Political commentator Jimmy Dore slammed Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for allegedly implying that his and other activists’ voices don’t matter when pushing for a House vote for Medicare for All.
Last week Dore and NFL’s Justin Jackson started a public pressure ‘Force the Vote’ campaign for Ocasio-Cortez and other House progressives to buck Pelosi’s speakership bid in order to bring a floor vote on the Medicare for All universal healthcare plan.
Ocasio-Cortez rejected the idea, saying that the Democratic Party’s left wing should instead push for some more incremental changes. The congresswoman also argued that the vote would be doomed to fail, and thus “ward off pressure” from politicians who stand against it.
“Pay attention: actual [Medicare for All] grassroots organizers haven’t pushed for this,” she tweeted.
So now you’ve actually made life harder for organizers bc if you suspect a cosponsor isn’t a “genuine” supporter, you now just gave them a chance to cover when stakes are low – so now they can ward off pressurePay attn: actual M4A grassroots organizers haven’t pushed for this
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 16, 2020
Dore released a response on Tuesday, baffled by Ocasio-Cortez apparently implying that he, Jackson and other supporters of the ‘Force the Vote’ campaign were “not approved” to ask something of the politicians. “What constitutes a ‘Medicare for All grassroots organizer’? Is there a badge that you can get?” the comedian quipped.
“Who decides if I’m a good enough grassroots organizer so that I can petition my government for something? I thought anybody could do that.”
Dore went on to say he was going to make the case as to why he “is allowed” to advocate for healthcare reform.
“I got sick a few years ago… In a way that was hard to diagnose,” he revealed adding that his insurance company “wouldn’t pay” for the fruitless attempts to do so. Dore had to pay ‘out of pocket’, but every prescribed treatment would only make him feel worse.
“A year went by and they still kept misdiagnosing me, and the insurance company still wouldn’t pay,” Dore said, as his story was getting more and more graphic. The comedian was taking a “fistful” of painkillers just to get out of bed, “limp” into a doctor’s office and simply get denied service, “because my credit card was packed and I owed them money already.”
Eventually he found the “best guy,” Dr. Sharp who could probably give him the correct diagnosis.
“So I called him. They didn’t take my insurance.”
Without the right treatment Dore got sicker. “Then one day I stepped off a step the wrong way…” Dore paused, visibly tearing up “…and my spine collapsed.”
The incident left Dore with dead bone in his hip and thigh, and made him three inches shorter. “Literally, I went from being 5/10 to being 5/7, just like that,” he said trying to lighten up his story.
“And I still had to go try to get treatment… And I was bankrupt. We didn’t have any more money. So we had to take out loans, take out second mortgages, drained all our savings, the whole deal.”
After “three years limping around Hollywood,” Dore was even contemplating suicide. When he finally got enough money Dr. Sharp diagnosed him “in one visit” with hypophosphatemic osteomalacia, a rare metabolic bone disease.
“I know I’m not an ‘approved’ grassroots organizer, but I am an American citizen, who went bankrupt because of medical bills. … I hope that will be OK with AOC if I advocated for Medicare for All.”
Dore accused Ocasio-Cortez of “gaslighting” the progressive movement, calling her a “healthy, young, rich person who’s running on celebrity” and “trying to find the way not to do what she said she was going to do, which is fight for you.”
Since the inception of the ‘Force the Vote’ initiative Dore has become a highly polarizing figure on the American left. While some agreed with his ideas of putting pressure on elected officials, others thought he was being too hostile toward AOC, with some accusing him of being “sexist.”