Thursday, November 5, 2009

My conversation with Joe Lieberman's office.

The other night, while watching the election coverage, (Rachel Maddow), a particular statement nearly knocked me off my couch. The anchors were going back and forth on whether Sen. Joe Lieberman would vote for the public option. Rumors were swirling that he was, but then, a statement was issued from Lieberman's PR guy, stating, "If you believe this story (Lieberman joining Reid on a vote for public option) is true, you will also believe that I am replacing A Rod in game six of the series."

I have a sense of humor, but this type of crass statement wasn't funny to me. From where I sit, Anthem is withholding Luna's first synergis shot (a necessary shot for her to ward off the threat of RSV, which since she will be undergoing the Fontan operation in 2010, would be most inconvenient and dangerous if she acquired the respiratory disease).

I'm also worried about what the New Year will bring in terms of our health insurance we obtain through the Architect's place of work. For '09 we had a 5K deductible, which we maxed out in the first 6 weeks of the year, and pay a monthly premium of $700. It's a total of $13,400. Another 5K annual increase will put our out of pocket expense for health care near 20K. Needless to say, I'm worried. And among other things, the bill that is being debated would prevent families like mine from being discriminated at renewal time. Insurance companies, under the proposed bill, could not raise our rates based upon our past history.

I decided I would organize my thoughts and place a phone call straight to Senator Lieberman's office.

This is how the phone conversation went:

(202) 224-4041 is the direct number to his office and after several rings Lieberman's voice comes on. He cheerily prompts you to press 1 to leave a message or 2 to speak with a staffer. I pressed 2.

A woman staffer answered and I introduced myself and my reason for calling. I then asked if she had a moment so I could share my thoughts on the health care bill. She said yes.

I continued my pitch saying we have a medically-needy kid with a series of heart defects, and while she, due to modern medicine, does wonderfully; the insurance issues we deal with on a regular basis are draining and exhausting.


I pressed on saying I'm heart-broken over what seems to be Senator Lieberman's game of chicken on the issue, while many of us, our lives and livelihoods, are hinged on his vote.


I pressed on: His PR guy is releasing jokes about it, and here we sit, hanging on to this hope that something will be passed that protects kids like our daughter.

Still silence. "Are you still there?", I ask. "yes", the crisp voice answers.

I press on: In 2010 our daughter Luna will endure the Fontan prodecude, which is an operation that will correct her circulatory system, which because of her malformed heart, is very complicated. The operation, hospital stay, and all else will most likely cost close to 200K-if not more, and I'm terrified of what Anthem will and will not pay for.

Still silence.

I pressed on: I have applied for Federal help, but the irony is because Luna is deemed healthy-due to the vigilant care she receives-she is at the bottom of the list.

Finally, I ask, what is Joe Lieberman's stance on the public option?

The crisp voice on the other end finally shows some signs of life with a long exhale.
"Well, I can tell you he is not voting for it".

With the blood rising into my face, I press on: "if he's not for the public option, then what is he for?

"I don't know".

Silence on my end.

"I can't say".

I'll admit at this point I was upset...furious at it all, can't say, I don't know? I work in media and represent various clients, and I can tell you, if you represent someone you know exactly what they stand for.

I'm shocked at myself, but I went on to say: It's obvious it is that Lieberman is a Trojan horse for the Republican Party and why does he vote with the Democrats anyway?

At that point she briskly ushered me to a close, and said, "I'll pass along your information".

1 comment:

Intl Maman said...

He caucauses with the democrats because he would lose his committee chairmanship if he officially changed sides.

At the moment he makes me so mad I am surprised there aren't more typos in this comment from my fingers shaking.