We report, you decide | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

We report, you decide

Posted By on Tue, Dec 15, 2009 at 12:22 PM

At least one participant in a union-sponsored forum yesterday on the need for health care reform is curious why the Democrat-Gazette quoted at length (sub. reqd.) from someone who wasn't there in opposition to the call for changes in health care. (Here's a report on the event from the sponsors.)

The D-G sought out Teresa Oelke, state director of Americans For Prosperity. This is the Koch-billions-financed outfit that is working furiously to derail health legislation. Theirs is one view. But certainly not the only opposing view. To read the D-G article, you'd think this was a binary debate. For change and the Kochs. (Maybe the same editor is at work who sticks in all the "purportedlys" in AP articles about the effects of greenhouse gases on climate.)

Anna Kay Williams of Little Rock, one of those who spoke at the session, has some thoughts about giving such importance to Americans for Prosperity. She wrote a letter to U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder:

Well, I testified yesterday at the Arkansas Citizen's Forum on Healthcare.  I testified for you.  I am grateful for your vote. The article is in the newspaper today.  Sadly, it isn't accurate b/c a large part of the article features a Teresa Oelke of Americans for Prosperity.  She's quoted as if she was there saying all those ridiculous things!  Makes me sick!  So much for healthcare being about real people.  I pray that editorials are written.  My family is furious.  The people that testified yesterday don't deserve this.
As I said yesterday, this is NOT about Republicans or Democrats, the healthy or sick, the young or old, the working or non-working, the rich or poor.  This is about every single one of us.  We have to fix this for each other.  And, I was asked what I would say to those that are worried about the government taking over their healthcare and losing control.  My answer...you're kidding yourselves because you don't have control now.  Insurance companies and drug companies are in control, not you and not your doctors!

(Oelke is quoted as saying it's easier to sue insurance companies than gov. Are you kidding me?  I've been down that road in my early 20's as a passenger in a car-wreck. I was uninsured and we were hit by a teenage driver-his fault.  I was badly hurt, two surgeries, braces, physical therapy, medications.  The teenager's insurance made excuse and excuse not to pay.  In the meantime, I was getting bills and collection letters.  I had to use my inheritance to pay my medical bills and hire an attorney to sue the insurance company.  It was a nightmare. In my early 20's, I realized how broken our system was, and knew I was one of the lucky ones.  I couldn't imagine what happened to all the other people like me, who, through no fault of their own, faced a tragedy or accident but had nothing to fall back on for support.  How dare Oelke say this so simply and ignorantly.)
Change is scary.  Complacency is scarier.  Our healthcare system has been broken for years and years.  Only courage will create the change needed.  I pray that Lincoln and Pryor will follow in your footsteps and vote with the same courage you showed.
Your friend, always,
Anna Kay

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