Thursday, December 17, 2009

Open Letter to Senator Ron Wyden

December 17, 2009 --



Senator Wyden,

I voted for you and I'm very proud of your record and tireless work to reform healthcare insurance for all Americans. You are the real deal.

I urge you not to accept or support the Senate's healthcare bill in its current form.

Without offering an alternative to "for profit" health insurance the bill will fail Oregonians and all Americans. Available statistics show that "For Profit" health insurance is strangling the life out of our country. The reforms proposed in the Senate's bill will help, but without a "not for profit" healthcare alternative they will fall short. At every turn the "for profit" healthcare insurance industry chooses profit over people. Isn’t this antithetical to our American values? The Constitution of the United States begins “We the People…” not “We the Shareholders.”

Senator Wyden, I know firsthand what it is like to be held hostage by the healthcare insurance industry. As a 42 year old dialysis patient and kidney transplant candidate, I live with the financial burdens and pressures of managing a chronic illness through all the perils of our healthcare system. Daily life requires an extraordinary force of will. In fact, I am one of the only 23% of those with kidney failure who works full time in order to maintain my health insurance and get a second chance at life. However, through all my difficulties, I am not the person in need here.

The uninsured, uninsurable and the under-insured need your continued help.

Most of us have moved beyond hoping for a single-payer, non-profit system. However, expanding Medicare to cover more Americans is a brilliant idea. As a person with kidney failure, I am fortunate because I am allowed to enroll in Medicare. Because I work, Medicare is my secondary insurance and serves as a critical fallback that saves my family from desperation and poverty. Though the Medicare system is not perfect, it is superior to any proposed alternatives.

It just makes sense good to build on the Medicare infrastructure that is in place and works today. I urge you not to compromise on this key reform.

I also do what I can to help by advocating for healthcare reform with my blog. You can see this letter to you posted there (http://www.joneseaman.blogspot.com/). Of course my blog has a special focus on kidney disease, dialysis, and organ transplants. I sincerely hope that you are a registered donor and that I can continue to laud your achievements on my blog and support your reelection.

I greatly appreciate your service to Oregon and the United States of America.

Sincerely,
Jon E. Seaman

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Anonymous said...

Hey Jon, Well said. Most competitive high-income countries have taken profit out of health care and spread it to all of their citizens. As far as competing on a level playing field, this means businesses in the U.S. Have to pay increasingly exorbinant health care costs for their employees that foriegn companies don't have to worry about. We will continue to fall behind as long as health care is a for-profit, buy-off-and lobby-your-elected-leaders system. We have a democracy by auction, especially with the scary recent decision by our Supreme Court, and for-profit health care only exacerbates an already grave problem. Take Care, Shawn Sorensen

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