Today a leading advocate of health care reform attempted to debunk many of the criticisms that Republicans continue to lob at President Obama’s signature initiative. Ron Pollack, head of FamiliesUSA, insisted that the law, which took effect one year ago today, has already helped millions of Americans and will eventually result in lower costs. He also refuted one of the most-heard criticisms of the measure, that it’s a “government” program, by noting that more people have private insurance today than before Congress took action. He also predicted that the law will withstand legal challenges it has generated. Here’s an excerpt from our conversation:
Juan De Marcos & The Afro Cuban All Stars begin their U.S. tour tonight at Strathmore Hall in Bethesda, and we were honored to get to interview bandleader Juan De Marcos. He talked about his music, his tour (he and the band just flew in from New Zealand) and changes in U.S./Cuban relations that are slowly easing travel restrictions between the two countries.
For ticket information, go to www.strathmore.org
Lastly, we talked today with journalist and activist Pete Tucker about the Bradley Manning case. Manning, the 23-year-old Army soldier who is facing charges in connection with the leaking of millions of pages of sensitive government documents, is being held at the Quantico Marine Base, pending trial. According to reports, he’s been forced to sleep naked and he’s being held in solitary confinement 23 hours a day. This has sparked protests against the military and against President Obama, who is perceived to have failed to intervene in the case.
Today’s edition of NewsTalk re-airs at 6pm on NewsChannel 8. There’s also an abbreviated replay at 8:30pm.
Thursday at 10am: Montgomery County labor leader Gino Renne and DC Councilman Michael A. Brown.