One man's response to Michael Steele's cries of socialism regarding the health care plan being discussed in Congress at this time.
Dear Mr. Steele:
I am writing in response to your comments on the current health care plan in Congress, specifically calling the plan Socialism. As a person living with AIDS and having now been forced to deal with the health care system in American in ways I never dreamed possible, if you feel the need to call me a Socialist while I fight to bring about the changes needed in our current health care system, let me tell this -- I have been called far worse, and I am not scared of you.
I am sure that the RNC provides you not only with a steady paycheck, something that nearly 15% of Americans do not have but would do just about anything to get, a generous expense account to show your fervent supporters just how much you appreciate them, a very well decorated office with a sharp support staff to tend to your every need, but also a well thought out, low deductible (if any), probably non-existent co payment, health care plan. You and your family get something that most Americans do not have, that most Americans are supporting, and many, many Americans are in desperate need of.
In writing Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville stated, "Democracy and socialism have nothing on common but one word: equality." Equality, Mr. Steele, is all we seek. We are looking to give everyone the chance to play on the same field when it comes to matters regarding health. Does your party not want that?
In a democracy, as defined by Merriam Webster, the rule of the majority becomes the law of the land. In said democracy, one person gets one vote. Mr. Steele, I have a few questions. How come your vote apparently counts more than mine? How come you are ignoring the wishes of the American people? Does your party no longer work for the American people -- or just a select few?
In a country where more and more people are filing for bankruptcy to pay for medical bills, you stand in the way of progress. As a person living with AIDS is my vote less important to the country than yours simply because you have a larger platform from which to state your views? What about women suffering from breast cancer and those often long and horrible treatments? Do they mean less? Because they have breasts -- they are entitled to the costs involved, and if that means extensive, and very expensive chemo, then so be it?
Do you have any idea what is it like to avoid going to an Emergency Room, opting instead to sit home and wait out the pain, because you know there is no possible way you can afford the bill? Have you ever been refused coverage simply because of your current health status? Better yet, have you had a doctor, someone who has taken an oath with supposed standards to uphold and codes to live by, pass you off to another doctor because he feels he is not the right person to treat you, simply because you are HIV positive?
I am ashamed to live in a country that does not do that the Constitution clearly states in its very own Preamble -- "promote the general welfare". A clear, concise, affordable, public health plan would not only promote the general welfare, but would also make the human capital much more valuable in this country. Maybe then, we would be able to compete once more as a manufacturing giant.
In the 1950s, General Motors promised its Auto Workers Union to take care of their members, that they could stop pushing for a national health program, as the rest of the our Allied Nations had done. We know what happened to GM based on that promise. Now they are allowing their dedicated employees to suffer their mistakes. Talk about the sins of the fathers.....
The American people are in serious need of need new forms of health care, Mr. Steele. We compromise our very livelihoods in order to maintain our health. Friends chip in when others can no longer afford food to sustain them because the medications came first that month. I personally am selling off what I can of my personal property to pay for my costly blood work. Yes sir, that is what it has come to. I am a well educated, hard working American citizen, and that is what I am forced to do in order to maintain my necessary health care needs to stay alive.
The American Dream no longer consists of that house with a small yard. It now embraces the day when no more bills come in from various medical providers, the day when the phone calls stop asking for any amount possible on your emergency room visit, the day when we can all breath free and not have to worry about what exactly that will cost us tomorrow.
Mr. Steele, please move out of the way of progress and allow change in the way Americans receive health care to move forward. I know it's probably not the best bill right now, but could you not see it in your heart to contribute your most adapt minds to it? Let's have both parties work they're hardest and come up with something downright amazing. Let's finally do something for the American people, and not for the party, not for the lobbyists, and especially not for the drug companies and insurance firms.
Let us truly live free. Let us all stay alive and live up to the potential our creators gave us. Give us the health care that all Americans so richly deserve.
Thank you Mr. Steele.
Your fellow American.