Tag Archives: Obama

Well-Timed Luncheon

The date for the League of Women Voters health care luncheon at Silverdale Beach Hotel was set a couple of months ago.
At the time we had no idea whether President Obama’s health care reform bill would be passed, would be dead or would still be under debate. As it turned out, our discussion on health care came on Tuesday, March 23, the same day that Obama signed the historic legislation into law.
LWV has long supported health care reform and encouraged its members to express their support for the bill to their Congress members.
Presenting their views of health care reform at the luncheon were Scott Bosch, CEO of Harrison Medical Center, and Barb Malich, CEO of Peninsula Community Health Services.
Bosch said he was glad the health care reform bill passed but said he saw many problems remaining.
“It’s all about the money,” he said. The Medicare Trust Fund is on the decline at the same time as 350 people become eligible for Medicare every hour.
With so many new people coming into the health care system, he also wondered how the medical field would gear up to serve them.
He said the average age of nurses at Harrison is 50, and that medical and nursing schools are not training enough new providers.
Malich said she had been celebrating the passage of the bill and was filled with both “euphoria and uncertainty.”
Her clientele at the community services clinic in Bremerton consists mostly of people who do not now have insurance. Nearly 21,000 people were served last year.
She agreed with Bosch that access to health insurance does not always equate to access to health care, but said the new law will provide scholarships to those who want to pursue a career in medicine and will also help with repayment of student loans for health care professionals.
She deplored the “loss of civility” during the health care debate and urged the League to continue its work of brining people together for informed discussions.
“Don’t be afraid to engage because it’s gotten ugly out there,” she said. “We need your engagement. We need your commitment.”
Next month the League shifts its focus to education, specifically the underfunding of schools in our state. A public meeting is planned for 7-9 p.m. April 20 at Central Kitsap High School. Speakers will be Isabel Munoz-Colon, OSPI budget analyst, and Tom Ahearne, lawyer for the education funding lawsuit.

More Reaction to Supreme Court Decision

You may have noticed President Obama’s critique of the recent Supreme Court decision on corporate spending on campaigns during his State of the Union speech.
The League shares Obama’s concerns.
Longtime League member Pam Hamon recently wrote the following letter to the editor on the recent Supreme Court decision on corporate campaign spending:

To the Editor:
It’s a sad day for democracy and the individual voter. The Supreme Court’s 5 to 4 decision now allows large corporations, banks, financial institutions and unions the ability to spend, without limits, funds from their treasuries for candidate and issue campaigns. This goes against 30 years of precedence and a century of practice. Voters will need to do more homework to be sure they fully understand the issues before casting their votes because we all know money counts and manipulates.
Pam Hamon
Poulsbo

Here is the national League position on the Supreme Court decision:

Washington, DC –The following is a statement by Mary G. Wilson, national president of the League of Women Voters on the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC. The League filed an amicus brief in this case:
“The Supreme Court has made a tragic mistake. Their decision announced today in Citizens United v. FEC is constitutionally irresponsible and will surely bring about an anti-democratic revolution in how we finance elections in this country. Today, basic pillars of American democracy have been undermined – that elections should not be corrupted by vast corporate wealth and that the voters should be at the center of our democratic system.
“Justice Stevens had it right when he said, in his dissent, ‘The Court’s ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the Nation. The path it has taken to reach its outcome will, I fear, do damage to this institution.’
“In creating a new constitutional right for corporations to spend unlimited amounts of their shareholder’s money to determine the outcome in candidate elections, the Court has unleashed into our elections tremendous sums of money from for-profit corporations that cannot possibly be matched in quantity by contributions from ordinary citizens. The only possible outcome of this is that big money and special interests will have an even tighter grip on our democracy.
“Congress and the President enacted campaign finance laws over a series of decades for a reason – to protect our democracy from the perverse influence of big money in our elections. In making this decision, the Court has ignored the best interests of the American public and our representative form of government.”