My Dear Kay letter

Whether it is for those who have a decent income but no employer coverage and can't afford private insurance (have you actually tried to buy family coverage for a family of 3 when Mom is over 45?), or it is for young people just getting started or for middle class single mothers (not eligible for any other govt benefits) with kids to cover or to make small businesses attractive for people to work in and relieve the strangle hold of for-profit insurance from the small business man's neck ... America NEEDS a public option in THIS year's health care reform package.

In fact, if you don't include a public option, you may as well do nothing.

A tax credit and standardized insurance forms won't help a new college grad or a single mom making just enough to squeak by, but too much to afford $300-900 a month for an insurance policy that pays for nothing until she's spent $1000-$5000 out of her own pocket on doctor/perscription/supplies bills. For most people, that means they'll pay all that money every year and possibly go years never using any of the benefits and then get dropped by their carrier if a family member comes down with a problem that actually causes them to file costly claims.

It's a total rip off. For-profit insurance is a racket and tweaking it won't fix it. It takes billions in costs from American businesses, small and large, and it costs yet more millions of hours of frustration and time arguing from regular Americans who have come to generally harbor a deep-seated disdain for the "not-covered-unless-you-call-us-and-raise-hell" shell game that is widespread in the industry.

Please, Senator, give us an option that works for real people, a public option, and leave it up to the businessmen and million dollar CEOs to figure out how to respond so they can keep making their millions. Profit is a powerful motivator. They'll figure it out. If the industry's executives are worth more than the executives of other industries, as their average salary packages suggest, they'll figure it out. Right?

Tweaking our health system around the edges won't make even a tiny dent in getting the 47 million who are without insurance covered. I think you know that. I think you're just not sure if doing more is worth the trouble the industry will cause for you next election.

Senator, I'm asking you to do what is best for regular people who need your help, rather than what is best for corporations who think they own you.

The piece-meal little edge fixes being proposed by corporate lobbyists and conservative (wealthy) lawmakers are the result of ignorance, and I don't mean that cruelly. I don't think you or many of your colleagues have any idea what it's like to try to rightly judge the line where you take your kid to the doc and risk not having enough to pay the utility bill due with this week's pay check... or let the fever/infection/diarrhea run it's course and hope the tylenol and ginger ale handles it and whatever bug is causing it is nothing serious.

I really don't think you understand what a robust, comprehensive, affordable public option would mean for sole-proprietors, contractors, temp-workers and all of us out here living a median wage middle class life in NC. I hope you don't take offense. None is intended. Just pointing out the differences btw those of us who need your good will on this issue that impacts us EVERY DAY, and those of you who will make this decision that, let's face it, will not impact you personally in the least.

Do the right thing. Support a robust public option.

Comments

Been a while, but I'm so totally beyond livid

about Democrats with a majority in both houses of Congress that we, ok IIIIIIIII ... literally gave up grocery money to contribute to ... and busted my ass for ... for days of canvassing ... throwing us, ok mmmmmmeeeeeee ... under the proverbial bus.

I know that sounds all piss and vinegar and over the edge, but seriously, y'all, I really thought this health care public option was a slam dunk. People are so OVER insurance company bullshit. And it would be a slam dunk if Dems would actually believe in something AFTER the election enough to get out there and fight for it in the public eye. Where are they?

Geesh... Rs and Cons are all over the place in the last weeks lying through their bloody teeth about the horrors of a public option. Where are MY GUYS ... the steelly spined Dems who should be out there telling the truth about the positives of a public option? Crickets. It's pitiful. Really. It is.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Maybe stem cell research will pay off

and they will be able to grow some new... spines.

I'm really scared, terrified, that Our Democrats that we worked so hard to put in office will let this New Health Care with New Improved for-profit Insurance package become a bloated, sloppy, harder-than-it-is-now to figure out bureaucratic mess by insisting on compromise with Republican'ts that we never get another chance to make policy again. It would mean the Dark Ages could descend on the country in the form of a Rovian Plutocracy.

Great letter. Thanks for sharing it.

I was thinking it would take a year or two for everything to slip back into business as usual. Not.

Thanks for this

I also sent an email to Hagen. So far she's been a big disappointment.

Just called her toll free number and spoke to

her apologist staffer. I said that I was disappointed that Hagan was joining the ranks of obstructionist and he cut me off. "She's not obstructing" he said, "She's reviewing the bill to make sure that people are allowed to keep their current policy if they like it."

I was flabberghasted, I said, "did you just use a Republican talking point, excuse me but isn't Hagan a Democrat?" He was defensive and kept talking over me. I told him that I was a member of BlueNC and that while Hagan was campaigning, she came to BlueNC and read what she wrote about health care.

The staffer sounded dis-interested and finally asked for my name and mailing address. He then asked if I wanted to give her any other message and I said, "Yes, tell her to get off her butt and start working for healthcare for all." But before I could finish, he hung up on me.

The healthcare deal is really simple.

The free market is wonderful for things that have alternatives. If you don't like Burger King you can go to McDonalds, if you don't like Wal-Mart you can go to Target, if you don't like apples you can each oranges. But for the things that we would have a hard time living without like water, electricity and health care, the free market sucks. Whenever you put human beings in charge of something, you can expect them to screw it up. That's just the way things are. If there are options, that's fine. I'll just go somewhere else. But if I have cancer, and an insurance company screws me, then I don't have any other options. There is no alternative for me. I'm as much a free-market capitalist as anyone else, but we really need to take health-care out of the hands of the free market. Plus, going to a public-based health care system from an employer-based system is going to free up capital from the business that are spending money on insurance premiums. Naturally our taxes will be slightly higher but we wouldn't have to worry about the costs of health care, and increased business capital could lead to more employment opportunities and potentially higher salaries. It makes too much sense.

Business should not be the channel for health care

Business can be one channel, but it can't be the only channel.

Let a public plan compete with business. Over time, the system will stabilize in the right place if you explore the right options. This is an option worth exploring.

A public plan that is simple, universal and affordable.

Is there a sacrifice to be shared? That seems inescapable. The sacrifice could be financial, it could be longevity. I don't know. But something will have to give.

When my friend John has a cold, his drugs of choice are antibiotics for treating fish he get from an aquarium supply company. He could no more afford health insurance than my 19 year old daughter.

We pay for roads. We pay for war. We pay for education.

This is an experiment we need to begin. The risks of failing seem not very high.

Where is the accountablity & transparency Kay?

The staffer I spoke to who was clearly irritated that she was having to answer to a constituent told me that she "didn't know" where Kay stands on a public option. When I told her I'd call back tomorrow to find out, she responded by saying, "I can't guarentee I'll know then either." (Which was said in a not very friendly tone, I might add).

How in God's name Kay Hagan still does not know if she will live up to her campaign promise of supporting universal healthcare is beyond me. Anyone who fails to understand how critical a strong public option is to creating universal healthcare has not been paying attention.

I've also emailed and still have gotten NO RESPONSE.

She will lose my husband's and my support if she votes just like Dole would have. We THOUGHT we were voting for a Democrat.

As Kay Hagan said herself, Healthcare is "one of the biggest, if not THE biggest domestic policy issue for millions of Americans." Cowering to the insurance corporations is unacceptable.