Like many Kossacks, I received an email today from Organizing for America asking me to sign on to President Obama's health care reform principles, and giving me an opportunity to share my story.
Like several Kossacks, I took that opportunity to speak up for single-payer universal health care. Everybody in, nobody out. This is the lifesaving prescription for our sick and broken health care system!
OFA, in addition to sending me the email from Obama, is putting together another grassroots effort to drum up support for Obama's ideas about health care reform. I took the opportunity to use that tool to organize locally for single-payer health care, and I hope you'll do so as well.
OFA doesn't seem to pay too much attention to the gatherings that are organized through their web tool as part of a day or weekend of events. That the Obama people continue to use this tool to drive his agenda is pretty cool, and very smart, but they're not the only ones who can use it to organize and drive an agenda. My personal agenda is single-payer universal health care, health care for all with everybody in and nobody out.
I went to the organizing kickoff page, where I saw the following:
Thousands of people just like you are organizing for health care reform by taking the first step of hosting a Health Care Organizing Kickoff on June 6th.
Please join them -- get started by entering your zip code to the right.
At your organizing kickoff you will:
* Learn more about President Obama’s core principles for health care reform
* Meet other local OFA supporters, and share personal stories related to health care issues
* Plan a local day of service activity the weekend of June 27th
* Make a first round of calls to tell your neighbors about the healthcare reform principles and invite them to the day of service activity. Then set aside time to make more calls at a later date
I entered my zip code and clicked the button to the right of the zip code field. It took me to the login page, where I logged in to my my.barackobama.com account and created my event. This is the description:
60% of the American people want it. Doctors and nurses and other health care professionals want it overwhelmingly. The support for single-payer universal health care is there. Single-payer means the government makes health care payments. It means you choose your own doctors, and it means everybody in and nobody out. It means doctors and providers choose how to practice medicine; bureaucrats will no longer make those choices for them.
Single-payer universal health care, cutting out the insurance companies entirely, is the only lifesaving prescription to heal our broken health care system. Let's organize and demand it! If the people lead, the leaders will follow. Join your fellow single-payer health care supporters at Moondogs Too to share stories and ideas, strategize, and organize the next steps (including a possible rally outside Norm Dicks' office around the end of June).
We are supposed to plan a day of service for the weekend of June 27. Serving our country can mean helping to make health care a reality for all her people. It's time to take action.
Obama has said repeatedly that if we want him to do something, we may have to make his do it. If we band together to demand universal single-payer health care, we can perhaps have a voice powerful enough to overcome the sound of insurance company campaign contributions in key Senators' pockets (and in this I include my own Senator Maria Cantwell, who had the opportunity to speak up when Baucus was having single-payer advocates arrested and did nothing). They may be able to arrest and/or throw out single-payer advocates from a Senate hearing, but they can't throw all of us out or arrest us all. It's going to take a mass movement to get this through.
If you believe that single-payer universal health care is the best option, or the only option, or should at least receive some consideration, then hold an organizing meeting around June 6-7 and set it up using the OFA tool. If we want our leaders to follow, we're going to have to lead en masse.