The following, a letter to the person who represents the district in which I live (Georgia's 11th):
I see that you have, once again, gone along with the wishes of your party, by voting for the American Health Care Act. I am aware that by doing so, you are fulfilling the promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. I wrote to you, several times, in advance of this vote, imploring you to stand against your party and vote for the good of your constituents. I made these pleas for the following reasons:
- The AHCA is a tax cut for people who don't need one, disguised as health care reform.
- The AHCA will make it more difficult - and expensive - for many of our citizens to obtain insurance.
- The AHCA will allow states to determine what are "essential health benefits" (such as doctor visits, emergency room treatment, transport by ambulance), in addition to restricting the preexisting conditions that insurers will be obligated to cover.
- The AHCA will allow employers to "cap" the amount of coverage for their employees who purchase insurance through their job. The logical effect of this is that should someone incur a catastrophic illness, the amount insured will not go over a certain limit.
- In a particularly cruel twist of fate, Congress is exempt from the provisions of this act, as all members and their staff remain under the coverage of the Affordable Care Act.
- Finally, the Congressional Budget Office, a non-partisan group that calculates the cost of every piece of legislation, has not yet scored this particular bill. As a result, you and your party voted to approve a bill for which no one had calculated the costs, the consequences or the number of those who will be left unable to obtain insurance.
How is that for a summary? Did I get the salient points?
As we were raising our children, we dined together as a family each night. Like most families, we discussed our day, its events and highs and lows. I have spent the bulk of my adult life working for the same company in the hospitality business. I can honestly say that there was not a single day in all the years I have worked for this company that I was ashamed or embarrassed to tell my children what I did at work that day. The company I work for prides itself on its integrity, even to the extent of training all our new associates in the mantra that "how we do business is just as important as the business we do."
What did you tell your children at the dinner table Thursday night? Did you tell them how you cast a vote for a bill about which you knew neither its costs nor consequences? Did you give them an estimate of how many people (best guesses: upwards of 20 million) would no longer have insurance? Did you tell them the extent of the tax cut you approved for 1% of the population? I cannot even imagine how you reconcile your continuing silence about the behavior of a President who seems to exist only to enhance his own self-image and his family's wealth with your public stance as a man of honor. How do you explain that to your children?
You may think your constituents have short memories. I disagree. At some point, you will have to answer for your shameless actions.