Meme by Mike Licht
Dear Mr. President,
With this current health care bill proposal you are giving all wealthy people a very bad name. Although I work as a teacher, I am no stranger to wealthy people and I know not all of them just want more tax breaks. Growing up in New York City, I was the oldest daughter of a very hard-working single, immigrant woman who spent 30 years cleaning the houses of one very wealthy family. This family, they adored my mother. In fact, they loved my mom so much they paid for my sister and me to attend private schools in Manhattan and later helped us go to college and postgraduate school. Their enormous sense of humanity and responsibility did not end with my family; they helped countless others over the many years we knew them. Thank you letters were always pouring in from people from all walks of life.
Please know that I have not let this kindness go wasted; to this day, I make sure I give back to others in order to demonstrate my gratitude for all the love and care my family received. Every day I walk into my classroom, I work alongside young students who, like myself growing up, are too shy to speak up, who need direction, comfort, and inspiration. With the same level of love and dedication I received as a young child, I, in turn, bring inspiration and care to countless children each year.
This brings me to you, Mr. President. As someone who cares about how he’s perceived by the public, I wonder how you justify your health care bill. Bernie Sanders characterized your bill as “barbaric and immoral piece of legislation,” and for good reasons. In an interview with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now, Dr. Steffie Woolhandler stated that after reviewing the scientific literature “…on the relationship between health insurance and mortality. There is really now a scientific consensus that being uninsured raises the death rates between 3 and 29 percent. And the math on that is that if you take health insurance away from 22 million people, about 29,000 of them will die every year, annually, as a result.” Combine that with giving the 400 wealthiest households $33 billion in tax cuts and we have a moral failure of massive proportions. In my opinion, this bill has got the words “blood money” written all over it. As someone who grew up wealthy his entire life, is the financial bottom line the only focus in all you do? Does quality of life for the American people matter to you? Which takes precedence?
I can understand how having been wealthy since birth would surely desensitize anyone to the common struggles and troubles of the everyday man. But like the family I grew up with who gave my own family so much, the returns of valuing all life is one that will multiply with time. The work I do with children each day is a direct byproduct of the kindness and compassion extended to me by kind and caring people. Would you call what you do a labor of love, Mr. President? Will your bills and actions spur others to give back with love? My letter is not a call for charity; this is a firm call for giving us, the American People, what we deserve. In the words of Edward Kennedy, “Health care is a basic right for all, not just an expensive privilege for the few.”