This has been bothering me more and more. I’ve been silent long enough. I just sent the following letter to both Senators Casey and Spector of Pennsylvania:
Recognizing that the current system in place to provide healthcare to Americans is flawed is no reason to adopt a system that promises to be even worse.
I keep hearing three constituencies being blamed for our current, flawed system; 1.) Trial attorneys, bent on ‘unfair’ lucrative lawsuits; 2.) Pharmaceudical Companies, raking in huge ‘unfair’ profits, and 3.) Healthcare providers, who routinely and ‘unfairly’ turn away needy patients, and employees who lose their jobs or change jobs wind up with huge COBRA payments if they want to keep their insurance.
The smokescreens that so-called consumer lobbyists are throwing up even now to confuse the issues cannot hide a few simple facts:
1. Today’s lack of portability in healthcare is the fault of the government, not the healthcare providers, any more than it is the fault of employers; remove that barrier by shifting the tax-benefit from companies to private individuals, and let the health insurance companies compete for our business as consumers, just as auto, homeowners and renters insurance companies do.
2. Patients are constantly barraged by patent-holding mega-pharmaceudical corporations to buy the next wonder drug, and the costs are exhorbitant. a.) The FDA is already in place to regulate what they can and can’t say and do. Let them do their job, and stop interfering by legislating more and more bureaucracy, and b.) the costs will go down if the pharmaceudical companies know that consumers will be paying out of pocket instead of getting ‘entitlements’ from the government. Costs ALWAYS go down when companies have to compete. The current system under which regulations require insurance companies to pay specific costs to doctors for specific medications undercuts the natural and good market order under which prices would settle to something reasonable.
3. Legislators are fond of blaming Health Insurance companies, when their own branch of government has left the industry little room to do much else than they are doing. DE-regulation of the industry, as I mentioned above, is the answer – not MORE stifling regulation.Supporting this bill is a sure way to remove yourself from public office; the general populace may not be paying attention now, but once this already bad environment gets worse, you can believe you will be rightly blamed for pandering to the polyanna expectations of a willfully ignorant constituency.
I have supported you in the past. If you support this ridiculous bill, I will be unable to do so in the future. I pray you will continue to earn my support.
NOTE: We do NOT live in a democracy. There’s a good reason for that. The intelligent people who founded our great nation knew there is real danger in governments which pander to popular opinion, which is frequently ignorant of the facts and is capricious.
The job of our elected representatives is not to stop the car and buy the kids candy every time they whine. The job is to make informed decisions in this greatest legislative institution of our time, and if that means informing constituents why ‘public opinion polls’ are wrong, I expect my representative to do the honorable thing and make a wise decision on our behalf – despite ourselves, if necessary.
Parents understand this. Young, single knuckleheads frequently do not. Why? They’re too busy whining for more candy.