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Open Letter to California Governor Jerry Brown on Healthcare

Mark A. Hirshfeld, LCSW, 6/27/17

Mark A. Hirshfeld, LCSW
Ventura County Activists for Bernie Sanders

Dear Governor Brown,

I have campaigned for you in every election.  I did so because I believed that you would work on behalf of the people of California. Californians need your help now.  My wife has a  terminal illness. She requires frequent doctor visits and expensive medication in order to stay out of the hospital.  As she is not yet 65, she stands to lose all health coverage, if our Republican Congress wins their war against the nation's health.  So the political is now personal. 

I, too have been diagnosed with a precursor for a very bad cancer.  My elderly mother is likely to be soon placed in a nursing facility.  So many other Californians are in similar, or even worse positions.  Our lives hang in the balance, and Congress does not care.

Governor Brown, we need your help to bring SB562 Healthy California to the Assembly floor.  The bill may not yet be perfect, but it cannot be improved if it remains shelved as you asked Speaker Rendon to do.  This bill, according to the already completed financial study, will save the state billions of dollars.  The economic impact, though, does not stop there.  Without access to healthcare, more people will be forced to rely on emergency rooms for treatment. 

Businesses who currently contribute to their employees' insurance, will no longer be able to afford to do so.  They will suffer from decreased productivity because of declining employee health.  This will result in lay-offs, decreased purchasing power, and reduced revenue to the state.  Hospitals, clinics, psychiatric facilities, and adjunct health providers will be faced with laying off staff, or closing their doors, if people cannot afford their services.  In short, it could potentially tank the entire economy of the state. 

This is a matter of deciding whether you care more about the very short-term interests of insurance and pharmaceutical corporations, or the lives of the people of California, and the overall health of the state. 

We need your help.  This is not hyperbole.  There is, make no mistake, a war on.  The people of California (by extension, the rest of the nation who are looking to us to lead the way) need you to stand up for our very lives.  Which side you take now will, ultimately, be your legacy as governor.

Please side with the people, not the corporations.


Mark A. Hirshfeld, LCSW

CC:  Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon
Assembly Member Monique Limon
California Nurses Association
Healthy California
National Nurses United
Huffington Post     
Los Angeles Times
Ventura County Star
Multiple Social Media


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