Your election to the office of President electrified those of us who want rational healthcare reform for America. As of late, we are becoming somewhat disenchanted as you seem to be backing away from the call for universal coverage via a public plan (not to mention your apparent failure to support the much needed legal reform in healthcare). We can not have true reform without at least this point, though there are many others points of reform needed. If you do not believe in true reform, then all is lost for us during your administration. If you are simply politically posturing, then you are in effect "selling us out". Instead, consider, in part, the following.
* the failure of the private sector to successfully manage the Medicare Advantage Plans,
* the withdrawal of Florida from their two county experiment in private management of Medicaid due to cost and dissatisfaction,
* that having private health insurance does nothing to make you healthier above simply having a traditional Medicare plus a supplement/drug plan,
* that 46 percent of Americans are already covered by a health plan in which a governmental entity is the primary payer (including our armed forces),
* that the required infrastructure for a public plan is already in place through the Medicare network,
* that a majority of Americans want universal coverage and seem to favor a public plan as an option,
* the only way that private "for-profit" plans could not compete with a public plan is in the profit margin itself, and that
* the "for-profit" plans will always be "for profit".
How can you or anyone else deny that having a sustainable public healthcare plan is mandatory for healthcare reform? How much do you want the American tax-payer to pay simply to prop up an aging industry that only takes from the healthcare system, giving nothing in return?
I am very disappointed in the healthcare stance espoused by my own legislators, the Senators and Representatives from Tennessee. They seem to be ignoring the facts and, though being quite cordial to me in our correspondence, are not in any way representing my views in Washington. I have communicated with each of the 100 US Senator by mail and, with the exception of my senators, have had not had even an acknowledgment from the other ninety-eight. It seems if your own legislators do not agree with your message then you have no voice in Washington.
If Congress does not have enough Statesmen and Stateswomen to support true reform, you should go straight to the people for help. Those politicians not cooperating with the desires of the people could be voted out next election. This should be an issue of what is good for America, not what is best for a political party, business, interest group, or any other single group of people. It is obvious that the average American has no lobbyist and therefore has no one in Congress representing their interests.
Please, do not sell us short on healthcare reform. I would rather you stick to the principles of true healthcare reform and fail in the effort, than to successfully pass a bill that is reform in name only.
Mark E. Green MD
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