An Open Letter to Senator Cory Gardner, 09/22/2017

Friday, September 22, 2017

I am writing today to express my extreme opposition to the Graham-Cassidy Bill.

Here are the factual reasons I oppose this bill. Please note that these are matters of fact, not opinion:

 • There is not enough time between now and September 30th to get an accurate CBO score that tells us how many people will loose coverage as well as what the bill will cost, and that is inexcusable.

• It ends individual and employer mandates, which will drive premiums up. It will also end federal subsidies for individual insurance. This is estimated to leave 32 million people uninsured.

• It takes the money going to the states that opted ‘in’ to Medicaid expansion and distributes it among all states, even those whose legislatures irresponsibly voted against expansion. In 2026, funding for Medicaid expansion would end entirely, and the shortfall would be left for the states to cover.

• It institutes a one year freeze on Medicaid reimbursements for Planned Parenthood (even though federal law already prohibits federal tax dollars being used to fund or finance abortion services)

• It allows individual states to define what constitutes an “essential benefit”, which will likely result in a slash of coverage for maternity services, cancer treatments and services, ER visits, prescription drugs, and many more benefits. This could also further prevent women’s clinics from charging Medicaid for things like cancer screenings and birth control.

• It allows insurers to double their surcharge for elderly patients. (The ACA allows insurers to charge older customers up to 3 times as much as younger ones. This bill increases that to up to 5 times as much.)

• It allows insurers to charge higher rates based on health status, and it repeals language in the ACA which prevents changing insurance rates after a patient is diagnosed with a condition.

I can't believe I have to even say this, but the provisions in this legislation are just INDECENT. It's just as bad as the last bill brought before the Senate. Denying people the care they need to live is IMMORAL. Continuing to be a rank-and-file Republican on this issue is WRONG. Allowing the Federal government to cut billions from Colorado, money that serves the least among us, is NOT serving your constituents. I don't know why we even have to have these conversations - the argument of decency versus cruelty should have a clear-cut winner, and yet here I am, trying to convince you that decency should WIN.

Please vote NO on this bill and work with the Democrats on a bi-partisan approach that addresses both party's concerns. It's what the American people need, regardless of the Vice President's paternalistic view to the contrary. It's what we want. It's what we've TOLD you we want, when the majority of Americans have said they do not want the ACA to be repealed. Do not assume that because you hold office that you can pat your constituency on the head and claim that Father knows best. You obviously DON'T know best, as evidenced by years of do-nothing Congressional sessions and a complete failure to pass meaningful, popular legislation when your party controls ALL THREE BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT.

Do the right thing. Vote NO on this bill and help Coloradans retain the care they need.

An Open Letter to Senator Cory Gardner, 09/21/2017

Thursday, September 21, 2017

I am writing today to encourage you to vote NO on the Cassidy-Graham bill. 

While I understand that you are a rank and file Republican, I urge you to think independently on this issue. Most Americans don’t want the ACA to be repealed. Coloradans don’t want to lose billions in federal aid and have it repurposed to the Bible Belt, all of whom think federal health care is “Socialism.” Coloradans don’t want millions to lose their health care through Medicaid/Medicare. 

This really is a moral issue. Will you be the kind of Senator who pays attention to his constituents, or will you serve your masters at the GOP at the expense of Coloradans? Will you be the kind of Senator who votes to essentially kill your constituents so you can remain in your party’s good graces, or will you be a stand-up guy and do what is right, damn the consequences? Are you the kind of man who is guided by morality, values, and compassion, or will you be the man who puts party and self before country? 

Please - prove me wrong, and do the right thing, rather than the expedient thing. Vote NO on the bill, and then work with the Democrats to come to a bi-partisan solution. Nothing would make me happier than to be wrong about you and your priorities. Please, vote NO on this bill.

What's the Haps

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

I realize I haven't been posting much lately. Between the latest political landscape and getting ready for our AFSP Out of the Darkness walk, I've become emotionally tired, and as Sister Stacey says, I've run out of spoons.

But I'm starting to get inquiries from my readers, so I thought an update might be in order. An update informed by today being "Talk Like a Pirate Day."

1. Miss Jackson Pi has been feeling poorly of late. She's always been a delicate flower when it comes to her digestion, but vomiting happens often enough that I spoke to her vet about it. She's now on a new (pricey) kibble and taking doggie probiotics. That dog lives a healthier life than most people I know. But she is getting her teeth cleaned on Friday, so she's just going to have a bad week. Poor Bubbie. (It's better than a peg-leg, Argh.)

2. I've been kind of blue lately. I think the upcoming AFSP walk is bringing everything that punched me in the heart about Moe's death to the front of my mind, and it's pretty draining, as well as making me touchy and weepy. (Cap'n needs a hug, Argh.)

3. Recently I've started yoga practice using an iPad app. Apparently I am currently the most inflexible person on the face of the earth. (Argh-ouch.)

4. We went to Santa Fe over Labor Day with Sister Stacey and Brother J.R. and it was FABULOUS. I love that city, and my "turn left at the adobe house" joke never stops being funny. (Argh.)

5. The end of fiscal year is fast approaching, which means I'll be getting my FY2018 work assignments in the next month or so. I'll probably pick up some more accounts, which is fine with me. If I don't stay busy, I live inside my head too much, and that place smells of psychological pharmaceuticals and orange soda. (Argh.)

6. I've been putting my costume together for the annual Douglas County Library Foundation Gala. The theme is Alice in Wonderland, and I shall be going as the Red Queen, because of course I am. Nothing too over the top - just a tiara, scepter, appropriate jewelry, a red dress and these. (Argh.)


Hubba, hubba

7. You want to know why I'm out of political spoons? This is why. I honestly do not understand how Republicans - Republicans I know and respect - can support the things and the people they support. I just don't get it. And every time I try to get it, I get more confused, because the argument for cruelty and against decency also makes no sense to me. This work makes me very, very tired, and I'm no closer to understanding now than I was when I wrote this or this. So I keep calling, writing, faxing, and e:mailing my Congressional Representative and my Senators, hoping my small voice will join with others to save us from ourselves. (Walk the Plank, Matey! No, really - walk the mother-fucking plank, you shameful piece of shit.)

8. Summer is winding down, and that means the growing season is almost over. I still have dozens of tomatoes and about eight zucchini out there, waiting to ripen, but it won't be long until the plants will be ready to be pulled up and mulch applied for next year. (Eat yer tomatoes or gets the scurvy, matey!)

An Open Letter to Senator Cory Gardner, 09/18/2017

Monday, September 18, 2017

I am writing to you today to ask you to vote "no" on the latest ACA repeal. I'm not really interested in having 1.3 million of my fellow Coloradans lose their Medicare coverage because the GOP needs a win to convince their constituents they're capable of governing. 

If you want to govern, then pass some domestic legislation that improves the lives of your Constituents by working WITH the Democrats to reach a compromise. 

Right now I consider your primary job as keeping an unfit, unpredictable, unqualified man child from destroying our Democracy. Snatching medical coverage away from 32 million people makes you an immoral failure, not a leader of men. 

If you want my vote, then work on bipartisan legislation that benefits us all, and lead your party away from extremism.

Suicide Prevention Week

Monday, September 11, 2017

The number for the suicide prevention hotline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255). There are people who care about you. You matter in this world. You won't always feel this way, and there is help available to lead you out of the darkness.

This week is National Suicide Prevention Week here in the United States. As most of you know, this is a cause that is extremely personal for me. When we lost our daughter Moe to mental illness and suicide, it changed our world entirely, leaving deep wounds that will probably never heal.



So as we continue to live with our grief, we work to help fund programs that support people who are considering suicide and suicide survivors. The organization we've chosen is the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

On September 23rd, the Maureen's Marchers team will hit the bricks in their annual "Out of the Darkness Walk," raising money for AFSP programing and grants, in honor of our baby girl, and the light that the world lost in her passing.

If you feel so inclined, the fund raiser may be accessed via the badge below, or the banner on the right sidebar. No family should have to go through what we did, and no parent should have to bury their child for a treatable disease. Thanks for any support you can offer.


The Seventh Annual Maureen "AJ" Ramey Memorial Summer Reading Program Winners

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Seventh Annual Maureen "AJ" Ramey Memorial Summer Reading Program, brought to you by Hot Chicks Dig Smart Men!

This year we had 300 entries into the contest, so the Douglas County Libraries Foundation will receive a $500.00 donation from me and the Smart Man to continue to secure the naming rights on the garden at the Parker Library.


On to the WINNERS!

I used a Random Number Generator to determine the winning numbers:

223: Kathy Hewett, who read The Viscount and the Witch, by Michael J. Sullivan

and

277: The Mechanicky Gal, who read Curtsies and Conspiracies, by Gail Carriger

Please contact me with the e:mail address you want me to use for your Amazon Gift Card.

Congratulations to the winners, and we'll see you again next year!