Back on June 20, I wrote to my 6th District Congressman Peter Roskam, a relentless critic of Obamacare, and requested he take the Obamacare Challenge:
"Dear Congressman Roskam: How about foregoing your Rolls Royce health insurance plan that we taxpayers pay for and go without any health insurance for you and your family for the next three months? You foes of Obamacare love to point out that the tens of millions of medically uninsured can easily get good health care from the Emergency Room. OK, for the next three months you and your loved ones can only get health care from your local Emergency Room. Based on your philosophy, that should work out just fine. Prescription drugs? Going without health insurance for drug coverage means you will have to pay full price. In your case, that means dipping into your near 1% wealth. For the actual uninsured, it means dipping into rent money".
Not receiving a reply, I called his Washington office twice now seeking a response. Both times the staff members refused to even acknowledge my request much less discuss its merits. They did, however, read from their taking point memo that the Congressman is working diligently to get adequate heath care for everyone once Obamacare is overturned.
Apparently, Congressman Roskam continues to deny the reality that as the benefits of Obamacare begin to trickle down to the currently insured - children allowed to stay on their parents' health insurance till age 26; no co-pays for womens' essential reproductive health, including birth control; refund checks to folks whose insurance companies' administrative costs exceed 20% of revenue - the tide of pubic opinion has issued its own stamp of approval.
Least you think the Obamacare Challenge is a joke, we should recognize that one former colleague of Roskam took the Obamacare Challenge. Steve Kagen, who represented Wisconsin's 8th District from 2007 to 2011, turned down the Congressional Health Benefits Program saying, "I'll tell you what. I respectfully decline. Until you can make the same offer to everyone that I have the honor of representing, I just don't think it's fair." No person had to prompt Congressman Kagen to do that, but his conscience sure did.
Meanwhile, as Congressman Roskam continues to posture on behalf of his benefactors in the health insurance industry and the 1% who oppose virtually every governmental effort to help the needy, desperate folks among the tens of millions without adequate medical resources continue to go bankrupt, suffer declining health and even die. I can get along very well without my Congressman either taking or responding to my Obamacare Challenge. But the people who continue to suffer in the face of such heartless insensitivity cannot.