Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dear Congress: I can't wait for you.

Stop threatening to vote no on a health reform bill that does or does not include a public plan.

I don't have time. I need you to work out a solution to this problem.

I am among the uninsured, though I am receiving excellent care through San Francisco's' Healthy San Francisco program. This means though, that: I cannot consider moving; that I do run the risk of incurring huge hospital bills, should something happen to me while am away from San Francisco. It means that I have not pursued a graduate degree, in part because of the health insurance issue. It means that I have not trained for, or raised money as part of the AIDSLifeCyle a phenomenal fund-raiser bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles, in order to avoid the admittedly slight risk of being injured far away from San Francisco. That's $3500 or more that could care for those living with HIV/AIDS in San Francisco.

I am among the uninsured at fifty years old. When my COBRA benefits expired after eighteen months, the insurance carrier that had covered me through my last employer presented me with a premium that was utterly unfordable. My attempt at finding affordable coverage on the open market failed, when Kaiser Permanente, declined my application because of several pre-existing conditions which, while one is significant, included high cholesterol, and high blood pressure, common maladies of mid life, but which left untreated can bring about catastrophic and expensive consequences.

This is not fair.

People with great ideas are not creating new businesses and the jobs that come with that in part because of the huge burden that health care places on employers. These ideas could provide some of the keys to our recovery from the economic situation we are in. Individuals are staying at jobs that they no longer enjoy or are only performing marginally well, simply because they would lose the heath benefits that they receive through their employers.

Lives are being put on hold. This is wrong.

Think outside of your own ideology. Push back against the industry lobbyists and others who would have us continue the status quo.
Take the courageous leap to find consensus and help our country to move towards solving this issue. Be brave. Be creative.

GET. IT. DONE.