Politics and Why I Don’t Want To Play

I received the email below and because of it, I am stepping away from the Lance Armstrong Foundation. I am not doing this lightly and I am not doing it out “political spite”. There are two very troubling messages in this email that have driven me to this decision.

First, “the reality is that we are in serious danger of losing a once-in-a-generation chance to achieve real health care reform” is not a true statement, unless you define “real health care reform” as “single-payer health care”. There are many ways to reform health care without moving to single-payer. Just because I don’t think the Government is capable of fixing the problems in health care does not mean that I am making the issue political.

Second,

Just the other day I heard a story about a man named Ruben, who has been fighting cancer off and on for 11 years. This year, he lost his job. His cancer, which had been stable, became active again and he has had to go back on treatment. His doctor prescribed two new chemotherapy drugs to combat the cancer. But last week, Ruben had to tell his pharmacist, “No, don’t fill that prescription. I can’t afford it.”

was a troubling story for me. However, my expectation would be that the end of the story would be “thanks to the generous contributions of individuals and corporations, LAF was able to help Ruben.” This is why I give to charities, because the charities are far more effective at helping people than the Government could ever be.

I am sure that many people will write me off as a right wing nut and while it is true my political views are on the opposite side of the aisle from where the “Health Care Reform Bill” is being pushed. It is not true that my motivation for being opposed is to simply defeat the President and his party. I believe if the health care reform bill is passed, it will result in a much shorter life expectancy for Cancer patients. When government bureaucrats are applying cost/benefit analysis to treatments, how may Cancer patients will be asked to “just take the pain pills.”? Not to mention the overly burdensome taxes that will end up leaving me with less money available to donate to worthy charities.

Dear Steve,

Last night, President Obama stood before the nation and delivered his State of the Union address. We were delighted to see him deliver a clear message to Congress saying, “I will not walk away from these Americans and neither should the people in this chamber…Let’s get it done.”

Despite those strong words, the reality is that we are in serious danger of losing a once-in-a-generation chance to achieve real health care reform. The situation couldn’t be more urgent, and we need your help to send a strong message to Congress: Do not give up on health care reform. Will you join us and send your elected officials a clear message to keep up the fight?

http://www.livestrong.org/takeaction2010

You could not write fiction more dramatic than what we have seen over the last week. On January 18, one state elected a Senator and we are being told that may reset the entire healthcare reform effort. We must be clear in saying to our elected officials: You must not give up. We are counting on you.

Just the other day I heard a story about a man named Ruben, who has been fighting cancer off and on for 11 years. This year, he lost his job. His cancer, which had been stable, became active again and he has had to go back on treatment. His doctor prescribed two new chemotherapy drugs to combat the cancer. But last week, Ruben had to tell his pharmacist, “No, don’t fill that prescription. I can’t afford it.”

Unfortunately, Ruben is not alone. We all hear these stories far too often or have our own version to share. That is why it is more important than ever that we send a strong message to Washington: Forget politics and remember Ruben.

http://www.livestrong.org/takeaction2010

It only takes a moment to share this message with your elected officials, to tell them, as the President said last night: “Don’t walk away. Not now. Finish the job for the American people.”

As someone who has been touched by cancer, you know firsthand how critical it is to have dependable, quality health care. It can be the difference between life and death. Let’s not let this once-in-a-generation opportunity pass us by.

http://www.livestrong.org/takeaction2010

LIVESTRONG,

Doug Ulman and the LIVESTRONG Action Team

P.S. Please forward this message on to your friends and family