Healthcare, Insur, Soc Sec Local Reader Stories

True Health-care Story Happening in Omaha, a Letter to Sen Ben Nelson

This is reprinted by permission from Jim Dake’s comments at the Nebraska Democrats blog.

I do not even need to tell someone else’s story. My family epitomizes the difficulties so many of us face. I was diagnosed with MS in 1993, 1 year and $34,000 after being sworn in to practice law. I was married, my wife and I had health insurance (private) with a $3,000.00 deductible. One MRI ate that deductible and I have had 20 MRI’s since.

My wife is an epileptic (post my MS) and last year was diagnosed with Ductile Carcinoma Incitu (a non-invasive form of breast cancer, that could have turned invasive if left untreated). I think that UNMC should name a wing after us. We are making payments for med-care till whenever, our prescriptions cost us around $300.00 per month, and we honestly live from disability check to SS disability check and just pay our bills, of which a huge portion (credit cards, etc.) are health related.

Why does Washington ignore this problem? And in the meantime, create a crisis that sounds so similar to the “weapons of mass destruction” crisis that it turns my stomach.

Senator Nelson, I doubt that you read through this blog, but maybe someone on your staff does. The Nebraska State Democratic party has been conducting battles with the DNC to get our state taken on an equal basis with other states, as far as electing democrats and helping us to put together the foundation to make us a blue state. We need your help!

Given Nebraska’s current contribution nationally to the Democratic Party, can you blame the DNC for ignoring us? When Bush pushed for the huge tax breaks for the rich in his first term, which even members of his own party, opposed, he was able to swing you to help the bill pass. I am unsure what we got in return. As Bush’s second term begins, when 36 Democratic Senators stood in opposition to Alberto Gonzalez being appointed to Attorney General, you, Senator Nelson, voted with the Republican majority.

Senator, you and I are UNL Law School graduates, so I would have hoped you had paid a little more attention to Gonzalez’s credentials. Has that man ever even been in a courtroom? Does he know how to prosecute a case. That aside, his ineptitude at legal “research” should have sent up a red flag. His “skill” was used to justify supporting torture, by doing such things as describing the Geneva Conventions as “quaint” and completely disregarding International Law. Those nonsensical arguments are an embarrassment to all attorneys. I practiced criminal defense but would have never even dreamed of advising a client with such ridiculous rationales.

As a lawyer, the confirmation angers me. As an American, it embarrasses me. As a Nebraskan, Senator, your vote to confirm angers me. We both know Gonzalez was going to get through, because of the Republican majority. But why did you not join with the other Democratic Senators to show the country that maybe, just maybe, Democrats are different than Republicans.

Now as the president touts his Social Security privatization, Senator Nelson, you are consistently mentioned as one of the Democrats he can swing to get this “crisis” solved. Which way are you going to swing? The medical crisis is upon us now! Even by Bush’s phoney figures, there will not be any social security trouble for another 10 years.

Senator, you know you are in for a real race for reelection. No, I am not a political strategist, but history has shown that the worst, WORST, thing a politician can do, is to alienate his base. You have to keep the State Democrats on your side as the first step you take in reelection. Your cozy attitude with Bush leaves Democrats like me not anxious to support your reelection. And do not for a moment think that you will somehow swing Republicans to support you. Beyond the votes, we Democrats are the one’s that will be writing letters to the editor, knocking on doors and pushing for you as our candidate. Please, give us something we can use in that sales pitch.

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