27 October 2009

If you have Blue Cross, but prefer a "public option"

Blue Cross has apparently been sending out postage-prepaid postcards to its members. The postcards are addressed to senators, and the preprinted text asks the senator to oppose the public option.

One enterprising young man figured out that he could just make a few adjustments and mail the card at Blue Cross' expense.


  1. Big frickin' la-dee-da!

  2. Don't do this - a Senator's office will read one of these pre-printed mailers, then they'll count up the rest without opening them and put them all in the "no" pile. You're far better off writing your own letter.

  3. If you go to the link, you'll see these are postcards that do not require being opened, and the writing is put on both the front and the back.

    Personally, I doubt that Senators and congressmen count the correspondence they receive - other than that from corporations.

  4. I worked at an unnamed congressman's office in D.C. This particular congressman never read or heard the count of letters. It was my job to figure out the gist of the letter, punch in a code, and print out a form return correspondence. Phone calls were even worse. I was told not to discuss any issues with the caller and to just say "Thanks for your call, I'll be sure to pass that along to the Congressman _________." He was a long-time congressman. It was pretty disillusioning.
    That being said, I think (maybe hope) he was the exception. It was my impression that most will take some notice if they receive a large amount of correspondence for or against something. As for this issue, I think the insurance companies are getting the most say. Hopefully, our representatives will realize that this is not the time to pander to their big donors and special interests because I will not vote for anyone who is against the public option.

  5. Like Legal Eagle, I've work for one of the congressional offices, and I'll say that we absolutely did count the postcards like this we get from constituents. However, we assumed the preprinted ones all say the same thing, so all I'm saying is that if you want your voice to be heard, it's far better to write an actual letter. At least that way it'll go in the right column (for, against).

    Legal Eagle, I think your boss was an exception. Our office worked on personlized responses for every letter/email/other inquiry. As you said, volume counts, but I think (and hope) you're overestimating the amount of attention paid to the desires of the insurance companies.

  6. Anonymous, I'm glad my boss was the exception and that he's no longer in office (after about 30 years).

    I hope you're right about the insurance companies. However, judging from the resistance that the public option is getting in congress right now, I'm skeptical. At its lowest point, the public option has polled at over 60% approval (cite: NPR) and has been at over 70% (Id.) yet congress balks at implementation. I question their responsiveness to the will of the people when things like this occur. Again, I hope I am proven wrong and signs currently lean towards to that being a possibility so lets keep hope alive. (cite: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-healthcare-reid27-2009oct27,0,7425185.story).


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