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A Noble Piece Prize for President Obama

Dear Mr. President,

Congratulations on receiving this year's Nobel Peace Prize. I believe you may be the second [correction: third] African American man to be so lauded and the third sitting U.S. President. You are to be commended for capturing the attention of the world and inspiring hope for a nuclear-free and peaceful world.

As you noted in your remarks to the press on Friday, "the Nobel Peace Prize has not just been used to honor specific achievement; it's also been used as a means to give momentum to a set of causes." Well, I'd like to give momentum to a cause dear to my heart, health care reform. Real health care reform. To that end, I've decided to award you Black Woman Blogging's first Noble Piece Prize. Unfortunately, the prize does not come with $1.4 million dollars. All that it entitles you to is a piece of my mind in furtherance of a noble cause.

Mr. President, I fervently believe that a public option in health care reform is the only real reform possible. I realize that the recent versions of health care reform legislation have left out this option as a "non-starter." I believe that the only entity powerful enough to negotiate effectively with Big Pharma on the price of prescription drugs (that my taxpayer dollars help create through research and development tax credits) and compete effectively against health insurance companies is the public option, not fifty or so state co-ops.

Mr. President, we already have rationed health care as feared by opponents of the public option. It's call denial of claims by health insurance companies. And we already effectively have a "public option" -- the emergency rooms of hospitals around the nation where the uninsured sick cannot be denied care and for which the public picks up the tab either through higher health insurance rates or higher taxes for programs like Medi-Cal.

You acknowledge that the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to you for leadership in service of the aspirations of people around the world. Well, Mr. President, leadership is doing that which is difficult, unpopular, and necessary, whether it's pardoning President Nixon or pushing the 1964 Civil Rights Act through Congress without committee hearings. The public option is, in my opinion, difficult, unpopular, and extremely necessary.

To that end, I hope you take this piece of my mind and put it to a noble use. If you have the Democratic Party votes to get a public option passed, I think you should do it, even if it means holding Blue Dog Democrats' feet to the fire (quite frankly, I think Blue Dog Democrats are the political world's equivalent of pre-op tranny prostitutes -- they walk the walk, talk the talk, but they don't deliver what they're selling) and making the Republicans bend over and hold their ankles. You've tried bipartisanship and it isn't working. The Republicans and their talk-radio lackeys would like nothing more than to see you fail for reasons unrelated to the merits of your cause and, in some cases, for reasons related to a new-age racism that's gone "sheetless." Again, leadership, true leadership, is doing that which is difficult, unpopular, and necessary. Getting Democrats to unite on anything of substance is difficult; you will always be unpopular with the Republicans; but the public option is, in my humble opinion, very necessary.

Again, my congratulations on your becoming a Nobel Laureate and a Noble Laureate. And give my regards and birthday wishes to Bo.

Very truly yours,

Black Woman Blogging

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