Friday, March 12, 2010

Day 71- Sprint to the finish

Dear Mr. President,

Thank you for delaying your trip to Asia to ensure the passage of health care reform. I have a few conservative friends grumbling about the "rush" of this legislation, as though people in the country can afford to wait any longer. I have to say I'm disappointed in so many people for complaining about the burdens of this legislation. I had imagined that the day we successfully passed health care reform would be, well, glorious, for those who had accomplished it. I thought that it would say something about all of us, that we were willing to look out for the least among us, willing to share burdens a little bit, if it meant that the heaviest loads could be lighter.

Instead, it seems so many people are only concerned with themselves. I'm not going to pretend that there aren't political benefits for the democrats that support this legislation, or that others aren't doing so for purely self-serving reasons, but I don't think any one in congress is too worried about being able to pay their medical bills. I don't think you're worried about your coverage getting denied. I'm certainly not worried about the requirement to buy insurance, even though I've survived without coverage for the last two years. It will cost more for me to have it, short-term. But in the long run I'll save money if I do get sick, and if I don't get sick, than the system gets to help some one who needs it at less expense for them and for taxpayers.

I hope that, no matter how costly and exhausting this fight has been, politically, if the legislation passes, it does come with no small sense of satisfaction for you & every one who has worked so hard to see it through. It will do a lot of good for a lot of people, even many of those who are currently complaining.

I used to be a distance runner. At the end of a cross-country race, the sprint to the finish was always the part that seemed forgone. It was always the part that felt the easiest, because it was almost over, even if it hurt the most. So many races were won and lost in that last stretch; so many injuries ignored for the sake of the finish line. I know the coming days are not going to be easy. I want to do what I can to help, but I feel a bit like a spectator, cheering you on. I voted last November. I've written you letters. I've called my congressman, and he's on board. It's out of my hands, now; it is just a matter of watching, and waiting, and hoping.

Thank you for all of your hard work on this, Mr. President. Good luck.

Respectfully yours,


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