Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Congressman Campbell, When Are You Going To Opt Out Of Your Prison Like Government Employee Health Insurance Plan?

I have made numerous calls to many Senators and members of Congress.

I have urged, complained, threatened(*), begged and encouraged them to support a "robust" Public Option. (Ed. Note added 10/24/09: by threatened I mean, I threatened to support their opponents with my time and money in the next election, nothing untoward!)

Today, I received a reply from Congressman John Campbell (you can read the entire e-mail at the bottom of this post).

I e-mailed him back my response and will post it here for your delight - well, actually mine! I have added a couple of hyperlinks here that were not in the original reply to him, the only link I included to him was the one regarding malpractice insurance.

That link was originally provided from a comment Lawyer Mama made on Loralee's Looney Tunes blog post in August about health care reform. I would write the title to that post here but if you are familiar with Loralee, her titles are their very own tomes!

Anyway, on with the show:

Congressman Campbell,

I received your response to my calls to your office urging to support the Public Option.

I am completely baffled by what "you" wrote on so many levels.

To keep things clear I will quote your letter and then I will respond:
I believe we must allow people to determine their own healthcare plan independent of their employer or the government.
People are currently allowed to determine their own healthcare plan independent of their employer or the government.
This will encourage an active, competitive marketplace that will in turn increase access and affordability.
It has not done this thus far. What in the world will start to change now? We need sweeping changes, like a Public Option!
This approach will resolve the fundamental flaw of our current system of healthcare - the disconnection that now exists between individuals and the price and quality of care.
This is one of MANY flaws with our current system.
Today, an individual's capacity to get healthcare coverage is dependent upon a third party payee like an employer or the government.
Today, an individual's capacity to get healthcare coverage is dependent upon exorbitant policy prices, pre-existing conditions, pre-existing treatments, cancellation of policies when the insured get sick, denial of coverage when people need to use the policy that they have been paying for, etc...
This system has, in many ways, reduced the power of the marketplace and forced Americans to become prisoners to health plans dictated upon them.
Employers who are still able to cover their employees and the government stop-gap programs are NOT the problem. If you really believe they are, I look forward to your bill insisting that members of Congress withdraw from their prison like government employee health insurance program that has been dictated to you and your colleagues . There's nothing more powerful than setting and example and acting on principle.
Congress needs to initiate policies that will encourage personal choice and increase competition, not enact socialized government medicine or price controls.
Congress needs to rally around the Public Option which will encourage personal choice and increase competition. This ridiculous fear mongering of the word "socialized" (and all it's many forms) is foolish. Do your children go to school? I pay taxes to help subsidize that. Do you drive on the roads? I pay taxes to help subsidize that. I'm sure you get the point.
Also, whatever Congress enacts must not bankrupt our country or cause individuals to lose their current health insurance - both which would happen under the current proposals being discussed.
Fear mongering or facts? According to the CBO the Public Option will NOT bankrupt our country. Why would people lose their health insurance? Perhaps employers who can barely afford to continue contributing to their employee's coverage will stop (please note the use of the word "contributing"). Perhaps the market will become so competitive that employers will once again offer coverage as a matter of course.

Also, I have contacted your office many times. I NEVER got a response back from you worrying about our country being bankrupted by an illegal war. I NEVER heard from you opposing the taxpayer stimulus packages, I NEVER heard from you worrying that the budget surplus left to President Bush was vanishing.
Rather than supporting President Obama's and the Democrats' approach...
PLEASE drop this and head back to the table. We NEED a Public Option and we need it NOW. If it helps, pretend it's a Republican approach since your language indicates that this is a partisan issue for you.
We also must work to expand the availability of Health Savings Accounts...
There's nothing wrong with that. Just like auto insurance in California. If you don't want a traditional policy, then you can prove "financial responsibility" instead. However, this is not a realistic alternative for the vast majority of people.
In addition, we need to address our nation's broken litigation system that has caused a rapid increase in liability insurance...
Not so fast there, it's not all greedy lawyers attacking innocent doctors with the insurance company playing the victim:

As Congress continues to analyze and discuss this issue, I will be sure to follow it closely...
I hope that you will do more than "follow it closely". I hope that you will go back to the table and work to provide solutions that the American people need, not ones that your political party think they need to win the next election.

Thank You

Here's the original e-mail reply from Congressman Campbell:
Reply From Congressman John Campbell height="500" width="100%" > value="">
If you've made it this far, you deserve a treat! How about a chuckle?!:

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