After the government shutdown on Tuesday, it took every ounce of self-control I possessed to squelch the fierce desire to throw a huge, ugly social media hissy fit. I sat on my hands for a while trying to figure out how to not feel quite so helpless and angry. Then it occurred to me. I am a writer, and a citizen. I will use my powers for good. I will channel all of my rage and anxiety into something productive and nonviolent, as is the democratic way. So, I wrote a letter to my state’s congressmen.
Do I expect it to change the course of world events? No. But I do feel that it is my moral obligation, as someone with a voice, to communicate. So I did.
Perhaps you would like to write to your congresspersons as well. Here’s their contact information: http://www.contactingthecongress.org/
And here is the letter that I sent:
Dear (Senator Lindsey Graham, Senator Tim Scott, Representative Mark Sanford, Representative Joe Wilson, Representative Jeff Duncan, Representative Trey Gowdy, Representative Mick Mulvaney, and Representative Tim Rice)
I am writing to express my extreme displeasure over your party’s participation in the government shutdown that began Tuesday, October 1, 2013. I do, in fact, feel that your party is holding the citizens of the United States hostage while you play political games and vie for power.
I do not support your continued attacks on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), passed by the House of Representatives on March 21, 2010, and the United States Senate on March 25, 2010 with an amendment, which was agreed upon by the House that same day. It was signed into law by President Obama on March 30, 2010, and upheld as constitutional by the United States Supreme Court on June 28, 2012.
The ACA has received due process under the law and was passed fairly through the system of checks and balances put in place by our forefathers. For you to hold the ACA ransom while 800,000 federal employees go without paychecks is both uncouth and undemocratic.
My mother died at the beginning of this September after a four-year battle with ovarian cancer. She was fortunate to have been covered by my father’s private health insurance at the time of her diagnosis. Had she not been covered by insurance at the time of diagnosis, her cancer would have been considered a pre-existing condition. My father reports that in one year alone, the cancer-related medical costs paid by their insurance totaled $270,000. This sum does not include what my parents paid out of pocket. Had she not been insured, my mother could not have afforded the medical treatment that she needed. Being insured gave her the tools to face the greatest battle of her life. My family and I are keenly aware that others are not so fortunate as we are. There are many who die everyday in this country because they cannot afford medical treatment. That is an unconscionably tragic bloodstain upon the hands of the wealthiest nation in the world. The ACA will help to prevent such injustice and give all people, regardless of race, creed, age, or wealth, access to the tools they need to be and stay healthy.
Additionally, under the ACA my immediate family will pay $434.27 a month less for our own health insurance. That is money that we can put toward paying off our student loans, paying off our mortgage, buying groceries, investing in our local economy, and saving for our young daughter to go to college.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
The ACA passed both the House and the Senate, was signed into law by the President, and was upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court. Did these three noble branches of government not derive their just powers from the consent of the governed? And are not Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness for all people not interwoven with good health and thus good healthcare?
Gentlemen, I beg you to do your duty, let go of petty plays for power, and get 800,000 federal employees back to work as soon as possible.
Sincerely your constituent,
*Friendly reminder: I delete comments from trolls. If you want to talk to me about this issue, you have to use your nice words. Thank you and have a nice day.*