Liberal icon Congresswoman Barbara Lee held a town hall meeting in Oakland on Saturday morning (Feb. 18). The focus of the meeting was to “defend and improve” the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare”.
It seems that this will be the focus of the Democrats as they deal with Trump and the Republicans. In line with this focus on health care, some Democrats in the California State legislature are introducing a bill for “single payer” health care in California. It is extremely unlikely that this bill will pass, so what is more likely is that it will be used as a means of bringing more people into the (liberal Democratic) fold. And even if it were to pass, as the fate of single payer in Vermont shows, it’s not possible to successfully introduce single payer in one state along; it has to be on a national basis. (In any case, what’s really needed is to take profit out of the health care system entirely – for socialized medicine, in other words!)
It was significant that some 1200 or more people turned out, a large turnout for a Saturday morning. But the crowd was almost entirely white and middle class, and this in an event held in east Oakland which is overwhelmingly working class and Latino and black. This speaks to the movement that is developing against Trump. It seems that the Democrats will succeed in gaining the lead of this movement in its early days, but as a more working class element gets involved, that may change. Or at least there will be more opportunities for a working class and socialist tendency to develop, one that is independent of the Democrats and can lead towards a mass, fighting working class political party.