Sunday, July 26, 2009

Letter to a "friend" about health care

An old high school friend sent me this email:

This is the first time I've ever done a mass email stating my opinion and asking someone to do something, but I really feel like this is important and I hope that if anything, this helps us all become more politically aware and active in our communities, whatever our opinion.

I don't know what your feelings towards President Obama's proposed health care plan are, but I am not for another government run program. I think it would be great if everyone had health care and was able to receive medical services as they needed, but I do not feel it is governments role to dictate that.

For the most part, we are a smart people and we have the right to think for ourselves, make our own choices and be accountable for the consequences. We also can be and often are a charitable people. Government should not have the right or power to make our choices or our charitable contributions for us.

I urge you to sign the following petition not against health care for everyone, but against government taking over our right to choose.

I responded with this:

There's really no other way for everyone to get health care coverage other than the government to take a stand and ensure that every American has health insurance. So if you truly believe that "it would be great if everyone had health care" you would support President Obama's plan. Anything else is being hypocritical, unless you can honestly think of any other way that this can be accomplished. One thing I am sure of is that we can't rely on "charitable people" to solve this issue unless you are referring to President Obama and the other leaders in Congress who are trying to help those less fortunate who aren't able to afford their own health insurance. That seems pretty charitable to me.

As a doctor I see first hand what it means for people to not have access to health care because they can't afford health insurance. That's why I'm so passionate about this issue. Though it may sound cliche, the health care system is truly broken and President Obama has proposed a way to fix it. If anyone else would step up and offer another solution, I'd gladly listen, but no one has, and I'm not willing to wait any longer.

If you really understood the issue, you would realize that under Pres. Obama's plan if you're happy with your own insurance you can keep it. Your right to choose your health care is not affected. If you are one of the millions of Americans who can't afford insurance, the government will help provide you with an affordable plan. Other insurance companies will have to end their selfishness(they really are only out for money, after all) in order to compete. This will help us all in the end. Besides the obvious positive that everyone in the country will be able to have a family doctor, thus preventing disease as well as preventing complications from disease, in addition taxpayers will no longer bear the burden of uninsured patients going to the ER for non-emergent cases and not being able to pay for their hospital bills. Another likely effect is that more doctors will be encouraged to go into primary care, an area of medicine facing a desperate shortage.

Hope that helps,

So readers-why is it that Republicans always speak of relying on the charity of others to solve the nation's problems while not realizing that their party is not the charitable one? It's so ironic. They also do not realize how many programs the government does run. Medicare and Medicaid are a complete joke, I realize, but I blame that more on the insurance and pharm companies hijacking them more than the fact that they are government run. There's no reason to fear a well-run government program. We just need to be vigilant that special interests don't take over the government-run health plan.

These were just some of the reasons I thought of to support health care reform. I know there are many more. There are also negatives but I think the positives outweigh them. Things need to be changed and President Obama has proposed a real solution. He deserves our support for that.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

No longer a MoHo

It is with great pleasure that I write this post. As of today(or within the next few days) I will be recognized by the LDS Church as no longer a member! A while ago I sent a letter to Church Headquarters telling them I was resigning from the church at which point legally I understand I was no longer a member, however, they sent me a letter shortly after that saying that it was a local ecclesiastical matter and that the bishop in the ward where I lived would be contacting me to discuss the matter. Well a lot of time passed and I didn't heard anything further when finally tonight a missionary and his local Mormon companion for the night came knocking on my door. They said they were updating the records and asked if I was still a member of the church. I said no and they asked if I had my name removed from the church. I said yes and they said they'd update the records. They asked if I wanted any visits and I said no. After a little small talk they were gone. The whole motivation for me to finally resign was the church's involvement in getting Proposition 8 passed in California. I could no longer stand to have my name associated with the Mormon Church and at last it no longer will be.

Me on my mission during P-day(we got to wear normal clothes since it was our day off of proselytizing)