Letter at length, September 18

The time to stand up is now

We have spent more than $1 trillion on the war in Iraq in the past four years; we continue to spend $720 million per day for our military presence in Iraq even today.

When do we listen to the Veterans for Peace, to the young families spending $1,200 each month for health insurance with no hope of a home down payment someday, to the millions who are denied health insurance because they have "pre-existing conditions" the profit-driven insurance companies have no compassion for?

When will we wake up to see what Canada, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Denmark and a host of other countries are doing with universal health coverage for their citizens, so ordinary working folks don't go bankrupt or lose their homes when a medical crisis hits?

We're cutting back essential services in health care, education, unemployment benefits and retraining, and care for our seniors who find themselves destitute, without income to pay for their retirement years. Isn't it time we share our stories, stand up to the corporate greedmongers, let our Congress men and women know health care needs to be a basic right, not a priviliged service for the well-to-do?

We elected a president willing to put his political future on the line over health care reform; now we need to write and speak out. Do we want our budget to continue going for war and corporate kick-backs at the expense of so many citizens not having access to health care or livable wages?

We hear on the news that 70 percent of American physicians now support reform with a public option; these doctors and nurses across the nation know our current system cannot provide quality health care, and we keep on paying more for less and fewer services. The time for major changes and the courage to stand up to the fear tactics is now.

Carol Browning


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