The text of my letter to Sen. Udall and Sen. Bennett

Don’t Drop the Public Option!

It will have to be implemented, there’s no way to do more than temporarily “fix” Health Care without it. I know from personal experience how much more it costs society to abandon basic medical care for those of us who are poor and uninsured. Those of us who are poor because of our disabilities can’t get timely Health Care coverage in any case. I personally was injured on the job, in a state that’s “right to work”. Texas.

Meaning there’s no meaningful protections for the Workers, just for the Employers. The corporation who were renting out my labor was a subsidiary of Halliburton. Because of the “temporary labor” status of my job when I was injured, the fact that the roofing company who caused the accident by blatant carelessness
(the boss took the ladder to a second job site and had us walking up and down a conveyor belt like a ramp to get on and off the roof)
split the state and declared emergency bankruptcy to evade paying any medical bills,
neither Halliburton’s subsidiary Industrial Labor Services nor the Roofing company were required to carry Workman’s Compensation insurance
and I was working for just over minimum wage, At the time it was locked at $3.35 an hour and I was making a whole $5 because I provided my own transportation and it was a roofing job.
So, where was I supposed to have the money to insure myself? But that, you see, is the situation those of us who aren’t insured face.

After the initial surgery, wherein the three bones in my Right foot which were broken were fixated with a couple of screws, and my Left Tibial Plateau which had a descending fracture of 2 centimeters was fixated by a metal plate, shaped like an inverted “L” and held with six more screws… the doctor who performed the surgery said that the metal had to come out after two years.

Immediately after being discharged from the hospital, the roofing contractor had long since fled the state and the Halliburton subsidiary denied any knowledge of me having even worked for them.

They were cheating on the taxes, taking out Social Security and withholding for Income Tax, and just not paying them to the appropriate agencies. I had no Social Security records of ever having worked for them.

Getting SSI was damnably difficult. I went back to work in 1998 and worked as long as I could, which was about two years. (the accident happened in october 1992) and my foot was steadily deteriorating. one of the bones, the Talus, in the right foot, was dying within my foot.

I mustered a hundred and fifty bucks to see a specialist, self pay, and found that out.

My balance and coordination were steadily declining. I had to let go of my job. for 4 years my family supported me and then I moved to Colorado and once again applied for SSI. This time I received it.
As soon as my SSI was approved, and my Socialized Medicine (Oh, The Horrors!! State Funded Medical Care! It’s Tyranny! Tyranny!) I got the metal taken out of my foot and knee.
By that time 14 years had elapsed. 14 years with no treatment save what I could scrounge at the emergency room. At MASSIVE public expense. The right foot had to be fused.
One of the screws in the Left tibia is broken off in the bone and can’t be retrieved. Because it was left and neglected for so long.

Between the surgeries, and the ER visits, the cost to the taxpayer is somewhere around a half million dollars.

My LEFT talus had meanwhile started to decay. Due to nerve and circulatory damage from the emergency surgery on the Left Knee, and 14 years of walking crookedly from the damage to the knee and the Right foot.

It’s been reversed, due to an interventional course of physical therapy, at a cost of under 20K, and a device called a T.E.N.S. unit that cost the state about 500 dollars.

Large difference there, yes? The so-called “Conservatives” don’t see it that way. They’re too busy wetting themselves over the specter of “Socialism” to see the savings that routine medical care can make simply by preventing the deterioration of any given condition to the point that it would cost ten times as much to repair it,

if the patient is fortunate enough to survive long enough to get the treatment. Factor in lost productivity, the one thing the “conservatives” actually give a damn about, For We Must Be Productive Servants For Their Corporate Masters…

That’s just ONE bit of anecdotal evidence. My brother almost lost his life to the same kind of neglect. He was working for a company which provided NO health insurance, and no paid sick leave.
Typical in Right To Work situations.
He developed Pleurisy. He fought on, working as long as he possibly could, with a honkin’ big cyst growing in his chest wall. He had to go to the Emergency Room at Tarrant Co. Hospital District (Ft Worth Texas) and because the same abominable health care delays and denials that are now growing in the Entire Country had already taken hold in “George Bush’s Economic Miracle” in Texas,

he was in the waiting area for three days waiting to be seen. By the time he WAS seen he was in grave condition, and had to be placed on Intensive Care for more than a week.

This is a condition that can be treated, if there’s early intervention, by a course of antibiotics and a few days bed rest.

Instead they went the “cheap” route, the route that’s going to be the ONLY option for the Working Poor until the Public Option is approved. And wound up costing the state another cool half Million dollars and olmost costing my brother his LIFE.

The people who are opposing the Health Care and in particular the Public Option scream long and loud about “Right To Life” but that’s apparently only a “Right” if you happen to be wealthy. Those of us who aren’t born with a silver spoon have to just work putting money in the Rich man’s pocket until we die, hopefully in a way that doesn’t Inconvenience the Rich man in any way.

It’s more than a matter of social justice and more than a matter of simple morality and more than a matter of TRUE Fiscal Conservativism. It’s much greater than the Sum of all the parts. You, sir, and your colleagues, owe it to America to see that this very necessity for our nation to survive is taken care of. Do so.

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Brother Jonah

About Brother Jonah

Recovering Texan. Christian while and at the same time Anarchist. (like Tolstoy only without the beard, for now) Constantly on the lookout for things which have relevance to things I already know. Autistic. Proud to be Ex- air force. Out of the killing machine for 27 years 4 months and 5 days woohoo!
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2 Responses to The text of my letter to Sen. Udall and Sen. Bennett

  1. Avatar Pinche says:

    They will read your letter perhaps, but they are corporate Democratic Party politicians and just don’t give much a damn about you, Jonah. No more than the Republican Party ones do. PLUS, they already know what their policies do to the working poor. Writing them letters, phoning them, and going down to their offices for visits doesn’t help. You would need cold hard cash to move these types.

  2. Avatar Brother Jonah says:

    and remaining silent does absolutely nothing. It would leave them absolved of all blame because they would then say, “see, we did our best to represent the people, nobody said otherwise”.

    And it would leave the wild harangues of the Tea Party Tantrums as the only voices ever published.

    My brother, never puts pen to paper, seldom even phones people. If I die before him, his story would be swept away by a myopic recent “history”.

    Miss Johnnie, faced similar problems, her husband died of Agent Orange, no acknowledgment before death that it was even Service Connected, a long and expensive death. They were rich before, she was impoverished after. She doesn’t like making a fuss or a stink, usually. Until the VA finally admitted his death was Service Related, (still not acknowledged as A.O.) she had lost her house, had no insurance, and her medical care was of the “acute” variety, she was on Chemo for lymphoma. And homeless. That story, too, would be lost to the wind.

    If it’s naught but a witness against them then at least it’s a witness.

    Eric once gave me a pair of drumsticks with part of the poem “Rage against the machine” written on them.

    There’s another factor, specific to Christians. We’re big on witness. Or supposed to be. It’s a Jewish and Muslim thing too, when al Zaihidi threw his shoes at Bush, it was a repeat of a story told 3000 years ago when King David’s great-grandfather did the same thing in the gates of Bethlehem against a relative who had neglected their kinswomen, the Widows Ruth and Naomi. Jesus said to do a variant of it if our witness is rejected in any town. To shake the dust from our shoes as we’re leaving.

    So will our stories be merely another fart in the breeze? Who can say?

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