On Healthcare: An Open Letter to President Barack Obama

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Dear President Obama,

I’mma call you that because I feel like cats are way too informal when they refer to you in the media; I know folks are disrespectful on purpose think you’re their homeboy, but if I hear another smirking, helmet-haired anchor call you Barack Obama, I’m going to scream, real talk.

Anyway, I’m writing to tell you that I don’t want you to sign a healthcare bill this fall—not if it doesn’t include a public option. Seriously. I really don’t care how hard you’ve championed healthcare reform, and I don’t give a freak how long Congress has worked to hammer out a compromise of a bill—if it doesn’t include a public option (where those who can’t afford private insurance are covered, employers are compelled to cover their employees at reasonable rates, and children don’t want for care, ever), then it’s just that: compromised.

Now I know I’m asking a lot of you. I’m asking you to possibly veto a bill you’ve been pushing for since your stump speech days. I’m asking you to risk confusing the hell out of a large option of the country. (“But I thought the Black socialist president was for healthcare reform?”) I’m even asking you to trust Congress to fit in a new, improved bill around their busy talk-shit-and-kiss-bald-headed-babies-and-to-reelected schedule. But, dammit, if you don’t, a whole lot of folks—the ones who believed in your before Hillary cried, before “Yes We Can” was emblazoned on pre-shrunken cotton t-shirts, before you shocked the country in Iowa—will be disappointed in you. And I’m not talking about that shrug our shoulders and lament that “It’s politics and he has a job to do” disappointment that we’ve been feeling intermittently since January. I’m talking about the, “Maybe we made a mistake and this politics ish really isn’t our thing” type of disappointment. Disillusionment disappointment. Take our basketball vote and walk away disappointment.

In short, I’m asking you to display a tremendous amount of testicular fortitude. I’m asking you to remember why you got in this game when you could be racking up book royalties and lawyering it up in Chicago. Most of all, I’m asking you to have faith that we’ll be behind you if you have to do what needs to be done to insure our nation’s children, get the 45 million+ uninsured in somebody’s exam room for preventive care and avert the 2.346 million bankruptcies that are projected to be caused by medical bills this year (typically 62% of all annual bankruptcies in the US). In short, I’m asking you to do what you said you would do. Even if it means vetoing a hard won bill that doesn’t include the only option that matters.

Yours in the struggle,


Check out this site for more info on the public option.

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