"The day will come when the United States Congress will have the courage to stand up .. to all of those who profit and make billions of dollars every single year off of human sickness. And on that day, when it comes – and it will come – the United States will finally proclaim that health care is a right of all people and not just a privilege. And that day will come, as surely as I stand here today."
-Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), December 16, 2009, in the U.S. Senate. Click here to see his speech on C-Span.
Yesterday’s developments as described on Sanders’ website:
"The Senate on Wednesday planned to debate for the first time in American history a proposal to create a single-payer, Medicare-for-all health care system. The Sanders Amendment would provide health care and dental coverage for every American, save money, and improve health care results. Instead, senators opposing health care reform used obstructionist tactics to avoid any progress in the Senate. Breaking with Senate tradition, Republicans demanded the clerk of the Senate read every word of the 767 page proposal. Sanders decided to pull the amendment rather than let opponents further delay action on health reform legislation. Sanders laid out the case in an impassioned floor speech and reacted to the obstruction tactics. ‘The fact that 17 percent of our people are unemployed or underemployed, one out of four of our children are living on food stamps, we’ve got two wars, we’ve got global warming, we have a $12 trillion national debt, and the best the Republicans can do is try to bring the United States government to a halt by forcing a reading of a 700 page amendment. That is an outrage. People can have honest disagreements, but in this moment of crisis it is wrong to bring the United States government to a halt."
From Donna Smith’s comments on Healthcare-NOW:
“The fight will go on. As surely as the deaths attributable to a lack of access to healthcare in the United States will continue to mount and as surely as the number of bankruptcies directly related to medical crisis will also continue to rise, so too will the cry for real healthcare justice. This Congress and this President are not going to get to the place we needed them to go. They are not extending healthcare as a basic human right to all of us.”
“And what of the single-payer advocates and movement? Well, in the words of the brave nurses who never took “no” for an answer on other healthcare issues from the “Governator” or anyone else, “We’ll be back.” Healthcare is a human right now and it will be when we win this struggle. It’s just going to take more time and, unfortunately, more suffering to get where we need to go.”