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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 11/18/09

Open Letter to House Progressive Caucus (Except Kucinich & Massa)

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I am deeply disappointed in you for voting for the "Greater Health Insurance Industry Profits Act" a.k.a. H.R. 3962, and especially for voting for it with the Stupak anti-abortion amendment attached, after your voting against the amendment's being attached in the first place. Stupak goes beyond even the Hyde Amendment, in that it forbids women from buying insurance coverage for abortion services with their own money if they are being subsidized by the government for health insurance and forbids health insurance companies from offering abortion coverage if they are part of HR 3962's insurance exchanges. But you voted for the bill with this amendment added anyway.

And you call yourselves progressives?

Some of you will probably say, "We know the Senate will not accept the anti-abortion language, so we refused to let it get in the way of health care reform." In other words, you fobbed off your responsibility to do the right thing in protecting women's rights on the Senate. That is not showing very much courage or character on your part. And what makes you think H.R. 3962 is reform?! It is insurance industry profiteering disguised as reform.

Who am I to say this? I am a 54-year-old woman who has never had to personally face the "choice", so Stupak is irrelevant to me. I am a constituent of Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), who famously said, "Let us not become the evil we deplore." She was right then, but is wrong in not applying that philosophy to this context.

Corporations making money by denying sick people care is evil.

Profiteering from illness and injury is evil.

What have you progressives become by voting for the perpetuation of this evil? Because believe me, the insurance companies will still find ways to deny care, even if they have to sell everyone insurance.

Who am I? I am uninsured and uninsurable because of pre-existing conditions.

I want reform but I do not want H.R. 3962. While I don't claim to speak for anyone but myself, I suspect that there are others who feel as I do:

I do not want health care access at the cost of my sisters' rights.

I do not want a weak public option that is doomed from the start.

I do not want a program that does not start until 2013. Who knows if I will still be around?

I do not want a system that will still leave out millions of people.

I do not want to be forced to buy an insurance policy from the very companies that are responsible for the high cost of health care.

If this individual mandate becomes law and I am not excused from it because of my low income, I WILL OPENLY DEFY IT! If you CongressCritters--to quote Jim HightowerŚwill not protect us from becoming the profit slaves of these corporations, let's have a trial and see if the courts will strike down the mandate. And if they don't, then let's see how many people are willing to go to jail for the "crime" of refusing to be profitable to the politicians' campaign contributors. Henry David Thoreau, who went to jail rather than pay a poll tax, would be on our side.

Let's find out how many others will take to the streets in protest. The Founders would be pleased if we did. Thomas Jefferson said "a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical."

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Kellia is a freelance journalist in Oakland, CA who left the Pacifica Radio Network in July, 2010 after 11+ years in the KPFA news department and over 10 years with Free Speech Radio News. She is now in the odd position of needing a paid job while (more...)
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