Tuesday, August 18, 2009

It Was Time

Over the last little while, I have been worrying more and more about the health care bill that our officials are trying to shove down our throats--and I decided that I needed to say something. So, I composed a letter/email to send to my congressman and senators. Early on Monday, I sent this:

To begin, I am not writing because I believe what one political party tells me more than another. I am not writing because some group has told me what to say. I am not a part of some big conspiracy to make your life miserable. I am an intelligent woman who has done research and reading about the health care bill. Frankly, I am scared to death that this might be passed. There are many concerns about this bill that I have, but will not repeat the ones that have been reported widely. I will zero in on one very selfish concern that I have. Hopefully, this will give you one more viewpoint to consider when you have to vote.

I have battled psoriasis for the past 35 years. This disease has not been life threatening in any way, but it has impacted my life in very negative ways. Because of this disease, I have found myself becoming more of a recluse and dreading having to leave my house, as I worry so much about what clothing to wear in order to cover my psoriasis 'spots.' The hiding of my condition and the work to try to control this disease is a big part of my life and takes quite a bit of my time. Actually, I should say it DID take up a lot of my time, because my psoriasis is under control and I'm almost 'spot' free for the first time in many, many years. And this is where my concern about the health care bill comes in.

A little over three months ago, I began using the drug Enbrel for my psoriasis. Enbrel works on auto-immune diseases such as psoriasis and works very well. This drug is also very, very expensive. For a year's supply of Enbrel, the cost is about $20,000. I don't pay this amount, as we have prescription insurance, but if there is national health care, I don't see how this medication would be approved for me to use. Now, how do I figure this? Easy. Paying $20,000 for me to have clear skin so that I can feel better about myself, seems to be a very frivolous expense. If the decision had to be made between spending that amount of money for my medication or the same amount for a child's asthma medication, who would 'win?' If I had to decide, of course the child's medication would be paid for over mine. A child would 'win' every time. But, selfish as it is, I don't want to give up how well I am feeling with this medication. Right now, we pay for our health care/prescription insurance and want to continue doing so in order to enjoy the benefits we receive.

PLEASE don't tell me not to worry, that everything will stay the same for us. Unless you, the President, and every public official can give me a written guarantee that my health insurance won't change if the health bill is passed, I WILL worry. While there needs to be some reform in the medical costs in this country, I feel as if the operative word is REFORM. I don't believe we should throw away what we have and start an entirely new and unproven program when all that is needed is some fixing of what is already in place. I ask you, please, to not support this bill and vote no. We, the voters, do not want this.


As of this post, I have only had a 'thank you for contacting me' form reply from my congressman, but that is alright with me. All three of the ones I wrote to are Democrats and the two senators--Stabenow and Levin--are left of Barack in terms of how liberal they are. I don't think if either of them told me my name is cmk that I would believe/agree/trust them. As for the congressman, he was siding with the 'blue dog dems' in terms of the health care bill, but doesn't seem to be as opposed lately. The only thing he and I have in common is an opposition to abortion--other than that, he is a dem through and through. I don't want a response from any of them if it is in any way comparable to the one I received the last time I emailed the senators. The tone of the response--at least the way I read it--was the same as a parent explaining the error of a three-year-old's thinking. I found it extremely condescending and don't need to be treated that way. So, it is better to not hear a thing.

Will my email do anything? No. Do I feel better for having sent it? Yes. And I think I will continue to let my voice be heard--often.


Ranger Tom said...

Sad part about this is that the politicians, on both sides, now think that we answer to them, not the other way around.

cmk said...

As of today, I have received ONE response. I didn't expect a response from one of the people--actually, I clicked the 'no need for a response' choice on his site--and wasn't wanting to hear from another, cause of the tone it would have taken. The email I DID get was a form-letter and made NO mention of what I had written. Very disappointed over the way these politicians change the longer they are in office. Used to be, you wouldn't have been too surprised to get a phone call from the actual person to talk to you about a letter you sent. These days, it's all about form-letters. And THOSE are way too condescending. If this is the way these people think I will EVER vote for them, they are sadly mistaken--I haven't done it yet and I never will.

tiger said...