Dear WHOEVER

I wrote this letter after I heard this commentary on marketplace this afternoon. This was my indignant fulfillment of my duties as a citizen. Please comment. But please limit your comments to 1500 characters or less.

Dear WHOEVER [Whoever was replaced by the salient individuals: Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Dianne Feinstein, and Barbara Boxer. Oh, and Ashleigh. But her stuff is not for public consumption.] and staff, [because they are really the people that will read this letter. I’m sure they appreciate the salutation]

I was astounded and angered upon discovering this afternoon that the current health care legislation does not remove anti-trust exemption from health insurance providers. If this is was because of oversight, I ask as your constituent that you move to amend it. If this was intentional, may I ask why?

If every person in America is mandated to purchase health insurance, shouldn’t there be some kind of limitation on the level of collusion between health insurance providers? Why are health insurance providers allowed exemption from anti-trust legislation in the first place?

It would appear that health insurance is a profitable business. The only understandable reason to waive anti-trust legislation, as far as I am aware, is if the presence of competition prevents any kind of profitability.

I would say that I eagerly await a response, but instead I ask that you continue to work on the bill. I do have great hope for the legislation, and I hope you can work with your colleagues (I would hope that some would cross the aisle to contribute, but I understand that they have chosen their political maneuver—a position with which I am not sympathetic) to provide affordable and quality health care for all Americans. Please ensure that this is the case by arguing for anti-trust regulation of health insurance companies.

Sincerely,

John Michael Earnest

I’m Congressman Darryl Issa…

And I’m calling to invite you as my constituent to join my virtual town hall meeting concerning the health care bill currently moving through Congress. Stay on the line to learn how this bill could raise taxes, destroy small business, and cause people to lose their insurance.”

That is, almost verbatim, what Darryl Issa called to tell me this evening. I actually stayed on the line, hoping to participate in the town hall debate. But I couldn’t find my tongue. I couldn’t think, in time, of how to say this (plus, I’ve been sick):

“Mr. Issa, in your message inviting me to join this town hall debate–which I appreciate as your voting constituent–you attempted to prejudice me against the pending health care legislation by listing the possible negative effects of this legislation. I did not appreciate this. You did not list any of the possible positive effects of this legislation: decreased health care costs or improved, comprehensive, and affordable coverage. Surely there must be some benefit to this health care legislation!”

I would then wait for a response. In the event I was able to speak again:

“Mr. Issa, I did not appreciate your sense of timing. The health care legislation passed the House last weekend. Doesn’t that mean that it’s been removed from your jurisdiction, for the time being?”

After that,

“Mr. Issa, why are you holding a town hall meeting/discussion/debate on health care reform? When you received the bill, you said you would vote ‘No’ on it. I don’t know if you read it. If this was your default reaction when the legislation was introduced why do you care how we feel about it?”

Mr. Issa, no one wants to increase taxes, just for the hell of it. No one wants to destroy small business on a lark. No one wants people to lose their hard-earned health insurance. And I’m not quite sure that these were the only goals of the new health care legislation.

Mr. Issa, while I appreciate your open hand toward your constituents, perhaps you could leave your hands unadorned and unstained when doing so?

Read this Article

I found this article on the website electoral-vote.com. Check it out:

How American Health Care Killed My Father

It’s good enough for the capitalist in all of us…

The article argues two major and compelling points (well, more than that, but these were the ones that struck me):

That we abuse health insurance: he makes the analogy of using auto insurance to pay for gas, or homeowner’s insurance to pay for groceries. He argues that if we paid for the minor maintenance ourselves (like check-ups and dental cleanings and stitches and x-rays), we would beget competition that would lower prices, because we, the informed consumer, would shop around for the cheapest care. He argues that we should use insurance for its express purpose in other areas; that is, to cover catastrophic expenses.

Okay, so that was one thing. But so incredibly eye-opening.