On December 23, 2009, I wrote the first letter I've ever written to any state, local or federal elected official.
Wed, Dec 23, 2009 8:52 p.m.
Dear Senator Boxer: I received an e-mail this evening from Carly Fiorina, candidate for U.S. Senate. She asked that if we opposed the current 2,000-page Health Care Reform bill, to write you and I quote, "ask Senator Barbara Boxer to do the right thing for California by voting NO on this legislation – click here to send her an email today expressing your concerns with this legislation. This bill will expand the role of government in health care decisions, decrease the quality of our health care and increase the tax burden on Californians by $3 billion." I heard and read about several Senators from other states who once again as is so often heard and seen, received substantial amounts of special money for health care and other programs benefiting the residents of their states, and once again, I heard of nothing to benefit Californians outside our doing our duty to power much of the country's economy as our own resources dwindle, tens of thousands of highly-educated, talented professionals leave the state, large businesses leave the state, and more tens of thousands of average, hardworking families also leave. Even recent immigrants are leaving due to the lack of ability to find adequate work and support their families, especially in today's hard economic climate. As a community college teacher, I have witnessed hundreds of students struggle to work full time, support families, pay taxes and continue with their education. Students are now experiencing the highest difficulty in transferring to four-year colleges, and the Cal State, UC and Cal Poly systems are experiencing unprecedented deficits and facing the toughest choices in their history. This education is our state, and our nation's future. California was once the leader. Now our best minds will be leaving for other states, other schools and university systems, and in today's global economy and scientific community - other nations - just as America, once very long ago, was able to benefit from the best and brightest minds of other nations such as Albert Einstein and Enrico Fermi. As a 6th-generation Southern California native, I have long known that Southern California can expect little or nothing from Sacramento, and little or nothing from its 2 long-time Bay Area senators, who take the votes and political contributions from this area, particularly from our film, television and media industries (now also in retreat for many years, experiencing better financial conditions in Canada and Europe), and return nothing, barely bothering to return phone calls and providing no support or leadership whatsoever in helping to solve the region's tremendous environmental, transportations, economic, and social challenges. I think my message is this - don't expect anything positive in return from anybody. You can issue all the press statements you want. You can live in whatever vacuum you live in, flying in private jets, buying vast quantities of bottled water, enjoying the privileged lifestyle that your generation aspired to, and which is laying such an incalculable, unsustainable burden of waste, debt, fraud, deceit and short-sightedness upon those of future generations. It is my generation that will witness this mess, it is our children that will suffer the most for it, and I can only hope and pray that it will be our grandchildren who will discover a way out of it. Anger and dismay run wide and deep. Do not expect any votes or praise in the future as we all know that is all you and your colleagues care about. Even if we cannot read and understand the entire 2,000 page bill, all the horse trading and wheeling-dealing that has gone on makes it obvious to everyone that it will help few people and only provide more wasteful greed, graft and useless government jobs that take all our resources and tax dollars and produce absolutely nothing but more daily sacrifice, higher taxes and trouble in return.
Sincerely, Amy Sterling Casil
Today, I received the following answer:
Sat, Feb 20, 2010 1:59 pm
Subject: Responding to your message
Dear Ms. Casil:
Thank you for writing to me about pending health care reform legislation. I appreciate hearing from you.
There is widespread agreement that we must reform our health insurance system, which is a huge financial burden on our families. The status quo is no longer sustainable. Thousands of Americans lose their insurance every day while thousands more are denied coverage. If we do nothing, 45 percent of an average family's income will go towards health insurance premiums in 2016. And without action, Medicare will be broke by 2017.
On February 25, 2010, President Obama will hold a bipartisan summit on comprehensive health insurance reform. I strongly believe that we must seize this opportunity to move forward on health care reform, and I hope that we can.
I will continue to fight for health care reform for Californians and all Americans.
Again, thank you for writing to me. Please feel free to contact me again about this or other issues of concern to you.
United States Senator