Today I went to a health care rally in Minneapolis. I decided to go so I could understand what liberals seek from health care reform, and why. So, I went as an observer and not a protester. No signs, no tea bags… just plain old, middle-aged me.
- Liberals really, really HATE insurance companies and corporations in general. They actually believe insurance companies deny coverage and drive up the cost of health care because they’re greedy and cruel.
- No mention was ever made of Obama’s 2009 quid pro quo with Big Pharma, Big Insurance and that Big Broker, the AARP.
- Over, and over they chanted against Big Insurance. They were encouraged to frame all discussion points around ‘insurance companies’ when debating with normals.
- They are still holding a torch for universal coverage. Yes, the impossible ‘46 million’ was brought up as well.
- Franken tried to sway them away from single-payer, saying, “let’s not let the perfect kill the very, very good.” He did encourage their support by adding that the latest secret plan was the path to universal coverage. Franken held aloft a manila envelope containing the secretly negotiated House-Senate plan. It was an effective but amusing prop: the real health care plan is thousands of pages. Perhaps he should have wrapped a phone book in butcher paper and held that up, instead?
- Franken also said Democrats were easing the tax burden on the ‘Cadillac’ plans and ramping up the costs for the “very, very rich.” Thunderous applause here.
- The crowd was juiced up by ‘organizers’ (whatever those are), MoveOn types and handsome young liberal doctors. Franken appeared late, for all of ten minutes and then left.
- At no time did this group talk about the COST for all this. I never heard ‘deficit.’ Also surprising was how little Obama’s name was mentioned.
- There were some right-wing protesters outside, and a nervous man with a large ‘Obamacare’ sign appeared in the back. There was just a bit of yelling, but to the progressives’ credit, they calmed him down and engaged him in quiet discussion.
- Keep. The. Message. Simple. It’s all the insurance companies’ fault! I don’t think the audience understands that it’s state and federal tinkering that causes problems for insurance companies, which must pass inefficiency and cost on to the insured.
- It was obvious the Left was trying to drum up flagging support in the face of potential failure.
- Rally attendees look exactly like the tea party people. Really. The audience was 95% white, well-off and 50ish. The also sound like tea party people, too. Not the things they said, of course, but the chanting and head shaking. Oh, there were a few more ponytails and the t-shirts had very different sayings. Believe it or not, here were actual ‘Wellstone!’ shirts.
- Al Franken is really just a tired, short, fat man. Not a messiah. And not a person I can demonize.
- I left with mixed feelings. This group’s passion equals the tea partiers’. I just cannot see either finding a common cause. One side will lose the health care debate. The smaller side. I wish it wouldn’t be that way.
- It’s sad this group is not willing to start over and let other Americans help frame the solution. “It’s our time!” really means “now or never.” Pity.