On Monday, a passionate, yet orderly -- grassroots, not astroturf -- group of hundreds of men, women, and children braved the heat and, in the words of a woman who nearly went broke when her husband got cancer, "took it to the belly of the beast": The Orange County March for the Public Option (http://www.ochealthmarch.com) paraded around the staunchly Republican Newport Beach, California, office of Rep. John Campbell -- naturally "unavailable" to meet with them -- and delivered to his staff thousands of signatures on petitions and over 150 handwritten letters in support of the public option and health care reform in general.
As you can see and hear in the stirring video of the event posted in YouTube (at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2V4TKhYusE), the movement for health care reform in America -- even in "the belly of the beast" -- is still alive and well, despite the "best" efforts stirred up by insurance companies and the same folks who brought us "swiftboating" to kill it.
Millions of everyday Americans are still suffering and dying needlessly -- for no reason other than to further enrich some who are already incredibly wealthy. As Congress comes back into session, let the powers-that-be know that the status quo is unacceptable and unbearable -- families cannot keep paying thousands of dollars more, year after year, and getting worse health outcomes than in other nations, where no one goes broke because they get sick. Health care reform is negotiable but necessary; and in particular, a public option for individuals -- to compete with private plans and thus keep costs down -- is a requirement for reform ... and supported by more than three of every four Americans!
As the Orange County Marchers proclaimed -- echoing the words of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy -- health care is a right, not a privilege.