Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My letter to Speaker Boehner

Office of the Speaker
H-232 The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Speaker Boehner:

First, congratulations on being named Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives!

Second, perhaps now that you are no longer a member of the Loyal Opposition, you would be willing to reconsider your attitude toward health insurance reform. I note that after passage of so-called healthCARE reform (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) the United States is still the only developed country in the world without some form of universal health INSURANCE.
This particular example of "American Exceptionalism" does not impress me.

The Congressional Research Service reports that the U.S. spends more per capita on health CARE and more as a percent of GDP on health CARE than any other developed country in the world, yet achieves at best middling results – in terms of life expectancy, infant mortality, and quality of care (CRS Report for Congress, U.S. Health Care Spending: Comparison with Other OECD Countries, Order Code RL34175, 17 Sep 2007).

I note further that Americans with a government-managed, universal, single-payer health insurance system – the elderly on Medicare – are very happy with their health insurance and the quality of care they receive (“Keep the Government’s hands off my Medicare!”).

I realize that many in your Party were elected on the promise of revising or restricting the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. May I suggest that you and your fellow Republicans would do yourselves a political favor not by emasculating this legislation, but by strengthening it?
In fact, revise it to provide truly universal health insurance to every American!

I remind you that the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution specifically states that one purpose of the U.S. Constitution is to “promote the general welfare.”
Not the welfare of big business, or Big Pharma, or Big Health, but the GENERAL welfare of “We the people”.
If timely access to affordable, high-quality healthcare doesn't count as "the general welfare" of "We the People", what does?


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