The Hon. Jamie Raskin
US House of Representatives
412 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Greetings to you, Congressman Raskin. My wife and I own property in your district, although we vote in another. Sadly, we have no choice there but a Republican, but I am hoping you will respond to somebody who pays taxes in your district.
As a member of the Progressive Caucus in the House, I want to strongly encourage you to use your power, and your ability to advocate for your constituents, and those of the other members, to push the urgent need for Medicare For All, as envisioned in HR 1384. You and other members of the House Progressive Caucus can force a vote on this bill in 2021, a bill which is supported by overwhelming majorities of Democratic Party voters and supported by the majority of Republican Party voters.
It will take some political courage, but here is how you can do it: Democrats have nominated Nancy Pelosi to be the Speaker of the House again, without a challenge. To win the House Speakership, Ms. Pelosi needs to secure the majority of the full House. The House votes the first week of January. This is your leverage. I call upon you, and upon all the members who ran on Medicare For All, and for all the members who are part of the Progressive Caucus in Congress: We need 15 Democrats to make Ms. Pelosi promise, on video, in writing or in public, that you will not vote for her as Speaker unless Medicare For All is put on the House floor for a vote.
That’s it. It’s really that simple. Now is the time for Progressives to exercise their power, play hardball, and fight for the benefit of their constituents. Democrats have a reputation for being weak and not knowing how to do politics. My Progressive friends think your Caucus is our only hope for us to join the rest of the civilized world in making Medicare For All the law of the land and daring anybody, on either side of the aisle to oppose it.
We need you and the following 14 members to make this demand: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ro Khanna, Mark Pocan, Debbie Dingell, Ilhan Omar, Chuy García, Cori Bush, Katie Porter, Jamaal Bowman, Rashida Tlaib, Karen Bass, Marie Newman, and Barbara Lee. That’s all we need, just 15 of you. No vote for Nancy Pelosi unless Medicare For All is put on the House floor for a vote.
I hate to put this so starkly, but we’re in the midst of a pandemic. If not now, when? Is healthcare just a carrot to dangle in front of voters so you can win your next election? Or are you going to fight for it? Here’s your chance. People’s lives hang in the balance. This is not a fight over abstract concepts or nuanced ideological differences. This is Medicare For All: people’s actual lives depend on you doing this.
Please say you will. Thank you.
Ronald Bruce Meyer
Hawthorne never bothered to attend church as an adult and one biographer observes that, "His own family did not know what his opinions were."