Dear Mrs. Brown:
Thank you for contacting me about efforts to reform our nation's health care system. The American health care system faces a myriad of complex challenges: rising medical and prescription drug costs, a lack of stable insurance coverage, and a medical bureaucracy that is increasingly difficult to navigate. I appreciate having the benefit of your comments on this important issue.
I am well acquainted with the frustration of many Americans struggling to meet their health care needs within the current cumbersome system, and I understand the urgency to implement sound revisions. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), spending on health care will account for nearly 17 percent of Gross Domestic Product in 2009—totaling as much as $2.6 trillion. Health care costs have more than doubled over the last ten years and far outpaced wage growth, and I believe that meaningful health care reform is very important. However, I believe reform can be achieved by lowering the cost of health care without spending more money and without giving Washington more control over the decisions of doctors and patients. [this is the end of where we agree on anything]
Health care affects every American and I believe we need to take the time to listen to the patients, providers, families, and small businesses that will be significantly impacted. America has a highly complicated system and it is important to ensure that changes are thoroughly considered and not hastily passed by Congress. It may interest you to learn, that I am helping lead a Senate health reform working group that meets regularly to discuss the most pressing areas for reform in our nation’s healthcare system. It is important that Americans have access to affordable health insurance and therefore, I believe we must reform our health care system, emphasizing individual choice and trusting patients, their families, and their doctors—not lawyers or bureaucrats—to make health maintenance and treatment decisions. I am committed to improving access to quality, affordable health care, and you may be certain that I will keep your views in mind as I work my congressional colleagues, as a member of the Senate Finance Committee, to address this critical issue.
As Congress works to reform our health care system, I will adamantly oppose the creation of a Washington-run government health insurance plan, which I believe is unequivocally a gateway to a single-payer system. I believe that a new government-run health insurance plan will devastate private insurance markets by acting as a competitor, [why is acting as a competitor a bad thing?] regulator, and funder. Independent estimates have found that such a plan could result in 118 million Americans losing their current health benefits, and leave 130 million Americans to rely on a government-run health care plan. [I would love to see the supporting evidence behind this and who funded it] Additionally, I cannot support punitive health benefit taxes on small businesses, which will hurt wages and jobs.
Successful health care reform will put patients in charge,[why is this a good idea?] and improve the insurance system so that providers will compete for their business by delivering high quality care at affordable prices. I appreciate having the opportunity to represent the interests of Texans in the United States Senate. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.
United States Senator
517 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: (202) 224-2934
Fax: (202) 228-2856
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Have you contacted your senator about health care reform yet?