Can Obama, Clinton or McCain Heal Our Healthcare System?

A local campaign pro is just one of the 46 million Americans without health insurance

Clement said she had cast her own ballot for Obama. "It wasn't out of confidence in his health-care plan, but more in the hope that is engendered by his candidacy—that it gets carried over into action, that people will get him to do what he needs to do."

Judy Wessler, who has long been New York's leading health-care activist, said she also voted for Obama despite her misgivings about his health-care proposal. "Neither he nor Hillary have proposed what needs to happen," said Wessler, director of a nonprofit group called the Commission on the Public's Health System. "But what is happening around Obama is so extraordinary I think it will get us started."

A poster child on primary day in Gotham
A poster child on primary day in Gotham

Up in his hospital room, Tilzer said that other than this business with his foot, his main complaint on primary day was that he couldn't be near any polling places. All day, he took reports at his bedside about broken voting machines in Brooklyn. "They're down in the 39th A.D., the 41st, and the 42nd," he said. "Nobody's complaining either, because no one out there knows what they're doing. If I was healthy, I could do something about it. Then again," Tilzer added, "if I ever get out of here, I may have to get a real job—with benefits."

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