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New Hampshire 4-3-2007 Meeting on Health Care


Community Meeting about Health Care - first of two public meetings held in April 2007 by Barack Obama

You can hear both firmness and emotion in the voices of these Americans who are clearly educated about single-payer.

Or you can see their words in the meeting excerpts, below, and get a sense for how solidly the meeting participants support single-payer health care, Improved Medicare for All.


 

  • Senator Barack Obama initiated the meeting, conducted 3 April 2007 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
  • The video was available at a Barack Obama website page for just a couple of weeks after the meeting, after which it was removed. As far as I know, the video has never been made available again. One person did make an excerpt while it was still available, as follows:

See associated transcript excerpts and an audio, below.

 


 

69:00 minutes into the meeting: In some ways there’s been kind of a secret kept from the American people and it keeps coming back. …

Listen to the audio … following … the lady starts speaking 30 seconds into the audio below (and video above)

What all these stories add up to … that the kind of system we have is actually rationing our health care …
— is actually rationing who lives and dies
— is actually rationing who has to go through financial ruin …

This is a consequence of a for-profit health care system. … — clapping — You are paying the middle-man for what should be just between the patient and the system …

People get worried about rationing … We HAVE the rationing; it’s not explicit, but it’s there all the time (with additional clear and passionately stated comments.)

(same citizen) — at 71:30 minutes ( one hour and 11:30 ) A single-payer system would not have anywhere near that amount of rationing. — clapping

 

 


 

  • The plea that we’re done telling about our individual problems (stories) is at 63:00 minutes in the excerpts below.
  • The pleas that we remove profit from our health care is at 25:15 minutes, 63:00 minutes, and 69:00 minutes (above).

Almost All of Meeting was Single-Payer As per Citizen Input

  • As per an April 4 report by the Associated Press: “… his (Barack Obama’s) audience Tuesday was almost single-mindedly focused on a single-payer system.”
  • “”What was interesting to me was the disproportionate number of people who spoke for universal health care,” Obama said. Seacoast

Obama Requirement of a Mandate from Voters

  • After the April 3 meeting he made it clear that he requires citizens to act, as strongly stated to a local reporter
    • “I want to be held accountable for establishing a universal health care plan by the end of my first term, but I have to insist on the voters rallying for this change,” Obama said following the two-and-a-half-hour meeting with local residents. “When I take office, I have to feel I have a mandate for change.” (bolding added) – Seacoastonline
  • Due to the meeting being almost “single-mindedly focused on … single-payer,” and due to Obama describing that focus to Seacoast as “universal health care”, he equated the two. Thus, his use of the words ‘insist’ and ‘mandate,’ Senator Obama expressed a definite requirement for voters’ action, such as his suggestion, which follows, about letter-writing as a way to influence health care policy.
  • Summary: if citizens want single-payer as the health care policy, then citizens must establish the mandate for it, such as via Obama’s letter-writing suggestion.

Obama Tip (Suggestion) for How Voters Establish a Mandate

  • Barack Obama’s tip on influencing Congress is at 65-67 minutes in the excerpts below.
  • He defined specifically what citizens can do to establish a mandate for change: write one thousand to two thousand (personally-composed) letters in each U.S. Congressional district to their U.S. Representative.

Summary: Citizens Strongly Support Single-Payer National Health Insurance

As the Associated Press and Senator Obama indicated above, and as documented below in this web page, the meeting participants spoke with strong support for single-payer national health insurance. They demonstrated solid knowledge and expectations for the future regarding the need to implement single-payer. Also, they were given solid audience support via the multiple occurrences of spontaneous clapping when someone there made either a direct or indirect reference to single-payer health insurance.

More Meeting Excerpts

 

Meeting Excerpts in Support of Single-Payer National Health Insurance

Below are excerpts from the April 4 meeting that involved eight occurrences of spontaneous clapping by the audience, noted by — clapping —.

The times are the length of time into the meeting, as seen on the video.

Citizen L.M. – at 25:15 minutes

I have to tell you … the most efficient out of everything we’re working with: the Medicare System. — I know what I’m getting … I know what I’m paying for … It’s simple There’s no secrets …

I am hoping … I just wanted to say: I don’t want more competition.

I don’t want to see more insurance plans. — clapping — I’m comparing apples to oranges. When there are health issues happening in the family, I don’t have time to be looking and comparing plans that are apples and oranges among 10 different plans. … it’s confusing …

Citizen N.B. – at 34:00 minutes

I think the rhetoric needs to change. We need to be provided health care!

People say to me: what do you mean you want single-payer universal health care that will follow you from wherever you go, whatever job you have?

The first thing they say is: where are we going to get the money to pay for it?

Where are we getting the hundreds of billions to stay in Iraq? — clapping

Isn’t it worth it for this country to have healthy citizens? …

… “Are you willing to go forward and help us so that we have a healthy country again?”

Citizen A.H. – at 55:30 minutes

I feel that the government has a responsibility. “When you can find $80 billion … to kill people, you ought to be able to find some money to let people live.” — clapping

Citizen J.M. – at 58:00 minutes

Listen to the audio … following …

“What we really need is a single-payer service.” — clapping

We don’t need HMO’s feeding at the trough of our money.

(She criticized U.S. Representative Ron Wyden’s bill) – We would continue to have HMO’s. We would still have these elaborate administrative costs. And we would be paying far more than we really have to

Citizen L.B. – at 63:00 minutes –
Listen to the audio … following …

… it seems to be more of a values issue to me than anything else.

How many years have we been talking about this? …

You don’t need to hear more about people’s individual problems

I’m sure they’ve been talked about in so many cities and so many communities for years…

I think it comes down to: does our country have values about having equity in people’s lives?

(When) I pay a $20 co-pay at the doctor (office), I always think of those people who … have to make hard choices … about whether they pay the bill for that or don’t go at all. Their life is no less valuable than mine. I think that we just don’t care enough as a country to make this hard choice …

It’s the profits, the profits, the profits …

I am very skeptical that with you in office or anybody in office that this is (going to) change… because there’s such a strong lobby out there.

And how many more years can we talk about the broken system?



Obama's Recommendation and Promise on 4/3/2007

———- tip below on voters establishing a change of health care policy ———-

Obama – at 65-67 minutes

Listen to the audio … following …

“… I don’t want people to lose confidence about the capacity to change how government operates …

In a Congressional District if you have a thousand people or a couple of thousand people writing letters I promise you that Congressman or woman pays a lot of attention. They really do.

Of course, you’ve got to have a thousand or two thousand people writing letters in every Congressional District or at least in a majority of the Congressional Districts in order to actually implement policy.”

———- tip above on voters establishing a change of health care policy ———-

Citizen – at 69:00 minutes

This transcript is above.

Dr. R. S. – at 85:00 minutes

Would you be willing to sit down with public health officials in other countries like Canada and Europe?

Dr. T. C. – member of PNHP – at 90:00 minutes < — clapping — when Dr. C. started >

(the PNHP proposal for single-payer) solves all of these issues

No co-pays, no deductibles; No pre-existing conditions … 8% employer tax … 3% of income tax

clapping — when Dr. C. finished

FYI — This meeting was the first of two meetings initiated by Senator Obama. An analysis of the second community meeting on health care in Iowa on April 5 is also available.

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