The Strategic Moment

Date and Time:
Saturday, October 31, 9:45AM-10:0AM (Boulevard room, Hilton Chicago)

Presenter: Michael Lighty, Director of Public Policy, California Nurses Association/National Nurses United

Notes from Conference Participants:

Donna DeWitt: I feel like we are so much closer – makes more sense – sound really close. I’m ready for another revolution. Rose Ann was burning it up before the Bern – these are people who understand the Burn.

ML – NNU – we are delighted.

ML – (Strategic Moment) – Dewitt – most kick ass labor leader in the south. Nurses in TX are second to none – south is full of fighters. Getting dressed and trying to figure out what to talk about – (shows t shirt) – Bernie Sanders – oh yeah, we have election – what is the most significant thing you can do ? (Elect BS) – think about the political moments in our life times – 60’s profound social upheaval – CRM – greatest SM since WW2 – greatest expansion of publically financed HC (Medicare and Medicaid) – 1993 / 2010 – moment for HC – not a broad Movement – we were the SP tail wagging – They abandoned SP – She was wrong 20 years ago and she is wrong today – in debate – I agree with you but I just have a different way of getting there – the biggest joke that the ins companies are enemies of SP – presidential agenda defined it – decided Public Option was publically viable so they threw their weight behind it – difference is A – there was a movement that demanded change – had direct impact on what the pres put forward – we are in that position today – we have it within our power to put Medicare for all on the agenda. What can I do for SP – look at the 74 year old white guy running around the country talking about SP? We have to think politically – very good on policy – won the policy argument, they refused to have the debate. Ultimately the fight is about the role of govt – inherently political – not enough to have the policy argument – take on power that is opposed to us.

They’re merging because the govt .makes them – every answer in rep debate – smaller govt and less regulation – that’s what the fight is about – one party about shrinking govt another party that doesn’t know what it’s about – That party is confused – we are the base of that party – even if not members – we are constituency that can demand that party take on corporate America – that is what the political fight is about.

3 key constituencies:
1 – labor – at front of movement – tough time for American labor – faces destructive supreme court case – right to work on the move – another 4 years – labor movement has not prospered under this administration – labor movement force for SP – groups that most strong
2 – Latinos – most strongly supported – work and are citizens – must engage in our movement – CA is very instructive – engaged with those folks – builds solidarity and demand.
3 – Business – need to have element of Bus comm with us – see Fix It – very simple what Dr. Fegan was saying – get more / pay less – also happens to be true – US Bus can provide better HC through single payer – we can make that case to the bus comm. funny thing is – giving money that doesn’t add value — Aetna – does not provide care or guarantee access to health services – don’t take my word for it – read their card – they ain’t doing nothing CEO

When we engage in these fights why? Part of a political strategy – the point of VT ultimately was a political feat – were not going to establish true SP – had shot at privately financed system – had shot at pol. Win – not going— to claim CO is SP – declare that as your effort to win HC – frame the victory and claim the victory – Private in one / Med and VA separate – not truly SP – but is in the right direction – attempting to socialize the financing of 20 percent of the economy – that’s not an easy fight – they are dedicated to a war among themselves for the dollars of HC spending – the market is the problem in HC. When we take on the pharma and …. Taking on philosophy that the market knows best – fight over ideology – can the people come together and make their lives better– understand political movement and take every opportunity to build that movement – on our way to SP in this country in a whole new way – end with invocation of Tim Carpenter – create political revolution and take back this country for justice.

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