Friday, September 04, 2009

Seattle Health Insurance Reform Rally

Seattle Health Insurance Reform Rally

Photo & Text Copyright 2009 Seattle Daily Photo. All rights reserved, including reproduction or republishing.

Congressman Jim McDermott and Rev. Leslie Braxton addressed supporters who turned out at the Westlake Center rally for health insurance reform last night. Their speaking was more pep rally than informative. There was a moment of tribute to the late Senator Edward Kennedy and his long advocacy for change to the current healthcare system, and a gentleman shared with the crowd his young son's fight with lymphoma and their fears and frustrations in obtaining needed treatment. Listening was a wild coalition of young to aged, socially conservative to progressive, rich, middle class and poor, faith-based and humanist, gay and straight, union members and management, and many ethnicities. Everyone in the crowd, no doubt, had their own story or knows someone personally who has a similar story of worry, frustration, financial hardship, and suffering. It's why they were all there. Across the street was a smaller gathering of people demonstrating their concerns that the US healthcare system not be run by the government or follow a socialized medicine model or dictate who can receive what care when or be used equally by non-citizens in the country illegally. Some had clear contempt for the president. I don't think they want to deny other citizens fair health coverage, but they have concerns they want addressed, and they don't want something railroaded through. Meanwhile, political factions stir up the sloganeering and no one is listening to each other, just blathering on what they hear on talk radio shows. It seems to me if all citizens could unite in holding the congress accountable for getting out of this partisan divide and putting a team of the brightest and best among them to work diligently now on a health insurance reform bill that is thoughtful and addresses the concerns of all the people, eschews party politics and the influence of big money, we would have a win-win solution.

13 comments:

Don and Krise said...

Well put. There are so many people who are truly passionate about healthcare reform, but a solution never seems to surface.

brattcat said...

Here here to win win. The healthcare situation in this country must be reformed. You folks of Seattle set a good model by getting out there and voicing your (our) needs.

Bibi said...

I live in a country with 'socialized' medicine, and I am thankful I do. There are private hospitals and clinics now where you can go, but as someone who survived lymphoma, underwent chemo here in a state-run hospital, I have only good things to say. People who need care get it, and I am for Obama's plan. Naturally though, the plan should be well thought-out first, but for heaven's sake, people have been thinking about options for a long time, so let's go!!

Saretta said...

Interesting post, thanks!

Mister P said...

"It seems to me if all citizens could unite in holding the congress accountable for getting out of this partisan divide and putting a team of the brightest and best among them to work diligently now on a health insurance reform bill that is thoughtful and addresses the concerns of all the people, eschews party politics and the influence of big money, we would have a win-win solution."

That's not the way Congress has ever worked, and "win-win" in the halls of Congress does not necessarily mean the voters win; it means a deal was struck. Deal means compromise. Compromise is a very civilized concept, but it satisfies no one. My big fear is that there isn't any room for compromise on the big issues of the day. The last time there were such fixed positions was when abolition was being debated. You may recall that a political resolution was elusive.

Petrea said...

I couldn't agree more, Kim. We are a nation of many people and many opinions, and in Democracy no one person gets his or her way. Compromise is how it must be done, that's the Democratic way. It's called "negotiation."

I remember a day when it was done that way.

I'm tired of politicians puffing out their chests and lying to their constituents to frighten them, just so their side can win. The voters are the ones who lose, every time.

We need health care, not B.S. It's unbelievable to me how far behind the rest of the world we are on this. We're like a third world country on things like infant mortality, etc. All because of money and politics. What an outrage.

Christy (Columbia Lily) said...

SERIOUSLY.

Anonymous said...

If you watch cable news at all, you've seen the ads for “health care reform”, now being called “health insurance reform”. “It is an interesting subtle switch in language”. Mike Oliphant runs a small Utah health insurance website http://www.BenefitsManager.net and http://www.dentalinsuranceutah.net whom deals with people day to day struggling to find affordable coverage. “I think it’s important to not understate the huge difference in meaning between “health insurance reform” and “health care reform”. Let’s not lose focus on the need to reform a broken health care system which includes not only health insurance carriers but also billing practices of medical providers. Why isn’t TORT reform part of the national discussion? Studies show that alone could lower costs by 15% for both the medical professionals and health insurance carriers (Humana). Perhaps the federal government should take notice of what Utah has accomplished with first step of health insurance reform and promises for reform in the medical provider arena. Several interesting changes took place with the passage of H.B. 188. House Speaker Clark has championed the need for change while recognizing the experience of the private health insurance sector. To see more about this visit http://www.prweb.com/releases/utah_health_insurance/health_care_reform/prweb2614544.htm

Kim said...

Thank you all so much for your comments. I hope we as a united people can keep talking and tackle this problem.

And anonymous, as I was leaving after photographing the rally, a Danish businessman chatted with me at the street corner asking what was going on. He mentioned the very same point about TORT reform that you bring up. He also said something thought provoking to me when I mentioned many of the conservative activists on the other corner were very nervous about any move toward socialized medicine models or government run programs and the higher taxes those sorts of nationalized systems had brought to other nations like his own. He said since healthcare costs alone represents 51% of all US spending, it would actually be cheaper for Americans to pay higher taxes for healthcare than to continue with the current broken system. I don't know if his facts are accurate, but was impressed that people living in other systems are watching this process with keen interest.

Petrea said...

I hope those people who are so afraid of socialized, government-funded plans are willing to give up Medicare and Social Security.

Kim said...

Thanks Petrea,
I don't know how long you've lived in SoCal, but when I was a kid ultra conservatives ruled the roost there and made neo-cons look amazingly docile :-). I heard grown ups say things like "FDR and his new deal ruined this country," and they were dead serious. Sometime in the 80s the demographics down there shifted enough that phrases like that no longer were the majority view in Orange County, but it still has that legacy (birth place of Richard Nixon and hot bed of fear of all things Red/Pinko/Commie --they believed McCarthy). A high number of that era's OC retirees move to Arizona, I'm told :-).

Petrea said...

I've been here about 20 years. I hear the OC's still conservative. I live in LA county, which is more liberal. I'm generalizing, of course.

sandycarson said...

more photos here

http://sandycarson.com/WebPortfolios/HealthReform/