Dear Sen. Specter:
It’s me, Brendan Skwire. You know, Mr. Sunshine.
I’ve called your office quite a few times regarding the need for a public option in health care reform, which I guess is about as good as it’s gonna get considering you and the rest of your colleagues on the Hill are too timid or too indebted to the
death-by-spreadsheet health care industry to support real single payer universal health care. But as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and so I’m sharing a photo from a Daily Kos diary published earlier this month, This is What Losing Your Kidneys Looks Like:
This is what losing your kidney function looks like.
This is what a diabetic who didn’t have health care for a year and a half looks like.
This is what our glorious ‘uniquely American’ system of health insurance looks like….
This is what not having health care for a year and a half when you’re diabetic and have high blood pressure looks like.
This is what our American health care system looks like. It is as broken as my kidneys.
I don’t want sympathy; I want single payer universal health care. I don’t want pity; I want single payer universal health care….
I want one class of people who have health care in this country: everybody. I want no more of this stratified system where it’s determined that Joe can have care but Susan can’t because she can’t pay….
I can’t even be fully naked with my partner, do you know that? The white belt you see is what I use to support my catheter, and I have seven of them. I wear one at all times unless I am in the shower, including to bed…
It is impossible to feel sexy when I have two liters or so of dialysis fluid in my abdomen, 100% of the time unless I’ve just been through a drain cycle, and my abdomenal walls have relaxed to accomodate it, making me look like I’m pregnant. I’ve been “pregnant” since January 15, 2008. I despair of ever getting the muscle tone back, and I do not seem to be able to with that fluid held internally.
Sen. Specter, you of all people should be loudly proclaiming your support for single player health care. After all, wasn’t it the taxpayers who paid for your Hodgkin's lymphoma treatment? I called your office and no one would tell me. I left a message, but no one has called me back for a week:
As soon as members of Congress are sworn in, they may participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). The program offers an assortment of health plans from which to choose, including fee-for-service, point-of-service, and health maintenance organizations (HMOs). In addition, Congress members can also insure their spouses and their dependents.
Not only does Congress get to choose from a wide range of plans, but there’s no waiting period. Unlike many Americans who must struggle against precondition clauses or are even denied coverage because of those preconditions, Senators and Representatives are covered no matter what - effective immediately.
And here’s the best part. The government pays up to 75 percent of the premium. That government, of course, is funded by taxpayers, the same taxpayers who often cannot afford health care themselves.
That’s not just some website with an ax to grind: It’s confirmed by the US Office of Personnel Management:
The FEHB Handbook has additional information on how the Government’s share is calculated. For most employees, the Government contribution equals the lesser of
a) 72 percent of the overall weighted average; or
Pardon me if I'm less than satisfied with the Rep. Chaka Fattah, and less than willing to assume he'll vote the right way on health care. It's very easy to say you're for this thing or the other, and quite another to actually act on those statements. In fact, in the past three years since the Democrats took control of the House, the Senate, and now the White House, it has been VERY difficult to get the so-called party of working people to actually live up to their promises.
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