When a dozen consumers gathered over the weekend to discuss health care at the behest of President-elect Barack Obama, they quickly agreed on one point: they despise health insurance companies.
They also agreed that health care was a right; that insurance should cover “everything,” not just some services; and that coverage should be readily available from the government, as well as from employers.
Those were the conclusions of a house party held here in Northern Virginia at the home of Karima Hijane and Theodore A. Kolovos, information technology consultants who have been married for seven years.
“We have to keep the momentum going,” said Ms. Hijane, 34, who was a volunteer in the Obama campaign and is active in women’s health advocacy.
One of the people seated around Ms. Hijane’s dining room table, Bruce D. Chatman, worked for I.B.M. for 29 years. Corporations, he said, have too much influence in the legislative process and the health care system. He wants to counterbalance their power with the energy and passion of citizens lobbying for themselves.
Mr. Chatman, a Chicago native who lives in Fort Washington, Md., said he had been inspired by Mr. Obama’s book “The Audacity of Hope” and started working for his campaign as a volunteer in April 2007.
Alex R. Lawson, a volunteer in the Obama campaign now trying to build public support for Mr. Obama’s agenda, said a public plan would give people a choice they do not have.
And let’s not forget the entire point of these ‘discussions’:
The Obama transition team asked for “particularly poignant stories to highlight the need for health care reform,” and such stories were abundant at the round table here.