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Health Care Vigils, Virtual and Otherwise

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, September 3 2009

The vigil imagery is, of course, no accident. With the debate over health care reform descending into a frantic obsession with Washington's insider political wrangling, MoveOn and its allies want to reorient the debate with a focus on the moral component of health care in the United States, and kick start grassroots support for reform. MoveOn, along with Democracy for America, True Majority, Health Care for America Now!, SEIU, and other progressive groups hosted vigils across the country last night, under the banner of "We Can't Afford to Wait." Some 360 were planned, they say, including some organized by volunteers. Lindsay Beyerstein has captured some great photos of the event in New York City's Columbus Circle, and the Washington Post's Dan Eggen has good coverage. (I'm not sure how to slot into this post the fact that someone got their finger bitten off at a California vigil, but there it is.) Complementing the on-the-ground events was a virtual vigil where people can, in a manner of speaking, light a candle in tribute to their own personal health care struggles or those of someone they care about. MoveOn says 8,680 candles have been "lit."