The word is getting out to union members across the country that voices of working families must be included—and heard—in the growing health care reform debate taking place at town hall meetings across the country this August.
The job news is confusing. Headlines are announcing 'stabilization', 'unemployment rate falls', 'recession is over this month'. But step into your neighborhood bar -- or coffee shop if you're on the wagon -- and a truer picture emerges, even if it’s under the influence of alcohol or caffeine.
It's not exactly news among those who follow these things, but it bears noting that a new report once more shows that immigrants in the United States today, whether they have legal status or not, are certainly not overusing the U.S. health care system, and are in fact using it less than are U.S. citizens.
When Rep. Rick Larsen, a Democrat, held a town hall meeting in Ferndale, Wash., a few days ago, the meeting was packed with right-wingers who booed and heckled his attempts to explain the urgent need to reform the nation’s broken health care system.
As the right wing tries to convince Americans that health care reform is unaffordable, hospitals, claiming they have to stay “competitive,” are spooning out multi-million dollar pay packages to their top executives.
Death panels. Euthanasia. ACORN. Abortion. Immigrants. An insurance industry-backed right-wing smear campaign wants to inject these highly emotional terms into the health reform debate in order to scare people into opposing a major overhaul of the broken health insurance system.
The lifetime accomplishments of 16 activists, entertainers, doctors, scientists and athletes will be awarded the highest civilian honor this afternoon, known as the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The awards, presented by President Barack Obama recognizes individuals “who make an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”
President Obama announced this week that he thinks that immigration reform legislation can be done early next year, 2010. This represents a postponement from the original idea of getting it done this coming fall. Although this disappoints immigration reform activists, it is not the end of the world, and there are many tasks for the struggle to take on.
President Obama counter-punched against ultra-right disrupters, Aug. 11, appealing to a crowd of 1,800 who packed the Portsmouth, N.H. High School Gymnasium to support health care reform that provides quality, affordable coverage for all.
The heated debate surrounding health care reform should not exclude anyone, including legal and undocumented immigrants, civil rights leaders and Latino labor groups say.