In the leadup the the Health Care Reform Bill vote, I called my Congresscritter, Frank Kratovil (D-MD01) numerous times. I had long conversations with the phone staffers in all of his offices. But to no avail, Kratovil voted against reform.
I knew my calls alone wouldn't have any effect, but I was hoping if enough of us called, he'd come around. It didn't work, but maybe if he gets a few letters like the one below, he may think twice when the bill comes out of conference.
All MD-01 Kossacks need to hammer this guy...
It goes like this:
Hi Mr. Kratovil,
I am a politically-active democrat who canvassed on your behalf during the 2008 election. I also placed numerous Kratovil signs (although they were repeatedly vandalized) in front of my home.
I am also a small business owner struggling in a tough economy. I currently spend approximately $700/mo. on health care insurance for my family of four. (Five years ago the same coverage was less than $400/mo. In those 5 years, I've seen the profits of healthcare insurers skyrocketing at the same pace as my premiums.) For my income level the premium is manageable, but for my staff of lower-middle income technicians, the premiums are out of reach - and so they go uninsured.
But they are fortunate, compared to the plight of my neighbor. He is a laid-off carpenter who makes ends meet by performing small jobs. His liver is failing (due to a previous bout with Hepatitis) but he gets no medical treatment due to lack of insurance. Because he has some income, he cannot qualify for MedicAid. He has a family to support, but will most likely die if he does not get a transplant. God bless him.
There are thousands of Marylanders (like me and my neighbor) that feel Americans deserve better than a system motivated by Wall Street profits, rather than the health of its customers. In this day of small businesses and high employee turnover, the notion of employer-based health insurance seems totally outdated, at best. It serves the profits of industry well, but is failing many of us. No wonder every other industrialized western country has adopted nationalized single-payer healthcare.
The reason I'm writing is to express my disappointment in your vote against the Healthcare Reform bill. To many of us, it looks like you're willing to side with the health insurance lobby over the interests of your own constituents.
You were elected by an extremely small margin. It was most likely made up of progressive, liberal Obama voters (like myself), rather than republican converts. We were the ones that were phone banking, working the poll entrances, and replacing Kratovil signs that were vandalized by Harris supporters.
Now, on perhaps the single most important issue facing our country, you have voted EXACTLY as Andy Harris would have. (Remind me again why we worked so hard to get you elected.) Next year you will be up for reelection. You will be looking for donations, canvassers, poll workers, etc. Don't even bother asking me - because I will not be supporting you.
If your congresscritter voted against reform, let them know they can't count on you for future support. It may not be too late for them to come around...