Letter to Congress: Government takeover of health care bad prescription for all
The Obama administration is proposing a government takeover of our nation's health care system. I recently joined with other Republican colleagues in the state House of Representatives voicing concerns to our congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. I'd like to share that letter with you.
Dear Congressional Delegation:
The U.S. Congress is considering a radical restructuring of our national health care system. The actions you take – or that you do not take – could have a dramatic impact on the future of our country and the communities we represent.
We agree our health care system is in need of reform. Reform, however, should not be synonymous with government-run health care or put the fiscal well being of our nation at risk. We are particularly troubled by Democrat claims that people would be able to keep their current physicians and health care plans under the Obama proposal. This is simply not possible, as employers would be forced to cancel health insurance for employees due to billions, if not trillions, of dollars in taxes that would be required to implement health care for all. Millions of Americans could lose their existing health insurance and be forced into government-run health care under these proposals.
When it comes to a government takeover of health care, we can look at Washington state to understand potential problems of proposals being considered in Washington, D.C. The state's Basic Health Plan, which provides subsidized coverage for low-income individuals, was recently cut by 43 percent. This has led to drastic premium increases, in some instances by 100 percent, and enrollment is estimated to decrease by around 35 percent. Medicaid provider rates have also been reduced, which could lead to even more access problems for Medicaid patients. There is an important role for government in health care, but it should be limited to helping people who truly cannot afford it.
In the 2009 legislative session, we introduced a nine-point health care reform plan for Washington. It is based on the belief that people make better decisions about their health care needs than politicians and bureaucrats. The plan would protect those who have quality health care, preserve patient freedom, increase access, lower costs, embrace competition, and fix the state's Basic Health Plan.
We encourage you to consider our plan and the following information as you make important decisions:
Around 88 percent of Washingtonians have health insurance.
Approximately 51 percent of Washington's uninsured are between the ages of 19 and 35, with many choosing not to buy health insurance.
Government mandates, rules, taxes, and regulations drive up the cost of health care.
Medical malpractice laws are forcing doctors to perform unneeded tests and procedures.
Please stand up for American values and resist proposals that will lead to more costs and less access to quality health care. The people you represent deserve much better.
Rep. Dan Kristiansen – (and 16 other Washington state representatives)
If you agree that Congress can do much better, I encourage you to contact our congressional delegation at these toll-free numbers:
Rep. Rick Larsen – Everett: (800) 562-1385
Sen. Patty Murray – Washington, D.C.: (866) 481-9186
Sen. Maria Cantwell – State offices: (888) 648-7328
EDITOR'S NOTE: State Rep. Dan Kristiansen, R-Snohomish, represents the 39th Legislative District, and also serves as chairman of the Washington House Republican Caucus. He can be contacted at (360) 786-7967 or from his Web site at: houserepublicans.wa.gov/Kristiansen.