by Kathleen Duffy
“The principal weapon of those who want to maintain the status quo is, as always, fear. Fear immobilizes. And fear of the unknown crushes the desire for change, even in the midst of conditions that cry out for change.” – Robert Creamer, 7/30/09
In moving health care reform ahead, we are doing battle not just with the status quo, but with people who are willing to grotesquely distort the truth and outright lie in order to sway public opinion. When Sen. Boehner issues a statement saying that health care reform means that Democrats are trying to kill seniors, he knows that that is completely untrue. He knows, as you and I know, that Barack Obama is not trying to kill your grandma. He also knows that if he can push people into full-blown fear, that he has a good chance of getting them so freaked out that they subsequently advocate against their own best interest. What kind of people would use this baseless and deplorable tactic and still be able to sleep at night?
The fact is that on every single factor, health care reform will benefit the American people. We will pay less in health care costs and see more of every premium dollar we pay used for actual care and not multimillion dollar bonuses to insurance company executives. We will be able to escape the abusive practices of the insurance industry, like denying care because of pre-existing conditions, or rescinding insurance once you actually have a need for using it.
Most importantly, we will all have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that no matter what happens – if we take a chance on leaving a job we hate to follow our dream of opening our own business, if we move, if we lose our job to a layoff – we will be able to access quality, affordable care when we need it without the fear of losing everything we have worked for to bankruptcy.
Of late, the corporate media has been doing their damnedest to frame the health care battle as a failing one. With a majority of the American people supporting health care reform, it would seem that we have no need to worry and that this should be smooth sailing. But we need to remember who we oppose: one of the biggest, most moneyed industries in the world, and the many legislators to whom they donate significant amounts of money.
We face a formidable opponent and they have mobilized their base to call their representatives again and again, leaving our legislative allies to wonder where their supporters are. Right now, the opponents of fairness are outgunning us in calls to some Congressional offices by a margin of 3 to 1.
You don’t need to be a paid activist to make a huge difference in the battle for health care justice. One of the most effective ways for you to help move this forward is to make a commitment to call each of your legislators every single day until reform is passed – just three calls a day for better health care. My friends find it amusing that I have the numbers to both the DC and district offices of both my U.S. Senators and my U.S. Representative programmed into my cell phone speed dial. I set an alarm for once or twice a day to call and remind each of them that I expect them to win a health care reform package that ensures quality, affordable health care for all and offers me real choice about my health care through a robust public option.
If your representatives are already behind health care reform, use your calls to thank them and let them know that you will back them up – this is not an easy time for them. If they are not supporting health care reform, demand to know why not. Don’t hesitate to remind them that you will use their position on health care as the basis for how you cast your vote in the next election. You may also want to share your personal health care story with them, to illustrate why reform is imperative.
The opponents of fairness are making multiple calls every day to their legislators, and if supporters of health care reform stay silent now, we will lose on this issue. Please make a commitment to “three calls a day” until health care justice is achieved.
Click here for your Congressperson’s local contact information.Kathleen Duffy is the Events and Communications Organizer with the Campaign for Better Health Care, a coalition of organizations and individuals, working to help create and advocate for an accessible, quality health care system that provides for all. *Guest blogger posts are the sole responsibility of their authors. The opinions expressed by guest bloggers do not necessarily represent the opinions of Imagine 2050 editors or regular contributors.