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I am a Feinstein voter who is not pleased with your position on health care reform.

I am alive because in 1975 my parents had excellent health insurance that enabled me to get the very best care for Hodgkin's Disease, just at a time when the survival rates were shifting from 20/80 to 80/20.  In 2001, I had excellent health insurance coverage when my youngest son got acute lymphomatic leukemia (by the way, the two cancers are not related - just bad luck). The latter experience brought me into contact with a wide range of families suffering through a major disease.  In addition to the worries about the lives of a family member (on the leukemia loop and at the UCLA pediatric oncology clinic there would be people dying on a regular basis), there was wide-spread financial distress which hit families in the most vulnerable point in their lives, leading to real and permanent damage to marriages and siblings.

I recognize that there are difficult conflicts between providing medical care for all and affordability. I know we can't afford to provide every form of medical care to everyone who might even theoretically benefit from it.  I want you to look at the real root causes of the problem and support legislation that addresses those root causes. The recent New Yorker magazine article does a reasonable job of illustrating how we have a unique financial approach to medical care in the United States.  In America, we pay much more for medical care than other countries and we don't get better outcomes for the people with insurance, and we get much worse outcomes for the people without. There is a hypothesis that our method of financial medical care leads to much higher costs without commensurate benefits.  Please let us test that hypothesis by establishing a public option for health care.  If the conservative critics are right, a government-run program will be inefficient and provide poor service - if so, it can be discarded.  But if the root cause of the problem is how we fund health care, then the success of the public option could show savings of 30% or more, saving the economy hundred of billions of dollars per year on medical costs.  We are in such serious fiscal trouble that it would be dangerous not to explore this potential for savings.  

I would like to ask you to climb out of the partisan bickering and do what it takes to solve the real problems, not just put a band-aid on them and hope they go away.  I am lucky enough to be in the highest tax bracket, and I will gladly pay more in taxes to live in a country with universal health care.  If California has its proportional share of the uninsured in this country, that means that you have roughly 6 million uninsured constituents.  Please take care of them with universal coverage, and give us a chance to test whether our medical financing system causes our high cost/same outcome medical system, by support a public option in the health care legislation.

Originally posted to Greg306 on Mon Jun 22, 2009 at 09:15 PM PDT.

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