Friday, September 11, 2009

Congressman Miller,

In reference to your “Truth about….illegals will benefit”. Can we stop focusing on how some people might slip through some “loopholes” and benefit from a government option? First off all it’s not true that children who are born from illegal parents have their benefits include their parents. That is absolutely not true. This country will and has deported illegal parents with US born children and left the children in the hands of the state so they become a burden to the taxpayer, because that makes sense in someone’s mind.

Can you stop your scare tactics to the public and start working on getting health care for the citizens of the United States. There are citizens in this country that are in dire need but all you seem to want to focus on is illegals and how the market is enough to provide choices to all. As I stated to you before, if you have no money, you have no choice. Without a government option what is your answer to people who don’t make enough money to buy any healthcare insurance. I am trying to keep it simple for you. What is your answer for people who flat out cannot afford healthcare, and please don’t talk about tax breaks because that is not a realistic option for many of us. Please answer this plainly and simply. Stop detracting from the issue that this country fails to take care of its own citizens on a grand scale, but you want to focus on scaring people to keep the status quo.

It’s time for you to talk about real solutions. Please tell me what they are.

(You can view this along with your newsletter on my blog)

From: CapitolConnection Newsletter [mailto:CapitolConnectionNewsletter@MAIL.HOUSE.GOV]
Sent: Friday, September 11, 2009 12:06 PM
Subject: Rep. Gary Miller's Weekly Newsletter

September 11, 2009

Congress is Back in Session, Faces Full Fall Agenda
This week, Members of the House of Representatives have returned to Washington after having been at home with the people they represent over the month of August. During the recess, Congressman Miller maintained a busy schedule by meeting with constituents in his Brea Office, hosting a health care listening session to discuss concerns and implications of a government-run health care system, and participating in several other health care town halls. As the House gears up for what is expected to be a jam-packed fall agenda, Congressman Miller will work with his colleagues to bring fiscal discipline back to Washington in order to place our nation back on the road to economic prosperity.

The Truth About the House Government-Run Health Care Bill: Illegals Will Benefit
Although both the Administration and Congressional Democrats claim that the 1,018-page House government-run health care bill will not provide benefits to illegal immigrants, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service has found that a series of loopholes in the legislation will indeed provide health care coverage to illegals. While the legislation expressly prohibits illegal aliens from receiving government-run health care, the bill does not include a specific requirement that a person prove his or her citizenship in order to obtain affordability credits, which means that illegal aliens could obtain coverage. Further, another provision states that if one member of a family is afforded coverage all members would have coverage. This means that if a child of illegal aliens is born in the United States, then the entire family becomes eligible for coverage. What is even more disconcerting is that several Republican amendments to prohibit illegal aliens from receiving coverage by closing various loopholes in the bill have been defeated in House Committees of jurisdiction. Currently, it is estimated that American taxpayers already spend over $4.3 billion each year to provide health care to illegal immigrants, primarily through emergency room visits and free clinics, and under the House bill it is estimated that providing expanded coverage to illegals could cost the government up to $30.5 billion annually. During these times of economic hardship, Congressman Miller adamantly opposes providing additional taxpayer-subsidized health care to those that have recklessly disregarded our nation’s immigration laws.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The RNC sent an email to my husband requesting his support for the "cause". He doesn't get involved too much in the political debates, because it angers him. He chooses to reserve his energy to stay focused on the well being of his family. He is unemployed and facing more health related issues in the immediate future. It is in his best interest to stay positive and focused on what we face day to day as a family.

I thought I should respond to the RNC as his spokesperson because I know how he feels about the state of this country and I feel that his voice should be heard. This was the response that I sent to the Republican national Committee;

I would like to share a letter that I wrote to my Republican congressman for my Republican husband who has chronic health care issues. Many of your constituents have health issues that you are not addressing. It would appear that your main goals are to scare the public at large to keep the status quo.

Michael Steele is an embarrassment to your party. Your party is lost and until you realize that you work for the people and not for yourselves you will never be relevant. Stop your attempts to divide this great country and use your station to help the citizens, not your own self interests. You have already lost my husband who has been a life long Republican, because frankly, you sicken him!

Ok , so I let my emotions take over on this one.....I am human after all!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Let's Have a Conversation!

There have been many heated arguments about health care reform, some of which I have been involved in. I have to be honest, I don't always understand the sometimes, violent opposition.

I encountered this same opposition with a friend of mine and our "discussion" went on for hours over email. Let's be clear, I was angry, not because he did not agree with me but because he resorted to name calling and insults to make his "point". Tempted as I was too return the favor, I knew that would just demean the value of what I know and believe to be true, and that is something I refused to betray.

There is no point in going over the details of this particular conversation, suffice it to say that he was sure it would be the downfall of this great country.

A week or two later, my family and I went to spend the day at his house with his family at the invitation of his wife. It was quite a pleasurable day with lively conversation about the kids and the anticipation of the upcoming start of the new school year. The kids swam and splashed in their pool to their heart's content. The adults enjoyed a beautiful array of snacks displayed by our lovely hostess. Our esteemed host laughed and joked as he mixed batch after batch of amazing Mojito cocktails for us.

Our hostess began telling us about her nightmare experience in trying to get affordable health insurance for her family. She ran into issue after issue trying to solve this problem. The host also joined the conversation about how ridiculous it was to try and buy health insurance because of perceived "pre-existing conditions". I have to admit, I was slightly amused at his aggravation, not because I wished these troubles upon them, but because I found it amusingly ironic after our previous email "conversation".

I retold our host the story about how my niece was denied insurance coverage after she donated her kidney to my husband 5 years ago. He was very vocal about how ridiculous it was to deny coverage to someone who had given so much of herself. He turned and looked at me and pointed
his finger at me and said, "that is something that needs to change!" Smiling, my only reply was, "of course, I agree!"

If you get right down to it, we all want the same things; opportunities, fair treatment, freedom and help when we have hit hard times. We all want the ability to care for our families, and friends when they are sick and in need. But this shouldn't come at the cost of the stability and security of our families.

Our out of pocket health care expenses are extremely high and our access is limited at best. If you are fortunate enough to have the ability to absorb these costs then I am not speaking to you, unless of course you care about someone other than yourself.

This country has the resources, the technology and the need to care for all of its citizens. We can prove this to ourselves and the world by making it happen with the exchange of new ideas and a united purpose. There is no logical reason that the downfall of any American family should be caused by the expenses or lack of quality medical care.

Just change the conversation from left against right to person to person.

Friday, August 21, 2009

I am posting a link to a very interesting article thought I thought many of you would find useful:

Love to you all!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Here is a little inspiration for all of us! I really thought this was important to share and relevant to matters that we face!

Love to all!

Friday, August 14, 2009

I am not a religious person by any stretch of the imagination. I was, however, raised as a Catholic so I have some real life experiences to draw upon in the ways of righteousness. This is hopefully, a little reminder to any who might lean towards more of a Moral Majority approach to government and the responsibility to it's people.

Here is a passage from the bible that directly confronts any issue one might take with health care reform. Seek the truth, do what your Savior would expect you to do.

Matthew 25:34

“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 ‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;
36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink?
38 ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’
40 “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
41 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;
42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink;
43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’
44 “Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’
45 “Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’
46 “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

I no longer subscribe to any religion for a myriad of reason that are not relevant to this conversation. What I do subscribe to is the idea that, we, as human beings, sharing the same goals of health and happiness, should do a much better job of taking care of each other. It is not only a Christian or Catholic, Jewish or Muslim idea to love thy neighbor. You don't need religion to have morals and love for one another. I hear so much hate coming for so many directions that it is mind boggling.

Ask yourself, if you were down and out, sick without resources, would you expect that your country should take care of you. For those who say the market will save us, I say, on this subject of taking of our fellow citizens, the government should take care of it's people. Wasn't this government founded by the people, for the people? Did we all forget that? When did it become by the rich, for the rich, or by the politicians, for the politicians? This government belongs to us, and it needs to work for us, the people, not the corporations, not the special interest groups, not the religious right.

It's important to know that people who don't practice any religion whatsoever, have a great passion for helping our fellow citizens who can't help themselves. We care about people in our towns, our states, our country and our entire world. We are fighting everyday to stay alive and tomorrow we will be here to fight another day. Not for religious people but for all people.

I am fighting for my life, and for yours!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Letter to my congressman!

Dear Congressman Miller,

I appreciate the feedback you have given to my request as to your stand on healthcare reform.

However, I strongly disagree with your argument against the Health care reform bill. The market will not ensure good health care for people, it never has and it never will. Caring for the health and welfare of our wonderful citizens should not be in the hands of profit based insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industries, as the only way they can profit is to deny services when they are most needed. The pharmaceutical companies gouge the public at large. These tried and true tactics for profit only ensure that the wealthy can afford good preventative medicine and these industries are not in the business of saving people, they are in the business of making money.

No one is trying to take away America’s health care choices, we are trying to provide another choice other than the bad expensive choices that we have now. If you like what you have, you can keep it. I assume that you understand that people, such as myself, who are unemployed and cannot afford private insurance are not in a position to make choices. Where there is no money, there are no choices. Choices are for fortunate individuals such as yourself who will never have to be in my position, which by the way is not unique.

Here are some of the things that you have not addressed and that I am sure you are well aware of:

About half of the bankruptcy filings in the United States are due to medical expenses. Source: Health Affairs Journal 2005

Life expectancy at birth in the US is an average of 78.14 years, which ranks 47th in highest total life expectancy compared to other countries. Source: CIA Factbook (2008)

The United States is the only wealthy, industrialized nation that does not have a universal health care system. Source: Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences

In 2006, the percentage of Americans without health insurance was 15.8%, or approximately 47 million uninsured people. Source: US Census Bureau

The primary reason given for lack of health insurance coverage in 2005 was cost (more than 50%), lost job or a change in employment (24%), Medicaid benefits stopped (10%), ineligibility for family insurance coverage due to age or leaving school (8%). Source: National Center for Health Statistics

More than 40 million adults stated that they needed but did not receive one or more of these health services (medical care, prescription medicines, mental health care, dental care, or eyeglasses) in 2005 because they could not afford it. Source: National Center for Health

I think this fact is the one the best addresses your philosophy on allowing the market to offer choices

Medicare operates with 3% overhead, non-profit insurance 16% overhead, and private (for-profit) insurance 26% overhead. Source: Journal of American Medicine 2007

We are interested in real solutions, the status quo does not work. We are all aware who markets are good at providing for, and that’s the shareholders. The healthcare market is profit driven and does not serve the needs of the citizens of this country that won't bring a profit for the millions of dollars in payroll for the CEO’s. Sound familiar? Reminds me of the Banking industry that gets bailed out after they ripped apart the heart of this country. We the people suffer.

The scare tactics that are being used regarding people losing the current policies that they are happy with are false, and are an egregious misuse of the taxpayers trust. It’s right up there with Weapons of Mass Destruction.

The tax benefits do not help unless you can pay for services first. We cannot pay sir. We, as millions of others in this country forgo medical treatment altogether because we need to put food on the table for our children.

Your theories about this country’s grave situation is regrettable. Although, it has enlightened me. I will share your thoughts with many people that are in a similar situation as my family and we can make the appropriate choices on election day, as we did in the presidential election.
Thank you for your honesty!

Concerned citizen

From: Congressman Gary G. Miller []
Sent: Thursday, August 13, 2009 1:33 PM
Subject: Message from Congressman Gary G. Miller

August 13, 2009

Ms. Julie

Orange County, California 92691

Dear :

Thank you for contacting me with your thoughts on reforming our nation's health care system. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue. I strongly believe that Congress must control skyrocketing health premiums and ensure quality delivery by giving consumers more options, so they can choose the best health care for themselves and their families.

As you may know, an estimated 40 million Americans are not covered by health insurance. To resolve this problem, some have proposed implementing a government-run health care system that would cover each and every American. While the theory behind universal health care is well-intended, it does not provide a realistic solution to the problem. Not only would it cost American taxpayers billions of dollars, it would compromise the quality and effectiveness of our healthcare system. By eliminating competition between hospitals, the incentive to provide quality healthcare would be dramatically reduced. However, if Americans are able to make their own health care choices, competition would increase and health insurance premiums would be reduced.

For this reason, I favor market-based approaches to reduce the number of uninsured Americans. For example, I am a strong supporter of the creation of Association Health Plans (AHPs), which would allow small businesses and the self-employed to pool their resources to purchase health insurance. AHPs can reduce the high cost of healthcare by providing small entrepreneurs with the same buying power that large employers and unions enjoy, and can reduce health insurance costs by 15 to 30 percent. In addition, I have continually supported legislation that increases health research funding, provides modern benefits to Medicare, and expands the number of tax deductions available to those individuals who pay for their own health care.

With constant diligence and thorough consideration, I strongly believe that Congress can improve access to quality health care for more Americans. As this process continues, please be assured that I will keep your thoughts in mind. Again, thank you for contacting me. I hope you will remain in touch in the future on other issues of importance to you.


Member of Congress

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I would like to share some information with anyone interested in the realities of what we are dealing with as I have been accused of using World Health Organization facts from the DNC Handbook (which by the way, I never read). Apparently the opposing side would have you believe that the WHO is skewed to the left and they doctor their statistics.

Here are some statistics that are from various sources:

The United States ranks 43rd in lowest infant mortality rate, down from 12th in 1960 and 21st in 1990. Singapore has the lowest rate with 2.3 deaths per 1000 live births, while the United States has a rate of 6.3 deaths per 1000 live births. Some of the other 42 nations that have a lower infant mortality rate than the US include Hong Kong, Slovenia, and Cuba. Source: CIA Factbook (2008)

Approximately 30,000 infants die in the United States each year. The infant mortality rate, which is the risk of death during the first year of life, is related to the underlying health of the mother, public health practices, socioeconomic conditions, and availability and use of appropriate health care for infants and pregnant women. Sources: CDC and National Center for Health Statistics

About half of the bankruptcy filings in the United States are due to medical expenses. Source: Health Affairs Journal 2005

Life expectancy at birth in the US is an average of 78.14 years, which ranks 47th in highest total life expectancy compared to other countries. Source: CIA Factbook (2008)

The United States is the only wealthy, industrialized nation that does not have a universal health care system. Source: Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences

In 2006, the percentage of Americans without health insurance was 15.8%, or approximately 47 million uninsured people. Source: US Census Bureau

The primary reason given for lack of health insurance coverage in 2005 was cost (more than 50%), lost job or a change in employment (24%), Medicaid benefits stopped (10%), ineligibility for family insurance coverage due to age or leaving school (8%). Source: National Center for Health Statistics

More than 40 million adults stated that they needed but did not receive one or more of these health services (medical care, prescription medicines, mental health care, dental care, or eyeglasses) in 2005 because they could not afford it. Source: National Center for Health


Medicare operates with 3% overhead, non-profit insurance 16% overhead, and private (for-profit) insurance 26% overhead. Source: Journal of American Medicine 2007

In an effort to make it a little clearer and a little easier for anyone reading this blog to understand the facts about health care reform, I am providing a link so that you may be accurately informed. I also would like encourage you to visit your representative's office and drop off a flier with your health care stories, good and bad.

You can follow this link to better inform yourself with facts rather than sound bytes and fanatical buzz words:

Please join me in support of health care reform, for all of us!

Also, please get information on Office Visits for Health Reform in your area:

All of these things take very little effort on your part and if you are interested in helping your families, friends, neighbors and fellow Americans, please take the time to do so.

No one should be left out of access to medical care in this country, no matter what your political views might be!

My best to you all!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Citizens of Humanity, Citizens of America, have they become Mutually Exclusive?

I was enjoying a Saturday evening with my son and my husband at a local pool hall that friends of ours own. Not really being into the whole pool action, I sat down with a few of the girl's to have a nice chat. They were having a discussion with a gentlemen that I had just met that very evening. I sat and listened and waited for the opportunity to have some girl talk once the gentlemen finished his discussion with the ladies.

It became immediately apparent that they were speaking about healthcare. "Oh no," I thought,"I just wanted to enjoy a casual evening with friends." This would not be the conversation I would want to join with someone I barely knew, so I just sat and listened.

The discussion went back and forth about how all the illegal immigrants are the core problem with healthcare (can we at least be informed before we blather on) and how we don't want to be Canada or Britain. I have plenty of things to say about those topics but I could see I would get nowhere with this particular gentlemen who, as the conversation progressed, I realized, is no gentlemen. As he continued with his talking points that he so clearly regurgitated from watching Fox News, I just listened as they lobbed their views back and forth and begged (in my mind) to make it stop!

Now, here is where my head almost exploded as I choked back the bile that began to rise in my throat. This person, this "American" raised his arms and very plainly stated, "well, I'm good, I'm OK and that's all I care about."

Wow! Really! Now I am not naive and I do realize that a good portion of Americans feel this way, "I've got my bases covered and I'm not really concerned about the problems of my neighbors or my fellow Americans." But, here was my opportunity to look one of them in their face and say NO!

I pointed out my husband to this "man", "see that guy over there? That's my husband, he just got laid off last Friday, so he can expect to have no more medical coverage after 30 days. The problem is that he is a kidney transplant recipient and needs medical care and lots and lots of medication to stay alive." Now we know all about COBRA, we have been through this before, and that's a long story that we will save for another day. Suffice it to say, COBRA is not cheap and exacerbated by the mere fact that you no longer have income when you become eligible to get it. It's a fantastic idea and needs to be improved but that's also a discussion for another day.

So, in an effort to make this person understand the challenges of the everyday person, someone you could be sitting next to right now, healthcare is not an issue about illegal immigration. It's about real people, your neighbors, your friends, Democrat, Republican, Independent or whatever label you would like to put on, it's about real people who get sick. Does it make sense to anyone that it would be cheaper for me to fly my husband to Europe to get the medication he needs to stay alive than it would be for him to stay here and pay just for his prescriptions, leaving out regular blood tests and constant medical supervision? I asked him, "Does that make sense to you?" His answer was (and I should add that I almost fell off my chair) "Well. it doesn't matter which country, he's going to die anyway."

Flabbergasted, my reply was, "what did you just say?" I was sure that I did not hear him correctly but, in fact, that was exactly what he said! "He's going to die anyway," he repeated. OK, I should have punched the old guy in the face, I am sure I could have taken him down! Instead, my reply was, "that doesn't sound very American or very Christian to me." That was my effort to get to the base of what he was deluded into believing his core values were, about what it was to be American.

He looked me in the eye "nothing is ever going to change anyway." I looked him right back in the eye, "it will if we demand it!" "No," he said, "nothing is ever going to change." This coming from an individual that believes every war this country has ever fought has been justified. Where was that fight now, the fight for rights that effect everyone, that seemed to be something he did not care to wrap his mind around. He only understood it if he could shoot it!

Now can we all stop screaming "America is number one." This isn't a g'damn pep rally. Stop your fervent proclamations that "America is the Best" and spend more time and effort in actually making it the best.

America is ranked 45th in life expectancy

We rank 37th for healthcare

For education we rank 18th

Infant Mortality we are 33rd with Cuba having a better ranking than us!

OK, I will give you the fact that we are #1 - For Obesity!

So let's get real and stop talking about Obama's "Death Farms" for the elderly. Let's stop blaming the illegal aliens. It's a bunch of crap that's out there to scare you. Doesn't anyone find it interesting that the scare tactics for healthcare reform include the BS that a bureaucrat will soon stand in between you and your doctor if the government gets involved? Hello people, if you have medical insurance you already have that and you pay an arm and a leg for it. If you have an HMO and your doctor sucks and spends no time with you, you can't change it and if you can, it takes forever. In the meantime whatever happens to be wrong with you is getting worse and worse. If you have an issue outside of the expertise of your GP, you have to get permission to see a specialist, not by your doctor, you have to wait for the insurance company to approve it.

Educate yourselves and get involved. Don't get your information from the political pundits, be a responsible human being on this planet. Get off your high horses and start caring about someone else besides the "Almightiness" of you!

Let's have another tidbit about the current system that chokes the life out of us:

My niece, wonderful person that she is, gave my husband one of her kidneys when he needed a second transplant. Everything went beautifully! It's important to note that one can't be a donor if the transplant surgery in any way compromises the health of that donor now or in the future. The donor, once recovered, will be as healthy as they were the day before transplantation.

Once my niece was given an all clear from the doctor assigned to her, she was unable to get medical insurance for herself. I personally spoke to insurance agents in an effort to help her and was told that she could not get private insurance for a year after she got the all clear. The company she worked for did not provide her with medical coverage and the insurance companies would not give her a policy on her own. What does this say about the system that we all live with now, the one that some people are so desperately clinging to. A completely healthy 25 year old woman, who literally, gave of herself, could not get medical coverage in this country.

Now I could go on about the nightmare that has been my experience with a country that is OK with firing someone because they are sick (that happened to my husband by a very large company, ironically owned by Pfizer) a broken healthcare system and even the people living in my community:

People that worship (the Almighty Dollar),

these same people that are racist, but they worship,

the same people who raise their children to make fun of mine because we don't go to church, but they worship,

the same people who net over $250k a year but don't want to pay another 3% in taxes to help others who need help, but they worship (in their designer clothes while driving their foreign cars),

The same people who might be sitting next to you in your neighborhood bar, that don't care if your family member dies, but they worship!

Can we stop obsessing about being Americans and start focusing on being human? After all, won't that make us better citizens?