Ronald V. Dellums in 1998. (Robert A. Reeder/The Washington Post)

I was saddened to read about the death of former congressman Ronald V. Dellums, a Democrat from California [“Antiwar firebrand elected to 14 terms in House, led fight against apartheid,” obituaries, July 31]. He was a fearless giant in the legislative arena, admired by members of Congress on both sides of the aisle for his integrity and commitment to progressive ideas.

However, I was shocked that his obituary did not mention one word about Dellums’s persistent work on behalf of national health care in the United States. The Dellums bill, the Health Service Act, was introduced in 1977 and was reintroduced every two years after that in each Congress that he served. It was the first legislation introduced in Congress to set up a national health service and was a beacon of light for progressive health politics during another dark political period. Although it was often described as utopian, there are many of us who still feel that the system proposed by the Dellums bill is the only rational approach to providing affordable and effective health care to everyone in the United States.

Clare Feinson, Washington