An Open Letter to President Barack Obama Before His Speech on Health Care Reform

Dear President Obama,

Please do not compromise the Public Option. I beg you, do not let this one go. You’ve played the bi-partisan game since you took office. With valiant effort you’ve moved your pieces, trying to win over the country to make both red and blue happy. With friends on both sides of the isle, I thought this is good; I had ‘the hope’ you could do it. However, Mr. President, you need to stop playing the game of Risk when others are clearly playing Battleship.

Do not compromise the Public Option.

  • I don’t ask you this because you’ve already given up single-payer… even though Universal health care is available in all industrialized countries except ours.
  • I don’t ask you because the Health Industry spends over 6.2 million lobbying against the Public Option, but won’t spend $28,000 to pay a patients medical bills (that is, until the state makes them).
  • I’m not asking you because the majority of Americans who filed for bankruptcies in 2007 were due to medical costs… and of those people, 80% had Health Insurance. It’s true.
  • I’m not asking because I’m worried that those crafting the reform *might* not really have our best interests at heart (ahem, Max Baucus (D-MT)… ahem, $2,880,631 in campaign contributions from the health care industry)
  • It’s not because a Public Option would help small businesses by saving them thousands of dollars.
  • I’m not asking because our grandparents love their Medicare, and maybe everyone should have the chance to opt-in to such a plan.
  • I don’t ask because even though we can spend near trillions of dollars on wars, somehow we can’t stomach spending that on caring for American lives.
  • I don’t ask because 76% of Americans are asking for a choice between a public and private option.
  • I’m not asking because we have a life expectancy below that of 41 other nations.
  • I don’t ask you because we’ve been waiting for Health Care Reform since 1969 (and some might say even longer).
  • And… I’m not asking because it would be a beautiful and noble way to honor the late Senator Ted Kennedy, by creating this plan in his name.

I’m asking you, Mr. President, for a simple, and yes, selfish reason.

I still owe my parents $12,000 dollars. And although they’ll never try and collect on this bill, my heart hurts when I think that my situation is not only common, but terribly benign when compared to thousands of Americans. My parents came to my rescue when I couldn’t afford my surgery, but others are not as lucky as me. This should not happen in America, the greatest country in the world.

If we are to truly believe in “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” we must ensure that all Americans- black, white, rich, poor, ivy league, or public school- ALL AMERICANS, can achieve their dreams without the fear of bankruptcy or long term suffering.

Allowing for a Public Option is the ONLY WAY.

Firemen defend our houses. Policemen protect our streets. Teachers educate our next generation. Doctors save our lives.
For all of these to not be public services… it will be a shame.

Mr. President, please do not compromise the Public Option.

Abby Berendt

5 Responses to “An Open Letter to President Barack Obama Before His Speech on Health Care Reform”

  1. lo says:

    You blew me away. Very well said Abby. This issue will define who Barack Obama is and what he is really doing for us in the White House.

  2. FiveO says:

    That was awesome!

  3. Anonymous says:

    It was well written. You either do not know what you are asking for or know all too well.

  4. Scott says:

    Abby, this is great and I'm going to forward this all over the place :-)

  5. Abby says:

    Thanks Scott! I'm glad you like it. I'd love to hear what your friends think. I hope you're doing great.

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