On Thursday, I hosted my MSNBC "Ed Show" from the Kansas City Convention Center. There have been few days in my thirty year broadcasting career that have moved me as much as this experience did. I saw the real America. In the middle of the country, two thousand miles from the beltway, I witnessed middle class Americans standing in line for hours waiting to see a doctor. Some had not seen a doctor in years. They have jobs, some working two jobs, but can't afford the cost of insurance and basically are on the GOP plan: pray you don't get sick.
The stories were gut wrenching. I couldn't help but think this is where the Senate needs to do their business. Do it right in front of the eyes of the people in their own country who are struggling to make ends meet and live in dignity. The Senate should do business in front of the families that have played by the rules and have been dealt a personal set back for one reason or another. Have the guts to tell these people to their face that they aren't worthy of health care because they don't have money. They may see these faces briefly on the campaign trail, but they make no decisions in front of them when they are standing in line in pain, in agony and in desperate need.
America has a heartless side to it as well. That is demonstrated when U.S. Senators put the God Almighty Dollar in front of people who put them in office. How any law maker could deny full access and full health care coverage is beyond me. Senators who put themselves ahead of the people and who have been spoiled by the Washington good life have lost their soul and what it means to be an American. We throw billions of dollars at wars, often without hesitation, but some in the Congress are willing to treat humans in their own country like a piece of machinery that can be left in a junk yard.
My God, what has happened to America ?
In the arena of despair and need, I saw first hand the best of America. Over 1600 volunteers and more than 600 medical personnel and fifty five doctors willing to take the personal time and care about this crisis. Care about their fellow countryman and neighbor. Heroes, that's what they are. Not selfish lawmakers who have best health care in the world. These were real heroes who hoped for a better America and were willing to take the time to do their part. The National Association of Free Clinics and the people who work in this organization are the best of the best. They should be doing the voting, making the policy and writing the rules. Not heartless self indulged Senators who we have been trusted to be the care takers of our country.
I beg the Senate: please make the correct decision for this country and pass the torch to a new generation with compassion and moral compass with a health care bill that never falls short of any need for any American.