Monday, March 22, 2010

March 22: Mr. McCollum, Hands Off Health Insurance Reform!

By Sylvia Gurinsky

It almost brings up shades of the late Alabama Gov. George Wallace standing in the schoolhouse door, defending segregation even as federal law was changing.

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum's plan to challenge the constitutionality of the health insurance reform bill that President Barack Obama may sign tomorrow smacks of the same kind of short-sighted defiance, not to mention a bald effort on McCollum's part to get some points in the governor's race. (Hello, Alex Sink? Are you there to step forward and disagree with him? Have you grown a spine yet?)

McCollum is one of 10 state attorneys general - all Republicans, who'd've thought? - planning lawsuits. Just what this budget-battered state needs; a waste of more money that is needed for the state's precious resources - including health care.

They're turning their backs on the neediest residents in their states, the ones Obama plans to sign this legislation for - the ones elected officials in both major political parties from Teddy Roosevelt to Teddy Kennedy have fought for for nearly a century.

Republicans are talking about "repealing" this, much as the racists of the 1950s and 60s - most of them Democrats - talked about rolling back Brown v. Board of Education or the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965.

Last night, Obama said, "This is what change looks like." And if anyone should know, it's the first African-American president, who is in the White House because most of the country didn't listen to people like George Wallace.

Someday, that same house could be home to a child or young adult of today whose life was saved because Congress didn't listen to people like Bill McCollum.

Hands off the reform, Mr. McCollum!

No comments: