I wrote, I think my first time in doing so, a letter to the President of the United States. The Health Care debate has touched me, upset me. The incompetence of the Democratic party is on full display.
The audacity of telling a core group of your supporters to back off. Frankly, to me, it's insulting. I don't recall Rahm Emanuel being a part of the campaign. And, Mr. President you don't like seeing Democrats attacking other Democrats? As I see it Rahm recruited Republicans to runs as Democrats in those conservative districts.
Mr. President I see the blue dogs as Republicans and I supported your campaign not John McCain. Mr.President I will fight for the public option. The one you campaigned on. I will not roll over as Rahm snaps his fingers. Leave it to the gutless wonders of the Congress.
Mr. President my support is not a blank check. We've had eight years of that attitude. It led to a war.
What the hell is your health plan?
The President of the United States
The White House
August 8th, 2009
Dear Mr. President,
During the summer and fall of '08 I was fully engaged in your campaign. Truly engaged for the first time since the election of President Carter. I also had the pleasure of introducing one of my daughters to a Presidential campaign as it would be her first national election.
You did inspire hope. You did project a sense of right and wrong. A respect for and of the law. So much so my daughter and me made financial contributions to your campaign. We phone banked. We canvassed.
Yes, I have been disappointed. Disappointed with your stand on civil liberties, disappointed with a lack of transparency and disappointed regarding the administration's stand on the issues of "torture" and law. My line in the sand, however, is health care reform and seeing you giving into the blue dogs and seeking bipartisanship distresses me. The Republicans have no desire to work with you. A direct path to bad legislation, mediocre legislation.
Here, the Republicans, having no moral fiber whatsoever. Not able to condemn a radio voice equating Congresswoman Pelosi and Democrats with the Nazis. Republicans who promote the dog whisper of racism. Compromise, bipartisan? In my lifetime? I doubt, seriously.
I saw the interview with Chuck Todd. No mention of a public option. The focus of the items you ticked off was insurance reform and not health reform. Today I learn Rahm Emanuel and Jim Messina cut a deal with Billy Tauzin, a former Republican House member from Louisiana who now leads the pharmaceutical trade group. A deal capping savings at 80 billion for the pharmaceuticals. And, heaven forbid we negotiate the pricing of prescription drugs tied medicare.
Mr. Tauzin said the White House had tracked the negotiations throughout, assenting to decisions to move away from ideas like the government negotiation of prices or the importation of cheaper drugs from Canada. The $80 billion in savings would be over a 10-year period. "80 billion is the max, no more or less," he said. "Adding other stuff changes the deal."
After reaching an agreement with Mr. Baucus, Mr. Tauzin said, he met twice at the White House with Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff; Mr. Messina, his deputy; and Nancy-Ann DeParle, the aide overseeing the health care overhaul, to confirm the administration’s support for the terms.
"They blessed the deal," Mr. Tauzin said. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House was not bound by any industry deals with the Senate or the White House.
Who blesses us, the public? Those of us without access.
CEOs of insurance companies are paid tens of millions in salaries and hundreds of millions in stock options. And, we are left with what? The Baucus Bill? Why is our health care so poor (rated 14th I think). Why is it the most expensive in the industrial world? Why is our death by birth rate so high?
Stephen Hemsley the CEO of UnitedHealth. In 2007, he earned $13.2 million dollars. His unexercised stock options total three-quarters of a billion dollars.
Where does he get all that money? He gets it from you. Your health, to be exact. Every time UnitedHealth denies one of their customers a treatment, that's more money in Hemsley's pocket. Every time UnitedHealth skimps on care, or delays treatments, more money for Hemsley. Hemsley is rich because he keeps you sick, that's just the way it works.
Mr. President, UnitedHealth pays commission to their workers. Deny a treatment or deny for pre-existing condition and commission is paid. Here I am begging you for a public option so some cost containment might be offered. So insurance companies are accountable.
You've asked for my support. What am I supporting? I am not supporting the "Baucus Bill." I will not support you blindly. I will not back off. I will confront those who seek to belittle and demean the value of a public option. You, Mr. President, have given me nothing to fight for.
The fight for me is personal. I have a thirteen year old daughter. When she was nine we learned she was a type 1 diabetic. Five years of pin pricks, of needle stabs and of counting carbs. At times not being able to share cake and ice cream at the birthday parties of friends. Five years of monthly disagreements with our insurance company over the numbers of needles, test strips. Last month I went to pick up her supplies and saw a note attached to a bag. "The insurance company will only allow four needles a day."
Managing diabetes is about preventing future complications and a greater expense. My daughter's Doctor had prescribed six needles per day. Each needle represents a meal, a snack or a correction. In effect the insurance company was saying to her you may eat four times a day. Or, eat three and correct once. Well her Doctor believes in more and smaller meals. Tell me Mr. President who stands between her and her Doctor? Who has a concern for preventive care and maintenance? Why do I have to have this conversation month after month? Why does my policy increase nearly ten percent a year and some times more?
Mr. President, the Republicans are winning the message war. The Democrats in Congress and the Senate have largely been silent. They seem to have no bone for the good fight. The Republicans have no qualms about putting forward lies. Perhaps it's time to trust the base who fought for your election rather than allowing Rahm Emanuel to minimize them in favor of his blue dogs.
Until you tell me Mr. President what I am supporting I can not support you. I will not invest my energies to be taken for granted and dismissed or told to back off. I will not invest my energies in supporting bad legislation. I will support a strong public option. A platform you campaigned on.
Sincerely and respectfully yours,
I first posted this letter as a comment on the front page. AmericanRiverCanyon
That is a diary as written, and just needs to go ... into that format.
Allowed to eat 4 times a day.
When needles are so cheap.... I hate to say this, but you should check out a mail order pet veterinary supply house because they sell packaged sterile needles (for their vaccines or other animal needs) that are the exact same thing as are used on humans, only for dogs, cats, horses, etc.
I can't believe I just had to type that.
There's truth and far more.
My daughter is healthy and we eventually get the necessary supplies. It takes effort, but we end up with what we need to keep her thriving and happy.
But, the comments show there are many not as fortunate as us. Those reusing needles, not getting test strips and many not getting proper insulin dosages. It's criminal.
I could only respond with Fuck, Shit! I can't rationalize it.
Thank you for the recommends. Be sure I'll bring them to my daughter's attention. We thank you.