Saturday, August 1, 2009

Response to Congressman What's His Face

Dear Sir,

i appreciate you following up with the form letter. i'm just curious how you would address the specifics regarding the disparities in treatment. i worry that by metering the costs of healthcare so that people pay the same rates that the QUALITY of health care would suffer more so across the board. Right now the current healthcare distribution system operates upon a separate but equal basis between those who can pay for benefits and the uninsured. I believe that by giving businesses incentives for a) providing affordable health insurance and b) rewarding those of lower incomes who work so many hours a week with health insurance or special medicaid benefits, Congress could show America, while they hack out the details of a more suitable healthcare plan, that they are making a more active effort to consider the best interest of American citizens and the principles of democracy with the least amount of opposition from those who criticize that many of the proposed healthcare reforms would only lead to socialism. Part of the reason that socialism and communism didn't work (like many social programs) is because they were poorly implemented. i won't choose to speculate as to whether they were designed to fail, but the ideas behind the rationalizations for them are certainly obsolete now. We need to create more sustainable solutions, that minimize the risk of exploitation and corruption from those in positions of fiscal power who could abuse them, but will also encourage those who are marginalized to want to take more personal ownership and fight for their well being. But it's going to take leaders to inspire others to believe that they can get there, and that begins first by creating a program that is both functional as well as accessible. Back to that whole teach a man how to fish thing. May I ask that whatever solution that you push for that you begin to strive for more sustainable solutions to fix these problems?

-phiG

“Just because we increase the speed of information doesn't mean we can increase the speed of decisions. Pondering, reflecting and ruminating are undervalued skills in our culture.”

-- Dale Dauten

Here is what the letter was in response to. I couldn't find the original query.

--- On Fri, 7/31/09, Congressman John What's his face wrote:


From: Congressman John What's his face
Subject: Re: IMA MAIL ON HEALTH
To: my email
Date: Friday, July 31, 2009, 1:49 PM



Dear Miss phiG:





Thank you for taking the time to share your views on healthcare reform. Knowing how you feel means a great deal to me, and it does help shape my perspective on this issue.



I believe healthcare is a right, and not a privilege. Every American should have access to basic healthcare. Fixing our healthcare system to make it accessible and affordable is in the best interest of individuals, families, and the nation as a whole. The current system represents one of the biggest financial drains that American families face.



In 2008, Americans spend about $2.4 trillion on health care, four times the amount spent on national defense. In fact, national surveys show that the primary reason 46 million people are uninsured is because they cannot afford it. Families can't wait any longer for health reform. The high cost of treatment is causing people to skip preventative care screenings and postpone therapy they need. A quarter of housing foreclosures are due to medical debt, and most people who go bankrupt have an average of $12,000 in medical debt.



Businesses, even big businesses, cannot wait for healthcare reform. Healthcare expenses are the fastest growing component of their costs, in danger of completely eclipsing their profits in the near future. Healthcare premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance is rising four times faster than workers earnings. One reason those premiums are on the rise is because hospitals have to pass on the costs of care to indigent and uninsured patients to those who can pay. Health care reform is a powerful component of economic recovery for American families and businesses. Doing nothing is no longer an option.



As a Member of the Ways and Means Committee, I am actively working with President Obama and my fellow Congressional colleagues on legislation that will contain costs, preserve patient choice of doctors and health plans, improve quality and provide coverage to all Americans. We must create a system that rewards preventative care, that protects Americans from catastrophic health bills, and that eliminates gender, racial and ethnic health disparities. Studies show that we will not be able to reign in health care costs unless we have a public health insurance option that puts people first. The public health insurance option will build competition into the process and will provide incentives for insurance companies to lower patient costs and reward healthy outcomes for patients.



This year we have an historic opportunity to make health care more affordable and accessible for all Americans. I look forward to working with you to achieve this goal, and I value your input as we move through this process. Please continue to share your views with me on this important issue. I assure you that I will keep your thoughts in mind as the Congress drafts healthcare reform legislation. Also, please visit my web site at http://www.house.gov/johnlewis for more information on my legislative work that may also interest you.





Sincerely,

John What's his face
Member of Congress

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