I'll be looking for Larry at the N.C. Democratic Party State Executive Committee meeting in Durham tomorrow.
Larry? Larry Kissell. Representative Larry Kissell (D-NC's 8th District). I'll be looking to catch you and make this plea in person -- but in case you're not there, or I can't reach you through the crowds, I'm posting it online tonight. Perhaps if I miss you, others will take it up and deliver the same message. In fact, I expect that they will.
From all the feedback I can collect, Rep. Kissell may be the only North Carolina vote potentially "in play" still on the final passage of health care reform. He voted "no" the first time around, to the great distress of the many North Carolina Democrats who contributed and campaigned hard for him just two years ago. But he has a chance to redeem himself now, to come through in the clutch when every vote will count. That's later this month, when the House takes up the Senate version and an expected reconciliation package with negotiated changes.
Rep. Kissell, passing legislation which formally adopts into law the principle that every American is entitled to affordable health care coverage will be a monumental achievement. This is the kind of thing that will be remembered as the highlight of public service careers that last decades. You don't really want to be on the wrong side of American history, do you? To be remembered in the same breath with those who voted against Social Security, or Medicare, or civil rights?
Don't let lies about the bill's alleged affect on Medicare lead you astray. You will almost certainly never have another chance to help get this done. We have seen, time and again, that when the ideologues and shady-rules bean-counters beat back universal coverage legislation, the next chance doesn't come again for another political generation.
Thirty million Americans, including tens of thousands who you directly represent, are counting on you.
Don't let them down.