Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius is likening opponents of the Affordable Care Act to opponents of desegregation. “What we heard back then is what we’re hearing now, the same arguments against change, the same fear and misinformation that opponents used are the ones opponents are spreading now,” she said last week in a speech before the NAACP.
Sebelius also tried to drew similarities between the creation of Medicare and Medicaid and the enactment of civil-rights legislation from the same era, and urged the audience to be ready to do “the kind of work” on Obamacare that the NAACP “has done for more than a century to move us forward.”
“You showed it in the early fights against lynching and the fight for desegregation . . . you showed it by supporting a health law 100 years in the making,” she said.
The Health and Human Services secretary also heralded “the voices of progress” that will mark the October 1 date on which the law’s health-care exchanges open, comparing the event to the Emancipation Proclamation. “They echo from church bells rung at midnight 150 years ago to educate our nation of a people’s emancipation,” she said.