A printed letter from President Obama is on sale at Goodwill, providing insight into the battle to pass the president’s major health care reform in 2009.
The printed Obama letter is being sold by Goodwill at the non-profit organization’s auction site, ShopGoodwill.com. Bidding started at $6 but quickly shot above $5,000 and counting. The letter was written to someone named Lynne and defended why the president’s health care reform wasn’t a “giveaway to insurance companies,” The Atlantic Wire reported.
The undated Obama letter goes into why Sen. Joe Lieberman was able to wrestle so much control over the process to pass the health care reform now referred to as Obamacare. The Atlantic Wire suspects that this means the letter came from sometime around December 2009 when Lieberman was threatening to vote against the act that allowed people between the ages of 55 and 65 to purchase Medicare.
Obama’s letter explained that Lieberman was able to take advantage of the Senate’s filibuster rule to threaten to shut down the health care reform proceedings if he didn’t get his way.
“This is a Senate rule that has been greatly abused by the Republicans this session, but it is not one that a President can change,” Obama wrote.
The Obama letter at Goodwill has special importance going into the home stretch of the 2012 presidential campaign. Obamacare looks to be one of the hot topics, with Republicans vowing to overturn the legislation if elected. Publications like the Boston Globe have devoted space comparing Obama’s health care plans to those of Romney.
Obama’s letter at Goodwill may be interesting, but it is not one of a kind. The Washington Post‘s Eli Saslow reported in 2010 that Obama reads about 10 of the 20,000 letters he receives each day and sometimes takes the time to pen a handwritten response.
Though Obama said most of the letters just “call me an idiot,” some look for more insight into political issues or encourage him to push for his programs. That includes Obama’s letter to Lynne on sale at Goodwill.
“I understand your frustrations — I share them — when it comes to the process,” he wrote, “but this bill will be worth the fight!”
Here is the full text of Obama’s letter to Lynne:
I received your note and wanted to respond. The reason that Joe Lieberman and other individual senators have so much leverage is because of the filibuster rule in the Senate, which requires 60 votes to move forward with a bill. This is a Senate rule that has been greatly abused by the Republicans this session, but it is not one that a President can change. So I can disagree with any single Senator’s position and use the bully pulpit all I want — but if they won’t vote for a bull with certain provisions, that is their perogative… and how our democracy works.
As for the bill itself, it is absolutely not true that this is a giveaway to the insurance companies. In fact, in addiction to providing 30 million people coverage, it has the toughest insurance reforms in history, which is why the insurance companies are still spending millions of dollars opposing it. I understand your frustrations — I share them — when it comes to the process, but this bill will be worth the fight! Barack Obama
Anyone looking to buy the Obama letter at Goodwill should be warned, it’s not in perfect condition. Goodwill officials noted that there are some smudges and frayed corners.