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30751 el corazon
rancho santa margarita, CA 92688-2894
July 8, 2011
[recipient address was inserted here]
Dear President Obama,
I plead with you tonight - or rather this morning - to stand tall and firm
when you face Republican leaders on Monday. The news stations are
reporting that you've already agreed to put Social Security (and even
Medicare and Medicaid) on the table and I urge you to BE our President and
take them off.
Right now, you really have the country behind you, Sir. But if you put
those items on the table, if compromises are made and the rich keep their
tax breaks but Medicare and SS lose - we all lose. Big time.
You know the expression, "Give an inch"? Well, the Republicans of today
are famous for taking the mile - and more. They're run by a group the
likes of which we've never seen and I think are very dangerous for us all.
And I'm not exaggerating. BUT America is on YOUR side, Sir. They'll stand
by you if you send the right message, counter each speech the opposition
makes and, I truly believe that if you want to be a two-term President,
now is your moment. Truly. But if you are seen to give into the Tea Party
- you'll never recover and neither will the Democratic Party or America.
There is no doubt that Medicare could be run more efficiently, but that's
not anywhere near the same as making cost cuts and benefit cuts/changes. I
can think of one immediate fix to Medicare that could slash fraud by
Right now, on a monthly basis, I receive a report from Medicare on what my
Medicare Advantage plan has reported regarding my medications so I can see
if there are any errors and check where I stand with the plan.
Uhm, I should back up a bit and add some history. See, I'm on Disability
and thus became eligible for Medicare back in 2007 when I chose Medicare
Advantage. I couldn't afford ANY premiums and that provided plans with
zero premiums and even zero co-pays.
Okay, so now back to what I think might be a fool/full-proof *g* way of
stopping the fraud.
Since I receive a report on my medications, why not a report on what my
physician has reported regarding any medical procedures, etc.? He/she
should report to the Plan (I use MD CARE and through them, my health
provider is Arta), who confirms with the provider, who in turn, reports to
Now, some such process already happens but the patient is left out of the
loop, so we haven't a clue what's been reported or how accurate it is. But
if I were to receive a similar report with the medication report, I can
immediately agree or disagree with anything stated. If procedures were
reported that I never had, I could let Medicare know and they could take
the appropriate action.
Yes, I can hear the GODFATHERS of the House , Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan
now, saying, "But how easy it would be to ring the patient in on the scam
and split the money with them."
Except...the majority of Americans in predicaments like mine are honest
people and, let's face it, those doctors/providers who *do* cheat? Well,
they're pretty greedy and probably would rather not make the process more
difficult by including patients!
As for Social Security - I've heard that one idea being bantered about is
raising the age of retirement. Sir, Mr. President, that is just ridiculous
on so many levels as to be...well, it's just not the answer. Yes, we're
living longer, but to keep us on the job longer? The number of problems
are almost too many to numerate, but here are just a few:
1. It would cut the job market for the youths of America. Thus job
creation slows down and we're already in deep you-know-what in that arena.
2. The quality of life a person will experience once they *can* retire
will be less than it is now. Why? Health care. We may be living longer,
but we're not living *better*, Mr. President. At least, the average,
Middle class American isn't. If you had any idea what many Americans are
living with when it comes to health problems, you'd be shocked. But let me
give you one example: Me - and I'm not unusual.
[removed personal info]. Have you read what medicare offers in the form of
hospitalization? Sure, I'd have x number of
days free, but then I'd pay, and I can't pay, can't even afford a payment
plan. At the end of each month, I have pennies left. Heck, I have [removed personal info] in
the bank right now and my next Disability isn't until the fourth Wednesday
of this month (although, a few dollars should be coming in shortly).
As for treatments - you know I'd receive the least expensive, oldest
treatments, no experimental treatments and no effective drugs to make
things like chemo and radiation actually livable (that's for the rich) -
because Medicare doesn't cover those. I'd have no tv in my room, no phone,
because they're not covered, Mr. President.
Imagine being so ill and having to stay in a hospital and not being able to
take your mind off things with something as simple (and often mind-numbing
*g*) as television. Or not being allowed to talk to friends when you need
to. Oh, sure, I could pay for those items myself, but...I can't. And
neither can most on Disability.
So I just wait and take it day by day.
[removed - personal]...the one drug I need, I can't afford because Medicare
doesn't cover it - and believe me, I understand why. The
company that manufacturers it charges a FORTUNE. One month's supply - 30
tablets - is $229 at the CHEAPEST store around: COSTCO. That's my entire
food allowance for a month!
And btw, I'm one of the lucky Disability recipients. I'm at a high level -
[removed - personal] because I was 53 when I became ill and had worked for
thirty years in an excellent job (I was a General Manager for Durham
School Services). Of course, even my low-low bond apartment takes almost
half my disability, but hey.
But can you imagine someone on Disability who hadn't worked as long or in
as high a position? And like me, with no other income, dealing with the
current gas prices? I can't do it, so how can others?
BTW: did you expect us to fall for no COLA for 2011 because prices weren't
going up when everyone knew they would? I live in Southern California and
here, even the cheap, store brand milk could be had for $4.98 - for TWO
gallons - in 2010. Today, that same milk is $6.98 for two and even at
CostCo, it's $5.98.
EVERYTHING is more expensive, but I'm still at the same disability rate. My only prayer is
that the job market stays bad (how's that for a selfish prayer?) so that
my rent doesn't go up (it's based on the median income of my area when you
have a low-low bond apartment). I have to wish for bad luck for others so
I can remain in my apartment, rather than moving into my car.
So the bottom line is simple, Mr. President. You can't AFFORD to put
Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid on the table and we can't AFFORD you
to. This is the Gunfight at the OK Corral, but you're the good guy and
America knows this now. We understand what the Tea Party wants, we're
watching it happen in almost every state with a new Republican Governor -
or should I say, King? Dictator?
Those early Tea Party supporters who were talked into voting against their
best interests - they've learned the truth. Sure, there are die-hards out
there, but most have learned in spite of their bigotry, prejudices and
Now is the time for you to take the reins of the Presidency, stop trying
to placate everyone, and do what's right. Go on tv this weekend and tell
the Republicans what will happen on Monday - and what won't. Tell us why.
Tell us what you mean by raising taxes, that it's on the rich and this is
NOT negotiable, it WILL happen. Show America how jobs haven't come back
since Bush put the tax cuts into affect. Explain Privatization. Explain
that it means PROFIT for private companies who'd take over things like SS,
Medicare, etc. if the Republicans get their way. Explain why Ryan's plan
CAN'T work. And explain why the Republicans can't win this fight, because
if they try and continue it, 2012 will see a whole new House and Senate
and it won't be filled with Tea Party members.
And one more piece of advice? *winces*
Sir, don't try to be them. Don't try to be - how do I say this? Don't try
to be white - be who and what you are. A great man. Don't pander to the
fear mongers - instead, show them a great leader.
To paraphrase a campaign of a few years ago: Just say NO, Mr. President.
For all our sakes.
Thank you and I pray you'll actually read this - of course, I could be
full of you-know-what....
Tags: letter to obama