December Letter to Senators

This week I again wrote a brief note to several key Senators.  It pounds on the issue of women’s breast cancer screening because it is this issue, more than any other, which has given the Public a real glimpse of the rationing of Health Care that would result from the Reid Bill, and of the real possibility that unknown bureaucratic entities, such as the U. S. Preventive Services Task Force, can be elevated by this Bill into potential “death panels.”   The Democratic Senate hoped to lay this issue to rest by passing the Mikulski Amendment, but I am not through telling this “cautionary tale” because it effectively indicts Government-mandated health care, big-time, in the court of Public opinion.  The fact is, the Mikulski Amendment just adds more layers of Federal requirements, and doesn’t address the basic problem inherent in surrendering Americans’ health care choices to the complex, unchecked, bureaucracy outlined in the Reid Bill.

Here are my selected Senators:

Sen Collins (R-VT) http://collins.senate.gov/public/continue.cfm?FuseAction=ContactSenatorCollins.Email,

Sen Snowe (R-ME) http://snowe.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=ContactSenatorSnowe.Email ,

Sen Nelson(D-NE)  http://bennelson.senate.gov/email-issues.cfm,

Sen Lieberman(D-CT) http://lieberman.senate.gov/index.cfm/contact/email-me-about-an-issue,

Sen Lincoln (D-AR) http://lincoln.senate.gov/contact/email.cfm,

Sen. McCaskill (D-MO) http://mccaskill.senate.gov/contact/,

Sen Hagan (D-NC) http://hagan.senate.gov/?p=contact,

Sen Conrad (D-ND) https://conrad.senate.gov/contact/webform.cfm,

Sen Pryor(D-AR) http://pryor.senate.gov/contact/,

Sen Tester (D-MT) http://tester.senate.gov/Contact/ 

Sen Webb (D-VA) http://webb.senate.gov/contact.cfm

and Sen Landrieu (D-LA) http://landrieu.senate.gov/about/contact.cfm

For Senators Snowe, Collins and Lieberman, I tailored the letter slightly to soften the “We’ll throw you out next time” language at the end – lol. They probably don’t need to hear that since they have been fairly staunch in their opposition to this bill. 

Feel free to use this format and send it to your own Senator – or to the ones I have listed above.  In fact if you roll over the Senators’ addresses above, you will see a preview of their contact pages, and if you click on the link, the contact page should come up, and you can write your own message.  This is convenient, since some of the  contact pages are hard to find.  Don’t be afraid to write to Senators who are not from your state – the Senate is the senior, deliberative, body and has a more National scope than the House.  Besides, these folks are voting on issues that personally concern you, and that will affect your life and health!  Don’t hesitate to contact them!

So here’s my note:

“Senator,

Last week we finally found out what Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi have meant by their endless mantra about health care “competition and choice.”  This became clear as we witnessed three amendments proposed to the Reid Bill – one to fix shortcomings regarding women’s preventive medicine issues such as breast cancer screening (brought on by the recent recommendation by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force- USPSTF – and by Section 2713 of the Reid Bill, which would effectively make even bad USPSTF decisions like this one the Law of the Land), and two other amendments which attempted to reduce the drastic cuts to Medicare called for in the Reid Bill.

In effect, what we saw last week was the Imperial Senate, swapping roles with Caesar in the Roman Arena, giving one special interest group – Women – a “thumbs up,” so they might be suffered to live (at least until the Bill passes), and giving another special interest group – Seniors – a “thumbs down” as the lions of the Medicare fee schedule rationing bureaucracy are unleashed upon them! 

So, clearly, here we have spirited “competition” between various special interest groups for the scarce health care resources being rationed under the new system, and also sage and just “choice” by the Government (perhaps the Senate, or even some entity as fantastically competent as the USPSTF)  regarding which, if any, of the various interest groups are worthy of being permitted to have access to these resources!  This scenario totally fulfills the vision of “choice and competition” voiced by Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi, don’t you think?!?  It’s brilliant! I just never understood it before! 

Speaking of “choice and competition,” the real reason for my letter is to let you know that what we badly need in this health care reform process is a true “competition” of ideas – ideas which thusfar have not been included in the bills, and many of which have not even been allowed consideration. You need to find a better, less monolithic alternative to the proposed legislation – read the polls – this is what the Public wants.  If you will not entertain this “competition” of ideas regarding even this issue of historic importance, but just continue to embrace the “same old” everyday Beltway conformism to political dogma, then I say that the Public will have to make a “choice” at the next election cycle. I promise that I, and other opinion leaders like myself, will be doing all we can to influence that “choice.”

“Choice and competition,” Senator – what say you? 

Sincerely,”

The Skeptic

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