You have one of the most unique opportunities in the history of Congress to assume a role so fine, so elevated, and so revered that your name will be on the lips of school children for a century or more.
You could be lauded as one of the finest statesmen ever to traverse the halls of the United States Congress.
Sir, I am writing to ask you to elevate yourself, with one small, very sincere gesture, to a place so prominent that your name will grace avenues and street signs and school buildings for centuries.
Why do I say that? Three words: Health care reform. Sir, the American people have suffered far too long with inadequate health care, despite paying more than any civilized country in the world.
I suspect you are a man of good heart who aches when you hear the stories of some of the 45,000 people who died in the first thirteen months that this nation debated the health care bill for one reason and one reason only. They had no health insurance.
As I am certain you are keenly aware, every day, good, solid citizens die because they either have no health insurance or because their carrier denied coverage for the life-saving procedures and medications they needed.
Sir, you have a unique opportunity to raise both yourself and your party to the political stature deserving of your roles in our government.
Listen to the people, Sir. It was not the Democrat's plan the people decried. It was what happened to the Democrat's plan as their leadership attempted to please you and your partners. The people want nothing of that watered down mess that appears only to give more power to Big Insurance, Big Pharma and Big Medico at the cost of their daughters, their sons, their beloved aunts and uncles who are still dying and going bankrupt every single day.
You, Sir, have the opportunity of a political lifetime. You could be so bold as to stare down the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical companies and to bring back a truly viable, truly life-saving, truly budget-happy public option.
Sir, the world would laud you for centuries as the man who took leadership when all others were attempting to appease and cajole.
Honorable Representative Boehner, school children would memorize your likeness and your name for a century or more, were you to take the role of bringing true health care reform, true life-saving, money-saving reform to the people of the United States of America. Not spin. Not hype. True, life-saving, money-saving reform.
We deserve no less. You, Sir, have a choice to go down in history as an obstructionist whose name will be long forgotten by all but the most entrenched ivory-tower scholars, OR to be remembered as the man who reached across the aisle with an olive branch and said, "My dear colleagues, it is time to give the people of this great country the health care they deserve. It is time for us to quit dithering. It is time for us to begin saving lives--the lives of our nieces and nephews, sisters and brothers, mothers and fathers--the lives of thousands we do not know and may never know. Let's write a fair, honest health care bill. Let's do it now."
Honorable Representative Boehner, can you hear the thunderous applause? Can you imagine the six-figure speaking engagements you will enjoy for the rest of your life, all expenses paid? Can you imagine the million dollar book deals? Can you see your photograph and your name prominently displayed in every social studies text book in the land for a century or more?
Sir, please consider the benefits to you, and also to your country, and to the people who work so hard every single day to be good citizens and to contribute to the well-being of our great country.
Reach out with that olive branch, Sir. Win yourself more than a footnote in history. Win the American people the health care we all deserve and yourself a place among the greatest statesmen ever to live.
San Francisco, California
We make peace in a million small ways every day.
All text and images, unless otherwise noted, copyright L. Kathryn Grace. All rights reserved.