I'm writing to you regarding recent news reports that progressive legislators in the House are considering not supporting the Senate Health Care Reform Bill (HCR). As a constituent who voted for you in 2008, I would urge you not to make this mistake.
Yes, the Senate HCR bill is greatly flawed. Yes, it doesn't go nearly far enough in fixing the disaster that is the US health care system. Yes, the reason why we are faced with the current dilemma is the fault of the Senate, not the House. But it is only the House that can save us. It is only the House that can see to it that the last several months were not wasted. It is only the House that can pass a bill, that while flawed, will still materially improve the lives of millions of Americans.
I find myself thinking of another flawed bill, a bill that at the time was rightly criticized for not going far enough. I'm thinking of the 1957 Civil Rights Act. And I'm thinking of how Lyndon Johnson argued that passing the 1957 CRA would break down the wall that had held civil rights legislation back for decades. Johnson said that passing the 1957 CRA would open the door for better legislation later. Johnson was of course proven right.
I urge you and your fellow House progressives to follow Johnson's example and not turn away from this chance to make history.
Friday, January 22, 2010
An Open Letter To Andre Carson
After thinking about it for a few days, I recently sent this to Indiana's 7th District House Representative, Andre Carson: