It has been a busy weekend. Visiting my grandchildren, Marching for Medicare for All. Seeing my grandchildren again. Driving home to the San Francisco Bay area. Fortunately, I had my son with me to help with the marching and with the driving. California was on track to become the first state to provide its citizens with single-payer health care. All California citizens would’ve received physical, psychological, dental, and pharmaceutical care without a copay or any other fees. Senate Bill 562 passed the Senate and was ready to begin committee hearings in the assembly. Assembly speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) has decided that SP 562 should remain in the assembly rules committee for the time being. According to Assembly Speaker Rendon’s website, that will give the state Senate time to address holes in the bill including financing, delivery of care, and cost control.
The question that many of us can help asking is: Is this a matter of solving these problems, or pushing this issue on to someone else? Is the Assembly hoping that SB 562 will become a matter of California’s initiative process? Are they hoping that it will show up on the ballot for voters to decide? When so many California legislators, as well as Jerry Brown himself, have taken money from the insurance industry, it is difficult not to see leaving SP 562 as a matter they would rather have decided elsewhere. Something for voters to decide. California labor leaders have through the force of their sheer numbers taken on big money before and won the day. To do so requires time, effort, energy. We've done it before; we can do it again. We never know when these fights are going to come up. We never know when the next issues can come knocking on the door. We have to be ready. If we can avoid taking this one to the streets, we would rather have it resolved in the legislature. So that’s how I ended up standing in front of Anthony Rendon’s South Gate office Sunday afternoon with other progressives chanting, waiting for him to take the next step.
Sunday was Millions Marching for Medicare for All; here in California the only March scheduled was in South Gate, California. (I did just find another March scheduled for Monday at Markleeville, CA. It is not a March but more a discussion of single-payer health care. They’re offering free softy cones and lemonade to people who want to hear about single-payer health care. It looks like fun.) My son and I drove down on Saturday. We spent some time with my daughter and her family. Then joined the rally at Hollydale Park in South Gate California Sunday morning. While California has a unique experience with SB 562, marchers were scheduled across the country on Sunday, July 23rd. Many rallies are scheduled again Monday as the Senate had planned to vote again Tuesday on health care.
So all of this has to do with Medicare, what does it have to do with messaging? Healthcare is an issue that all of us are concerned with. I haven’t talked to anyone that wants to go back to the time before the Affordable Care Act. Everyone has been touched personally or know someone who has been touched personally by the Affordable Care Act. The Republican Congress is trying desperately to go back to the days before the Affordable Care Act without success. They are trying to do it without anyone noticing. They are not concerned about health care; they are concerned about taxes. The Better Care Reconciliation Act was NOT a health care bill. It was not about repealing and replacing anything. It was a transfer of wealth in the form of a tax cut to the ultra-wealthy, from the poorest Americans by cutting Medicare. We must stop allowing the Republicans to define the conversation when we just deny what Republicans tell us about the tax cut. The Democrats are talking about the massive rollback of Medicaid and the truly devastating impact those cutbacks would have on individuals in our society, including my grandchildren. The affordable care act is important for messaging because it impacts everyone. As my son and I marched with a group of about 200 volunteers in South Gate California, we witnessed the drive and passion that comes when people stand up and fight back. The irony is that most people were satisfied with the Affordable Care Act. Had it been left to stand, few people would be fighting for a single-payer system in the US. But when people are confronted with the fear of losing what little they have, they see little reason not to fight for more. We will be talking about this more later in the week. We will also be talking about listening skills. Please comment. Share. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter.