Dear Representative Lee,
As your constituent, I’m writing to tell you why I’m such a strong supporter of health reform.
I was once a young person with a minimum wage job and no health insurance. I had no regular doctor. If I got sick, I treated myself with over-the-counter medicines and hoped I got better. If something serious had happened to me, I would have been yet another indigent in the Emergency Room. I couldn’t help but compare this development with my childhood. My dad was in the Navy and I was a military dependent until I was 21. I experienced “socialized” medicine first hand- seeing the doctor that was available, going to a big building full of doctors and patients, It worked fine. In fact, back in the 1960s, it was being operated by a large fraction of 18-22 year-olds who were either draftees or who volunteered to get some hope of picking a billet.
My late, first, wife was a writer, an independant, and simply could not find comprehensive health insurance. We’d lived together for 8 years, and I proposed to her and we got married. At the stroke of a pen, she suddenly had the same coverage I had. I’m not sorry we got married, but the system is perverse. We tried for months to find coverage for her. It wasn’t there. We had a pile of cash in the bank. And this was 25 years ago! She died at a young and untimely age, but not from the notional cause (weight) that the insurance industry claimed made her a bad risk.
As an adult with choices I have Kaiser through my workplace. Terrific health care, comprehensive, focused on “health” rather than “treatment”. They don’t bill some pot of money in the skhy for each and every step they take. They do their best to keep me healthy and keep the money they can save.
We pay more for health care than any other nation, and I can assure you that we don’t receive what we’re paying for. The for-profit insurance model is based on denying coverage and excluding the sick and potentially sick. Its simply wrong. We’re already paying more than any reasonable, “world class” system would cost. And getting less.
My wife and I are looking at retirement in another 10-15 years. And our son will leave school and start his adult life in 10 years or so. Our existing health-care system will be spurting money and not addressing either public or private needs in 10 years. We’ve got to fix this thing, and we can’t wait any longer,. People I love are depending on it.
The Republican party has an irrational mistrust of any collective social structure. They are intent on destroying even the for profit insurance we now have. That’s why the Randian lunatics want private health savings accounts. They want to peel off the healthy and well paid, so that there’s a “moral” hazard to being poor, or sick, or both. If you want coverage, in their universe, you should work harder, become rich, and pay out of your wallet. Unless you’re in Congress, of course.
Now they broadcast scary lies and dissemble in ways that should make them blush. I don’t know what their mothers taught them about sharing, or taking care of others. I know that their stone-wall opposition to health care reform is based on fear and delusion. Don’t be frightened of them. You’re from the Bay Area. They’re not serious players in our district.
There are others who would rather have the perfect package, as they understand it, and won’t accept compromise. They’re wrong. There is not a majority of voters in favor of single payer. Maybe someday. Not now. As Stanley Crouch observes, “Not getting your way is a democratic act.” Please don’t draw an imaginary line in the imaginary sand ad require the nation to line up on the right side. Lets get STARTED on fixing our broken health care system. Nothing final is going to happen this year. With your help, perhaps we can start something.
Please see my message to you, along with the stories and photos of other Americans from your district and across the nation, at http://my.barackobama.com/HereFor