BY SHARON MARTIN
An Open Letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid:
Expendable. That’s the word that came to me when I read the headline, Mr. Reid, that said you’d support the public option with state opt-out.
I live in a Red State. Legislators here consistently oppose any legislation for the common good. To them, as an under-insured middle-class American woman, I am expendable.
You are going to allow them to decide if I get health care? Pardon me if I sound angry.
I wrote letters to both of my senators and to my congressman. The senators responded, telling me why I didn’t want the government meddling with my health care. I guess they didn’t read the part of my letter that said I couldn’t get adequate coverage because of a pre-existing condition. Congressman [Frank] Lucas didn’t bother to write back. Either he never got my letter or he didn’t know how to say politely that he didn’t give a rat’s ear whether I’m covered or not.
By giving in to those who oppose the public option, Mr. Reid, you are delivering me up to this delegation, men who consider me and anyone who doesn’t agree with their classist philosophy expendable. Is this what you intended?
It is our country’s shame that we don’t take care of the middle class, the working people whose labor makes the wealthy wealthier and whose taxes and contributions give aid to the poor. It doesn’t make one a socialist to support the workers; I’ve always thought that made one a Democrat. If it isn’t going to be so, perhaps we need a new party.
Here is my plea to you, sir: rethink your stance toward the public option. Stand up for the people who elected you and who gave you a majority in the Senate. That includes those of us who are not represented well. The Democratic Party has always been inclusive, and I hope it will continue to be. It is in your hands to see that legislation doesn’t leave me out.
My life may well depend on that public option, and if my delegation won’t support me and my needs, I hope my party will.
– Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer