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A Grassroots Response To Health Care Passage

by: SumofChange

Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 13:11:02 PM EDT

I do not need to tell you that this weekend was historic. Late Sunday night, David Hart of Grow the Hope and I watched the vote together from David's living room. It was not lost on me that his living room is where many of us are accustomed to coming together for causes greater than ourselves. As we witnessed the votes being cast, David prepared this response that we broadcasted live right after the House passed health care reform last night. (transcript below the fold):

SumofChange :: A Grassroots Response To Health Care Passage
Text as prepared by David:

This bill is not everything many of us had hoped for but we celebrate its passage.  We must recognize that this bill is a significant reform to private health insurance.  In fact, it is a good fix for many horrific abuses that now impact many Americans. When this bill is signed into law people with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage.  Insurance companies can not drop customers who have developed catastrophic illness.  And young people can remain on their parents policies until they are 26 years old. These are just a few key provisions that make this bill worthy of our support.

Sadly, the debate on this legislation has been dangerously debased by fear mongering and ridiculous charges that have nothing to do with the facts. After this bill is signed into law the American people will see that there are no death panels. They will wake up and see that our society does not, in fact, look like Nazi Germany.  Instead, the sun will rise as it did before this debate began and somehow we will not experience the expected Armageddon.

The rhetoric of mass distortion has not served us well during this important national debate.  In the last few days, we have seen members of the US House of Representatives attacked in the halls of Congress.  A civil rights icon was called the n-word.  Another Representative was spat on and a third was insulted because of his sexuality.  

Let this be a wake up call. Those who spew hate must shift their course.  This angry rhetoric leads to dehumanizing opponents and can lead to violence.

Now that this bill has passed, let's celebrate it for what it actually does and allow the rhetoric to cool.  Now let us move forward together to address the many pressing challenges facing this great country.  

We want to know what you think about this historic debate.  Sum of Change has provided a great way to do just that.  Please tell us your story.  Join the conversation by visiting

And, please check out for more on our important work.  Thank you and good night.

This was the first of what we hope to be many grassroots responses to accomplishments and failings. We want to use the microphone we have to amplify the voice of engaged and inspiring community organizers and not the talking heads on main stream news that we are used to.

There is nothing more fitting than the passage of health care reform for us to launch this grassroots response effort. This victory was won on the backs of countless individuals donating time and money, sharing personal stories, and aggressively combating the forces of misinformation. This is not President Obama's victory and this is not Congress' victory, it is yours and ours together.

So, share with us your story of fighting for reform. We want to engage our community in a deep and honest conversation about the lessons learned while fighting for change in the face of a powerful status quo.

Please, share your story with us.

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