Which is why I’m doing a live TV show on Sunday, Dec. 6, entitled “If Reform Fails: Health Care, Jobs and Unions.”
As I noted last week, Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., stands as our last hope against the tide of exploitation of human misery which engulfs us.
His legislative strategy has been obvious for months: Get a bill, any bill, into conference committee reconciliation between the House and Senate. Reid only needs 51 votes to pass a bill resulting from the conforming process.
But what if the worst case scenario happens? What if the dark warnings in the December edition of Harper’s Magazine come true? (See last week’s column.) What if phony reform engineered by the insurance industry passes? What if Congress criminalizes those who won’t or can’t pay for private insurance, just as states criminalize lack of auto insurance?
In short, what if big money wins again?
That’s what we will consider on the TV set in your living room on Dec. 6 at 6 p.m. It will be available to every TV household in the region via telecast, cablecast and satellite. A coverage map will accompany the Web edition of this column at NevadaLabor.com. Basically, anyone east of Sacramento to the Lovelock city limits will be able to participate in the program. Likewise for a broad swath of Nevadans swooping south from Lyon County down to Hawthorne.
We will produce it live at Sierra Nevada Community Access Television’s (SNCAT) new studio in Reno’s Meadowood Mall and distribute regionally via the CW network affiliate, which not only covers a big chunk of California and Nevada via two over-air digital channels (27.2 and 46), but is also carried on cable channel 6 throughout the region. SNCAT will carry the show on digital channels 16, 216 and 80-295 within Washoe County.
Panelists will include Paul McKenzie, executive secretary-treasurer of the Building & Construction Trades Council of Northern Nevada/AFL-CIO; Rudy Viola, president of United Auto Workers Local 2162/AFL-CIO; and Larry Matheis, executive director of the Nevada State Medical Association. Additional participants and content will be announced as air date approaches. Watch NevadaLabor.com and ReSurge.TV.
This will not be a partisan rant but a thoughtful discussion. I have heard Mr. Matheis address this issue and he brings the most reasoned voice I have heard on the local, state or national levels. That’s doubly surprising, given that he represents the doctors’ lobby which has fought fang and claw against reforming the system for six decades, but no more.
Health care costs were a principal contributing factor to the fall of head-in-the sand General Motors. Mr. Viola will enlighten viewers. Mr. McKenzie is on the front line of unemployment. Two of three northern Nevada construction workers are now idle.
We will take questions from the live audience and also from phone callers. I urge readers to immediately start e-mailing questions to me at the address, below.
Admission to limited seating will be by tickets available only through the Truckee Meadows Democratic Alliance with priority given to its members. E-mail or call me for additional information at 882-TALK (882-8255).
All of this underscores the importance of non-corporate community media. I was on the founding board of SNCAT 20 years ago. We saved it from extinction at the hands of some elements on the Reno City Council and saw it grow into a nationally honored enterprise.
Please consider donating what you can afford to the community radio-TV project at ReSurge.TV. You may contribute online or send a check or money order to ReSurge.TV, P.O. Box 10034, Reno NV 89510.
Your contribution will help fund the distribution of this program on health care and jobs as well as a new community radio station.
The alternatives are dwindling. Hardworking Christiane Brown has retired her talk show on KJFK radio. She got no support from management, which suicidally moved Cory Farley against her on a sister station. They had a better and much more lucrative alternative.
Imagine this lineup: Former Tribunite Willie Albright anchoring the news in the morning. The Barbwire vs. Lush Rambo from 9 a.m. 'til noon, again beating the racist bigot just as I did in 1990-91. The greatest of them all, Travus T. Hipp, along with Farley and Brown through the afternoon. What would happen? Exactly what the Travus ‘n’ Andy shows did two decades ago: KKKOH loses about half its audience within four months. But commercial radio will hear of nonesuch. With non-corporate broadcast, it’s another story. So ante up if you can. I am moving heaven and earth to get a non-commercial FM radio station launched at the same time I have other TV shows in the pipeline. The alternative is more Lush Rambo, Bill Slanders and Lord Rupert Murdoch. You pick.
Bring Coat Hangers
Planned Parenthood activists make their own statement this Tuesday. They will host a rally from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in front of the federal building at Liberty and S. Virginia in Reno.
“Dozens of volunteers wearing hot pink ‘Protect Women’s Health’ t-shirts are expected at the rally to encourage both Nevada’s senators to protect women’s health care in the Senate health bill,” the organization notes.
The Bottom Line
Without meaningful health care reform, the American economy will not recover and job growth will not begin. The choice is yours. I suggest that you turn on and tune in this Sunday, and be sure to tell a friend.
Be well. Raise hell.
Andrew Barbano is a 40-year Nevadan, chair of the Nevada Cesar Chavez Committee, member of Sparks-based Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO and editor of NevadaLabor.com. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.