I have been writing for weeks about healthcare reform and I it is time to do it again. In fact, time is becoming critical. You probably heard Sen. Jim DeMint saying last week, "If we're able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him." Well, that's their goal and they have pulled out all the stops.
The health insurance industry and Republicans have marshaled their forces, urging conservative voters to put pressure on Congress to defeat healthcare reform, and they mean business. Insurance lobbyists and others are spending $1.4 million per day in Washington. Tens of millions of people don't have, and can't get, affordable health insurance. Someone you know — maybe a friend or member of your family — does not have health insurance.
But this is about more than individuals. It's about what kind of country we are and whether we're going to become the equivalent of a third world nation or join the rest of the world's developed nations where decent health care is considered a human right.
The next few weeks, and especially this week and next week, are critical times not only for healthcare reform in the U.S., but for the Obama administration. If the insurance companies can get enough backward-thinking Democrats to join Republicans to defeat reform, Obama's agenda will essentially be dead in the water. Let's not give Jim DeMint that satisfaction. The country is in too lousy a condition for us to allow that to happen without fighting back.
While talking to liberal bloggers on Monday, President Obama said, "It is important just to keep the pressure on members of Congress because what happens is there is a default position of inertia here in Washington. And pushing against that, making sure that people feel that the desperation that ordinary families are feeling all across the country, every single day, when they are worrying about whether they can pay their premiums or not... People have to feel that in a visceral way. And you guys can help deliver that better than just about anybody."
That goes for ordinary citizens like you and me, so get on the phone, get on your email and make sure your representative and senators (including DeMint) know how important this is to you. It takes les than 10 minutes to contact all three and let them know what you think of urgent request that you take the 5 minutes or so it will involve to call or email your people in Congress — even if you think of the health insurance and hospital industries. Yes, these bastards are unlikely to support reform, but you never know what a tsunami of emails and calls can do to change these weasels' minds.
Over the decades, we've all talked and written about politics, often in the abstract. But this is the real deal. It could be a turning point for the country, for good or bad. People you know — maybe you! — will benefit if reform is passed, and as a bonus, we'll be in a more humane, better country. Make the call or email in the next couple of days, and feel free to get other people to do the same.
To contact your U.S. Senator or Representative, go to www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml.