Last week, I received an email from President Obama. He wrote,
“Nancy, The chance to finally reform our nation’s health care system is here.”
He continued, “As we know, challenging the status quo will not be easy. Its defenders will claim our goals are too big, that we should once again settle for half measures and empty talk.”
In his post, President Obama cautioned, “Left unanswered, these voices of doubt might yet again derail the comprehensive reform we so badly need. That’s where you come in.” Me?
Yes, he was asking me (and the other gazillion Americans on his e-list) to sign a petition telling Congress to support his three core health care principles and urging me to tell my personal story because hearing about real life hardships will help Congress make the right decision.
When I clicked on the link included in his post to check out the petition, I was surprised that the words “single-payer national health insurance” were not included in his “core principles,” which are described as his “bedrock requirements for real health care reform:”
- Reduce Costs — Rising health care costs are crushing the budgets of governments, businesses, individuals and families and they must be brought under control
- Guarantee Choice — Americans must have the freedom to keep whatever doctor and health care plan they have, or to select a new doctor or health care plan if they choose
- Ensure Quality Care for All — All Americans must have quality and affordable health care
In his post, the President wrote, “I know personal stories can drive that change…”
But I suspect he was not including himself among the ones whose position needs to change. Nevertheless, this is my reply:
President Obama, I’m so disappointed! Your core principles sound like more empty talk about half measures. You’re leaving the door wide open for the Congress to write anything as long as it’s called “health care reform.”
How can the Congress develop a plan for reform if they’re not even listening to what thousands of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals are advocating? No single-payer advocate has been invited to testify! And why are these medical experts being forced to commit acts of civil disobedience and get arrested to be heard?
Moreover, why aren’t you endorsing the “United States Health Care Act” (H.R. 676)? This legislation has already been written and was introduced by Reps. Conyers, Kucinich et al immediately after your inauguration on January 26, 2009!
In your email, President Obama, you concluded, “Last November, the American people sent Washington a clear mandate for change. But when the polls close, the true work of citizenship begins. That’s what Organizing for America is all about. Now, in these crucial moments, your voice once again has extraordinary power. I’m counting on you to use it.”
This is my voice, Mr. President, and I’m counting on you to listen.
What happened to your support for single payer national health insurance? Why are the growing majority of Americans’ demands for single-payer health care being ignored? Why isn’t single-payer health care reform even under consideration?
The Physicians for a National Health Program proposal states, “We endorse a fundamental change in America’s health care – the creation of a comprehensive National Health Insurance (NHI) Program. Such a program – which in essence would be an expanded and improved version of Medicare – would cover every American for all necessary medical care.”
This is a simple proposal for health care reform, written in plain English. This is what I thought I would hear you advocating. Please, Mr. President, it’s not too late for you to embrace this one core principle for the sake of your people.
~Nancy Logsdon Mandelkorn