Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dear Mr. Obama

Dear President-Elect Obama,

It was with pride that I cast my vote for you last Tuesday. I was moved by your acceptance speech and our country’s reaction to it. But I almost never cry, and held my emotions in check during your appearance.

However, I read something about you yesterday that immediately brought me to tears and I continue to be wracked with emotion. You are going to change the administration’s policy about stem cell research upon taking office? BLESS YOU!

Mr. Obama, I would have bought into your ideals and passion even if the state of health care had never been put on the table. But I was amazed during your campaign speeches that you really understood what it is to have insurance, only to still be left wanting for medical care and be financially devastated by what you do receive.

There was a time in my life that I thought I would amount to something. But as my body betrayed me and my health failed, I ended up on permanent disability and irrelevant. I am desperate to achieve a level of normality in my life and have participated in medical protocols over the past five years in the hope that I would become well enough to go back to work. At this point, age and lack of progress has probably rendered me permanently incapacitated, but for whatever reason, I still go on. Maybe there’s a small degree of hope deep within my psychological make-up.

I have never written a letter to a President of the United States before, probably never will again, and do not expect a response to this communiqué. I know that you are desperately busy and will become more so as time goes on. I also understand that there are issues far more pressing to a greater number of Americans than the status of health care in this country. But I thank you for your understanding, and am eternally grateful for your belief that something fundamental has got to change.

Thirty posts in thirty days. This is day 12.


LI Laura said...

Awesome letter! I hope you are actually going to send it to him. I'm just surprised that you didn't support the possibility of the Obamas getting a rescue dog.

Laura said...

Thank you Laura. Yes, I did send it to him via snail mail a couple of days ago.

As far as the rescue dog goes, the Obama's have already made up their mind to go that route and I'm sure their friend Oprah will fix them up just fine. She's become a great supporter of rescue efforts as of late. So no reason to go there.

On health care and stem cell research, though, he will be open to all sorts of pressure, so I thought I'd put my two cents in.

Joe Ganci said...

Your letter is spot-on, Laura. Thank you for writing it. One of the reasons I campaigned for Obama was that he would help improve health in this country. The economy has hit us hard and we have been without insurance for a while. In Italy, my mom has been in the hospital for four months (due to be released next week!) and she doesn't owe a money. There's something terribly wrong with the state of health care in this country.

Laura, one more thing, and this is important. Don't ever think you haven't amounted to anything. You are one of the best people I have ever had the privilege to meet. You affect so many others with your words, your talent and your perseverance in hoping and not only surviving, but thriving. If I learned anything from my mom this year, it's that as long as there's life, there's hope!

Laura said...

Thank you Joe. Your comments about my relevancy have really touched me.

The state of health care in this country is horrifying. That anyone should be forced to go without is ridiculous, but my life is a testiment that the situation is worse than just the "haves" and "have nots."

I have an excellent health insurance policy care of Paramount Pictures (Viacome) which will stay in effect until I get well enough to come off of disability. Probably never.

The sad thing is that even with such a great policy, my portion of the bills are - on a fixed income - astronomical, and without the infusion of cash from a benevolent patron on a regular basis, I would be one of the multitude who first lost my home to pay for medical expenses, eventually have to go bankrupt, and probably be out on the street.

The way that health care currently is in this country, it's geared to protect only those who are actually are healthy. The rest of us are expected to use up our financial resources, then go away. In my case, because of the severity of what I deal with, it would mean dying.

Sometimes I'm so sick I want to die, but the truth is I don't think I've accomplished everything that I am supposed to yet, so I will just continue to muddle along. For now.

I hope that someday I can do better than muddle.

Joe Ganci said...

I totally agree, Laura. Too many people I meet are without insurance and have lost their homes. I just spoke with another one tonight while at the supermarket (buying bare essentials) who told me she lost her house this year and doesn't have insurance. Her husband's business has been suffering (like mine).

The numbers need to be updated. I think there are a lot more people who are hurting than we hear. Most people don't like to publicize it, of course.

Until we can make health care a right of citizens AS EVERY OTHER INDUSTRIALIZED NATION DOES, we will forever be a country that does not treat its citizens well.

It comes a bit from a strange mentality that has been with us form the start. For instance:

In a March 6, 2003 Texas state Rep. Debbie Riddle interview with the El Paso Times, Riddle was quoted as saying:

"Where did this idea come from that everybody deserves free education, free medical care, free whatever? It comes from Moscow, from Russia. It comes straight out of the pit of hell. And it's cleverly disguised as having a tender heart. It's not a tender heart. It's ripping the heart out of this country."

I would venture to say that Rep. Riddle has never spent any considerable amount of time in Europe, where she would see that people are generally a lot less stressed because they know that if they ever get sick, they are completely covered.

Joe Ganci said...

Oh, for the record, it wasn't Moscow who proposed that we have free education in this country. It was a founding father, Benjamin Franklin!

And Laura, please, no matter how bad you feel (and I know it's easy for me to say), keep fighting. The world would be diminished by your loss.


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