Posts Tagged ‘letter’

CWOW Letters 6

Friday, June 9th, 2017

Cold Water at the Café Rouge greeting cards

The ill-fated and ill-conceived American Health Care Act was pulled from consideration minutes before a vote in the House of Representatives on Friday, March 24. These letters were mailed March 27, 2017. On May 4, the ACHA was passed by a narrow margin in the House and will move to the Senate for further consideration. I’m thinking about what to write to our senators about that, and I’m finding it difficult to keep it to the space of one greeting card.

Dear Mr. President,

You may not think so now, but you are very lucky that the American Health Care Act failed. That bill went against your promises to the American people: “insurance for everybody” and better healthcare for less cost. Yes, you promised these things and people believed you.

Now is your chance to make good on your promises. Take your time. Create a health plan that delivers the improvements you said we should expect.

Or, if you can’t do that, at least make changes to the Affordable Care Act so that it will deliver what you promised.

Mr. President, if you can develop and pass legislation that provides better health care at lower costs to all U. S. citizens and taxpayers, you can be proud for it to be called Trumpcare, and you will deserve to be considered for a second term in office.

Sincerely,
ST

Dear Representative Conaway,

We are all lucky the American Health Care Act failed. Now it is up to you and your colleagues in the House of Representatives to craft a healthcare bill that does the following:

  • Extends health care coverage to all U. S. citizens;
  • Funds preventive health measures, including birth control for those who wish to prevent pregnancy;
  • Brings down health care costs by subsidizing medical education and practice, so doctors do not carry such a heavy debt when they graduate from med school;
  • Mandates negotiating prices for medicines, medical supplies, and equipment, for citizens and for hospitals and physicians’ practices.

Please feel free to contact me about my family’s excellent experience when we used England’s National Health System for seven years.

Sincerely,
ST

PS I am embarrassed and very sorry that I misspelled your name several times. I will spell it correctly from now on.

* * * * *

The Senate got up to bad tricks the last couple of years, and caused our health insurance bill to skyrocket in 2017. The cause of the large increase to insurance customers appears to be this paragraph in the appropriations bill in December 2014:

SEC. 227. None of the funds made available by this Act from the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund or the Federal Supplemental Medical Insurance Trust Fund, or transferred from other accounts funded by this Act to the ‘‘Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services—Program Management’’ account, may be used for payments under section 1342(b)(1) of Public Law 111–148 (relating to risk corridors). (Source: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-113hr83enr/pdf/BILLS-113hr83enr.pdf#page=362)

This paragraph ended a program put in place with the Affordable Care Act, which helped cushion insurance companies from unexpectedly high payouts. When the cushion was pulled out from under them, insurance companies passed on the costs to their customers.

There’s not much we can do about this after the fact, except urge our Senators to work hard to repair the Affordable Care Act and move it toward a single-payer health system.

Again, these notes were mailed March 27, 2017. I’ll be getting back to writing soon. There’s so much to do!

Dear Senators Cornyn/Cruz,

Well, thank goodness the American Health Care Act failed. Now it’s time for you to repair the damage you have done to the Affordable Care Act.

If Obamacare is collapsing, you have colluded in breaking it. I refer to Senator Rubio’s addition to appropriations bills which prevented planned payments to insurance companies serving high risk corridors, which had the effect of raising my family’s insurance rates by over 70% for 2017. Other citizens suffered even higher rate hikes.

Our insurance company’s letter notifying us of this rate increase was cleverly and suspiciously timed to arrive a couple of weeks before the November 2016 election.

Yes, Senator, we noticed that bit of flim-flammery you took part in. Is it your policy to make political points by hurting your constituents?

I demand that you UNDO the so-called Risk Corridors legislation to allow insurance companies to be reimbursed retroactively and rebates to be paid to customers. When that has been accomplished, you must legislate better and more affordable healthcare for all U. S. taxpayers.

Sincerely,
ST

CWOW Letters, 5

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

Greeting cards reproducing Iced Water at the Café Rouge by Suzann Thompson

I sent these notes on March 12, 2017.

Dear Mr. President,

I read that you told an Israeli newspaper that settlements “don’t help the process” of negotiating lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinian people. I am so glad someone finally pointed this out! Thank you!

Then, in a press conference, I heard you tell Mr. Netanyahu that you would like to see him hold back on settlements for a little bit. He looked surprised, but he needed to hear this.

All religious labels aside, those settlements represent a straightforward case of international bullying. It is pretty much drawing a line in the sand and saying, “Okay, like this is our side and that is the Palestinian side. Oh, and by the way Palestinians, we’re going to be building some apartments on your side and we’re gonna live there. But like, you are not allowed to come over to our side.”

What?! Like you said, this is not helping the peace process.

So please, please hold firm on this point.

Sincerely,
ST

* * *

Dear Senator Cruz/Cornyn, Rep. Conaway,

Please protect and fund the Environmental Protection Agency. [for Rep. Conway, Please vote AGAINST H. R. 861, which seeks to dissolve the Environmental Protection Agency.]

As you know, some people in our country wish to line their own pockets at any cost, including our health and the cleanliness of our environment. The EPA stands in their way, preserving our (mostly) clean water and air, among other benefits.

I want the continued protection of the EPA for myself, my family, and our fellow citizens.

ST

Cold Water on Washington

Monday, February 13th, 2017

Iced Water at the Café Rouge by Suzann Thompson

Finally, a purpose for my many Iced Water at the Café Rouge greeting cards! I’m using them to write to the President and my representatives in Congress. I think of it as throwing Cold Water on Washington, because I like silly titles, and it makes a good acronym: CWOW. C-WOW!

These letters are about general topics, not urgent ones. My friend Alissa told me that letters in envelopes are delayed because of security checks for powdered substances. I’m going to follow her advice and buy postcards to send any time-sensitive messages.

Since my letters probably won’t be read by the people to whom they are addressed, I’m posting them here for everyone else to read. Enjoy!

These notes were dated February 4.

Mr. President,

Regarding your conversation with Prime Minister Turnbull of Australia, unnamed sources allegedly offered “fatigue” as an explanation for your rudeness. Just in case this is true, I’m going to tell you what I have often told my children: tiredness is no excuse for bad behavior. But you’re not a child, so really, you have absolutely no valid excuses for bad behavior.

When you find you have acted rudely or badly, own it. Do not expect others to make excuses for you. Apologize. Do better in the future.

That’s all for now.
ST

I wrote notes with slightly different wording, depending on the circumstances, to Senators Cornyn and Cruz and US Representative Conway. Here is the basic idea:

Dear Senator/Representative,

Now that you have begun the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act, I would like to suggest that you replace it with a national healthcare system like the one in England.

My family used the National Health System when we lived in England for seven years. It is very good. No matter how tight our finances were, we knew we could get medical care. This prevents many medical problems from progressing to a point where heroic and expensive intervention is needed.

Nowadays, for our family of four, we pay $1,785 per month for mediocre health insurance. Our deductible is $6,500. I would be pleased to stop paying this exorbitant rate, and put some of it toward higher taxes to pay for a national healthcare system.

That’s all for now.
ST

PS Please hire more staffers to answer your phones, or get a voicemail box with more memory.

Iced Water at the Café Rouge by Suzann Thompson