Tucson Progressive

Pamela J. Powers, a progressive voice for Arizona

Healthcare Reform Anyone?

Today is “the day” in a year of landmark votes on healthcare reform. As I write this on Sunday morning, National Public Radio is predicting the vote on reform in the US House of Representatives will come within hours.

This has been a week of arm-twisting, media hype, dueling polls, rallies, e-mail blasts, and facebook posts from both pro- and anti-reform camps. My personal survival strategy was to not watch television and limit my talk radio listening. Ed Schultz spent much of the week pushing for passage of the reform legislation but vowing to fight for more reform until a single payer system is achieved. Amy Goodman of Democracy Now aired several stories throughout the week, including an nterviewed Congressman Dennis Kucinich after he agreed to vote for reform. Kucinich also vowed to keep pushing for a single payer system, saying this bill is just the first step.

I was impressed with President Obama’s use of social media to get the pro-reform word out to supporters. Move On and Organizing for America sent thousands of e-mails urging reform advocates to call their representatives and senators and to rally for reform.

On Friday, March 19, several of us from the local Drinking Liberally club joined other progressives for a Move On rally in front of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ Tucson office. Approximately 150 reform advocates waved signs, cheered, and chanted. (They were joined by 3 anti-reform protesters.) Earlier in the week the Arizona Daily Star reported that Giffords and Congressman Raul Grijalva would both vote for reform today.

Hundreds of lunch-hour motorists cheered and honked as they passed the marchers. If honks were votes, I’d say that there is strong support for reform in Tucson. What will happen today? Who knows, but since Barack is one of my friends on facebook, I’m sure he’ll post the news on his wall.

This article was originally published in my Progressive Examiner column. To see a slide show from the Tucson rally, click on the Examiner link.

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The Tucson Progressive: Pamela J. Powers

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals–not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election.

My platform focused on economic reforms to grow Arizona’s economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, grow local small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs.

In the Arizona House, I was a strong voice for fiscal responsibility a moratorium on corporate tax breaks until the schools were fully funded, increased cash assistance to the poor, expansion of maternal healthcare benefits, equal rights, choice, unions, education at all levels and protecting our water supply.

After three terms, I retired from the Arizona Legislature in January 2023 but will continue to blog and produce my podcast “A View from the Left Side.”

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