Dear Mr. President, Mr. Vice President, and Democratic Members of Congress:
I'm writing to you today to commend you on your excellent efforts on health care reform and your earnest attempts at participatory democracy. But today, I'm going to beg you, with a little bit of Brazilian-based wisdom, to please stop pandering people who refuse to listen and get the legislation over and done with.
1. Chega! Enough! Please stop trying to convince people who refuse to listen. It's like banging your head against the wall - it will not get you anywhere. When a small child refuses to eat his vegetables, you don't try to explain the nutritional value or why he needs to have a balanced diet or how nutrition affects growth. YOU TELL HIM TO DO IT. (Did I just compare the American people to children? Why yes, yes I did. Because an embarrassing number of them are acting like babies.) This may not sound very democratic, but as our elected representatives, we expect you to do what is best for the majority to ultimately benefit us and our country's future, and most certainly not to do what enables the greatest profit for sleazy corporations.
2. Obvio. It is beyond obvious that our system needs a complete overhaul. Those who disagree do so for one of two reasons: 1, they stand to benefit financially, professionally, or politically from the status quo and from powerful, unrestricted health insurance companies or 2, they lack education, information, experience, or perspective, but mainly the ability and/or desire to acquire accurate information. The constant attempts to educate people who refuse to be educated is not doing any good, and is mainly irritating the rest of us who see this as beating a dead horse that is very clearly gestorben. But since you ask, here's my story. Just to help you beat the horse a little more.
When I moved back to the US from Brazil in May, I did not have health insurance. My parents' coverage ended as soon as I graduated from college. I applied for a state-based, discounted insurance program that gives "cheaper" HMO rates to low-income New Yorkers (since I'm self-employed earning very little, looking for a full time job, but not eligible for unemployment). However, in the first two months I was here, the second of which I had insurance, I spent $600 out of pocket on two emergency procedures, and since June I have spent $900 on premiums. But as it turns out, the HMO had failed to inform me that I was to be given a substandard plan that comes with the state program, and I soon found that my doctors didn't take the insurance, and few did in my county.
So I decided to switch HMOs within the program, and consulted both the program and the HMO for the best way to go about it. I sent in my application on time, and waited and waited. I called, panicky, but they said they had no information on my file and would I please call back next week? Finally, on August 31st, I received a letter in the mail with my application and a letter informing me that my application was denied because they needed one more document for proof of income. I could appeal the denial but coverage would only start in October. (Never mind that my phone number and email were on the application, or that I had sent it at the beginning of the month. No no. That would be too easy). As you are reading this, I am on my way on a thirty mile trek to hand in my application in person to the corporate office, since an extremely kind person at the HMO agreed to override the denial as long as I handed in the missing document and the correct premium (which by the way, has increased by $10 since July). I am praying that the man's promises will actually be fulfilled and that my coverage will in fact start today, so that this month I can get standard care that is two years overdue. And that I will have health care at all. My husband, in the meantime, has no insurance at all, and the stress is weighing down on both of us.
3. A very wise man once said, "O povo sabe o que quer. Mas o povo também quer o que não sabe." This translates as, "The people know what they want. But the people also want what they don't know." This should be your new motto.
We elected you to do what is best for the country and for my generation's future children and grandchildren. Unfortunately, a lot of Americans are simply clueless about what "the best" means. I, however, do know. We did not elect you so that you could buy mansions or yachts or overpriced furniture or vacations for CEOs. We elected you to DO YOUR JOB, which is to make sure the American people are in fact entitled to the right of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Personally, HMOs are currently impeding my right to all three, as they are for millions of Americans. It's time to get into FDR mode. Like him, you have to stand up to the sacred Corporations when they go too far, when they begin to infringe on democracy, which they most definitely have. Like many others, my husband and I decided to make the US our home so that we could have a better way of life here, because we trust in the democratic system, the government's ability to protect its citizens and the ability to use our tax dollars wisely. So go on with it, already. do your jobs!
Thank you and for the love of God, pass the bill already. Já basta. Enough is enough.