Report on Congressional Hearing

by Janet Westphal

Report by the HOS president on the healthcare meeting held by Houston Representative Sheila Jackson Lee and Michigan Representative John Conyers, Jr.

Besides myself, three other members showed up to the healthcare meeting on Friday, July 18th (which actually was a Congressional Hearing).  I had planned my son’s feedings around the meeting, which was to be from 1:30-3:30.  Those @#$% politicians didn’t show up until 3:00!  Up to that point, I had been amusing my son, but the minute John Conyers started speaking, he started crying.  I was tempted to just stay there and annoy all those bleeding heart liberals (their own description) on stage, but I decided to step outside.  But I was there to hear the first words out of Conyers’ mouth: “This issue isn’t about ideas, or theories, or philosophy, or idealism.  It’s about providing healthcare.”  No wonder my son started crying.  When I stepped back inside, I heard two doctors on stage telling sob stories about patients not receiving the care they need.  The last speaker was a former pres. of the AFL-CIO, who is now on the hospital district’s board.  It’s probably not hard to imagine what he had to say.  It was getting close to 4:00, and I thought that they would finally take questions from the audience.  But, no.  They then introduced a second group of people to go up on stage to talk about the virtues of socialized medicine, no doubt.  By that time I had to leave because my son needed to be fed.  According to the members who stayed, the meeting continued for another hour with more of the same.  Then, around 5:00, Sheila Jackson Lee looked at her watch and said it was time to wrap things up and that they wouldn’t have time to take questions or comments from the audience.  This after at the beginning of the meeting saying that she was eager to hear what members of the audience had to say.  Just one woman had a chance to run up to the microphone and ask a question about the pay for nursing teachers.

That was it.  The other three HOS members left in total disgust.  I’m glad I didn’t waste another hour there.  Two of us did write letters to the editor, which unfortunately weren’t published (see below).  I also sent mine to both Lee and Conyers, as well as my rep. and senators.  The good news: I recently had a meeting with another HOS member, who is also an officer in the Rice Objectivism Club.  She mentioned the possibility of having a speaker from ARI, or perhaps a panel of speakers, come to Rice this fall to give a talk on the healthcare crisis.  With financial support from HOS members and ARI, I think we could make this happen.  I’ll keep you posted.

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