Letter to my Legislators

Since voting seems to have a marginal effect on the direction my country is going, I decided that letter-writing might increase my impact.  I could answer a survey that comes in the mail or over the phone, but such surveys force one to answer “yes” or “no” to a series of ridiculous statements and then use the responses to support whatever a party or candidate wants to promote. I feel used when this happens which is why I hang up on survey-takers.

I also don’t like to just tell my legislators what I am for and against. This is usually vague and gives them all sorts of excuses to do things you never intend them to do. For example, “Are you in favor of immigration reform?” is a ridiculous question. I want to know exactly what a legislator has in mind to propose and then I might have something to say in the matter.

My first issue is Health Care. I plan to send the following comments to those currently representing the people of Minnesota in our state and in Washington.

I believe that every citizen of the United States should be able to get health care when they need it. No American citizen should have to choose between seeking help when they are sick and putting food on their family’s table.  Every disease or disability that an American child suffers should be attended to without throwing a family into poverty.

How to pull off such a feat of providing health care for all citizens is beyond the limits of my brain, but I do know that it will never happen unless there is a national resolve. “Where there is a will, there is a way,” they say. Where there is will no will why bother looking for a way?

It sounds like Obamacare is not the best answer to American’s need for health care. In my opinion, its designers were trying to please too many factions. The very thickness of it seems to prove that. When something is hard to understand, you have to have a whole layer of “experts” to interpret it. But, the fight for health care in America is a century old, beginning with the progressives who fought for it when Teddy Roosevelt was president. The idea has been brought up over and over again in Congress since then. There was a big effort when Clinton became president. He may have been more successful if he hadn’t put Hillary in charge. Not that she did a bad job but Americans weren’t ready to accept the idea of “Mr. and Mrs. President”. He might have done better if he had let Congress pick someone to lead the effort.  As bad as Obamacare may seem, it is my opinion that a good thing that a bill was passed – now we get to watch it unfold and see the bugs in the system.

I regret that there are members of Congress who want to throw it out. I would feel better if they would at least speak about the problems that Obamacare it is trying to solve and assure us that if there is a change, these problems will be addressed and that in transitioning, those who have begun to benefit from its care won’t be left hanging.  It bothers me, too, that there are people, including those in leadership, who have good health care and are oblivious to what life is like for those who don’t and their suffering. I am painfully aware of the powers behind the resistance to universal health care.

This is what I hope and want to communicate to my legislators:

1)      When discussing healthcare, keep the needs of the people front and center, especially those who suffer when they don’t have health care. There will be conflicts of interest…I am suggesting that the interest of these be preferred.

2)      Don’t be so cocky that we don’t look at what other countries are doing with health care. Some of them have been providing it for their citizens for a long time and have gotten the bugs out of their systems. We can avoid our own mistakes by paying attention to them.

3)      Don’t be afraid of the word ‘socialism’. I know that socialism as a system is problematic but democracy isn’t perfect either. Only in a democracy would we have the gridlock we’ve seen in the last few years. It makes one yearn for a good old monarchy.

4)      Don’t’ be paranoid about the cost. I believe those who say that when health care is provided for all Americans, money will be saved all over the place. It is saved when tax payers don’t have to pay for emergency room visits for the poor. It is saved by workers when health care costs don’t have to come out of their family budget. On the other hand, don’t be stupid with our money. I am all in favor of paying taxes…but I get steamed when my money is wasted.

5)      Don’t expect to ever be finished. Redo Obamacare, cut away what is wasteful or harmful, rewrite as needed. Get the work done. Come back to it when there is a glitch you didn’t anticipate.

By the way, I don’t want to argue with anyone about this. I have already admitted that I don’t know how to do health care, but I stand firm in my desire that everyone have as good and as affordable health care as my husband and I have. If you don’t share that desire, we have nothing to talk about.



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