You are in Washington to speak for us. We want you to know that every word you speak against universal health care, every stand you take to change the conversation, to muddle the waters, to create theater, may be the difference between living and dying for many of us.
Life is already difficult for many seniors. I retired on the beautiful Southern Oregon Coast where there are no pharmacies, and we all must travel by car 28 miles to refill our prescriptions. During our wet, windy season, roads are often icy and interrupted by downed power lines and debris. In the last six years, two of our doctors retired or moved, and we had to go farther to find adequate care.
There are many towns without doctors, hospitals or pharmacies. This situation is difficult enough. When you add the cost of these services, and the cost of insurance, many people in rural and isolated areas are being ignored. The cost of doing nothing is a death sentence for many of us who cannot afford to move, who cannot afford the price of medicine, who cannot afford annual check-ups, who cannot afford hospitalization.
I'm beginning to tire of all the talk in Washington. An enormous amount of my fixed income pays my insurance premiums and covers prescription medications. How much of your income is dedicated to health care? Whom are you representing besides the interests of lobbyists that have bankrolled your election bid? I never expected, after a lifetime teaching children, that my health care in my golden years would swallow up my hard-earned pension.
What we need from Congress is a program like Medicare, for all citizens. How is it possible for Canada, England, France, Italy, to have universal health care? What do we have to do to keep our priorities straight? In the richest country in the world, people are bankrupted by their medical bills.
Insurance companies are providing nothing for free. Their bottom line is profit. Nobody is covered adequately. If we provide health coverage the way we provide education, police and city emergency services, we would have a healthier nation.
Regardless of your political affiliations, you have the responsibility to represent the wishes of the citizens you represent back home. Do you know how people suffer back in your district? When was the last time you discussed the cost of health care for average folks in your home district?
I hope you get to know who we are and what our stories are. I'm sure, with that knowledge, you would commit to solving the health care problem in America.