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How Conyers put the health care plank in the Dem platform

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Democrats' platform shift on health care

Yet, at the national Platform Drafting Committee meeting in Cleveland at the start of August, the official reception was a bit frosty. When I arrived there early one morning and renewed a longstanding request for a minute or two to make a verbal presentation on behalf of the statement for guaranteed health care, the party's national platform director informed me candidly: "It's not going to happen."

But grassroots organizing continued.

By the time the full Platform Committee met in Pittsburgh on Aug. 9, nearly 500 delegates had signed our statement. And suddenly the logjam broke. Before the end of the day, AP reported that the official platform draft "commits the party to guaranteed health care for all."

And the day when we implement health care as a human right in the United States came a little closer.

Norman Solomon of West Marin is the founder and coordinator of North Bay Healthcare Not Warfare. He is an elected Obama delegate to the Democratic National Convention.

Clearly the effort to contact convention delegates was effective.

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Submitted by lambert on

And grass roots effort, a progressive grass roots effort, that the Village has already written off, and that the press and our tribunes of the people in the blogosphere won't cover.

Good news, DCB, and I needed some.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

by acceeding to "better language" in the platform, Norman Solomon castrated the singer-payer/medicare for all movement by ensuring that there will be no controversy, and thus no attention paid, to the arguments of single-payer advocates.

Solomon sold out single-payer in the name of party unity, and now is claiming that he accomplished something significant, reducing the issue to a mere campaign slogan.

Submitted by lambert on

Of course, Obama's delegate sold us out on health care. That's a given. So, more pressure!

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

when its leadership sells out the movement in exchange for a few words in the Democratic Party platform.

And as an aside, what would be better for the Obama campaign right now -- media coverage that is centered on disunity when it comes to "health care controversy", or media coverage that is centered on disunity regarding the choice of candidate?

The media feeds on controversy -- and if you don't feed it a controversy, it will create one (or simply ignore you).

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Submitted by amberglow on

we know that he explicitly will NOT fight for Universal or Medicare for all or Single Payer or anything that makes it a Govt.-only program with mandates and full participation no matter what.

And we also know that he truly hurt the whole issue by reviving Harry and Louise in the primaries.

I don't see how this is any better than what the platforms used to say, and in fact i see it as much much worse.

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Submitted by bringiton on

Nice of Conyers to tag along, but this one was truly a grass-roots effort. Major kudos to Norman Solomon and Progressive Democrats of America for the co-ordinated effort.

Read more details from Donna Smith here; especially telling, the platform amendment passed unanimously. Worth remembering, that detail, as we all discuss the pros and cons of Barack Obama's platform.

Submitted by lambert on

Obama's operatives made damn sure to try to lock into a position where the insurance companies are still gatekeepers, leaving the system broken -- cue the Harry & Louise ads from Ohio. Which is, no doubt, the reason for the unanimous vote.

That grass roots pressure emboldened Conyers and forced Obama to do the right thing is an excellent outcome -- but let's not kid ourselves that this outcome was anything more than forced on Obama (as others should be and should have been, FISA FISA FISA).

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

did Nixon push for the creation of an Environmental Protection Agency in 1968?

did JFK run on a civil rights platform?

did FDR run on collective bargaining?

did Lincoln run on Emancipation?

Just because our nominee won't push for this doesn't mean we can't win. Everything depends on whether the down ballot champions of HR 676 win their races.