For Dr. Margaret Flowers as for no one else President Obama's State of the Union last month was a call to action. When she heard him say...
...if anyone from either party has a better approach [to health care reform] that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses, let me know...
...she sprang into action. She knew just such an approach. In fact it was an approach the president himself had explicitly advocated. In her letter to him she quoted his June 2003 speech to the Illinois AFL-CIO:
I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health care program. I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its Gross National Product on health care cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody.
When she didn’t hear back from the president, when a meeting could not be arranged (she was co-chair of an organization with 15,000 physician members), she decided to resort to direct action. She and another lady doctor took to holding a sign up in venues where the president would be with the “Medicare for All” message. What resulted was this Ghandi-like moment when she defied Big Brother and insisted on having the voice of the majority heard. You should sample the lady's chutzpah:
When Bill Moyers saw this, being the only legitimate journalist left in America (with a pardon to Frontline), he sprang into action. His interview with the doctor will introduce you to what appears to be one of the most extraordinary creatures to walk onto our national stage in quite some time:
From this performance I would make the following appraisal of Dr. Flowers:
--extremely low blink rate meaning extraordinary inner serenity
--charisma and personal charm
--utter lack of pretense
--extremely high intelligence
--utter lack of political agenda
--she’s a pediatrician
--she has begun ACTS OF CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE
Her presentation is extremely powerful due to a kind of “relentless understatement,” she never engages in hyperbole, never accuses, never questions anybody’s motive, never engages in name calling, but on the other hand, she also never backs away from her commitment to the majority will, to medicare-for-all and for real reform that will introduce sanity into health care.
I would like to believe that there could be some campaign of civil disobedience that could force Congress to consider the will of the majority on health care reform. I do believe Margaret Flowers could inspire this movement and be its spokesperson. But how mad are people about this? Civil disobedience ranges from speaking out of turn at a Congressional committee to marching in Birmingham despite a ban to setting oneself on fire to protest a war.
How far would you go to get single-payer passed?