, while we’re quick to call out bad actions, we need to reward good behavior.

thereisnospoon at DailyKos provides links for several ways to say thanks:

On the issue of healthcare, the time has come to reward those Democrats who have committed to standing up for the public option by refusing to vote for a bill that does not include it. Fortunately, the always excellent folks at Democracy for America have made it easier for us to thank our healthcare heroes for doing the right thing, by giving them words of positive encouragement for continuing to stand up for the public option.

Piggybacking and expanding on that idea is an ActBlue page created by Howie Klein called Take the Pledge to financially reward those 64 representatives who are doing the right thing. This is part of an effort being put together by Jane Hamsher, Howie Klein, Darcy Burner, my brother Dante Atkins (hekebolos), myself and others that I am dubbing the Carrots, Not Sticks Initiative to help generate fundraising, blogosphere attention and broader media attention for members of the Progressive Caucus and for likeminded Senators. If the insurance industry and other big GOP donors are going to help reward those who dance to their tune, the least we can do is to help reward those who do what we want in whatever way we can, through the power of small-dollar fundraising.

The push back is working — at least they’re hearing it in the Obama administration. Secretary of HHS Kathleen Sebelius, along with Robert Gibbs, delivered the message on the Sunday talk shows that the Obama administration was willing to drop the public option. Today, Sebelius backed away from those comments and spoke about the importance of the public option and dismissed the idea that it’s not part of the Obama plan (although, they’re open to other ideas.)

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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