Jesse Jackson Junior’s Town Hall Meeting on HR 3200 August 18, 2009

Illinois 2nd DistrictCongress is out of session, legislators have returned to their districts, and all over the country town hall meetings on health care bill HR 3200 have been disrupted by demonstrations.  Not here.  This is the  town hall meeting of Jesse Jackson Junior, held August 18, 2009 in Chicago at the Sheldon Heights Church of Christ at 11249 S. Halsted. The meeting was quite sedate, at least by Chicago standards, and the participants demonstrated huge support for what is being called The Public Option.

Notes:

For information on the canned presentation, the powerpoint is supposed to be on J3’s official website, but so far it hasn’t been posted. I have a hard copy; if anyone really want to see it, leave a comment and I will post it. (Note: I have now posted it here.)

Crappy terminology:

I have never seen an issue discussed in terms that are so hard to understand.  There’s “single payer”, “the public option”, and then there’s the poll (with no comments possible) on the representative’s website “Should health care reform legislation include a federal government-run insurance coverage option?”  Say, what?  Option??  Shouldn’t it be mandatory, with everyone included? Like the Rev. Jackson said, “Everybody in and nobody out.”

For information on “single payer” try Physicians for a National Health Care Program.  Warning: no two people who have looked at this website can agree on what “single payer” is.  What it isn’t is getting rid of all insurance companies and having the government pay all health insurance claims.  I think.  Or is it?

Some people had a sign “Medicare for All”. People do understand that slogan and respect that system (unlike Medicaid), but the slogan doesn’t seem to be getting much play.

The videos, with times:

Video 1 (0:40):  Outside the church, the two demonstrators with pictures of Obama with the Hitler mustache are LaRouchies.

Video 2 (1:57):  A short speech, sorry, I didn’t catch who is speaking, but I pan the crowd to give an idea of what it looked like.

Video 3 (0:20):  Rev. Jesse Jackson, the father of Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., is introduced and takes the stage.

Video 4 (2:00):  Rev. Jackson speaks,

“Nobody in, nobody out.”
Insurance and pharmaceutical companies: “They must not take up all our space at the table.”
“If you like what you got, keep it…expansion.”
“The working poor — don’t have, the very poor — don’t have, our children — don’t have.”
“We all should be in and none of us should be out.”
“Everybody in and nobody out.”
…as I cut off the camera, the son begins to walks across the stage and the camera starts it’s stopping sequence.  After the camera cuts, they embrace.

Video 5 (7:05):  The congressman answers 2 questions from the crowd (the questioner gets a mic at 1:35) about 1)whether preventative medicine is included 2) whether the plan is the same health care that members of congress receive.

Video 6 (3:53):  Answering a question about coops and about the Public Option.

Video 7 (1:24): Answering a question from someone representing a diabetes group about preexisting conditions. (Techie note: The focus is bad here.  It is the notorious problem some Canon cameras have with the lens that the manufacturer has been slow to recognize.  This camera is a Canon Powershot A560 that I paid about $125 for.  It did the same thing a year ago.  Here I just power cycle the camera, and it seems to be okay again.)

Video 8 (2:56): Answer to a question about whether the congressman would support the bill without the Public Option portion.  The congressman answers 1) “should health care be a commodity?” and the “right” to health care as opposed to the “right” to shoot and 2) the “Tenth Amendment Argument” that conservatives use against bills for the general welfare.

Video 9 (0:29): At this point the only remaining questions are about the Public Option, so the congressman asks for applause directed at the cameras to indicate support for the Public Option.

Video 10 (0:58): outside the church after the meeting.  The Larouchies picture of Obama-with-Hitler-mustache is no longer visible as a large handwritten banner supporting the Public Option is unfurled in front of it. In the parking lot, Rev. Jackson gives an interview.  In the sanctuary, the congressman is now on the Larry King show being broadcast live from another city.

Video 11 (0:20): A demonstrator with a “Jesus hearts public option” sign.

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