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No, President Obama; We Should NOT Shut Up About Health Care Reform

I have two kids right around the same age your daughters -- Jack is 8 and Olivia is 10. My wife Lauren is three months pregnant. We live in a hotel room, Mr. President. None of us are insured.
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An Open Letter To President Obama From An Uninsured American.

Mr. President,

According to the Washington Post, you're asking health care reform advocates to stop attacks...

In a pre-holiday call with half a dozen top House and Senate Democrats, Obama expressed his concern over advertisements and online campaigns targeting moderate Democrats, whom they criticize for not being fully devoted to "true" health-care reform.

I was a supporter of yours in the election and for the first time in your Presidency, I'm totally and completely at a loss trying to understand your words. Like many progressives, I've tried to be patient with disappointments such as your heel dragging on granting equal rights to gay men and women or your continuation of some Bush policies.

I have reserved judgment on these issues for two main reasons. First, it's still early in your term and you've done much good. Second and even more important, I felt that the single most important issue today both for my country and for me personally is health care reform.

I've tried to put my money where my mouth is. I'm a video producer and a few weeks ago I embarked on a project making as many videos on health care reform as I could. I've produced close to twenty different videos on the subject, which I'll link at the bottom of this post.

Most of my videos are, in one way or another, 'attacking' moderate Democrats because as I say in one of the videos, they are the people who represent the biggest threat to real health care reform for reasons both simple and obvious; people like Senator Baucus, Lieberman and the rest receive large amounts of money from the health insurance and drug company lobbyists.

This is why I'm so confused by your statement, Mr. President. One of the main reasons I supported you was because I wanted to see real health care reform and another major reason was because you said - over and over - that you would stop the culture of this open corruption created by the influence of lobbyist money.

A quick note about the phrase 'real' or 'true' health care reform here as well. Almost all of my videos are strongly in support of The Public Option. That was in deference to your support of it, sir. It's a compromise, however, for real health care reform - namely, a single payer, universal health care system like every single other wealthy industrialized country on the face of the earth has.

But progressives have been told over and over that single payer was a pipe dream; a political impossibility. So I fell in line for the more 'realistic' public option. Now that we're seeing the compromise on that compromise, perhaps this was a mistake.

Finally, a personal note since this IS a personal issue for people like me and my uninsured friend Bob Cesca, who recently urged you to 'throw down' against the corrupt and spineless politicians who are on the take.

I have two kids right around the same age your daughters Sasha and Malia - Jack is 8 and Olivia is 10. My wife Lauren is three months pregnant. We live in a hotel room, Mr. President. None of us are insured. It's a risk I took because the steady job I had working in television no longer paid the bills since the TV network I worked for cut all our overtime a couple of years ago. I was working fulltime in California and couldn't afford insurance.

My wife and I both have pre-existing conditions. While I'm struggling to build my video production business, I've taken the time to produce these health care videos because the issue resonates on so many levels for me and nearly everyone I know.

I don't mention this for pity but to point out that producing these videos is actually a struggle which is why your words stung, Mr. President. I believed in you and now I am not quite sure what to believe about you.

It's nice that you hug people with cancer, Mr. President but we don't need hugs. Friends of mine, my family and I need the same common sense approach the health insurance that everyone else in the modern world takes for granted.

Don't tell us to shut up and not take on the politicians who are paid off by the health insurance lobbyists. Step up and lead, Sir. That what we elected you to do.


Lee Stranahan

UPDATE: Thanks for comments and support. I've launch Operation: Rick!

Here's the videos

And here's a previous Huffington Post article I wrote that has another 10 videos in it.

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