OK, calm down, but don't sit down at this moment in the health care debate. What's been said -- or walked back -- by various administration members over this weekend calls the possibility of a public option for health care into doubt. That's certainly the narrative that's being reported in the current news cycle. What is there to do?
Make noise. To Congress, to radio, to the newspapers. Call demanding a public option to provide competition, to provide a safety net, to prevent thousands more from going bankrupt because they -- or their loved ones -- had the gall to be sick. Who'll be next if we don't fix this? You? Me?
That's why we need to keep making noise, everywhere we can.
At least one person in this debate would agree that this is the time to make noise. That person is named Barack Obama.
Yes the noise about possibly dropping the public option has come from within the Obama Administration. So, too, did this, straight from the president's mouth. Barack Obama, in Grand Junction this weekend:
We've got to keep what's good about the system, especially the relationship between doctors, nurses, and their patients, while fixing what's broken -- because for all the scare tactics out there, what's truly scary is if we don't do anything.
We will continue to see 14,000 Americans lose their health insurance every day. Premiums will continue to skyrocket, going up three times faster than your wages. The deficit will continue to grow because most of it is Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare will go into the red in less than a decade. And insurance companies will continue to profit by discriminating against people just because they're sick.
So if you want a different future -- a brighter future -- I need your help. I need you to stand for hope. I need you to knock on doors. I need you to spread the word, because we are going to get this done this year. Thank you, Grand Junction. Thank you.
What does this mean? Well, in a media environment where the loudest voices are getting all the attention, it means doing what we can to get our voices heard. Calling our representatives and senators. Above all, call their local offices. Call radio programs and TV shows, and newspapers. Neighbors and friends and family, including those folks who send you nutty emails. Explain why a public option is what you need, what I need, what they need. Debunk the lies. Spread the facts.
We know the arguments for this change. Spreading it, and spreading it with a thousand thousand voices is the best thing we can do. Yell it at our friends and foes in Congress. Yell it at our president. Even if his chief of staff says to shut the fuck up, don't stop.
Yell it at our president.
He wants you to do it. He said so himself. Earlier in his political life, he openly stated for a politics in which
"We must form grass-root structures that would hold me and other elected officials more accountable for their actions."
He wants this. The good ones always do. To quote one of his predecessors, "I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it."
(There's a reason why that's been my sig since January 20. That's the kind of backup a progressive president needs to bolster the courage of the legislature and even many in the executive branch.)
Let's make Obama do it. Give him the voices united to demand this change.
We've done this before. That's how that guy with the funny name got to get his mail delivered to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.