Sunday, February 28, 2010

TP the Republicans

by Mary Pitt

"I've got yer clean sheet of paper right here!" This is the message that should be sent to the Senate Republicans by everyone who wants and needs the passage of the Health Reform measure which the House and Senate have proposed and it's a message that we can afford. We get appeals daily for contributions of money on behalf of one political agenda or another and we do not respond because we have no money to send. This is a simple request and one that is well within our means. It would cost only a US postage stamp.

With or without a letter of explanation, the point would be made that the donation is exactly what they asked for in their "summit" with representatives of the two parties. Further, it is highly appropriate for their stated purpose. Their suggestions for health care "reform" consist of only two measures:

Tort Reform: This is merely another Republican pay-off to the insurance companies and perpetrators of malpractice. It would limit the amount that a private citizen who is injured in any way by the inappropriate or mis-applied treatment bu hospitals and physicians. Those who go in for a hangnail and find themselves with an amputated leg, or worse, the wrong leg amputated will be told that they need to "shut up and live with it!" Families of patients who are mistakenly given the wrong medication that leads to their death will receive no or less compansation for thier loss. These are problems that have always been left up to the Courts but Republicans believe the Courts have been unduly generous. If you don't agree with them, hie yourself into the bathrooom and mail them a piece of toilet paper on which to write it.

Allowing the purchase of insurance "across state lines": This would strip the states of their power to regulate the insurance companies that sell insurance within the state. Currently. most insurance companies have their home offices in states that re very lenient in their control, a condition that was created in order for the companies to base their headquarters there. Other states have an official, usually and Insurance Commissioner with the authority to investigate the policies and records of performance of the applying company. In many cases, their standards for acceptance are so high that few companies deign to sell to their citizens. The results are that those companies may create policies that do not provide the coverage that they represent in their advertising and, thus, forego applyng to that state to sell their coverage. If you do not agree that cancelling this local protection, get that piece of "Plain Paper" in an envelope and mail it to your Republican Senator or one in a neighboring State!

This would be a way that those of us who need insurance but can't afford it or those who have been denied coverage because of "pre-existing conditions" or discontinued while ill because your care cost too much can make Congress abundantly aware of our desires. While we can't afford to show up at demonstrations at The Capitol or even a Tea Party on a Court House lawn, most of us can afford one small sheet off the roll to make our wishes known. If it doesn't work, at least we can feel appreciated for our efforts to "cut government spending".

This writer is eighty years old and has spent a half century working with handicapped and deprived people and advocating on their behalf while caring for her own workung-class family. She spends her "Sunset Years" in writing and struggling with The System.

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