Dear Mr. President;
You did everything you could to keep the health insurance industry happy and solvent. You let them set the rules. You let them veto anything that might possibly hurt their bottom line. You looked out for Wall Street at the same time that you were trying to get Main Street a little preventive health care. And what did the health insurance industry do? It bit the hand that fed it. Not a little nip. The health insurers took a great big chunk of flesh---easily more than a pound--out of you when they decided to cancel policies rather than rewriting them so that they would comply with the law. Millions stand to lose their health individual health insurance at a time when government resources to help the uninsured are already strained. The private insurers have precipitated a health care crisis of huge proportions---
This is war. The health insurance industry has declared war. Can we fight back?
The president of the United States has tremendous powers in the event of war or national emergency. And this is a huge national health emergency. Luckily, President Obama, you already have the weapon you need to win this war and preserve our health. It is called Medicare. Forget about Congressional bills that would allow insurance companies to sell policies that have large deductibles and lifetime spending caps and excludes treatment for a large number of conditions such as mental health care and transplants. Signing a bill like that would be the same as signing a unilateral surrender.
This is your second term. You will not have to raise money for re-election. You can do whatever you want with the executive powers that the Nixon, Reagan and Bush administrations stretched and expanded to include just about anything. So, why limit yourself to spying on American citizens and killing people with drones? Why not do something really bold----
Like give Americans insurance. Give them Medicare. Start with all the people whose individual policies were canceled. Tell them to take their notices of cancellation to the nearest Social Security office where they will be enrolled in Medicare. Most of these people are healthy. Their bills will not break the Medicare budget. And once they have Medicare, they will never go back to the alternative--huge deductibles, huge out of pocket, lifetime spending caps, exclusions of some treatments. Millions of lives are in danger. If this was a hurricane, you would act. So, act as if this is a hurricane.
Yes, the House will blow a fuse. Yes, they will try to impeach you. Let them. Let them impeach you for giving people Medicare. Let them impeach you for saving lives. It will be much more amusing that watching them trying to impeach Clinton for getting a blow job---and the results next fall will be much the same. And if the Supreme Court decides to step in---well, I would not want to be the one to tell Americans who are now enjoying the benefits of Medicare "Sorry, you have to give that back."
Next, in every state that refused to set up its own health care exchange, you should declare a state of emergency and announce that the federal government is having Medicare open enrollment at Social Security Offices, IRS offices and every other federal government building. The only hard part will be having to check with employers to see if they offer health insurance. Everything else will be a cakewalk.
Finally, do something about the states where the Tea Party has refused billions in federal dollars to expand Medicaid, because they want to preserve their "state's right" to laugh themselves silly as they watch poor folks die of preventable disease. When state refused to let Blacks attend schools, the feds sent in troops. When states refused to let minorities vote, the feds intervened. Well, breathing is just as fundamental and important as reading and voting. And the solution is simple. All you will have to do is offer the poor citizens Medicare---and send the bill for the premiums to their state government in the form of reduced federal highway funds and other pork on which Blue states are so dependent.
You will probably never get to steps two and three above. When the health insurance industry sees all those valuable (and overwhelmingly healthy) customers lost forever, they will quickly surrender and try to cut their losses.
And no, I am not kidding. The President of the United States has the power to wiretap American citizens without a warrant. Bush and Cheney started doing it before 9/11. They justified it on the grounds of national security. Well, I will sleep a lot more securely at night knowing that people with treatable mental illness are not planning to shoot up my place of work tomorrow and that my grand-baby will not be exposed to a potentially fatal communicable disease like pertussis and that I won't be killed on the road by someone with untreated sleep apnea and that my cab driver won't have a heart attack because he doesn't have insurance and that the only hospital in my rural county will not close its doors because too many of its patients are uninsured.