Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A most interesting trope at the DNC

Lots said and seen on opening night of the Democratic National Convention in Denver, as Marjorie so eloquently posts above. One phrase resounded in this IntLawyer's ear.
Heard it 1st from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi:

America needs a president who knows that health care is a right, not a privilege. ...

Later, from Sen. Edward M. Kennedy:

[B]reak the gridlock and guarantee that every American -- North, South, East and West, young and old -- will have decent quality health care as a fundamental right and not a privilege.

It's a phrase Kennedy's used for years, as the video tribute to him demonstrated. But Pelosi's call shows that it's reached the mainstream, at least within the Democratic Party. The preamble to the party's platform declares:

We believe that quality and affordable health care is a basic right.

It's a moment to mark, in this country where one President's proclamation of 4 Freedoms helped to spur a social, economic, and cultural rights movement, yet other Presidents' words pushed back as that movement grew elsewhere in the world.
In the United States, perhaps, as elsewhere, a right to health.

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