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Christian Counseling - Two American's Way of Expressing Appreciation

I am deeply patriotic. I was raised to love my country and serve her, as I did in Vietnam. I appreciate the great abundance we Americans have through the gifts of God and the hard work of people. I am always moved by the wisdom of our founding fathers in creating our unique Constitution, written in opposition to governments run by one person or one party. The document and its promised freedoms are a shining model admired and emulated by many in the world, and which has drawn hundreds of millions to live in America. All of these things have a hold on me that is nearly as profound as my attachment to scripture. I am driven to express my thanksgiving through prayers to God and actions protecting our way of life.

I recently wrote an article for our Center's newsletter, the Navigator (for those who signed up online), entitled, "I'd Appreciate It." It culturally and biblically defines what appreciation means and suggests that it inevitably leads to an expression through various individually determined actions, much like works as an outgrowth of faith.

However, I had fallen victim to believing one person can't make a difference and, therefore, taking action was futile. That defeatist attitude was something I had to change. I realized change always begins with one person's conviction and action.

In that spirit, my wife and I recently expressed our appreciation for God's blessings, our country, freedom and the democratic way of life by taking protective action in challenging the position of the American Association of Retired People. Here is our letter:

A Barry Rand, CEO


601 E. St. N.W.

Washington, D 20049

Dear Mr. Rand:

My wife and I are members of AARP; that is, for the moment. We are both flabbergasted at your support of the health care reform bill (H.R. 3962), now in the hands of the Senate, and strongly urge you to revoke your support.

We who work in the health care industry, are well aware that reforms are desperately needed. However, this bill is wrong. Here are some key reasons:

1. Rising taxes. You don't need to be a CPA to figure out that adding 30 million people to the health care system will substantially increase the tax burden of Americans (health care representing about 16% of GDP). There is no way it can reduce the deficit as promised. That deficit will substantially increase, which will require additional taxes to pay down the debt. The only exception to that is if the government continues its practice of using a second or third set of books to hide the true cost--a criminal offense to us citizens, should we do likewise.

2. Rising health care costs. The history of government -run anything tells us it costs between 300 and 900% more than Congressional projections. Germany is a good example of what can happen to us, if we pass this bill. This country now wants private sector, health care competition to take over the near bankrupt government health care system. AARP members are likely not willing to gamble with their health care benefits and cannot afford its true, monstrous cost.

3. Decreased accessibility. You don't have to be a Canadian to figure out that adding 30 million people to the health care system without adding doctors will put a serious strain on availability of services. You don't need to be a 45-year old woman (can't get a covered mammogram until 50 years of age) to feel the fear of a government-run health insurance that will change many insured's eligibility for preventative medicine and treatment. AARP's members, seniors, will either do without or pay out-of-pocket for health care when 570 billion dollars is cut from Medicare, which the current bill proposes. Who do you represent, your members or the government?

4. Anti-Constitutional legislation. Our founding fathers established the Constitution to keep the power in the hands of the States, run by you and me, and prevent the imbalance of power, which happens when the government takes over free market enterprise and establishes its own rules, especially in the oppositional face of the majority of Americans. (And to think the House of Representatives, which passed this bill, is supposed to represent, "We, the people.") The Congress has no legal justification for even offering a government-run health insurance option. Do you care about the Constitution, or is it outdated, irrelevant and to be ignored as many progressives believe? Do you care that these actions can lead to a slippery slope of transforming our democracy into socialism or communism?

A recent report from the Obama Administration's Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services affirms the reality of the bill's consequences--rising health care costs and taxes and decreased accessibility, especially for seniors who are covered by Medicare.

I wonder Mr. Rand, did you read all 2200 plus pages of the bill before you published your website article "Health Care Reform: Get the Facts," which contains more fiction than facts? "No, you did not." AARP's article was written in September of this, while the second increase from the bill's 1500 pages to its current unreadable size of more than 220 pages happened mid-November. The article's spin and points of fiction leave thinking members like me quite skeptical about AARP's agenda.

Many of your members are an educated population capable of discerning truth from error and reasonably assessing an organization's political agenda. I have to ask, what is AARP's agenda, leading to supporting this bill? Could it be a quid pro quo for the 18 million dollars you received from the government for job creation (failure: AARP created zero jobs)? How about the financial gain from AARP's explosion of supplemental health insurance sales to its members, as the result of the projected widening gap between decreased Medicare coverage and what is necessary for its members, due to the passage of this bill?

My wife and I have to come to distrust AARP's promise to be our advocates in Washington. It seems more likely you are advocating for yourselves, and perhaps a minority of your members.

If AARP doesn't publicly recant its position on H.R. 3962 before the end of 2009, you can decrease your membership role from 35 million to 34,999,998. My wife and I will permanently terminate our membership and serve as spokespeople against AARP to those with whom we have influence. We hope other members of AARP will consider what is personally at stake for them, posterity, and the future of our country, as well as their support of AARP.

Good night, and good luck...

There are many ways to express appreciation, how will you?

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