Some 1,500 uninsured people are expected to seek medical attention at a free mass clinic at the Statehouse Convention center from noon to 7 p.m. today.
It might be that, sometime during the clinic, Sen. Blanche Lincoln will cast a deciding vote on whether to let the Senate debate health reform legislation. She's been quoted as saying that the free clinic in Little Rock is a nice thing, but no solution to the country's health care problems. Indeed. But it's better than doing nothing. Remember that your friends at the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce have vigorously advocated the do-nothing course in pressing Lincoln to filibuster even the motion to open debate.
Here's a fact sheet on today's clinic that might be of interest.
Also, Brummett writes about the Halter-Lincoln political overtones of today's event. What's wrong with being a political opportunist if the result is medical attention for 1,500 people in sore need?
As a reader noted last night, however, former President Clinton will be avoiding the clinic because it has been too politicized by Keith Olbermann. Of course, Clinton has reason not to associate with Olbermann causes, on account of Keith's trashing of Hillary in 2008.
ALSO: Brummett predicts Blanche votes yes, following the Mark Pryor and Ben Nelson templates. Safe bet. I think she added to her own woes by not saying what Pryor said days ago. She created more drama for herself. Her own statement earlier hinted at a "yes" vote by its reference to debate being only a starting point.
UPDATE: She'll announce her decision in a conference call with reporters at 2:30 p.m.
A doctor who'll be providing services today provides a photo of the convention center setup and a comment for the doctors' wives who berated U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder for voting to expand health care for U.S. citizens: "Is this where YOU want to receive YOUR health care? Is this where you want you children or your parents to receive THEIR care?"
I wonder if that teabagger who attended the Children's Hospital forum, another doctor's wife who objected to health legislation, has turned her heart surgeon husband out as a volunteer today. She had told us he provided tons of free care. Perhaps she thinks she can take back America by letting these sick eat cake.