My Letter To Barack Obama

I have just sent this letter to President Obama, using  This missive was prompted by the news that the Administration may be willing to drop the public option in order to get health care reform passed.


Dear Mr. President,

I am very very concerned about the health care debate in this country and am planning to attend a event tomorrow on the topic.  I am extremely alarmed at the notion that you are willing to compromise the public option in order to achieve some sort of reform.

Mr. President, as a citizen of the United States, as a taxpayer, as someone that voted for you, I am begging you: do not relent on the public option.  We want it, we need it, it must be a part of any real reform.

My brother was hospitalized, and nearly died, earlier this year for complications resulting from diabetes.  Four years ago, he was in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit and spent a week in the Superdome, where he suffered from many infections, malnutrition, and some trauma, for which he received counseling.  He is unemployed and has no health insurance.  My mother, who has been supporting him, is a schoolteacher and facing rising medical costs of her own due to advancing age.  He was unable to afford the medication for his diabetes and so ended up hospitalized, something else that they cannot afford unless my mother is somehow able to persuade her insurance company to cover him as a dependent.

I myself am currently unemployed and have no health insurance.  I am lucky in that my mother’s daughter has a great job and excellent health insurance, so my daughter is covered.

But we, and millions of people like us across the country, need a public option and the attendant subsidies proposed .

I know it might seem like a losing battle.  Every time one turns on the TV and watches the news, there are people screaming about how this health care reform should not be passed, how it is socialistic, anti-American, will create “Death Panels,” and is evil.  There is so much coverage of the screaming, yelling people and naysaying Congresspeople that I can see how one could easily be swayed into believing that health care reform is not what the majority of Americans want.

But you must remember two things.

The first is something that you yourself said (and I am paraphrasing here): TV loves a good ruckus.  They do.  In its current sad state, our news media, the “fourth estate” that is supposed to bring us truth and counter spin in service to the people is now almost completely in service to the twin masters of their corporate owners and ratings-gathering sensationalism.  The conflicts taking place in town hall meetings make for far better TV for those masters than do the calmer, more rational, more genuine debates, and so they do not get coverage.  It is said that the conflict must be selling because we are watching it, but in fact, we are watching it because, in our desperate search for truth, there is nothing else.  Save for the oases of The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, and The Rachel Maddow Show, there are almost no places on TV in which one can get glimpses of actual truth and counters to the spins and falsehoods propagated by those who would harm America for their own gain.

The second thing to remember is this:  the people yelling and screaming so loudly are a minority in this country.  By and large, they are ill-informed and betrayed for personal gain by those they want to trust.  They are afraid of changes to the status quo, even if those changes benefit them.  America is changing, it is becoming a better country, and while for some there may be racist undertones to that fear for some, the bottom line remains unchanged: they scream, and rant, and yell because they are afraid.  It’s hard to fight fear with logic and truth, but if we as a country and you as our elected representatives give in to their fear or manipulate for political gain, we will all suffer.  It’s a difficult fight, true, but not only is it a battle that must be fought, it is a battle that must be won.  Here. Now. Lives depend on this and we cannot falter.

While I understand your desire to compromise and achieve bipartisanship and consensus, I must tell you:  it’s time to give it up.  Time and time again you have offered your open hand to your opposition; in response, they have spit upon it and slapped it away.  The Republicans have no interest in bipartisanship, save that of not doing it so as to score political points with people who are afraid of change, with people who would rather put their fingers in their ears and yell into the wind than acknowledge the approaching thunder of change.

Do not give up the public option, Mr. President.

I plan on posting this letter in its entirety on my blog at .  Please do drop by for a visit, won’t you?



See?  I can write a really long letter and not use the “f” word.

Feel free to go to and copy and paste this letter for your own use, though I would advise coming up with your own anecdotal evidence first.

VS – 8.16.09


One Response to “My Letter To Barack Obama”

  1. I am just grateful for living in a country where it’s a right to see a doctor and get medication …. not a privilege. And the US wonders why other wealthy nations look and shake their head and say “American dream? HA!” you can keep it.

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