Posts Tagged ‘petitions’

Health Care Reform Petition Rally In Downtown Columbus

September 1, 2009


The only way to overcome hundreds of millions spent by lobbyists in Washington is a groundswell of public support or opposition to a measure.  Perhaps that’s why “Organize for America” is pushing hard to get grassroots support for President Obama’s health-care reform initiative. 

OAF SW GA Field Director Ken King waves petitions in front of Rep. Sanford Bishop's Columbus office

OAF SW GA Field Director Ken King waves petitions in front of Rep. Sanford Bishop's Columbus, GA office

Ken King, Southwestern Georgia Field Director of OFA waved a large stack of petitions to a rally in front of 2nd District Rep. Sanford Bishop’s Columbus office.    The petitions were delivered to Bishop’s Columbus office.  Bishop is one of those “Blue Dog” Democrats whose support President Obama needs.  “Blue Dog” Democrats are the more centrists or conservative party members.  Bishop’s 2nd Congressional District leans conservative.   


Supporters of President Obama’s health care initiative showed up with signs.  It was all very civilized and polite. Maybe that’s because the opposition wasn’t there.   Maybe they didn’t know about it.  Columbus media did, though. They were there.

The petition calls for Congress to support the president’s “three bedrock requirements for real health-care reform.”

 They are:

– Reduce   health care costs.

– Guarantee Choice.  This includes the choice of a public insurance option.

– Ensure affordable care for all.”

Muscogee County democratic Party Vice Chair John Van Doorn

Muscogee County democratic Party Vice Chair John Van Doorn

John Van Doorn, vice chair of the Muscogee County Democratic Party,  told the crowd that the big challenge is overcoming lobbyists for health insurance companies, and “big medicine, and big pharmaceuticals.”   He said, “The voice of the people must be heard.” 

Of course, big medicine, big insurance, and big pharmaceuticals also know they can be trumped by the voters. That’s why they are spending millions to pay for advertising against health care reform.  Paul Krugman said in the New York Timesthat health insurance lobbyists are spening $1.4 million a day to influence House and Senate members.

I posed the question about confusion surrounding health care reform legislation.  President Obama is being criticized for not simply fighting for a plan. Former Republican Senator Bob Dole said the president must lead the fight for a plan,  a plan that he must endorse and simplify.  OFA’s Ken King told me that some Democrats thought President Obama should have gotten tougher in his election campaign, but it turns out that his approach worked.  He was elected. He said there are eleven bills on health care now in Congress, and that when one is finally decided on,  the debate can start. He said if Republicans want to face reelection with no health reform plan they support, they can do that. 

It appears to me that a simpler plan will have to presented if there is going to be health care reform. Also, I have to agree with Senator Dole and others who say the president simply has to lead.  Compromise just isn’t working.