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opednews.com Headlined to None 2/28/10

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"I've got yer clean sheet of paper right here!" This is the message that should be sent to Senate Republicans by everyone who wants and needs the passage of the Health Reform measure which the House and Senate have proposed, and it's a message that we can afford. We get appeals daily for contributions of money on behalf of one political agenda or another and we do not respond because we have no money to send. Republicans asking for a clean sheet of paper is a simple request and one that is well within our means. It would cost only a US postage stamp.

With or without a letter of explanation, the point would be made that the donation is exactly what they asked for in their "summit" with representatives of the two parties. Further, it is highly appropriate for their stated purpose. Their suggestions for health care "reform" consist of only two measures:

Tort Reform: This is merely another Republican pay-off to the insurance companies and perpetrators of malpractice. It would limit the amount that a private citizen who is injured in any way by the inappropriate or mis-applied treatment by hospitals and physicians.

Those who go in for a hangnail and find themselves with an amputated leg, or worse -- the wrong leg amputated -- will be told that they need to "shut up and live with it!" Families of patients who are mistakenly given the wrong medication that leads to their deaths will receive no, or less, compensation for their loss.

These are problems that have always been left up to the courts but Republicans believe the courts have been unduly generous. If you don't agree with them, hie yourself into the bathroom and mail them your argument on a piece of toilet paper.

Allowing the purchase of insurance "across state lines": This would strip the states of their power to regulate the insurance companies that sell insurance within the state. Currently, most insurance companies have their home offices in states that are very lenient in their control, a condition that was created in order for the companies to base their headquarters there.

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Other states have an official, usually an Insurance Commissioner with the authority to investigate the policies and records of performance of the applying company. In many cases, their standards for acceptance are so high that few companies deign to sell to their citizens. The results are that those companies may create policies that do not provide the coverage that they represent in their advertising and, thus, forego applying to that state to sell their coverage. If you do not agree with canceling this local protection, get that piece of "Plain Paper" in an envelope and mail it to your Republican Senators or even those in neighboring states.

This would be a way that those of us who need insurance but can't afford it, or those who have been denied coverage because of "pre-existing conditions" or who have had our coverage discontinued while ill because our care costs too much, can make Congress abundantly aware of our desires. While we can't afford to show up at demonstrations at the Capitol or even a Tea Party on a court house lawn, most of us can afford one small sheet off the roll to make our wishes known. If it doesn't work, at least we can feel appreciated for our efforts to "cut government spending."

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This writer is eighty years old and has spent a half century working with handicapped and deprived people and advocating on their behalf while caring for her own workung-class family. She spends her "Sunset Years" in writing and struggling with The (more...)

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