Sunday, March 21, 2010

Grassroots Response To Health Care Passage

Tonight we are doing something new here, something I have wanted to start doing for a while, reaching out to grassroots folks to respond to major happenings. On this historic night, as we pass substantive health care reform, we are bringing you a grassroots response from David Hart, the founder of Grow the Hope. The response will start very shortly after the vote is done.

Throughout this fight we at Sum of Change spent a lot of time filming and writing about the work being done by grassroots activists engaging the community to work for reform. We hope to reach out to a variety of grassroots activists on any number of issues, and welcome your insight on future grassroots responses.

Text as prepared by David Hart:
This bill is not everything many of us had hoped for but we celebrate its passage. We must recognize that this bill is a significant reform to private health insurance. In fact, it is a good fix for many horrific abuses that now impact many Americans. When this bill is signed into law people with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage. Insurance companies can not drop customers who have developed catastrophic illness. And young people can remain on their parents policies until they are 26 years old. These are just a few key provisions that make this bill worthy of our support.

Sadly, the debate on this legislation has been dangerously debased by fear mongering and ridiculous charges that have nothing to do with the facts. After this bill is signed into law the American people will see that there are no death panels. They will wake up and see that our society does not, in fact, look like Nazi Germany. Instead, the sun will rise as it did before this debate began and somehow we will not experience the expected Armageddon.

The rhetoric of mass distortion has not served us well during this important national debate. In the last few days, we have seen members of the US House of Representatives attacked in the halls of Congress. A civil rights icon was called the n-word. Another Representative was spat on and a third was insulted because of his sexuality.

Let this be a wake up call. Those who spew hate must shift their course. This angry rhetoric leads to dehumanizing opponents and can lead to violence.

Now that this bill has passed, let’s celebrate it for what it actually does and allow the rhetoric to cool. Now let us move forward together to address the many pressing challenges facing this great country.

We want to know what you think about this historic debate. Sum of Change has provided a great way to do just that. Please tell us your story. Join the conversation by visiting

And, please check out for more on our important work. Thank you and good night.
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