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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / An Open Letter 2008 /   Editorial List

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An Open Letter 2008

Dear President-Elect Obama,

Congratulations on winning the election to the highest office in the land. As you well know, our already-divided nation was tested to its limits during this seemingly endless campaign season, and I sincerely hope that you are dedicated to taking immediate and honest steps to bring us together under your leadership.

Mr. President-Elect, if I may be so bold as to make suggestions, I vehemently urge you to pay attention to the needs of a huge and under-appreciated voting bloc that is 54 million strong - the family caregivers. The true burden of the American healthcare system has been unfairly placed squarely upon the shoulders of these heroes on a daily basis. If all family caregivers went on strike today, we would have to find almost 200 billion dollars each and every year to replace the work they do for their loved ones for no salary and with little support.

From eldercare to long-term rehabilitation to special needs caregiving, all the candidates in this election (you, Vice-President-Elect Biden, Senator McCain and Governor Palin) have a personal relationship with caregiving and the healthcare system greater than at any time in recent history, and all of you have been open and honest about sharing your stories with us. This is truly a great thing for all caregivers.

Please understand that we as a nation stand behind you in these troubled times, but we also need you to stand behind us and our loved ones. We are interested in how you and Congress will decide issues such as Medicare, drug re-importation, medical research, and tax relief for caregivers, and we will be sharing our feelings and findings with our fellow caregivers.

We invite you to look to your family caregiver constituents for advice, support and wisdom, as we are all in this together.

Gary Barg

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