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I just got an email--as many others did, no doubt--from Chris Dodd, announcing that he's been diagnosed with an early form of prostate cancer.

And that he'll be having it tended to, very soon, and that the prognosis is very good, and that he'll be back at work and....

Below is my letter in reply.

Dear Chris,

I'm really sorry to hear that you have prostate cancer.

I'm delighted that you're fortunate enough to have caught it at an early stage... and that the prognosis is so good.

That is, as I'm sure that you're aware, largely a result of having health care--good health care--which you receive as a member of the US Congress.  I'm glad that We The People provide you that benefit.

I sincerely hope that this makes you very aware of just how important it is that similar quality care is available to every person in America, because without it... well, you're in a perfect position to see what it would mean for the tens of millions of us who have no health care at all.  When we find out we have prostate cancer, it may be when it's at a late stage, and we're in an emergency room, and it's metastasized, and there's nothing that anyone can do to cure it.  Or we may be one of the tens of millions more who have very sketchy insurance that won't cover much, and will be taken away if and when we get tested and find we have cancer... so we don't bother to check, since the fear of being without insurance is even worse than the fear that maybe we might have something... that we really ought to check for.

It's this simple, Chris.

We need health care.  Not insurance.  Not "access" to insurance.  We need health care--for each and every one of us.

It's a matter of life.

We don't need options that the insurance companies are willing to compete with. We need options that give us--tomorrow--real health care.  The truth is that MOST of us can't afford the average (dubious) health insurance policy available now.  It's already 25% (or more) of the average family income.  Food, housing, utilities, transportation and taxes... those devour most of the average American's income. There isn't 25% to give to insurers.

There's only one real way to solve this.

I sincerely hope that your surgery goes perfectly and that you make a quick recovery.

As you go through this process, please, please, remember all those of us who don't have the level of care you have--or any care at all, until it's too late or almost too late.

We need health care.

Not insurance.

Best wishes,
ogre

Originally posted to ogre on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 11:04 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (11+ / 0-)

    "The human capacity for goodness makes democracy possible, but it's precisely the human capacity for evil that makes democracy utterly necessary." Gary Dorrien

    by ogre on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 11:04:08 AM PDT

  •  Is Dodd a hold-out on the public option? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ogre, dirkster42

    I'm embarrassed to not know this right off the top of my head...

    I assume he must be, or otherwise you would not be lecturing him here under the circumstances, right?  :o)

    "I once asked a literary agent what writing paid the best, and he said, 'Ransom notes.' " - Gene Hackman as Harry Zimm in Get Shorty

    by Vtdblue on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 11:20:44 AM PDT

    •  Yep. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dirkster42, Vtdblue

      He's one of those "let's compromise (your interests and wealth) with the insurers (with their best interests at heart) guys."

      "The human capacity for goodness makes democracy possible, but it's precisely the human capacity for evil that makes democracy utterly necessary." Gary Dorrien

      by ogre on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 11:37:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course, given that his home state is so up the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dirkster42, Unique Material

        arse of the insurance industry.  Oy.  Yeah, then he definitely deserves to be called on the bull crap "compromise" positions that are selling the rest of us up the river.

        "I once asked a literary agent what writing paid the best, and he said, 'Ransom notes.' " - Gene Hackman as Harry Zimm in Get Shorty

        by Vtdblue on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 11:43:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Dodd on 6/19/09 @ Huffpo (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dirkster42, Actuary4Change, zooecium

        As I said, it remains to be seen whether we can pull together the votes to make that happen. But I've learned in my time in Washington that compromise is important, but it's always worthwhile to stand your ground on the issues that matter most. That's how we passed the Family and Medical Leave Act, credit card reform, FDA regulation of tobacco, and many other issues I've worked on over the years. We can't give up on a public option even if it is an uphill battle. And so I won't. And I know you won't, either.

        I admit... he may have said something after that that I'm not aware of.  When did he say he was up in the air on the Public Option?

        Senator Inhofe? If you're still wondering? He's on my side.

        by TooFolkGR on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 11:45:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No he's not (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BachFan

        I heard him in person on Sunday.  He's out in front on needing the public option.

        Numbers are like people . . . Torture them enough and they'll tell you anything.

        by Actuary4Change on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 12:22:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Bravo. Dodd has great health care (4+ / 0-)

    that he will not allow 'ordinary' Americans to have.

    He's not going to a free clinic with thousands of others to sit in barn for health care.  He's not paying huge monthly fees to Humana.  

    He's got symptoms, he goes to Walter Reed, or whatever doctor his GOVERNMENT PAID health care provides for, and jumps on the magic carpet and gets first class treatment.  

    But Dodd won't allow Americans to have his style of health care, because Big Health Care lobbyists give him and others in Congress too much money, dinners, free trips, and lots and lots of face time.

    When ordinary Americans try to meet with a Senator, the police are called---the AP just reported that retirees trying to visit Diane Feinstein to talk about health care were taken out of her San Fran. office by the police.  I bet lobbyists don't get that treatment.

    Unless Americans get into the streets---a million+ march on the Capitol, the lobbyists and Big Health Care will win this war.

    Meanwhile, Dodd will be getting excellent, free (to him) government health care, paid for by us--the 'ordinary' Americans that he and others refuse to allocate for us.  (but they will give us $4500 to buy a new car!)  And they will give 22+ trillion of our dollars to the banks and corporations.  But no health care single payer for us.  

    We're too low class.  Had enough?  

  •  He Pointed Out All That In The E-mail (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BachFan, dirkster42, Actuary4Change

    ...you're talking about.  He said that he's oen of the lucky few because he receives such great government health care, and how this only serves as a reminder to fix the system for everybody else.

    Senator Inhofe? If you're still wondering? He's on my side.

    by TooFolkGR on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 11:34:30 AM PDT

    •  Pointed it out... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dirkster42, Unique Material

      that's nice.

      Show me the support for the legislation, Sen. Dodd.

      I don't want blather about the need to "fix" the system (it's been "fixed," thanks, already).  I want specifics.

      Coops are for the birds.

      So are deals that put it off into the future until Obama's a lame duck.

      Or arrangements that ensure that any federal competition for the insurers is neutered, hamstrung, blind-folded and gagged before the competition begins.

      Dodd's not been a stalwart supporter of serious reform.  Thus the talking-to in the letter.

      "The human capacity for goodness makes democracy possible, but it's precisely the human capacity for evil that makes democracy utterly necessary." Gary Dorrien

      by ogre on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 11:40:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Always a good reminder, even to the good guys (0+ / 0-)

    I love my President! Who'da thought THAT was possible?

    by livjack on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 11:49:49 AM PDT

  •  I wish Dodd well BUT... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Unique Material

    I think he ought to realize that I and many others are in the same boat with him and the main difference between us is that due to his gold-plated Senate-provided health care plan, he will have his surgery right away, most likely recover, and be back and work before too long.  I, on the other hand, and many others like me, have no job, no money, no insurance and no hope for anything.  We have no choice but to carry on as best we can until the prostate cancer kills us.  

  •  Great Letter (0+ / 0-)

    quoted for truth:

    Or we may be one of the tens of millions more who have very sketchy insurance that won't cover much, and will be taken away if and when we get tested and find we have cancer... so we don't bother to check, since the fear of being without insurance is even worse than the fear that maybe we might have something... that we really ought to check for.

    I'm the person your mother warned you about.

    by Unique Material on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 12:21:04 PM PDT

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