To the editor:
As a veteran activist in the last major effort to provide universal health insurance for our country, which ended when Hillary Clinton presented her ill-conceived plan and hope for real reform went down with it, I am saddened to see this round poised to go down in flames too. The need is much greater now than it was back then, with health care and health insurance costs escalating wildly, jobs disappearing daily, the boomers reaching retirement age and middle-class families sliding into poverty.
I would welcome the citizens who are so noisily exercising their free speech rights in town hall meetings this month if they offered any ideas or alternative ways to deal with the catastrophic plight of their fellow citizens. Sadly, they seem intent on stifling the speech of their representatives and neighbors and they offer only slogans filled with hate, fear and outright lies.
I would like to think we Americans are too wise to knuckle under to this sort of intimidation, but then I remember how easily Harry and Louise killed real reform efforts back when so many of us had worked so hard to promote them, and my heart sinks for my countrymen. I wonder how many decades must pass before reason will triumph over fear-mongering.