Last Tuesday evening I was officially invited out to Washington, DC to be part of a press conference on health care reform with Nancy Pelosi and the House leadership. I was honored and humbled to speak on behalf of millions of American families like mine who are paying more and more for monthly coverage (if they can even afford it) and yet receive fewer and fewer benefits.
So Tuesday was the invite, Wednesday I was on a plane to DC thanks to the folks at Consumers Union, and at noon on Thursday March 18, 2010 I was in Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's office, ready to head to the press conference. Yikes!
Knowing that a vote on the health care bill was just days away, the press corps showed up in full. The press room was packed, there were something like 150 reporters and cameramen crammed into the room.
I stood behind Speaker Pelosi as she made the opening remarks, certain that anyone tuned into C-Span at that moment could see my heart beating out of my chest!
Meg, one of my "handlers" (read: hand-holders) at Consumers Union, and her team had prepared us for this moment, but, wow. She reminded me that I was there to share my story. She advised me to think of my statement like a blog post.
Easy peasy. Writing a blog post is simple. Just me, my thoughts and the computer. But reading a blog post, to a live audience, and not just any live audience, but one fully outfitted with still cameras, video cameras, notebooks and netbooks who are by the way transmitting, transcribing and publishing in real time? Eep.
But I did it. And so did Carolyn, Ed and Stella, the other "real people" brought in to share their stories as a cancer survivor, small business owner and senior citizen, respectively.
And Speaker Pelosi and the House leadership did it, too. We delivered health care reform to the American people. My thanks goes out to all of the people who worked hard to make this happen. I was honored to be a part of this effort.