|THE PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS ON HEALTH CARE (House of Representatives – July 30, 2009)|
Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Thank you very much, Representative Ellison.
Let me, first of all, commend you for the leadership that you
continue to display as the message leader for the Progressive Caucus. I
see you here every week and oftentimes Representative Edwards is here with you. So I’m pleased to join you and her and Representative McDermott, with whom I serve on the Ways and Means Committee, and I know that Chairman Rangel was here a few minutes ago and others.
You know, as I listened to Representative Edwards and as
she talked about the winners and the losers, it is amazing that
individuals in the health care arena are earning these kind of
salaries, and that people are able to somehow or another not want to
pay, and people somehow or another don’t want to add a few extra
I come from a county with over 5 million people, and
unfortunately, many of them are low income. They are poor. Many of them
don’t have any insurance at all. They don’t have any way to access
care, any way to be taken care of. Some of them go to emergency rooms
of hospitals that are as many as 8 and 10 miles away in an urban area,
and they can’t get there.
To think that we now have an opportunity to reform, in a
real way, health care delivery and to create the kind of health care
delivery system that says that all of our citizens have worth, I don’t
know how those who are opposing a public option, I don’t even know how
you could begin to talk seriously about reforming our health care
delivery system without a public option.
I have sat through the many hearings that we have had in
Ways and Means. I have sat through countless hours of discussions with
staff and experts. No matter what we come up with, we know that we need
a robust, not a minuscule, not a weak, not an anemic public option, but
we need a real public option, one that can help build upon the network
of community health centers that we have spread across the country,
which have proven to be worth their weight in gold, which have proven
that they can deliver first-rate health and medical care in a
cost-efficient way with individuals who understand the language, the
culture, and the lifestyles of the people who come.
I agree with the Progressive Caucus members, as well as
others, that there just ought not to be a plan without a serious public
Again, I want to commend both of you for the tremendous
leadership that you continue to display. I know with the kind of
attention and care that you give to these issues, that our Congress and
our people are going to be in good shape for many years to come.
So, it has been a pleasure for me to stop by and to join
with you and have a few words to say. Of course, you know, I remember a
term we used to use a lot back in the sixties and seventies. We used to
say “a luta continua,” meaning that the struggle must continue and we
will conquer, without a doubt. If we dare to struggle, we dare to win.
Thank you so much. It is a pleasure to be here.
Mr. ELLISON. Let me thank you again, Congressman Davis.
You have been putting it out there for so long. There are 57 Members
who insist upon a robust public option. It is wonderful to count you
among one of those. I think the American people can rest assured there
are people in this Congress who are sticking up for their interests and
fighting for them, and your leadership in that regard is inspirational.
Thank you, sir.
Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Thank you very much.