Rally and Response

Wednesday’s lunchtime rally at Senator Cornyn’s Lubbock office was a success. The A-J covered it fairly, and four TV news stations also covered it (e.g. KCBD coverage, KLBK coverage). The rally was coordinated by MoveOn.org and attended by about 40 local citizens willing to use their lunch break to let Senator Cornyn know that Texans want a public option.

I want to show you the statement, in full, that Senator Cornyn’s office responded with:

“Sen. Cornyn fully supports the rights of all Texans to free speech and peaceful assembly, but it is obvious that today’s protests were orchestrated by the extreme left wing who is out of touch with the priorities and concerns of the majority of Texans. Sen. Cornyn must represent all 24 million Texans, the overwhelming majority of whom are vehemently opposed to a government takeover of health care. We need health care reform that makes insurance more affordable and accessible to all, but we can’t fund it by raising taxes on middle class families and small businesses and stealing a half trillion dollars from a Medicare program that is already $38 trillion in the red. Nor can we afford to make historic expansion to Medicaid and add millions of Texans to this program that already has severe access problems and is wrought with fraud, waste, and abuse. Sen. Cornyn stands for real choice and competition, but a competitor that takes the field as it sets the rules of the game isn’t fair competition.”
Jessica Sandlin, Spokesperson for Senator John Cornyn

There are so many problems with that statement. There are the typical right-wing red herrings like “government takeover,” and “raising taxes,” that have no basis in reality. And there are a few more that stand out to me:

Medicare … is already $38 trillion in the red.”

That’s some crazy math right there, since $38 trillion is nearly 3 times the GDP of the USA (and approaching the GDP of the entire world). This $38 trillion remark is more likely based on a flawed projection of the future of Medicare, in which case the world “already” makes the statement a lie (in case the $38 trillion number didn’t red-flag it for you).

Medicaid … has severe access problems and is wrought with fraud, waste, and abuse.

The thing about a government program is that the people have recourse to get in there and fix it. If Medicaid is as bad as Cornyn thinks, then fixing it should be a top priority of his. With private industry, citizens don’t have as much recourse, and there is plenty of evidence that the private industry has much more fraud, waste, and abuse.

Sen. Cornyn must represent all 24 million Texans, the overwhelming majority of whom are vehemently opposed to a government takeover of health care.

Also irritating is the Senator’s attempt to find the right words to claim that Texans don’t care about health care or the public option. A few months back, I delivered a DFA petition to Sen. Cornyn’s Lubbock office that listed tens of thousands of Texan supporters of a public option (they signed the online petition at StandWithDrDean.com) including hundreds from Lubbock and the surrounding counties. Either he’s not listening, or we’re not making our voices heard enough. I suspect the problem is both! We can do our part by calling Sen. Cornyn’s Lubbock office at 806-472-7533 (or fax him at 472-7536). We can’t let him get away with claiming that Texans are fine with health care the way it is.

Overall, the rally was a boost for me personally and (hopefully) a good shot in the arm for a movement that has been building for decades and needs to push on through the finish line.

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