I have a dear friend in Fuquay-Varina. She is the youngest child and six years ago brought her aging but still very active parents up from Florida to live with her. In those six years her parents (75 & 80) have had medical emergencies and issues like anyone who's reached such an admirable age would have. Along with those medical challenges has come frustration upon frustration with a system that seems to be getting more and more difficult for her folks to navigate, year on year.
My friend is like I used to be. For her, fun is sitting around on the weekend anywhere -- fishing, watching football, reading the paper -- and bitching about politics. But voting is as far as the need to do anything ever went for her. She's never written her Congressman or gone to a Democratic meeting or joined a political group or donated money to a campaign. (Full disclosure: I got her to come to the John Edwards homecoming in CH.) She is, however, very sincere about her voting, does her research and votes whenever they give her the chance. She and her folks really like their Congressman -- couldn't be happier with him. Still, a big boil-over for her and for so many truly average, solidly middle of the road Americans like her and her parents and her sisters is in process as I write. They are tired of hearing talk. They're ready for action. They will cheer when they finally get it. Loudly.
Yesterday my friend wrote her first letter to her Congressman, David Price. She read it to me over the phone and I asked if I could post it here. Her only request was removal of her name. You'll see what I mean about the boil-over when you read.
So, here is my friend's first letter to her Congressman, without edit.
Here it is....
I am writing to express my concerns about our medicare system among other things. My Mom and Dad ages 75 and 80 respectively have lived with me for the past 6 years. My Dad served 26 years in the U.S. Army through WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam war. When he enlisted, he was promised medical care the rest of his life if he reached retirement. I was promised the same thing when I enlisted in 1986. That was not true. Once my Dad turned 65 he could no longer use military hospitals and in recent years I suppose they came up with Tricare to right the wrong. Tricare is secondary to Medicare and among medical professionals is a joke. My parents doctor of 6 years just dropped my parents from the family practice. They sent a letter stating they are no longer accepting Medicare due to the problems associated with claims. After 6 years....a letter and funny it said to contact our congressman to express our problems, so here I am. I found them another doctor but they also do not accept Medicare but they will at least file the claim so my parents can receive reimbursement directly from Medicare. Nice! Their last visit cost them $292.00 dollars. They put it on their credit card. I feel for the elderly that do not have the resources to pay these costs. I guess they just don't go. I heard that a 4 year term in Congress guarantees you free medical care for the rest of your life. Is that true? If so, why can't my mom and dad use the military hospitals if needed as they were promised to begin with. The VA hospital is a dumping ground. Have you ever been treated at one? Try it, you will go elsewhere.
I am saddened by all of this. We can spend trillions on the Iraqi people and the war but we cannot seem to finance the security of our own people. I am so tired, as all of my friends and family are, of hearing all the "talk" going on in Congress. Nothing ever seems to get accomplished up there. We voted the republicans out of Congress to get some results and now the democrats are faltering. What are they afraid of? If saving face is the problem well, I would rather lose face than watch someone suffer that I am responsible for. To hell with politics of popularity! My dad said the other day, "I am not the most educated man, but even I can see this war in Iraq is a disaster." Everyday we spend talking, another U.S soldier dies and many of them are not even 20 years old yet. I think that all the details, intelligence, so called facts, and day after day discussions have clouded the simple truth concerning this war. The simple truth is it is a disaster and we need to get out of there. Secure the borders, establish no fly zones, patrol those areas, supply the Iraqi government with supplies, and let them police up. Saving face is what we are really doing and for what! Congress needs to get tough.
Mr. Price, you are a good man. I hope you read this and tell your colleagues that we need to get some real work done. Tell them to that we don't like our democrats bashing other democrats. Lets show each other a little respect and give each the stage to talk about their positions and visions.
Thanks for listening,
From that letter, what two issues do you think might be topmost on the minds of the American people? Time for Democrats in the Lege and on the Hill to listen up.
BlueNC is dedicated to making North Carolina a more progressive and prosperous state. If your intention is to disrupt this effort, please find somewhere else to express your opinions.