BlogHer of the Week: Livingston, I Presume

BlogHer Original Post

One week before the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, Nicole Rosenleaf Ritter typed a blistering letter to 55 national representatives. In Open Letter on her blog Livingston, I presume, Ritter wrote:

"Dear Republican senators Charles E. Grassley, Orrin Hatch, Richard Shelby and your 52 other colleagues in the Senate and House of Representatives who steadfastly and on principal oppose a public option, despite being on Medicare:

"Must be nice.

"Not only do you have access to what has to be considered the Rolls Royce of Cadillac health plans, you are also eligible for and take advantage of America's original public option, Medicare. In fact, according to New York Representative Anthony Weiner, a total of 150 of you lawmakers in Washington "currently receive government-funded, government-administered single-payer health care", also known as Medicare.

"But you know what? I don't have a beef with the other 95 of your colleagues. It's you 55 I'm interested in.

"That's because you're doing your level best to deny me access to anything resembling the health care that you enjoy on my dime."

Thus begins a superb representation of smart, passionate community journalism by women blogging about national health care reform. Ritter breaks down her opinion of reform policy by the haves as one who has not, at least not adequately.

Perhaps, Ritter suggests, individual legislators who consume Medicare while opposing the public option should take the high road and level the playing field for themselves, since they are protected by the public office benefits paid for by taxpayers:

"Stripped of those perks, you could join the rest of us in the open market and try your hand at some non-group private coverage. I wonder how many of you would actually be eligible? Hard to believe that there aren't a few of you living with diabetes or heart disease or cancer or some other chronic illness that renders normal mortals uninsurable--or that none of you has a BMI over 30 or high blood pressure or, you know, a vagina (I'm looking at you, Rep. Judy Biggert, Rep. Sue Myrick, Rep. Kay Granger, Rep. Virginia Foxx, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite!). After all, there are 133 million Americans living with such "pre-existing conditions" and many more if you count those of us who have vaginas. Have fun trying to convince someone to insure you. We all do!"

For her use of data, for moving beyond typical partisan party-name-calling to focus on the economics of the exquisitely low cost of coverage for Congress compared with their constituents (albeit sarcastically), we congratulate Livingston, I Presume on being BlogHer of the Week!

Thanks to everyone for sending in your nominated posts. We urge you to remember to nominate individual posts, not entire blogs, and keep them coming! If you want to check out all the BlogHer of the Week posts, check out the BlogHer of the Week archive.

For Elisa, Jory and Lisa, BlogHer Co-founders


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