A small story appeared in the New York Times recently that few nationally are likely to have noted. It was published on page MB1 of the New York edition, not exactly high profile placement for a national newspaper, but what it covers should be central to the national debate going on today about health care in America:
Pick your fight, give it your best shot, wait for the moment to be right; all battle related cliches with more or less the same meaning: be strategic in your timing to increase your chance of victory. We hear them often whenever caution is urged, and even when inaction is urged. But common to them all is an implicit call TO action, when the moment is right.
For the Democratic Party, and for health care reform, that moment is right now. Tens of thousands of us, each working at our own levels, have worked for years to restore the Democratic Party to strong majority control of both houses of Congress, and to return a Democrat to the White House. Doing so required acts of compromise too numerous to be tallied, some from the left, some from the right. But working together we greatly increased our forces. For what?
The Senate Finance Committee is slogging through literally hundreds of proposed amendments to the Baucus health care reform bill. The bill still doesn't have a public option, but there's a good chance that insurance subsidies will be revised upwards, as Steve Benen of the Washington Monthly reports.
"Dick Armey is the epitome of those people with power and privilege who are insured against the vicissitudes of life and want no government assistance for any suffering except their own," concludes Bill Moyers.
One day Americans will wake up to the fact that a class war is being waged in this country. One day Americans will realize that the GOP stands for the maintenance of a system that benefits a select few.
As members of Congress return to Washington, D.C. to address health care reform, a new alliance of businesses and labor unions is reminding policy makers not to forget the health care needs of a key segment of the population: Americans aged 55-64.