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Monday, June 29, 2009

Tell Senator Johnson America Can Do Health Coverage Right: Single-Payer!

My friend Jackie reminds me that Senator Johnson is spending the Congressional holiday recess touring the state to talk health care. She lists three events where we can tell the Senator what we want in person:
  1. Sioux Falls, Tuesday, June 30 – Ramkota, Roosevelt Room, 3200 West Maple Street, Panel Presentation from 2-3:30pm.
  2. Yankton, Wednesday, July 1 - Best Western Kelly Inn,1607 East Hwy 50, Panel Presentation from 11-12:30pm.
  3. Mitchell, Thursday, July 2 – James Valley Community Center, 300 West 1st Avenue, Panel Presentation from 2-3:30pm
If you can't make the meetings, Senator Johnson is also taking health care stories online. Need ideas on what to write? Here's what I dashed off to him this weekend:

When our daughter was born at Madison Community Hospital, she had a lung infection that required three nights in NICU in Sioux Falls. The total bill for prenatal, birth, and NICU came to $24,000, of which our high-deductible insurance policy (all we could afford on teacher pay) covered only $12,000 (insurers in pro-life South Dakota aren't required to cover prenatal and maternity). Every bill the insurer sent us after our daughters birth had at least one error that we had to take the time to track down and correct.

The federal government can't do worse than that. Actually, we're convinced the federal government can do better. We need a single-payer system. To pay for it, my family will gladly pay $3,600 more a year in taxes... which is exactly what we pay now for a $7,500-deductible private insurance plan that could disappear the moment one of us suffers cancer or a stroke or some other malady that would make us too unprofitable for our private insurer to continue to cover.

As I said, we are confident the government (all of us, working together, not for profit but for the common good) can do better. Single-payer, not-for-profit health coverage: if other countries can do it, we can do it even better (we are America, aren't we?).

I was hoping that when Senator Johnson came back from his stroke two years ago, he would be inspired to champion giving every American the same great government health coverage that helped him through his hard times. Government health care works for you, Senator Johnson. It can work for all of us. Stand and fight for single-payer, not-for-profit health coverage.


  1. Tim, your analogy doesn't work. Right now you are being denied choice. You are being denied the choice of a government run, not for profit option. Your mind set is denying others the option.

    If private options are great, no one will choose the government option. You have no need to fear a public option. Those of us that have traveled the world and have used other health care systems believe that a public option is superior. Quit denying our choice.

  2. Tony, you're perfectly logical. If the government can't provide effective health coverage, no one will buy inot it. But the private insurers know that a public option would run circles around them and put them out of business for good... which is fine with me.

    [Sorry I had to delete the person you responded to, Tony. "Searaven" still hasn't read the comment policy on pseudonyms.]


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