- Pennsylvania Among 'Terrible 10' Most Regressive Tax States
- February 4 Non-Partisan Training: HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013: HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Republican Governors Opt-In to Medicaid Expansion
- The Reports of Unions' Death Are Greatly Exaggerated
- Ask Allyson Schwartz to run for Governor
- Mind the gap: Opting Out of Medicaid Expansion Leaves Low-income Families Behind
- Jan. 14 Workshop:HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013; HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Seth Williams on Guns, Jasmine Rivera on School Closures @PFC Meetup Wednesday
- PA Revenue Strong Midway Through Year; Tax Cut Could Have Big Impact
- What to Make of the Fiscal Cliff Deal?
Beating the Drum for Healthcare Change
The House of Representatives is on recess, and the hottest political topic for Congressmen & women during their summer vacation is going to be health care reform. The Senate will go on recess next week, and will be coming home to constituent events around the state.
The same folks who showed up to McCain/Palin events and made outrageous statements about our current president are out in full force to deny him a major political victory--and they don't seem to much care that doing that will actually hurt everyday working Americans.
I attended yesterday's Town Hall meeting with Secretary of Health Sebelius and Senator Specter, and I think that the other health care reform supporters who joined me there will agree that we underestimated the fervor with which the right is organizing to defeat health care reform. Among other conversations I had with the Tea Party crew, one woman told me that people who don't have health care "just don't work hard enough."
It's outrageous to me that someone could say that about any worker, but the person who jumped into my mind immediately was Ms. Evelyn, a member of my local's Executive Board, probably because I was carrying around her Health Care Story flyer, getting people to tell me their stories. Ms. Evelyn's story says, "I have been working for Addus Health Care for 20 years without health insurance." Imagine working for the same company for 20 years, and not having health insurance! How many of us would do that? How many of us would go to work every day, taking care of some of Philadelphia's most vulnerable seniors, knowing that if we ourselves got sick, we couldn't get care?
The ugly reality of our country is that we don't value the work that Ms. Evelyn and her co-workers do every day highly enough to make sure that she has health care coverage. We don't value the people who do lots of service jobs highly enough to make sure they have basic health care.
I talked to one of the staffers after the event, and he told me that he thought 75% of the people in attendance were supporters of health care reform, but that they had been drowned out by a more-vocal majority. We can't let that highly vocal minority drown us out anywhere else.
We can't let the message of why we need reform get bogged down in the details of all the bills that are in Congress right now. We need to be out there beating the drum for change, so we don't get drowned out by those who want to deny health care to the Ms. Evelyns, or to prevent the kind of funding reform that will insure that hospitals have the funds they need to provide safe patient staffing.