Dear Representative Cooper:
Last week I was invited to tell my story at a press conference with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about health care reform. I told them how devastating it is to fight a disease like cancer and how struggling with the debt as a result of inadequate health care adds to the indignities. I also shared avoiding foreclosure shouldn't take an act of Congress and how without your help, I may have lost my house.
After having spoken with numerous health care advocates in Washington and those who are dedicated to health care reform and fighting for real changes--many of whom have signed the letter below--I'm very disappointed in the actions of the Blue Dog Democrats. As you and I both know, if a public option is not included in this bill, millions will face physical and financial devastation. We hear conflicting reasons in the press every day as to the 'real reasons' Blue Dog Democrats are fighting against a public option and it saddens me. For that reason, I along with hundreds of thousands--maybe millions of others--must add my name to the list below.
Please Congressman Cooper, you have the power and the wherewithal to influence this decision and reform health care in America. It is a sad day when there is the political will to fund wars but not enough money so that all Americans might live with adequate health care. I am asking that you listen to your constituents and use your influence for the benefit of millions and for future generations to come. You will be rewarded and remembered.
With sincere gratitude,
"The letter below" to which Molly refers was written by Reps. Lynn Woolsey (D-California) and Raul Grijalva (D-Arizona) and signed by dozens of other congresspeople. You can read it after the jump...
Dear Madam Speaker, Chairman Waxman, Chairman Rangel, and Chairman Miller:
We write to voice our opposition to the negotiated health care reform agreement under consideration in the Energy and Commerce Committee.
We regard the agreement reached by Chairman Waxman and several Blue Dog members of the Committee as fundamentally unacceptable. This agreement is not a step forward toward a good health care bill, but a large step backwards. Any bill that does not provide, at a minimum, for a public option with reimbursement rates based on Medicare rates--not negotiated rates--is unacceptable. It would ensure higher costs for the public plan, and would do nothing to achieve the goal of "keeping insurance companies honest," and their rates down.
To offset the increased costs incurred by adopting the provisions advocated by the Blue Dog members of the committee, the agreement would reduce subsidies to low-and middle-income families, requiring them to pay a larger portion of their income for insurance premiums, and would impose an unfunded mandate on the states to pay for what were to have been Federal costs.
In short, this agreement will result in the public, both as insurance purchasers and as taxpayers, paying ever higher rates to insurance companies.
We simply cannot vote for such a proposal.
Sheila Jackson Lee
William Lacy Clay
Jesse Jackson, Jr.
Fortney "Pete" Stark
Eddie Bernice Johnson