Letter to the President

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“Dear Mr. President:

I am writing to express my perceptions regarding the future of our health care system. I am optimistic about your intentions to reform the system and your commitment to make progress by the end of the year. However, I am concerned that the White House is not giving enough serious consideration to a “single payer” national health care plan. Please think outside the “senator’s health insurance plan” box. We can do better.

The will of our nation’s people is that no one should be left behind when it comes to healthcare, just as public education, police, and firemen are not on a pay-per-visit basis. We want a SIMPLE system of healthcare, paid for by taxes, which ensures that we won’t have to worry about money or insurance plans when we visit a hospital in a time of need and worry.

I used to work a lucrative job which provided good health insurance, so I know how comfortable it is to be covered, and I also know how nonchalant I was toward how broken the system is for many millions of people. However, I am worried that you and your colleagues, the people who are now in a position to change our health care policy, will not have the courage to step away from your comfortable, elitist insurance system and radically reform it so that the word “health insurance” becomes obsolete.

We do not want national health insurance. We want national health care.

I can’t think of a good reason not to alienate the insurance companies, big pharma, and other industries who have profited on the illness of our families and friends. My father, after working long hours in back-breaking construction work for 30 years, has had all of his toes amputated over the past few years due to an infection that he just couldn’t afford to treat early enough. He has built air force hangars, roads, bridges, and homes, and still regularly volunteers to build things in his retirement years for neighbors and the church. My parents spent 20 years working their way out of debt due to a failed business (an arena where I believe failure is more appropriate and acceptable), and were so proud to buy the first home they could afford that was not on wheels. They now have used all the equity in their home to pay his medical bills and prescription costs, and told me the other day they should be able to pay off the house in 20 years. My father is 66 years old!

We need to take out the middleman of “insurance companies.” I realize that right now it is politically unpopular among “covered” people like senators, CEOs, and upper middle class, to do away with a system that appears to work occasionally, but we need a MAJOR overhaul. Do not let ANY insurance company dictate what doctors can and cannot do anymore. We want to take care of each other.

I have personally been blessed with very good health, and I have no problem paying into a tax pool from which an efficient government health care system is run. I do, however, have a problem paying a private insurance company money, especially in these greedy times.

I appreciate whoever has taken the time to read this, and I sincerely hope we stay true to our values, taking the best ideas from all over the country and the world to create a simple new system of healthcare.

Your fellow citizen,

Christina M. McKinstry”