June 12th, 2009


An Open Letter to the Honorable John Campbell, House of Representatives, 48th District, California

As a physician in this district, practicing since 1967, offering free care at Clinica La Amistad (St. Joseph Hospital) and SOS Clinic (Costa Mesa, Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian), I know what a lack of health insurance means. I see it every day when I dialyze patients with diabetes, kidney failure, blindness, that could have been prevented, and wasn't, with a major factor being the unavailability of medical care to large segments of our population because they can't afford to buy medical insurance and are not covered by their employers. Sure, when they become disabled, they can apply for Medicare, linked to disability, or when the battle is over,and they go onto dialysis, they get their Medicare! So it has been since 1973, and currently more than 300,000 patients are alive, and on dialysis, and many others are alive and have had kidney transplants.... but how much better and how much cheaper to prevent end stage disease by early treatment.

This is the 21st century, and the United States is not a Third World Country... except when it comes to providing health care for the poorer and less fortunate members of society. They are not the ones who go to fund raisers, and they don't employ lobbyists. But they are there, and I see them every day.

Health care is being rationed today! It is not there for many until it is too late.
Please listen to the experiences of those members of the health care profession who think they are more than purveyors of a service, but guardians of the standards of a profession that has been honored in the past for its service to society.

I ask you, as my representative, to think beyond the label of your political party and do something for your community. The President's plan is not my plan! But it is a step forward, toward what is needed, universal, affordable health care. The alternative is to ignore the need beyond the borders of the affluent community that elects you, deny that the problem exists, and leave it to others to put the spine in the pronouncements of concern for the nation's health.

(Submitted by e-mail, to coincide with the push for health care reform.