Just and unjust rallies: health care edition

    Thousands of health care reform advocates rallied at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Washington, DC, last week outside a conference of America’s Health Insurance Plans, a group that lobbies for the insurance industry. See the video above.

    Health care-related protests continued into the weekend, but this time, they were organized by opponents of health care reform. In Minneapolis, for example, thousands of Tea Partiers and Republicans rallied and chanted, “Kill the bill!”

    Why might supporters of citizen action sympathize with one side over another?  Facts.  Yes, facts do seem to come cheap these days.  But even if the public thinks the health care bill would create death panels, it still proposes no such thing.

    Facts do exist and they matter.

    Take the uninsured: 45,000 uninsured people die in the U.S each year – 123 per day – who could have escaped death with health insurance, according to a 2009 Harvard study. The current health care bill, through insurance reforms and subsidies, would at least reduce that number by extending coverage to millions.

    Protesters against health care reform may be reading from the same playbook as people in favor of reform. But rallying for a cause does not a just cause make.



    Recent Stories

    • Analysis

    Radical tactics are likely to help the climate movement, not hurt it

    December 8, 2022

    While radical nonviolent protesters are often ridiculed and hated, there is little evidence that their tactics have negative consequences for the overall movement.

    • Excerpt

    How activists sailed into a war zone and helped build the mass movement against the Vietnam War

    December 5, 2022

    At a time when Americans had little interest in the Vietnam War, a small peace group decided to stir people to action by sailing past the military to deliver needed medicines.

    • Q&A

    After Club Q, how do we stop the system from taking more trans lives?

    December 2, 2022

    Queer activist and movement lawyer Z Williams discusses what needs to be done to achieve queer and trans liberation.