Dear Representative Boucher,
I am writing concerning the health care reform effort.
I have read your statement on the issue, and am pleased that you find significant problems with the current legislative drafts.
As one of your constituents, I want to make a few comments, with the expectation that you, personally, will read them and consider them in your evaluation of plans to legislate reform.
First, I believe you need to amend your estimate of those without health insurance to include only those who cannot afford it, and leave out those who opt to not purchase it, and those illegal aliens or other non-citizens, who are not the responsibility of the American people, who will have to foot the bill. That number is lower than 20 million.
I appreciate that you recognize the problems caused by Medicare underpayments to providers; I appreciate your skepticism of government-run health care; and I appreciate your desire to actually include the minority party in forming a sensible plan. One-party health care reform is simply unacceptable and intolerable on its face.
Some simple steps can be taken to make a significant difference in the health care landscape, and these steps must be taken before Congress wrecks the present health care system, which, despite its problems, is the best in the world in many respects. Those steps include: tort reform, to reduce frivolous lawsuits, which drive up costs; separate insurance coverage from employment; make policies portable; allow insurers to compete in every state. One more step is to remove regulatory barriers that will allow the free market to correct the problems.
And last, but hardly least: The Constitution of the United States does not empower Congress or the federal government to take charge of, or even to substantially modify the private, free market health care system. You and every other public servant have sworn to uphold the Constitution, and it will be a breach of that oath to vote for a measure that violates the constitutional protections of Americans from an over-reaching federal government. I urge you to give this point careful consideration.
I am counting on you, as my elected Representative to vote down this current over-reaching and unconstitutional measure, and any other one that may be brought forth.
James H. Shott
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