Skip to content

WELCOME TO MERGE LEFT

February 23, 2010

OPEN LETTER TO AMERICA…..

Midge

My intent in creating this site is to unite rather than divide so please understand we have to come together. This site is in memory of Jenny who died 10 months ago at the age of 24 along with her unborn baby because she did not have health insurance. Please see Jenny’s page for a greater understanding of why I am here.

Looking Back and Moving Forward


Almost a year ago at this time I was thinking of the warm weather and sunshine, my on-going job search and visiting with family and friends over the summer. I had no idea what was about to happen or how it would change not only my plans, but my life forever.

A health care battle was heating heat up and open discussion was changing into accusations filled with hate and ugliness but I was committed to helping in any way that I could to make our health care system better for everyone. What I didn’t know was that I would become one of the people who would become personally effected and that my family would never be the same again.

It seemed like Summer was never going to get here. The fourth of July was coming and we were hopeful that it would soon be warm enough to wear shorts and sandals. We were looking forward to visiting our kids on the east coast and we were trying to time it to be here for Sean and Jenny’s new babies birth. Jenny was 7 months pregnant and by then we knew she was going to have a little girl. We worried about Jen because she was uninsured. Sean had lost his job and they moved to Chicago hoping to have better luck in his search. He soon learned that jobs here were just as difficult to find and then he heard about a place where he could get training and off they went for this new opportunity in another state.

We tried from the very beginning to get Jenny health insurance but we were turned down because pregnancy is a preexisting condition so we counted the days and months as they passed and she seemed to be doing OK as we all held our breath waiting for a good outcome. On July third everything changed….

July 3rd-The telephone rang and Sean said Jen was not feeling well. He said they had been to the hospital and they were told that Jen had a cold but nothing more. We of course were concerned but felt better that she had been seen by a doctor and they didn’t feel it was anything other than that.

July 4th_Sean called to say Jenny was worse and he was worried. We were over two hours away and felt helpless. There wasn’t a doctor to call because doctors will not see pregnant women without health insurance which is a fact that is little known. He decided to go to another local hospital where he lied to have Jenny examined. He told them that he left his insurance card at home. They examined her and found septic shock, double pneumonia, and respiratory failure. By that night she was on life support where she remained for almost 50 days.

July 5th through August 22nd-We slept at the hospital in chairs or on cots and we were always waiting for the next crisis. During this time Jenny had a heart attack, blood clots, a stroke, a brain bleed and things to horrible to mention here. The baby died during this time frame and we were fighting every single day for what we knew she needed and deserved. We cried and prayed and pleaded but there was little hope. Jenny never lost consciousness unless they induced a coma state for medical purposes. She would nod, blink her eyes for yes and no, cry, put her lips up to be kissed and that was the most heartbreaking part of all…she was aware.

August 15th through August 22nd-Jenny developed pain that could not be controlled regardless of the many medications they had her on. The doctors and nurses could not figure out how she could be awake and in so much pain with all of the medicines in her small body. Her her legs shook violently with the intensity of the pain they could not find. They began to apply pressure to remove Jenny from life support. There was every reason to believe she was suffering and her lungs were destroyed and would not mend. There were many times through the weeks they had to revive her before the terrible pain began and now we prayed God would just take her. There must have been another plan….she hung on. It was difficult getting answers like why didn’t they have a life support ventilator to move Jenny for testing to see what was causing the pain..we asked for weeks and weeks…it came the day before she died. The day came when the head pulmonary doctor sat us down and told us we had to remove her from life support and Sean had to make the decision. Twice he said OK and twice he changed his mind but on the 25th it could no longer be denied and as a family we agreed but Sean needed another day with her. He slept with her that night as he often did. She was comforted by his presence even then. August 26th came all too soon. Sean had to be medicated and Dan and I stood at her bedside. I held her hand and rubbed her head. I whispered words that I hoped would give her some kind of comfort. I won’t tell you more, it’s just too hard to relive.

August 26th at 3:22 ……Jenny died leaving behind a two year old daughter.

Feeling numb I was not sure how to move forward. I heard that there was going to be a candle light vigil in Grant Park for health care reform and something told me a small sign was not enough for the great pain we all felt. I needed a poster sized sign with Jenny’s picture with the words.. She Could Not Wait..
My husband spoke but broke down and we cried most of the way through that event but that began my quest for not only health care reform but for justice for all those who were still suffering from a broken health care system. I encountered the teapartypatriots at a town hall for Lipinski (blue dog who ended up voting against the bill) and while the terrible things they yelled at me that day hurt, it didn’t kill me and it made me stronger and more determined. I rallied, I marched, I attended sit-ins, wrote letters to Washington DC and to our representatives. I did interviews, made videos, appeared on TV, spoke on radio and at the Governors debate. I couldn’t stop. Today June 16th, I am still running. The health care bill passed with great opposition but it was far less than most of us wanted but the miracle was it passed, and for the first time since Roosevelt there were going to be changes. The door has been opened people, maybe just a crack but it is open. Don’t let them close it in your state, it will take ongoing work to make sure the bill is implemented.

As a result, women will no longer be denied health insurance for preexisting conditions like pregnancy…did you hear that Jenny? It won’t bring you back but it will keep other families from the pain we all endured and for me that fight was for you and for others who died without a voice.

So here I am and I know the fight is not over. There are those who would take us backwards and that can’t happen. I was honored to introduce Senator Durbin along with another activist Will Wilson, at his celebration given by Campaign for Better Health Care. Senator Durbin read Jenny’s story on the floor of the Senate in his fight to get the bill passed. The story is not over yet….as I said, I don’t know how to stop so stay tuned and when you think a situation is hopeless remember that every journey started with a single step. Stand Up, Speak Up for what you believe in!


Joe Barton’s apology and a potential GOP trap

Giving the opening statement for Republicans at today’s BP hearing, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.), the ranking member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, vigorously defended the company in the wake of Wednesday’s compromise on an escrow fund to pay for damages from its broken oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.

“It is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown,” said Barton, “in this case a $20 billion shakedown.”

Barton, who holds a safe seat in Texas, is saying what the leading edge of tea partyers and conservatives are saying — no matter whether it’s good politics, his first worry about the response to the disaster is that it will empower the federal government. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) said this to me on Tuesday, and Dick Armey said it to me yesterday when I told him about the $20 billion compromise.

“It fascinates me,” said Armey. “I’m fascinated with it. I’m against it — there is no doubt that BP has resititution to make, but there is something called due process through the legitimate judicial branch of government through which these things should be adjudicated.”

Conservatives are reacting instinctively, and the fact that “pay czar” Ken Feinberg will be running the fund leaves an immediate bad taste in their mouths. But Democrats see an opportunity here to discredit the GOP’s rhetoric in support of small government.

“Not only is the compensation fund that was created yesterday… not a slush fund, and not a shakedown,” said Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) speaking shortly after Barton, “rather it was the government of the United States working to protect the most vulnerable citizens we have in our country right now. It is BP’s spill, but it is America’s ocean.”

By David Weigel  |
Categories:  Energy

Congressmen Lipinski, is pro-life and the only IL Democrat to vote NO on health care….

Lipinski, who represents a reliably Democratic seat, is the only Illinois Democrat to oppose health care reform. And he is correct in asserting that the law, at least for now, isn’t incredibly popular. The latest Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that 41 percent of respondents were very or somewhat favorable towards health care reform while 44 percent held negative feelings. Those trends have remained stable over the past several months. Respondents who say they are likely to vote in the midterm elections this November also lean negative in their views on the law. Here in Illinois, Rasmussen suggests that most Illinoisans favor repeal.

At the same time, the polling shows a strong partisan divide. The Kaiser survey found that 72 percent of Democrats held a favorable view of health care while just 14 percent opposed it. (A portion of the latter group are likely critics from the left who are angry that the bill didn’t go far enough.) Republican respondents are even more united, with just eight percent exhibiting favorable feelings toward the bill. “The main effect of health care as an issue [this November],” wrote political scientist Larry Sabato, “would probably be to reinforce voters’ partisan preferences.”

But the real question for Lipinski is this: How will voters feel about it in the spring of 2012, when he could be facing a primary challenge?

Time will only tell on that front.  What we do know is that many more of the bill’s reforms will be in effect by then and the accompanying headlines will surely have an effect on public opinion.  This year, that includes rebates for Medicare Part D enrollees caught in the “doughnut hole,” a new tax credit for small businesses, and a ban on rescissions and the denial of coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. In 2011, individual and small group market plans will be required to spend 80 percent of premium dollars on medical services.

Now we’re all for legislators taking a stand.  But Lipinski’s criticisms of the reform package were patently absurd. The two reasons Lipinski cited for his opposition — that the abortion language and cost controls in the Senate bill were not strong enough — were directly refuted by members from both the pro-life bloc and the fiscally conservative bloc in the Democratic party. This was not a courageous vote; it was intellectually weak and politically cowardly.  Moreover, if he had gotten his way, 57,500 people in the 3rd District would not be on their way to gaining access to affordable health care. But we’ll have to wait until 2012 to see what it means for Lipinski’s political future.

Advertisements
20 Comments leave one →
  1. Dan permalink
    February 7, 2010 4:17 pm

    I agree that we need to take action to turn back this attack on American values.

    • February 7, 2010 1:58 pm

      Great. Than lets not just talk about it, lets plan to make something happen. We have Tax Day coming up so lets organize our own grassroots movement to stand up with an Anti Teabagger rally!

  2. February 7, 2010 1:39 pm

    Good stuff Midge! Let me know if I or HCASAP can be of any assistance.

    • February 7, 2010 1:56 pm

      Linda. You know I value your experience so please help me to spread the word. I would like to list your website as one of the sites that are doing something to make change happen. Is that OK with you?

      • February 7, 2010 2:54 pm

        Certainly you canlist the HCASAP website. And please do promote your website on http://hcasap.webs.com! That’s what we are there for!
        I have a comment on the letter to the editor builder. It is a great idea and I think you need to promote it heavily. Many people lack the time or the confidence in their own writing to do this totally on their own. Would it be possible to provide a sample without the Illinois districts in it? That will put people off who are in other states. It almost had that effect on me before I realized I could skip that part.
        I will use and post a sample letter using that builder shortly. Maybe you could do the same? Might encourage others to try it.
        Good luck and remember HCASAP is here for you anytime,
        Linda

      • February 7, 2010 3:39 pm

        Great, thanks for this suggestion. I will do some research and get you an answer because you are correct not everyone has the time to search for their representatives or newspapers etc. Let me get back to you with the information. I will post your link on my page. I am going to create a list of several action groups who are serious and are making a difference.

      • February 7, 2010 3:01 pm

        Hey Everyone! Here is a sample letter to the editor I ‘wrote’ using the Builder provided on this website. It took me less than 5 minutes!
        Do you have 5 minutes to help in the fight for health care reform?

        TO Hometown Newspaper Letters to the Editor:
        America’s working families are struggling to pay skyrocketing health care costs while their wages remain stagnant and their health benefits sliced. Meanwhile, the CEO of United Health Insurance was paid more than $350 Million in a single year and the industry’s profits keep soaring.
        With so many people worried about losing their jobs and their health coverage, a plan that guarantees every American the opportunity to buy into an affordable and high quality health plan is exactly what we need right now.
        Health care reform is the key to economic security and opportunity for American families.
        From: A Concerned Citizen
        Anytown, Anystate.
        USA

      • February 7, 2010 3:35 pm

        Linda, thank you for this excellent example. So many people think that they need to be active and run around to events to make a difference but as you and I know, that is not the case. If everyone wrote two letters a week they would be swamped and would have to take notice. Thanks for the great contribution!

  3. Marrion Hanson permalink
    February 7, 2010 1:49 pm

    I will pray for you and your family that your success kick the teaparty people in the ass. I saw that event on the Ed show and I saw how they started to boo when you was trying to explain how its a need for healthcare. I’m unemployed and I live on the southside of Chicago. Until I find work, if there is any thing I can do, please let me know I would be glad to help someone who will stand up to these so call Americans who just care about the white race and there agenda. God bless.

    PS. I sent a couple tweets stating to join No Tea 4 me.

    Thanks, Marrion Hanson Jr.

    • February 7, 2010 1:53 pm

      Thank you. I value your opinion and I will fight until I can’t walk, to achieve the goal of motivating people to join a cause to make a difference. I will ask you to please visit this website often as a contributor leaving comments/posts that touch on this issue. Looking for help organizing something big for Tax Day when the Teaparty will be out in force.

  4. February 7, 2010 3:49 pm

    Love the blog! You are unstoppable. 🙂

    • February 7, 2010 4:21 pm

      Thanks Kathleen. Help me wake this country up and get them to their feet. Not sure how that will happen yet but I can tell you this I’ll be there and behind them pushing if that’s what it takes..

  5. February 8, 2010 12:10 pm

    Midge, I am so sorry for what happened to you and your family. The hatred and the lies (about everything)coming out of those tea-parties make my heart bleeds. I have watched the video you inserted here and I cannot tell you how much it infuriates me. I have a sister in France who is suffering from Polycystic Kidney Disease, a genetic disease
    http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/polycystic/
    and thanks to the social health program France has, my sister is alive today and well taken care of. I am on social security and have medicare, however I cannot afford a supplemental to my medicare. I pray than nothing will happen and/or that nothing will be found during the MRI I have to take in the next few weeks (my doctor found a suspicious growth). How many people shall die because they do not have the right WE all deserve? When those tea-partiers talks about “service to the country” or chant “U.S.A, U.S.A” they do NOT represent me! Sad to say, but only and until something happens to one of their loved one, they may change the tune of their chants !
    Thank you for all you do!I am with you.

    • February 8, 2010 6:48 pm

      Thank you Monique. It’s been a long haul and the fight continues. No one should die in our country because they do not have access to health care. We are the only civilized nation in the world that does not take care of our own.

      As for the teaparty I know them all to well. This is not conservative America, this is radical right and they do not speak for me. I will fight tooth and nail to ensure they do not destroy this country and take us backwards to the time before civil rights which they discussed on at their convention this week. Shocking, just shocking.

      I hope you visit my site often and comment on the different articles and start discussions that will lead to new thinking in this desperate time. I personally believe we have to come together as rational people and stand up to the the radical right. This is OUR country and it does not belong to just one group, it belongs to all of us.

      Again, thank you and please bring your friends to my site as well. Help me get the message out there so others will not suffer and die as Jenny did….

    • paul cohan permalink
      April 11, 2010 10:41 am

      my sister died with lung cancer without health insurance during the same period of time that your article about your friend was going on..she received all the healthcare available to insured people in this country so i don’t understand what your article was talking about..my sister received healthcare every step of the way and very good hospice care once all was done that could be…my brother just passed on March 1 of this year with no health insurance but also had received all the healthcare available to the insured..neither my brother nor sister we on welfare but when healthcare was needed, they were both provided care through the state which did not charge them…i just don’t understand your article.

      • April 11, 2010 3:33 pm

        Well, I am a bit surprised that you don’t understand my article. How old are the people you are talking about above? I am sure it has something to do with that. Jenny was not a friend, Jenny was my 24 year old daughter in-law who was 7 months pregnant. That’s why I am surprise because had you read her story on this blog you would know that. We tried to buy her health insurance after my son lost his job but every health care insurance company turned us down because up until this bill passed pregnancy was considered a preexisting condition. Jenny was healthy so there was no emergency disease that needed to be treated. We looked into Medicaid but there was a long waiting list of about 4 months and she died while on that waiting list. When she got ill it was sudden and it was lethal. I’m happy that your family was treated however that was not the case in our family. It ended up costing the tax payers over one million dollars for something that could have been avoided had Jenny been covered but instead she was denied care and she and her baby died. I detect an air of superiority in your post that assumes because you found a way to get help that you also assume every other suffering child and adult out there should be able to do the same. There are hundreds of thousands who have suffered and died while our politicians sat and twiddled their thumbs. It’s not OK to let people die, health care is not a privilege it is a human right and we are the only civilized nation in the world that allows that to happen. We have taken a step forward and while the H.C. bill is not perfect it is a step forward. If Jenny were alive today it would not have happened, she would have had access to health care…so for her it’s too late but for others… they can now get the help they need…..

  6. Bill permalink
    February 9, 2010 7:03 pm

    Love the name of your new blog, Midge. It’s perfect.

    Let me know if there is anything I can help you with. I think the ordeal you went through struck a chord for many of us. I know it did for me.

    P.S. I’m looking forward to the Thursday surprise.

    • February 9, 2010 7:10 pm

      Lol Bill. I will post it as soon as it’s finished. It’s just one more step to apply pressure to our representatives by embarrassing them. There is NO reason why we do not have affordable HC. Time to step it up and someone has to do it so why not me? Lol… I know, just a little crazy about this. Please keep coming back. Tell your friends to come to the site and discuss the issues, there is strength in numbers and we need numbers right now. Thanks Bill…

  7. S in PA permalink
    February 25, 2010 5:41 pm

    Hi, Midge,
    Firstly, Blessings to you.
    Secondly, I think there’s something that’s not been really mentioned at all in regards to public option health insurance (or, even better, single payer universal) – that is, it’s not just the health insurance companies that are against it – it’s also the auto insurance companies that are against it. Think about it. If EVERYONE has health insurance that covers EVERYTHING, then auto insurance bills will fall, because a lot of your premium goes to potential medical costs of car accidents. They don’t want to lose that cash cow.
    Good luck with your new venture and don’t forget that we’re on your side, you’ve got a lot of people on your side.

    • February 25, 2010 9:43 pm

      Thank you for your kind words. I don’t really know what to think after watching the summit today. The right had one thing in mind and it was not compromise, it was to block progress as usual. The fight goes on the hope endures and the dream shall never die….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s