One surety of politics is that there will always be assholes. There were the hecklers at the Democratic Convention who fail to release that ninety percent of Sanders supporters intend to vote for Clinton (a pre-convention figure that was much higher than Clinton supporters who intended to vote for Obama in 2008)–as a Sanders supporter, I deserve better representation than those jokers. At the same time, those suffering from Sanders Derangement Syndrome such as Al Giordano and Kos of Daily Kos are plotting their revenge in 2018 against Sanders for not using his Svengali-like mind control powers to silence his delegates (apparently 2016 is the first divided Democratic convention they’ve ever seen, and it’s like ELEVENTY HITLERS11!!11).
As we often note, lo, there are assholes and they walk among us. But enough about assholes since it was a good night. Since lots of other people have hased through the highlights, I won’t, but there is one thing worth mentioning that seems to have been neglected–Sanders’ mention of community health centers, which Sanders has pushed for a long time (boldface mine):
Over the years, Sanders has tucked away funding for health centers in appropriation bills signed by George W. Bush, into Barack Obama’s stimulus program, and through the earmarking process. But his biggest achievement came in 2010 through the Affordable Care Act. In a series of high-stakes legislative maneuvers, Sanders struck a deal to include $11 billion for health clinics in the law.
The result has made an indelible mark on American health care, extending the number of people served by clinics from 18 million before the ACA to an expected 28 million next year.
As one would expect, the program was largely met with plaudits from patients and public health experts, but it has also won praise from even the biggest Obamacare critics on Capitol Hill. In letters I obtained through multiple record requests, dozens of Republican lawmakers, including members of the House and Senate leadership, have privately praised the ACA clinic funding, calling health centers a vital provider in both rural and urban communities.
To Sanders, the clinics have served as an alternative to his preferred single-payer system. Community health centers accept anyone regardless of health, insurance status or ability to pay. They are founded and managed by a board composed of patients and local residents, so each center is customized to fit the needs of a community. No two health centers are alike.
When I tweeted about the community health clinics, someone responded:
They treated my cancer when I was uninsured for $20 a visit + free or 75% off meds, free surgery. ACA funded clinic.
This, not their fevered dreams of the Democratic version of the Mayberry Machiavellis or of the Bernie dead-enders, is what matters. Something to keep in mind through November as well as beyond.