(Promoted by Colorado Pols)
Dear Speaker Ryan,
I was dismayed to learn that you have blocked calls to your office. As Speaker of the House, and third in line to the presidency, you have a responsibility to all Americans to listen to their voices and represent them. I don’t live in your district, but I am an American.
Yes, I know that some Americans believe that abortion should be illegal. I’d like to remind you that when it was illegal, there were still abortions. What Roe V. Wade did was make abortions safe for the women who choose to have them. I believe that abortions should be rare, and safe.
Defunding Planned Parenthood is a political witch hunt, and will do nothing to stop abortions. First, it is a very small part of their business, which already cannot be paid for with taxpayer money. Second, lots of poor people use it to get tested for STDs, to get information about birth control. It is folly to deny people access to that information, especially if you want fewer abortions. The more informed citizens are about avoiding pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, the healthier our nation is. A bonus is fewer abortions because there are fewer unwanted pregnancies.
Likewise repealing the ACA is folly unless you have something with which to replace it.
My friend has insurance only because he was forced to get it because of the ACA. It turns out he needed it badly. He had undiagnosed diabetes that resulted in a sore on his foot developing gas gangrene. You may want to look that up. I had no idea that there were different kinds of gangrene until he was diagnosed. Gas gangrene is often fatal because it is so aggressive. His leg was amputated below the knee, and now he is waiting for the wound to heal enough to be fitted for a prosthesis. Are you seriously willing to pull the leg out from under this man who has worked in orchards, potato warehouses, and on gas pipelines his whole life? He won’t be able to do any work without two legs.
Now, my story. My employers paid into insurance companies from the time I was 18 until I lost my job in 2008. The company I worked for at the time had to reinvent itself because of the disaster in financial markets. I had religiously paid the maximum allowed into deferred payment plans and health savings plans for many years. Having no job at the age of 60 caused me to dip into those deferred payment plans for my living expenses. I paid penalties and a 30% tax rate for doing so, and the funds were rapidly depleted. The health savings plan was wiped out when, at the age of 62, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It only covered the initial surgery, none of the chemotherapy or radiation therapy. I became a charity patient, after being an executive in the finance world.
My point is that without the safety net of Social Security and Medicare, I would not be alive today. Please think about someone other than corporate executives when you look at the problems with health care in America. Americans deserve access to health care more than corporate executives deserve multi-million dollar paychecks. That’s my belief. It may not be yours, but there are more people like me in America than there are people like you.
Claudette J Konola