Texans Rally for Reform—and Other Health Care News
More than 3,000 union members and allies crowded the streets of Austin, Texas, on Saturday to show their support for health care reform.
The demonstrators gathered at the State Capitol to hear from workers, community leaders and lawmakers. AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Emerita Linda Chavez-Thompson got the crowd fired up, and leaders and activists from across the union movement encouraged the crowd to stay mobilized.
U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, who voted for the House’s historic health care reform bill a week ago, thanked those present for their activism and said we need to keep fighting to pass real reform legislation. Said Doggett:
We need an engaged citizenry to say we won’t stand for anything less than genuine reform.
Becky Moeller, president of the Texas AFL-CIO, said she was encouraged by the grassroots energy and the progress made this year on health care reform:
The groups that worked together to organize today’s demonstration agree that the biggest disaster of all would be to do nothing about health care.
Our nation has never been this close to making history on one of the most intractable problems of our lifetimes….Health care can’t wait.
Here’s the latest from the battle for health care reform:
- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce got caught by the Washington Post proposing to hire an economist to create a study critical of health care reform. The Chamber was going to offer $50,000 if a researcher would call health care reform “a job-killer.” Just like their allies in the insurance industry, they’re hoping they can come up with dodgy numbers to kill reform. (And, as Michael Whitney notes at Firedoglake, it’s the same game they play with the Employee Free Choice Act.)
- AARP members strongly support key provisions of health care reform, a new poll shows.
- The Center for American Progress points out that nearly 60 percent of the uninsured are employed, and one in five adults with a job doesn’t have health coverage. They also note strong public support for reform, including a public health insurance option.
- The Miami Herald reports that excise taxes on health care benefits could hurt middle class families.
- The House-passed bill would aid strapped state budgets by boosting federal support for Medicaid funding.
- Health care reform will strengthen Medicare.
- Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) explains in the LaCrosse Tribune why he voted for “long-overdue” health care reform. It’s a great piece that explains how the legislation will help families and businesses.
- The Senate will act on health care reform soon. Contact your senators now!