My wife’s individual health plan in California had a $ 2,500 deductible and a $295 monthly payment. When the so called Affordable Care Act went into effect, her policy was cancelled, which Obama said would not happen. Her deductible doubled to $ 5,000 and her monthly payment shot up to $ 514.00. And this was for the cheapest plan available! So, she now paid $ 6,168.00 for insurance that did not start to pay any costs until she had paid $ 5,000 out of her pocket. In addition, her insurance card stated that she would need to pay 30% co- insurance. However, when she looked at her policy, it stated that the company only paid 60% of co- insurance! Consequently she really was responsible for the first $5,000 of costs at 100% out of her pocket and then 40% of all remaining costs, plus $ 6,168.00 per year for this rotten policy.

And if she cannot afford to pay for this terrible plan next year, she will be facing a penalty that requires her to pay 2.5% of her income if she becomes uninsured! That’s right the penalty goes up each year, further crushing the incomes of struggling Middle Class workers.

Do you remember Obama talking about a public option way before the passage of the ACA? Unfortunately, Obama suddenly became silent about a public option, and he was not the only Democrat that abandoned it. Democratic Senator Max Baucus held a Public Hearing about a national health program, and a group of doctors and nurses attended this hearing. When they asked to speak about a public option, Senator Baucus had them arrested and sent to jail! That occurred at a PUBLIC HEARING IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!

That is why this 85 year old lifetime Democrat changed his registration to Independent. And I was a real Democrat. I twice won the Democratic nomination to the US Congress (1984 and 1988). I was a delegate for Obama in the Democratic county and state conventions in Colorado in 2008.

A recent large poll found that 47% of Americans are struggling to pay their monthly bills. There are several reasons why this is happening. The health industry is choking our economy. The corporations are outsourcing our jobs, trying to crush all unions, and refusing to pay livable wages to millions of workers. Rich individuals and rich corporations have bribed our so called representatives into allowing them to hide trillions of dollars in foreign tax havens, so they may escape their share of taxes. And, finally, our government has been wasting billions of our tax dollars fighting wars all over the world.

All of the above can be changed if Americans learn what is happening to our country. For decades the Democratic party protected the workers and the planet. Those days are over. Democrats have joined the Republicans in allowing rich donors to dominate their behavior. Democrats still talk good, but their actions are totally dominated by catering to every wish of their donors.

In 1998, former US Congressman Cecil Heftel wrote a book entitled, “End Legalized Bribery.” He hit the nail on the head. Political contributions are legalized bribes. Our politicians legalized this bribery so they could hold their jobs for decades, and it has worked perfectly for them. But, not for us. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines bribery as “money or favor given or promised in order to influence the judgment or conduct of a person in a position of trust.” The hundreds of millions of dollars given to our so called representatives has totally corrupted our government.

We have lost our representation! We have no political party to vote for our needs. Many recent polls are finding that the public is hungering for a third party to vote for. In many states the registrations of Independents is larger than either party!

It is time citizens band together and build a political party that represents the 99%. It must be done state by state, because each state has different election rules and regulations. In the 1980s  Canadians voted out both of their major parties. Today, citizens all over the world are voting out corrupt governments.

Americans must be educated about what is happening to our Democracy.

I have written 3 books about US politics. My last book is priced at only $5. so everyone can afford it. My web site has much valuable information on why and how we can succeed in regaining control of OUR government.   This Op-Ed column is free to any publication. If you do publish it, please email me a link to your website and/or the name of your publication.

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