What is Washboard Express?

Washboard Express is a way for me to express my own opinions, to be a provocative gadfly, by writing a "letter a day" to the President. I may miss a day here and there, because sometimes my family with be my first priority, but my goal is to write a total of 365 letters, representing one full year. To say I have opinions about most things would be to understate the obvious. Those of you that know me, know this is true, those who don't know me, will learn that it's true. The Washboard is a reference to going back to basics and "keeping it clean," so if you would like me to post your comments or opinions on this blog, I only ask that you be respectful. So go ahead, express yourself, and I look forward to an exchange of ideas and opinions.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Day 22... Dear Mr. President... It's good to be First.

Day 22

Dear Mr. President,

From the time we are born we learn that it's good to be first. First borns often have the advantage of the full attention of their parents, grand parents, etc. We all want to be first at something... first in line to go out to recess, first to be picked for the 'team', first to hit a home run, being first chair in the school band, first in your family to graduate from college, and the list of 'firsts' goes on.

Wouldn't you like your presidency be like the State of Vermont? Vermont has achieved many firsts they are proud to have accomplished, and rightfully so. Vermont was the first to join the 13 Colonies, and the first to ban slavery. Vermont was the first to establish and provide a free education for all... today we call it Public Education.

But, the biggest and most important first for the tiny State of Vermont has to be that they are the first state in the nation to offer single-payer health care. They are the first to recognize that for-profit insurance companies are not, and will not, reign in costs which equate to ever increasing premiums. The state hired a Harvard economist, William Hsiao to come up with three alternatives to the current system. Hsiao concluded that the single-payer system would produce a savings of 24.3% of total health costs between 2015 and 2024. I think you'll agree that is a significant savings.

Your first attempt at overhauling the health care system was a good first step, but now it's time to take the first giant step and offer the whole country a single-payer system like Vermont. The Republican scare tactics are wearing thin with most Americans, and especially us seniors every time they threaten to dismantle medicare.

We all know single-payer health care works, our neighbors to the north are evidence enough. We also know most Americans and doctors are in favor of single-payer, and that the only ones not in favor of it are the insurance companies and the Republicans.

It's time America starts buying health care services for the entire population so it can negotiate more favorable rates, and eliminate the massive overhead and outrageous profits that the current insurers impose.

Others have tried and failed, but wouldn't you like to be the "First" President to succeed in bringing a single-payer health care system to America?

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers
The Gadfly Granny

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