The one single subject which repeatedly caused the crowd to break into spontaneous applause – and a standing ovation – at Jared Huffman’s Town Hall meeting on healthcare, Monday, March 6, 2017, was single payer healthcare.
There seems to be no doubt that the more information people find out about single payer, be it Medicare for All or some other variety, the more appealing it sounds, particularly when compared with existing alternatives.
An older crowd of approximately 1,000 people – average age around 60 – gathered that afternoon at the Petaluma Veteran’s Memorial building to find out what Rep. Huffman planned to do to in the House of Representatives to protect the healthcare benefits some have gained in recent years via Obamacare. Many were simply looking for reassurance that our Congressional representative would do his damnedest to stand in the way of Trump & the GOP. Others had specific healthcare questions they needed to bring to Huffman’s attention. Most seemed to walk away satisfied, for the moment anyway, that Huffman was, at least, on their side.
A recent Quinnipiac poll, which showed just 17% of the American people support the GOP’s proposed alternative to Obamacare, appears to show we have most of the population on our side as well.
The youngest participant on Huffman’s panel, Yasmin Peled, seemed to have many of the up-to-the-moment answers everyone wanted to hear, as the GOP’s proposed alternative to Obamacare was released just hours before the event began. Peled came on behalf of Health Access California, which advocates for quality, affordable health care for all Californians.
This was a somewhat anxious, but nonetheless polite crowd, focused on some fundamental bread and butter issues, so it came as no surprise that none of those commenting and asking questions of the panel Huffman brought along with him chose to ask about the call for him to introduce articles of impeachment written by Norman Solomon, that was posted in the Marin IJ two days earlier.
As of now, we’re awaiting a member of the House who takes the Constitution seriously enough to introduce a resolution of impeachment. That’s not what the “tactical” Democratic Party congressional leadership wants, but it’s what our country needs.
By taking that vital step, Congressman Huffman could move toward greatness instead of languishing in the realm of being merely good.
A popular saying goes: “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” Likewise, well-behaved members of Congress — conforming to their party line — seldom make the kind of history that we desperately need.
This subject appeared to be off the table for the time being, as this crowd was not interested in even the slightest critique of Huffman. A disapproving murmur rolled through the crowd at the mere suggestion – from the very last public commenter at the event – that Huffman could be doing more to oppose Trump.
Fortunately for those who gathered at the Huffman Town Hall, the Trump/GOP plan to dump Obamacare would be defeated after months of organized opposition from the public, a huge win for the resistance. Many moderate Republicans feared for their re-election prospects should they vote to repeal Obamacare without a replacement that worked better, clearly not the case with the Republicans’ proposed American Health Care Act, which would have stolen hundreds of millions of dollars from Medicare while leaving 24 million more people without health care over the next ten years.
Look for a renewed push in D.C. and California for a single payer health care plan. Watch Huffman’s Town Hall on health care via the Petaluma Community Access video below, if you’d like to see a Single Payer love-in. Read the text of Ricardo Lara’s (D-Bell Gardens) SB 562 Single Payer bill below.
SB 562 Single Payer