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Sen. Paul LeVota (D) – Back to Blue Dinner – Belton, Missouri – April 13, 2013 (April 14, 2013)

Cass County Democrats hosted their annual Back to Blue Dinner in Belton, Missouri last night. Attorney General Chris Koster (D) was the keynote speaker.

Attorney General Chris Koster (D) speaking in Belton, Missouri on April 13, 2013.

Part 1:

Attorney General Chris Koster (D): ….And so, he [an elderly relative] has this physical challenge that causes great concern. We think about what the world was like, even just a couple of years ago before the Affordable Care Act when pre-existing conditions stopped people who were in this situation from obtaining health care. And we imagine a world where the Republicans follow through on [Representative] Paul Ryan’s [R] promise and just give my seventy-seven year old family member a six thousand dollar voucher. A six thousand dollar health care voucher to walk up and down main Street and knock on the door of private insurance carriers and say, here’s my coupon, would you give me some health care? And they say to him, Well, do you have any pre-existing conditions? Well, I’m not sure, I spent, there was, I had a seventy thousand dollar medical bill last year and the doctors still don’t know what’s going on with me and the tests continue, but I have Paul Ryan’s six thousand dollar coupon right here, and if you could please help me. He’s seventy-seven years old. He shouldn’t have to walk up and down Main Street and beg for health care in this country. This is the [applause]….  

Part 2:

Attorney General Chris Koster (D): ….And at the end of my time with him, as I was kind of bringing the discussion to a conclusion I asked him, I said, Bishop, is there anything that you would share with me as, as advice? You’re forty, you’re exactly forty years older than I am, he’s eighty-eight, I’m forty-eight. I said, is there any piece of advice that you would share with me. And he thought for a second, he kind of looked down at his chest, and then he, he lifted his head back up, and he very determinedly said, salus populi, suprema lex esto. And I was frozen in place. And I though to myself, my God, what a response. He had said, let the welfare of the people be the supreme law. This eighty-eight year old man has said this, these five words in Latin. That was his advice. He was a religious man, but he had not given a religious answer. He had given the most secular of all answers. He was an African-American man, but he did not an answer that was based in race. he gave an answer that addressed us as a universal family. He was a preacher, but he didn’t give an answer that was an hour long. He, he could have. He gave an answer that was five words. That was so at the heart of our state’s democracy and our state’s formation….

….And if we underestimate one another as people then we probably underestimate our ability as a community as well to go down to Jefferson City, to govern ourselves with intelligence and humanity, to balance the needs of a capitalist business class with the basic social contract that our children should be educated, our sick should have medicine, and our old people should not live in poverty. Salus populi, suprema lex esto, that was his advice. Let the welfare of the people be the supreme law. It is great advice for us as Democrats, for us as Missourians….

Attorney General Chris Koster (D).