Saturday, October 10, 2009

Public Option Rant

Sally and I are not strong supporters of a public option for health insurance. A public option, in our estimation, is a poor compromise instead of the single-payer approach we believe to be the right course. Still, even as a compromise, a public option is better than the status quo.

Sally has been very active on this issue, attending rallies and writing our representatives. She was amazed and disappointed that the staffers for Washington Senator Patty Murray (D) were the least open and helpful of any with whom she spoke. Sally relayed that story to me, which laid the groundwork for my dismay upon receiving a fundraising letter from Sen. Murray with the words, It's time to send the "mom in tennis shoes" BACK to Washington on the envelope.

I felt called to respond, and Sally agreed to sign the letter with me, which I now reprint for your information and amusement.

October 9, 2009

It’s time to send the “mom in tennis shoes” BACK

Dear Senator Murray,

We have supported you in the past, and might well do so again, if indeed you make your way BACK to your progressive roots. Your failure to support a public option for health insurance reform makes it clear that you value the financial support of private insurance companies more than you do the needs of other moms in tennis shoes, those who can’t afford fancier footware because they spend far too much of their income on health insurance.

We have been dismayed that you have apparently caved in to the lobbying efforts of these corporate giants, rather than taking them on because it’s the right thing to do. You have responded to our advocacy by stating you “don’t believe there is support for a public option.” True leaders don’t test the wind before taking their position. The right thing to do is advocate for a public option. There was a time when you ran against the odds, standing, walking, and fighting for the right thing. Your time in the other Washington must have taken its toll.

We will be watching and waiting to see if you indeed will come BACK to your progressive roots. If not, then perhaps your friends in the insurance industry would be better targets for your fundraising efforts. Wait, they’ve clearly already done their part.

Sincerely and Sadly,

J. Hollis and Sally Bredeweg

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