An impressive number of Nebraskans turned out for a public meeting with Senator Nelson on health care today. I ventured to guess that at least 600 people showed up. But apparently my skill (or lack thereof) at estimating crowds hasn’t improved because the media reported that 1,000 + turned out. 420 were able to sit inside and the rest could hear the conversation through audio that was broadcast outside the building.
To our credit as Nebraskans, the tone in the room was serious and lively, but civil. A true testament to what is great about our democracy.
The meeting shed a lot of light on what is on many Nebraskans minds. Not surprisingly, people are wondering what reform will mean for them. What I found most interesting is that the vast majority of people at the meeting with hesitations about reform and who asked questions were not the people the media focuses on — those who are staunchly opposed to reform and rely on myths and downright falsehoods designed to create fear and confusion about reform. (Fortunately and to his credit, Senator Nelson decidedly corrected many of those myths at yesterday’s meeting.) Rather, these were people who recognize the need for reform but have serious questions. And that is what the dialogue should be about. It’s a serious issue and we should be asking serious questions. Health reform is too important to let it be hijacked by fear and politics.
We have an important role to play in keeping fear from ruling the debate. August is a critical month for health care reform and there are lots of opportunities to get involved and show support for reform. We can’t stress enough what a difference your voice can make. We would encourage everyone to attend the public meetings being held by our Congressional delegation. We would also encourage all supporters to attend the “Vote Yes: A Legacy of Healthy Nebraskans” rally next Tuesday, August 25th at 6:00 p.m. on the West side of the State Capitol. More information can be found at www.neappleseed.org .
An hour of your time can change a vote and change the future.
I also thought it might be helpful to provide a few links to some information about reform:
How do I respond to attacks on reform?
The text of the bill can be found here: http://bit.ly/4xyk7k
Summary of bill can be found here: http://bit.ly/lAU1
How will Reform Help Nebraskans?
For specific district by district numbers on the benefits of the House bill to Nebraska: http://bit.ly/fyO2s
For a general fact sheet on how reform will help Nebraskans: http://bit.ly/OuXN7
General sheet with data on why Nebraska Needs reform: http://bit.ly/qBNFK