Before getting into the President’s Weekly, I hope you will take a look at “Critical Condition” which was highlighted last night on “Bill Moyers Journal” (PBS). “Critical Condition” is a documentary from the series P.O.V. (also PBS). It is one of the rare television moments during this health insurance reform debate that we get the perspective of the uninsured who are sick, who are in enormous debt from medical bills, who are harrassed by collection agencies night and day, and who have to make decisions between medicine or having a roof over their heads.
Have CNN, MSNBC, FOX, CBS, NBC, ABC or any of the other cable news or public affairs programs focused on the uninsured in the past 4 weeks? By the way, there are a whole lot of underinsured folks out there too; just wait ’til that first big health problem hits. As I said, you never know how good or crappy your insurance is until you have to use it.
Story is important in this dialogue. Call these parables if you will, or morality plays. Sometimes, people don’t get the point unless there’s a narrative arc. Perhaps even artists have not adequately taken up this cause for health insurance reform — using art (music, drama, dance, story, poetry) to tell the story. Lord, knows there are many uninsured people in the arts community. Are we just waiting to see if the President will or will not give us what we want. Remember there are 5 bills between the Congress and Senate. None of them is authored by the President. What is coming from the White House are Guiding Principles for health insurance consurmer protections.
Some would rather throw Barack Obama under another Photoshop layer than paint a portrait of the persons will most benefit from a reform — that’s all of us. Thank goodness for journalists like Bill Moyers, documentarians like Roger Weisberg, and people like Adam Gerhardstein who is the campaign manager for “Standing on the Side of Love.” Adam is collecting stories. Here’s an excerpt from the message Adam sent out this week:
Take Action: If you, or someone you love, have been excluded from health insurance coverage because of your identities, then email your Representatives and tell them your story.
You can link to the Standing on the Side of Love campaign here. They also have some cool t-shirts for sale.