Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary I use provides this definitions
be worthy of or to merit
be worthy, fit, or suitable for some reward
become recognized as they deserve
the word merit is defined as follows:
or punishment due
qualities or actions that constitute the basis of one's deserts
praiseworthy quality or virtue
or conduct deserving reward, honor, or esteem
spiritual credit held to be
earned by performance of righteous acts
we getting the healthcare reform we deserve? The answer is yes
is clear the majority of the members of congress and our President
do not think all Americans are worthy of good, quality healthcare.
So we are about to get something less than what is true quality
because just being a human being in the USA is not enough.
is quite clear only a small number of the members of the congress
believe healthcare is a human or civil right.
Dennis Kucinich was on our side. He fought the good fight
for single-payer healthcare, but now plans to vote for the compromise
is a video of his statement followed by the full text.
the idea of getting something now is better than nothing at all
has any merit, the Kucinich statement is perhaps the best explanation.
generation has had to take up the question of how to provide
for the health of the people of our nation. And each generation
has grappled with difficult questions of how to meet the needs
of our people. I believe health care is a civil right.
Each time as a nation we have reached to expand our basic
rights, we have witnessed a slow and painful unfolding of a
democratic pageant of striving, of resistance, of breakthroughs,
of opposition, of unrelenting efforts and of eventual triumph.
have spent my life struggling for the rights of working class
people and for health care. I grew up understanding first
hand what it meant for families who did not get access to needed
care. I lived in 21 different places by the time I was
17, including in a couple of cars. I understand the connection
between poverty and poor health care, the deeper meaning of
what Native Americans have called “hole in the body, hole in
the spirit”. I struggled with Crohn’s disease much of my adult
life, to discover sixteen years ago a near-cure in alternative
medicine and following a plant-based diet. I have learned
with difficulty the benefits of taking charge personally of
my own health care. On those few occasions when I have
needed it, I have had access to the best allopathic practitioners.
As a result I have received the blessings of vitality
and high energy. Health and health care is personal for
each one of us. As a former surgical technician I know
that there are many people who dedicate their lives to helping
others improve theirs. I also know their struggles with
an insufficient health care system.
are some who believe that health care is a privilege based on
ability to pay. This is the model President Obama is dealing
with, attempting to open up health care to another 30 million
people, within the context of the for-profit insurance system.
There are others who believe that health care is a basic
right and ought to be provided through a not-for-profit plan.
This is what I have tirelessly advocated.
have carried the banner of national health care in two presidential
campaigns, in party platform meetings, and as co-author of HR676,
Medicare for All. I have worked to expand the health
care debate beyond the current for-profit system, to include
a public option and an amendment to free the states to pursue
single payer. The first version of the health care bill,
while badly flawed, contained provisions which I believed made
the bill worth supporting in committee. The provisions
were taken out of the bill after it passed committee.
joined with the Progressive Caucus saying that I would not support
the bill unless it had a strong public option and unless it
protected the right of people to pursue single payer at a state
level. It did not. I kept my pledge and voted against
the bill. I have continued to oppose it while trying
to get the provisions back into the bill. Some have speculated
I may be in a position of casting the deciding vote.
The President’s visit to my district on Monday underscored the
urgency of this moment.
have taken this fight farther than many in Congress cared to
carry it because I know what my constituents experience on a
daily basis. Come to my district in Cleveland and you will understand.
people of Ohio’s 10th district have been hard hit by an economy
where wealth has accelerated upwards through plant closings,
massive unemployment, small business failings, lack of access
to credit, foreclosures and the high cost of health care and
limited access to care. I take my responsibilities to
the people of my district personally. The focus of my
district office is constituent service, which more often then
not involves social work to help people survive economic perils.
It also involves intervening with insurance companies.
the past week it has become clear that the vote on the final
health care bill will be very close. I take this vote with the
utmost seriousness. I am quite aware of the historic fight
that has lasted the better part of the last century to bring
America in line with other modern democracies in providing single
payer health care. I have seen the political pressure
and the financial pressure being asserted to prevent a minimal
recognition of this right, even within the context of a system
dominated by private insurance companies.
know I have to make a decision, not on the bill as I would like
to see it, but the bill as it is. My criticisms of the
legislation have been well reported. I do not retract
them. I incorporate them in this statement. They still stand
as legitimate and cautionary. I still have doubts about
the bill. I do not think it is a first step toward anything
I have supported in the past. This is not the bill I wanted
to support, even as I continue efforts until the last minute
to modify the bill.
after careful discussions with the President Obama, Speaker
Pelosi, Elizabeth my wife and close friends, I have decided
to cast a vote in favor of the legislation. If my vote
is to be counted, let it now count for passage of the bill,
hopefully in the direction of comprehensive health care reform.
We must include coverage for those excluded from this
bill. We must free the states. We must have control
over private insurance companies and the cost their very existence
imposes on American families. We must strive to provide a significant
place for alternative and complementary medicine, religious
health science practice, and the personal responsibility aspects
of health care which include diet, nutrition, and exercise.
health care debate has been severely hampered by fear, myths,
and by hyper-partisanship. The President clearly does
not advocate socialism or a government takeover of health care.
The fear that this legislation has engendered has deep
roots, not in foreign ideology but in a lack of confidence,
a timidity, mistrust and fear which post 911 America has been
unable to shake.
fear has so infected our politics, our economics and our international
relations that as a nation we are losing sight of the expanded
vision, the electrifying potential we caught a glimpse of with
the election of Barack Obama. The transformational potential
of his presidency, and of ourselves, can still be courageously
summoned in ways that will reconnect America to our hopes for
expanded opportunities for jobs, housing, education, peace,
and yes, health care.
want to thank those who have supported me personally and politically
as I have struggled with this decision. I ask for your
continued support in our ongoing efforts to bring about meaningful
change. As this bill passes I will renew my efforts to
help those state organizations which are aimed at stirring a
single payer movement which eliminates the predatory role of
private insurers who make money not providing health care.
I have taken a detour through supporting this bill, but I know
the destination I will continue to lead, for as long as it takes,
whatever it takes to an America where health care will be firmly
established as a civil right.
becomes more clear with every passing day that we must combine
actions in the streets with the aggressive lobbying of elected
officials and supporting new candidates who understand our issues.
the future issues of BlackCommentator you are going to see more
and more information about where demonstration actions are taking
place. We can not allow the ignorant activists on the right to
get all the attention. Don’t say they don’t deserve it because
they are making the effort to demand getting what they believe
they do deserve.
we continue to sit back in large numbers we will certainly get
what we deserve and it will continue to be a lot less than we
usual I end this column with information you should use to communicate
with our elected officials.
petitions is good, but a personal call, letter or email is best.
the U.S. House of Representatives: http://www.house.gov/
(enter your zip code in the upper left corner of the page)
the U.S. Senate: http://senate.gov/
(choose your state using the drop down menu in the upper right
Publisher and Chief Technical Officer Peter Gamble, is the recipient
of a national Sigma Delta Chi award for public service in journalism
and numerous other honors for excellence in reporting and investigative
reporting. The “beats” he covered as a broadcast journalist ranged
from activism in the streets to the State Department and White
House. The lure of a personal computer on his desk inspired a
career change in 1985 and an immersion into what he sees as the
future of communications. The acquisition of computer programming
skills made it possible for Peter to achieve an important level
of self-reliance in the technology of the 21st century and to
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March 18, 2010
published every Thursday
David A. Love, JD
Est. April 5, 2002
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