Thursday, November 19, 2009


"Let's take the profit motive OUT OF MEDICINE!"
- Manifesto Joe, Manifesto Joe's Texas Blues -

Enough is enough. We forgotten souls here in the hinterland - ordinary, average citizens all, are far removed from Washington, D.C., and it shows. The overwhelming majority of us don't have six or seven (or eight or nine) figure incomes, and we get taken pretty much for granted by wealthy business executives and our elected officials in Congress all the time. Our struggles apparently aren't understood, or mean very little to those people. They just don't get it.

But it's now time for that to change.

A number of our Senators and Representatives think there is nothing wrong with our health care system, but we know better. The Joe Liebermans, Blanche Lincolns, Tom Coburns, Mitch McConnells, Mary Landrieus, John McCains, Ben Nelsons, Evan Bayhs, Jon Kyls, Michele Bachmanns, Virginia Foxes, John Boehners, Pete Hoekstras, Mike Pences, and Eric Cantors in Washington all seem to think that the current system of for-profit health care delivery is the only way to go, even as it is unattainable for millions and other millions have been excluded from participating in it. These elected officials are evidently unconcerned that millions of others of us can no longer afford health insurance, or that its ever-rising costs are bankrupting individuals and businesses alike. These proponents of the free market apparently believe it is perfectly acceptable for health insurance and pharmaceutical executives to make millions of dollars in annual salaries while denying coverage to many, or pricing medical care and even prescriptions beyond a rate we average, everyday folks can afford to pay. They just don't get it. But WE do.

We understand very well that no one should have to choose between paying for needed drugs and eating, or between paying for medical bills and paying the rent. We understand that, while our wages are frozen or dropping, those of business executives and elected officials keep rising every year, and so do the costs of drugs and medical care we need, shooting up in price well above the rate of inflation. So I got an idea.

Let's give every Representative and Senator in Washington a direct look at the struggles we are now facing due to the rising, out of control costs of health care and prescriptions. ESPECIALLY THE CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS AND BLUE DOG DEMOCRATS WHO OPPOSE A PUBLIC OPTION TO HELP CONTROL COSTS. If you are unemployed and without insurance, can't afford health insurance, are elderly on a fixed income and can't afford your donut-hole in Medicare part D, have a pre-existing condition and are excluded from health insurance, or have had health insurance but were booted off it because your chemotherapy or other costs have become too high for your insurance company's liking, SEND YOUR REPRESENTATIVE A COPY OF THE LETTER BELOW (AS SHOWN BETWEEN THE DOTTED LINES), ALONG WITH AN ITEMIZED COPY OF YOUR HOSPITAL BILL, DOCTOR BILL, OR THIS YEAR'S PRESCRIPTION COSTS. In fact, copy and paste the letter between the dotted lines below and send it to everyone in your email address book and ask them to do the same. Just tailor the letter to fit your own circumstances, and send it off to Washington. Here it is:
Dear Senator ____________ (or Representative __________):

I am one of your constituents and I desperately need your help. I only make $ ______ per week, and, as you can see from the medical bill I have included with this letter, I now owe $ _________ in medical fees. I want to be able to eat and pay for my rent, heating, and electricity, too, so I am asking a very big favor of you: WILL YOU PLEASE PAY THIS BILL FOR ME? BECAUSE I CERTAINLY CAN'T!

I understand the important need for hospitals, health insurance companies, and pharmaceutical companies to make a good profit, but as you can see, I just can't afford to help them do that anymore. So will YOU help me do this by paying my bill?

Thank you, Senator _________ (or Representative __________). I really appreciate it!

Your Devoted Constituent,



We average, everyday, BROKE folks here in the hinterland have been struggling with the deadly virus of beyond-our-means drug and health care costs for far too long now. Perhaps if each of our elected officials gets literally bombarded and smothered with hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of letters and medical bills from each of us across the country, it will finally dawn on them that the flawed for-profit health care system we have is being badly abused, and that the only real cure is a single-payer system like all other civilized countries across the globe have had for years! Let's make this letter go viral all across the internet, and LET'S SEND THIS VIRUS TO WASHINGTON!


MadMike said...

Excellent post Jack. It has inspired me to write to my representatives, although I doubt that it will do any good. Then again it will make ME feel good.

I suppose the only bright side to this is at least they have announced some form of health care for the immediate future that apparently at lease a couple of the Blue Dogs can live with. A start is better than a full stop I guess.

Mycue23 said...

Give 'em hell, Jack!

TRUTH 101 said...

I haven't researched this yet. Hell. I don't research anything.
But a question that you may be able to answer. Have you tried the public aid system in your state? The reason I ask is that if we can get everyone to swallow their pride and make use of the system perhaps the right will see an even bigger reason to embrace a single payer system. Half of us getting "free" health care anyway.

Pride is another emotion the right exploits to get votes. Whether it be "pride" in America. Or being proud of troops or families. You and I know these are smokescreens to hide the right's true agenda. But hell Brother. I'm not going to let these bastards work me with their phony wrapped in the snuggie of patriotism bullsh!t.

Jack Jodell said...

Thanks, MadMike. Please DO circulate the letter to all you know, and make sure that when you and they do, everybody includes a copy of their doctor's, hospital, and prescription bills. When our elected officials start getting invoice after invoice and letter after letter from us, it should make SOME impact. By the way, I've just passed this idea on to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, too. I hope she runs with it; it goes viral; and the virus hits Washington HARD!
I sure will. YOU give 'em hell too, my good man, just like MadMike!
With some it may be a matter of pride, but why have the states deal with it when it should be a responsibility of our federal government to ensure universal medical care, as is done in all other countries? The states don't really have the resources to deal with this (the care in Mississippi, for example, would end up being terrible as opposed to that offered by Minnesota or New York).

TomCat said...

Love it, Jack. After finally winning my SSDI appeal, I will have full health care coverage in only eleven more days. Over the last few years, I have gone without meat for a week or two so that I could get my meds on several occasions, and stretching a single pork chop into three or four days of meals has been routine.

Just because my personal struggle is over, I'm not giving up the fight for the rest of you.

Jack Jodell said...

Congrats, TomCat, on finally getting what EVERY American citizen should have: health care without restriction or exorbitant cost! And it's horrible that you had to deny yourself food in the process! Eat, drink, see the doc, and be merry in another 7 days! :)

Stimpson said...

Great idea. Good luck in the fight for a sane, compassionate, civilized health-care system. From what I've seen, you're really gonna need that luck. U.S. citizens have elected an astonishing number of ignorant A-holes to federal office.

Jack Jodell said...

Yes, this marvelous plutocracy we live in has been marvelously successful at producing a huge flock of mediocre parrot politicians who serve big money but not the people. Most of our Democrats even fall to the right of your Conservatives in a number of areas, and it's a real shame.

BigmacInPittsburgh said...

My letter is on the way Jack!

Jack Jodell said...

Way to go, BigMacInPittsburgh! Sorry you've had those huge medical expenses. Be sure to spread the letter to all on your address list---if this thing goes viral, maybe we'll finally break the stranglehold insurance and pharmaceutical companies have on us all! There's no bigger and better group of people I'd like to see in the unemployment line than the vastly overpaid executives of those types of companies!

SJ said...

Bravo President Jodell.

Way to, -once again-, make mince meat out of the supposed "arguments" against reform. Required reading as always Jack.

Jack Jodell said...

Thank YOU, SJ, and let's keep on pushing and fighting the good fight!

TomCat said...

Thanks, Jack.