I recently came across a copy of a letter I sent to "The Honorable" Hillary Rodham Clinton on January 31, 2001, just as she stepped into her new role as senator for New York State. At the time I was curious and excited to see how she would improve health care, her supposed marquee issue. My biggest complaint with the system then, as now, was that middlemen had inserted themselves into the healthcare equation by eliminating the catastrophic-only policies which had kept families secure and costs down simultaneously for decades.
Dear Senator Clinton,
I believe healthcare today would be rapidly improved if legislation was passed mandating an affordable catastrophic-only option, going back to paying our doctor or hospitals directly for all services, and calling on our policies only for devastating emergencies.
Healthcare insurers have banded together to force us to pay marked-up costs for routine doctor visits. The industry is enormous today, completely funded off the profits made between what we pay and what our doctor receives. Every transaction, no matter how small is a "claim". Insurance is supposed to be for emergencies, not check-ups! My father's union-provided "hospitalization" policy in the late 1970s cost $29 per year. Healthcare could be administered more efficiently and affordably if we used policies with very high deductibles.
The reason we participate in this charade is because we are being blackmailed - we dread something will befall us which we cannot afford. The insurers bank on this fear. If there was a catastrophic-only plan available, you can bet an overwhelming majority of Americans would opt for it. This would bring us towards affordability for many transactions - but healthcare conglomerates fervently oppose any such option, as it would divert their juicy profits back to individuals and families.
We're not availed this simple, sensible choice because lawmakers continue to cater to the healthcare companies and their lobbyists first and foremost. Much of the premiums my family struggles to pay winds up in the campaign accounts of the politicians and legislators who support these middlemen.
If there was a legislator who would turn down these payouts and help to revert health insurance to the way it was, they'd impact many real people in an incredibly positive way.
Please respond to this letter with your thoughts on the idea of mandated catastrophic-only options for healthcare coverage. As concerned parents and as struggling working-class people willing to take responsibility for our own health costs, we eagerly await your detailed reply.
I received back a standardized, canned reply that did not address the specifics of my letter. Seven years later, I am greatly disappointed with Hillary as NY senator.
While tens of millions dubiously worldwide marched against the idea of invading Iraq, she was giving speeches in favor of it, following the pack (and the PACs), ignoring Eisenhower's wise warning to be ever vigilant against the military-industrial machine.
Her votes for funding Bush's bloated, privatized war have betrayed the 2006 voters who trusted the Democrats would stand up to the neo-cons. She played political dice with thousands of lives, chose wrong, and was the last to admit it. Our president should not be swayed so easily.
New Yorkers have long complained about Hillary's directionless persona, witnessing her appearances and book tours, while her legislative accomplishments escape memory. It is a wide perception that her Senate seat in NY was a stepping stone for her run for the White House.
As George Bush's greatest qualification for the presidential nomination was simply the fact that his father was President, Hillary's years as the sassiest, smartest First Lady in a while has again proven name recognition is the name of the game.
Hillary's pro-war stance lasted far too long, showing bad judgment, and fair-weather decision-making - with stubbornness. Bill Clinton is one of few who should have had access to daily CIA briefings, as Daddy Bush continued to get once out of office. I also didn't appreciate Hillary's lackluster "support" of Ned Lamont, the winner of Connecticut's Democratic primary as Bill campaigned for Joe Lieberman.
Hillary says that as president, she would send Bill around the world as a roving good will ambassador. Isn't it typically what ex-presidents do anyway?