About 75 people gathered outside Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office on July 9 to demand that the Senator support a robust public option as a key component of the health care reform plans now before congress. The rally was called by Move On and hastily organized since the first votes on health care reform will take place within the next two weeks.
A National Health Care barbecue is scheduled for Minneapolis on July 22 at Minnehaha Park – Wabun Picnic Area D (Minneapolis, MN) 4801 South Minnehaha Park Dr.
The rally included a diverse group of people: health care workers in scrubs, retirees and disabled people, students and members of the US Public Interest Research Group, unemployed people and a good number of individuals from all over the metro area with sometimes tragic stories to tell about their own or their relatives fight for health care.
The crowd was reinforced as traffic congested on Washington Avenue on the way to an afternoon Twins game. One observer noted “if we counted the honks and thumbs up from those cars, our numbers would be tripled.”
Senator Klobuchar was not in her office but a delegation met with her designated staff point person for health care reform who reiterated the Senator’s statement that she will not take a position on a public option until she sees “the language of the bill.” To which one member of the delegation responded, “We didn’t elect a senator just to study bills, we want her to influence them.”
Organizers encouraged the group to continue to pressure Senator Klobuchar and urge their friends, co-workers and neighbors to contact the Senator’s office with phone calls, emails and letters.
As the crowd dispersed, a retiree pointed to the group and said, “These are the foot soldiers in Amy’s campaign, the people who elected Obama and Franken. For her to refuse to take leadership on this issue is starting to piss me off.”
Bruce Johnson is an engaged citizen who advocates for a cost effective health care plan driven by a strong public option to provide affordable and accessible health care to all citizens.