Greta, With a Health Care Favor

I have a favor to ask you all. No, my health is fine. But a friend of mine just posted on her Facebook page that she got her earring ball stuck in her ear canal… and she wanted advice on how to get it out, since she couldn’t afford the emergency room fee.

I’m writing to ask you, right now, to call and/or email the White House, your Senators, and your Congressperson, and tell them that you strongly support the public option for health care. (Just four phone calls. Numbers are at the end of this email.)

The public option is far, far better than the co-op option that’s currently being floated. (Here’s a good article about why.) But almost as importantly:

We can’t let a handful of misinformed extremists screaming at town hall meetings set the terms of this debate. If we let that happen, they will do the same thing over every important policy debate, for the rest of this administration. We have to let corporate special interests — in this case, the insurance industry — know that they can’t derail the will of the voters by whipping up fear in the far right. They have a powerful stake in preserving the status quo. If they succeed this time, they are never going to stop.

We have to kick up just as big a stink as the far right. (Less obnoxiously, of course.) And we have to do it now. It wasn’t enough to win the 2008 election. The fight for a progressive agenda in this country isn’t over — it’s just beginning. We have to let our government know that this matters to us every bit as much as it does to the crazy teabaggers. They won’t know if we don’t tell them. Call and/or email the White House, your Senators, and your Congressperson. Do it today. It’s just four phone calls. (And if you haven’t already, put those phone numbers in your speed dial/ contacts list/ address book, and bookmark these webpages, so it’s easier to do this the next time around.)

Contact info for the White House:
202/456-1111 (line may be busy, try emailing)
Email the White House

If you’re in California:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Email Speaker Pelosi

Senator Barbara Boxer
Email Senator Boxer

Senator Dianne Feinstein
Email Senator Feinstein

If you’re not in California:

Here’s the main Congressional switchboard number:

(202) 224-3121

And here’s the Congressional directory.

Phone 2
It is completely insane that my friend has to rely on her Facebook friends for health care. It is completely insane that her first and best instinct when she has a health care crisis — to go to the emergency room, for heaven’s sake — has to be carefully considered, since she may not be able to afford it. The public option is not an extremist policy: it is already a compromise from single payer, making the co-op option a compromise on top of a compromise. Please do not let the far right shove the moderate, centrist position even further to the right. Do not let them set the terms of this debate. Make your voice heard now. Thanks.

Greta, With a Health Care Favor

14 thoughts on “Greta, With a Health Care Favor

  1. 1

    Don’t think its going to matter much. Democrats won’t vote on it if it doesn’t have a “public option”, and Republicans have flat out stated, in droves, that it won’t get their vote, if it includes such as “socialist” thing. Result is either going to be something that won’t reform at all, if it passes at all, or something missing the one thing that would actually *result* in it getting passed at all.
    Its come down to some insane bullshit in congress over, “small government we can steamroll”, versus, “actually helping people”, with, as usual, the Repuglicans on the side of, “We don’t want no socialist government, and we would erase Medicare and Social Security, which we also apposed when introduced, if we could, along with your new health care reform!”
    Obama should have, I think, gave up on the bipartisan BS with this issue months ago, and pushed ahead with people that gave a shit. Because, the Republicans seem to have all arrived from the McCarthy era, to scream about communism, and further rob us of the ability to fight back against pure corporate greed, rather than offering solutions (of which they have **nothing**, because they don’t, personally, think anything is broken, from their perspective).

  2. 3

    Thanks, Greta. This was the little kick in the pants I needed to write my Senators and House rep.
    One of my senators is a Republican, so hopefully even the Republicans will recognize the importance that health care holds for us, if enough of us badger them about it.

  3. 4

    Don’t think its going to matter much. Democrats won’t vote on it if it doesn’t have a “public option”, and Republicans have flat out stated, in droves, that it won’t get their vote, if it includes such as “socialist” thing.

    IMO, “it’s not going to matter” is exactly the wrong attitude. That’s one of the biggest things that’s wrong with politics — people giving up before they even try.
    True, the GOP won’t vote for a health care plan if it includes the public option. So what? They’re vastly in the minority in both the House and the Senate. We don’t need them. We just need Obama and the Dems to stop giving a shit about bipartisanship. Hence, the “emailing/ calling your Congressbeing” and telling them what you want and how strongly you feel about it.

  4. 5

    Greta – my mother is an audiologist so I may have an answer to your friends problem.
    If your friend is able to see the ball, she may be able to have a friend remove it with a very small set of tweezers. However, the ear canal isn’t a great shape for tweezers – and you risk pushing the ball further in.
    An option I’d try is for her to submerge her head in a warm bathtub, making sure to have her ear canal face up (pushing a cup into water leaves a bubble of air, thus the cup remains dry…I’m sure we’ve all done it when we were younger). By facing up the ear canal will fill with water, she then needs to turn her head 180 degrees, preferably remaining underwater. At this point the wax in the ear is beginning to soften, and hopefully gravity will works it magic. She’ll need to make herself comfortable, as this may be a time consuming process.
    Worst case scenario – skip the ER, contact an ENT (Ear, nose, and throat). They’ll be able to do it no problem, and it probably won’t cost too much either.
    *disclosure: I am not a doctor of anything, and my advice is given on a non-medical basis and if you choose to use this advice, the risks are yours alone and I assume no liability.

  5. 6

    Evan L.: Thanks. But (a) I don’t want people with serious medical conditions taking advice from the Some Guy on the Net Health Plan… and (b) I want my friend — and everyone else in this country — to be able to go to an emergency room without worrying about the cost. That’s the point. If you haven’t already, please call the White House and your Congressbeings.

  6. 7

    I find this simply incomprehensible. Its the sort of thing one imagines might happen in Africa.
    I’ve never paid a cent out of pocket to go to Emergency. Sometimes I’ve had a long wait (that’s triage I guess – and decided to wait to see my own family doctor instead), but not going because of cost has never been a consideration.
    I’m very sad that scurrilous lies appear to be doing a very thorough job of scuttling the quite modest health care reform you looked poised to end up with.

  7. 8

    I’m starting to get worried about you guys; north of the border we see all this emotionally charged town hall attendance, we see the guns at the town halls and we hear the fringe elements’ invective sort of starting to creep towards the centre…
    It’s scary. It’s a recipe for disaster; I relish seeing people like you, Greta, who encourage level-headed but genuinely outraged action. As much as I know most Americans are unimpressed with the way health care works in Canada, I do hope to see the day when my friends in the US can walk into the emergency room with the same knowledge we have here, the knowledge that whatever happens, however bad the injury or illness might be, when all’s said and done, the bill won’t cost us our homes and our lives as we know them.

  8. 9

    Thanks for the post Greta, and for the rebuke to Kahegi.
    What got _me_ off _my_ butt was the story in Monday’s paper that they were backing away from the public option. As I wrote in my four emails (as good as phone calls, IMO):

    In today’s newspaper, the lead story is headlined, “‘Public Option’ in Health Care May Be Dropped.” Of course, the “public option” is the one innovation in this year’s campaign for reform. To see it dropped in pursuit of a few Republican votes would be very disappointing, when it is clear that those Republicans will never vote for any reform bill.
    To paraphrase Upton Sinclair, it is difficult to get a Senator to understand something, when his campaign contributions depend upon his not understanding it. I urge you to stick to your guns on the public option.

    48 hours later, it seems like the Dems are starting to get the message, and go their own way.
    By the way, I am one of the lucky ones, who have good health insurance from my job. Oh, you want a selfish reason for supporting this? OK. I _think_ my job is secure, but you never can tell these days. Oh, and maybe getting everyone insured will bring down costs when people don’t wait until they’re desperate to go to the ER (Republican version of universal coverage).

  9. sav

    Yesterday I spent all day calling reps, writing reps, writing the POTUS to support the public option. I have since abandoned that idea and am supporting a full-on, in your face charge against the wackos, against the insurance corporations, and against “moderate” politicians and am supporting a national single-payer health program. We’ve got nothing to lose by telling Congress and the POTUS that they’ve got it all wrong and they need to start again and do it right.
    Here’s why (this article can explain it much better than I can, and it comes from people who know what they’re talking about):
    On Thursday, President Obama is hosting a forum about the health care bills. To register and ask a question, go here:
    What: Organizing for America National Health Care Forum
    When: Thursday, August 20th, 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time
    I asked him this:
    Dear President Obama,
    Why aren’t we fighting for real reform and insisting on a national single-payer health care program?
    I think there is a lot that the public, myself included, just isn’t being told about this reform bill. It seems very convoluted from the little of it I’ve read. The public option, as you said yesterday on Facebook, Greta, certainly is a compromise, and in its current version seems more like settling for the status quo.
    I’m sorry to sound preachy here. But for the sake of conversation and getting folks information, I thought I’d share. Thanks for this post.

  10. 11

    I say abolish medicare. Maybe then the statistically more republican generation will actually see the benefit to “socialism”…
    seriously though it is SOOOO morally bankrupt to be taking the taxes of the NEXT generation for your health care while refusing to share, especially since people who reach 65 would have fewer long term health issues if they had had regular health care all along!
    But yeah.
    Then we’ll get a public option before you can blink twice 🙂

  11. 12

    Done. I can’t believe that with this kind of majority in both houses, Democrats are having so much trouble passing something that the vast majority of the public is in favor of.
    I mean, I can believe it, but I don’t have to like it.

  12. 13

    Wow. I just read the article sav links to in her comment above.
    Read it.
    Seriously. I’m not really sure what I can /do/ about it, but people should be aware, at least.

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