Grrr! I write another letter to Senator Mike Johanns!

I probably should have my e-mail address removed from Senator Johanns’ update list. I read these things, and I boil! So, when I found the following in my in box, I read it, hoping against hope I could handle it without feeling compulsion to respond back:

Senator Johanns e-Update
November 14, 2013

I asked to hear from you last week about how Obamacare has impacted your families. I received stories from more than one thousand Nebraskans, the majority of whom relayed details about their increased premiums and cancelled plans. When I spoke before the Senate today, I highlighted a story from one family in Boelus, Neb.

We need to address the growing problems with this failed law, which has led to millions of Americans being dropped from their insurance despite President Obama’s repeated promises that they would be able to keep their current health coverage. Unfortunately, the President is still trying to tweak the law instead of accepting that the only real solution is its full repeal. The latest tweak came today with his announcement that cancelled policies could be reissued for one more year. But, many experts have said there simply isn’t time to reinstate policies cancelled by Obamacare. President Obama promised that if Americans liked their plans, then they could keep them. He didn’t say they could keep them for one more year. Let’s be clear, this isn’t a fix.

This law is broken and even its supporters are beginning to understand that. The President is simply trying to convince them to accept tweaks when the only real solution is a full repeal.


He posted this video on his e-mail as well.

God help me, but I sent the good Senator yet another rant on the Affordable Care law:

Dear Senator Johanns:

Why don’t we forget the many millions who now don’t have to worry about getting health care because of a pre-existing condition, all those people under 26 years old who can continue on their parents’ health care insurance, those with major health issues who don’t have to worry about lifetime caps, or those too caught up in Republican and Koch brother distortions about the law to realize that the alternative proposed by the Republicans is nothing, nada, zero change to the shameful health care system in this country where one in four Texans (for the worst example I’m aware of) are without affordable insurance? As best I can tell, that’s what your party stands for.

In the meantime, while you and your party are worrying the healthcare website bone to death, nothing is happening toward immigration reform (even the one your TP colleague Senator Rubio was involved in and the Senate passed…), a comprehensive job creation plan, long term funding for the US Government (which many in your party seem to forget pays them, courtesy of people like me the taxpayer, at least $174,000 a year – wasted money! – for doing damn little but obstructing any forward movement in anything), education (the cornerstone of our nation’s future), the infrastructure (may you NOT be on any bridge crumbling into the Mississippi!), or anything else that truly matters to anyone outside of the Congress and its bunker in Washington.

As someone who has a pre-existing condition (Wegener’s granulomatosis), I once had to accept crap insurance at over $1000 a month or go without. Since I, as a retiree, am not getting $174,000 a year for doing nothing but being disagreeable, I ended up going without insurance for 15 months because I couldn’t afford insurance to tide me over between the end of COBRA and my eligibility for Medicare. You don’t know anything about WG (most likely – it’s a rare disease), but going without coverage is a death sentence if you have a flare. I managed to stay in remission for the whole 15 months, but believe me, I sure wished I had one of those Congressional health plans waiting in case a flare came on or the ACA could have started before 2014! Last year this time, I had a series of illnesses that I didn’t see my doctor about because I was afraid I’d end up in the hospital, unable to pay without destroying my retirement nest egg, which is less than two years of your salary. Frankly, I spent a lot of last fall in bed, suffering symptoms that recalled what I went through when I came down with Wegener’s granulomatosis: I was frightened, prepared for death if it came to that, mad as hell at America and its odd priorities, as defined by the multimillionaire Republican candidate for President and the lying fellow running with him for Vice President.

The President, at least, compromised with your party to come up with the ACA, based on the Republican/Heritage Foundation model Governor Romney and the Massachusetts legislature implemented in that state. Your party, in the spirit of sedition, spoiled brat obstructionism, disloyalty to the people of America who didn’t have the Congressional health care plan or any other insurance for a variety of reasons, has done nothing but bitch, whine, moan and shut down the government for 16 days at considerable cost to the country in GDP, international prestige, in-country suffering.

Repealing the law is no solution, nor is stepping backwards to “let” people keep crap policies that don’t really cover their health care needs at any price. I’m sorry the President was forced into accepting that trap – the extension of crap policies that don’t meet the law – your party so skillfully, willfully pushed him into.

There is considerable concern about the President’s “lie”, but it doesn’t approach the disturbing layer of disinformation, distortions, obstructionism, Koch brother sabotage of the law, and just plain lies coming from your side. I believe you are an honest agent (certainly I voted for you for Governor and wasn’t disappointed…!), but your party is bankrupt of ideas, morality, integrity, and any interest in doing the job we taxpayers pay you to do. I used to be proud to be a Republican, but am glad I changed my registration after McConnell announced the Republican Party’s sole purpose was to make the President a one term president. I lost respect for Congress the day I realized he was, and your party is, dead serious about spoiling any chance of the President has of achieving his agenda.



Grrr! He asked for input, and I gave it.

12 thoughts on “Grrr! I write another letter to Senator Mike Johanns!

    • This is a local school issue that made it into the court system. The US Government isn’t involved beyond providing the place for redress for the student who chose not to participate in this Spanish class assignment.

      The article didn’t say how far through the courts this has processed, but I suspect it is still in one of the lower ones. Fox will try to whip up a frenzy against Mexicans and immigrants here, no doubt, in their standard m.o. Cooler heads (and courts) will work it out.

      Though my faith in America is shaken by the right wing of the Republican party and the way they block democratic processes, even shut down the US government for 16 days to gain nothing, I do believe it still is possible for this issue to be handled without Fox News’ breathless outrage.

      pledge history‎

      You might find it interesting that the pledge originally was given with the Bellamy salute, which is identical to the fascist salute of Nazi Germany, though the rise of that movement in Germany lead to a change to the hand-over-the-heart business used during the pledge in the USA since a change in the flag code law in 1942…! And that the writer was a Christian socialist. The legal challenges related to the pledge are outlined in the link. The girl’s case is just one of many.

      I find it interesting that three states that are especially Republican – Oklahoma, Iowa, and Wyoming – don’t set aside time in schools to say the pledge. I’m surprised Fox News doesn’t find that a scandal.

  1. Nebraska needs more clear thinkers like you. I’d share this post with my sisters, but we’ve agreed not to let differing political views keep us from being good sisters to one another. I wonder how I can slip a link to this under their door? 🙂

    • I have the same problem with my brother and his family. I’d rather have a great relationship with them (which I do) than upset what seems to be their Fox News grasp of the world.

      I don’t know how effective words are these days when people seem to believe anything bloggers put up, without question.

      I often think of this quote when dealing with TPers and people who have issues with truth (…yeah!): “It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument.” …William G. McAdoo (1863 – 1941), who was an industrialist, lawyer, and politician.

      I associate him with Woodrow Wilson because the US Post Office in Alliance has his name on the cornerstone and a date – 1914 – when he was in the Wilson administration as Secretary of the Treasury.

      An interesting eyebrow arch on this little reference in his Wikipedia biography: “He married Wilson’s daughter Eleanor Randolph Wilson at the White House on May 7, 1914.” Oh yeah!???

  2. Mike Johanns knows all about insurance. Shortly after the November election where he won his Senate seat, Johanns had a physical that included a chest x-ray. It found a spot on his lung. Johanns said later that, as a former smoker, he felt sure it was cancer. He is a multimillionaire who could have paid for care out-of-pocket, yet he waited three or four months, until late February or early March to have the surgery that would tell him whether he had cancer or something else.

    Why? Because congressional health insurance benefits do not kick in until a member has been in office for 30 days. So Mike Johanns knows all about insurance. He was waiting for his gold-plated Senate health care plan to kick in. I’m glad Johanns didn’t have cancer — the spot was a fungus he acquired from working on his family’s dairy farm — working land with feces stirs up dust that can settle in the lungs.

    The bottom line is that he doesn’t care — about your health care or mine, or about EPA dust/particulate regulations that would spare other farmers from acquiring the fungus. Since he has only a year left in the Senate, he could use that time to be helpful to the Nebraskans who voted for him over his long political career, but he’s apparently going out the faithful party man he has always been. Unfortunately, today’s Republican Party is not where you find people who care about people.

    • Is there any doubt? (That was an interesting bit of information I was unaware of about his medical issue.) Personally, I’ve given up on the whole Republican lot, so, when I fire off one of these rants it’s because I still can.

      • I won’t normally write about a politician’s personal life, but this was thoroughly covered in the Lincoln and Omaha papers, and the national media. A sitting senator cannot undergo major surgery without it attracting attention, and Johanns took off about a month to recuperate. I hope he enjoys retirement.

      • I hope he does, too. I hope to see the my Congressman return to private business in 2015, too, though I think it’ll get worse first. Waiting and hoping for better….

        (The Senator’s health issue must have come up around the time I was dealing with major health issues of my own. There were weeks where I didn’t see papers or news magazines in the hospital or while at home recovering. Also, it may have been when the Omaha World-Herald stopped distribution to Western Nebraska. Even today, I don’t have a reliable and comprehensive source of Nebraska news. I sometimes feel like Western Nebraska is a separate state, though I wouldn’t push for it.)

    • If we get through the next few months – till the primaries and caucuses in the first few months, then the election in November – perhaps this will be behind us. While the extremists on the right carry on about this, millions of people already have benefits they historically wouldn’t have. I guess I get into that above. You are right, though, about your system. I have Canadian friends with Wegener’s granulomatosis who attest to that. I lucked out to have excellent employer-provided insurance during the worst of my health crises, but I’d be a dead man had the disease popped up during the bleak 15 months I was without affordable health care insurance…!

      • The only way I have an idea of having no insurance, I suppose, is that we have to pay full price for dental work – youch!! In a bit (Dec. 11) I will have a growth taken out of my thigh, and imagine my surprise when I learned that it would cost me $80! Well, it’s better than waiting on a hospital list, which would probably be about a eight month wait.
        I’m curious about something, Doug. When Obamacare’s website was having difficulties at the beginning of it all, Obama said that you could apply by phone, instead of the website. Was that true?
        I have to say that I was embarrassed when I heard that it was a Canadian firm that was responsible for building the site! Oooops!

      • Yes, one can sign up by telephone. The problem there is you can’t compare various available options as easily. It’s more for people who already know what they want.

        It is a Canadian company, but the people doing the actual work are a subsidiary of that company. They’ve been used before by the US Government, I recall hearing on the news, but I don’t recall a specific project.

        The big hoo-ha is political hype, an effort to re-rail and destroy the President’s signature achievement. It is cynical, sad, maddening, and why I changed my party affiliation from Republican.

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