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[Susan notes: Wonderful letter!]

Submitted to but not published

Dear President Obama

Even though I'm one who believes that the U.S. should join the rest of the industrialized world and have a genuine single-payer option, I was cheered by your message on health care last night.

You are such a brilliant man that I would have thought you could see the connection between the desire to lower health care costs and one of your other policy decisions. That is, I would have thought that you would understand that by continuing and even worsening George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind, you are making it increasingly impossible for children to have outdoor play, the physical exercise that is so essential for combating obesity in children. My youngest daughter, now in fourth grade at a public elementary school, has not had recess since...well, she never has. Of course, even if obesity in children were not the problem that it is, I would hope you would understand that play is even more essential to children being able to learn and grow.

The U.S. spends over 260 billion dollars on the struggle against obesity and diabetes. Surely, you can see that if we let teachers teach and let children be children, rather than both being servants to completely feckless and dangerous testing regimens (I beg you to read the independent research), then we will have taken a giant leap toward paying for your health care plan and toward fulfilling the promise of public education.


Cindy Lutenbacher is a professor at Morehouse College in Atlanta.

Cindy Lutenbacher

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