Saturday, July 25, 2009

Dear Senator Landrieu: Stand with us as we've stood with you

The following letter, signed/approved by 24 Louisiana supporters of Senator Mary Landrieu, was hand delivered to her office in Lake Charles today. The letter calls on the senator to support healthcare reform legislation that includes the public option.

• • •

Dear Senator Landrieu:

We write you today as friends, long-time supporters, and concerned Louisiana citizens regarding an issue of great national significance that is critical to the future well being of our state.

In a few days you will be asked to decide whether healthcare coverage will be extended to millions of Americans who do not now enjoy those benefits. As your votes in support of SCHIP and your efforts to support community healthcare demonstrate, you know that people who do not to have access to adequate health care are destined to die younger, suffer many more illnesses and to watch helplessly as their love ones are denied the care that could save their lives or relieve their discomfort. The high cost of health insurance is the main barrier preventing working families and small business owners from gaining access to that care.

Small businesses and large corporations alike are abandoning employer-based health care because of cost. In Louisiana, where the percentage of employers offering healthcare benefits has historically been low, the problem is even worse. Even where coverage is offered, workers frequently cannot afford the premiums to cover their families. The situation will only be made worse by recent cuts in services voted by the Louisiana Legislature.

In spite of the dishonest campaigns being waged to prevent comprehensive national health care from becoming a reality, the overwhelming majority of Americans support it. Surprisingly, over sixty percent of American physicians are also in support of these ends.

We realize the pressure being exerted on you to vote against this program.

The same stale arguments are being made today against the public option that have been made against every progressive endeavor for the last seventy-five years. Social Security was supposed to be the pinnacle of governmental intrusion into our lives. Where would we be today without Social Security? Medicare was another “Socialist” program that was supposed to destroy medical care in our nation. Where would our seniors be without Medicare? The same could be said for the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Acts. All of these programs were passed under Democratic presidents and all of them have changed our nation and our lives profoundly for the better.

The vast majority of your political base in Louisiana is composed of people who stand to benefit directly from enactment of a national coverage plan, specifically the public option.

We believe that the public option — where adults can buy into a Medicare-like program — is the best way to control costs by bringing competition to the health insurance system. In Louisiana, the two largest health insurance providers control 74 percent of the health insurance market. The market has failed us by pricing coverage beyond the reach of too many Louisiana citizens.

A national consensus has emerged that the current system must be changed and that only federal government has the scale and reach to change it. If these efforts are not successful, it may be many years before we have a president who is willing to take the challenge and pay the political price to achieve these admirable ends.

We do not consider this to be an issue of politics or party. This is an issue of the basic right of every American to be able to access quality healthcare without the risk of financial ruin. Access to healthcare should not be a privilege available only to those who can afford private health insurance.

As friends and long-time supporters we ask you to please not ignore the people who have repeatedly voted you into office. We have stood with you; now, we are asking you to stand with us in support of the public option.

Sincerely yours,

Mike Stagg, Lafayette
Sally O. Donlon, Lafayette
Dr. Mike Robichaux, Raceland
Deborah Langhoff, New Orleans
Stephen Handwerk, Lafayette
Angelique LaCour, Covington
Barbara St. Romain, MSW, LCSW, Lafayette
John St. Julien, Lafayette
Edna D. St. Julien, Lafayette
Phillip Arleigh Lank, Lafayette
Mark Lastrapes, New Orleans
Michelle Vega, New Orleans
Robert J. Guercio, Lafayette
Anna K. Guercio, Lafayette
Charles St. Romain, LCSW, Lafayette
Rebecca Chaisson, Lake Charles
Joanne Pettit, Mandeville
Daryl Pettit, Mandeville
Adrienne LaCour, Covington
Karen E. Keller, MS, Lafayette
State Representative Juan LaFonta, New Orleans
Lauren Lastrapes, New Orleans
Dr. Douglas de Mahy, Lafayette
Marie de Mahy, Lafayette
Andrea Loewy, Lafayette

1 comment:

DeWayne Guice said...

I would appreciate Senator Landrieu stand with the Blue Dogs so the rest of Louisiana would know that all Democrats do not support gun control and abortion. Just a thought our of Harrisonburg, Louisiana.

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