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Carper's Next Term Is Negotiable

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jberryhill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-04-09 08:32 AM
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Carper's Next Term Is Negotiable

Below is the ungrammatical piece-of-shit you'll get from Tom Carper if you write to him about health care reform.

"I understand... and I'll keep in mind your support for a public plan option."

Tough to pick the winning line in this mess of beige prose. Maybe it's the surprising Yoda flourish at the end.

He's beginning the "hard work of writing a bipartisan bill", while the other party is organizing people to "shout stuff at meetings."

Tom, you are an asshole.


Let me begin by stating that I understand your frustrations with our nation's health care system. I have always believed that one of our top priorities should be to make health care coverage more accessible and affordable for all Americans. Unfortunately, however, more than 47 million Americans lack health care coverage today, up from 33 million in 1988. And for those of us who have health insurance, we end up paying for the uninsured. Not directly, but hidden in the form of higher premiums - about a thousand dollars higher in a family plan - to cover the cost of emergency care for the uninsured. Countless Americans are struggling to meet the ever-increasing costs of health care coverage. We spend more money on health care than any other nation, yet we don't see better results. America can do better, and we clearly cannot continue to ignore this trend - our reform efforts must reduce the growth in health care costs. Before I address the issue of a public plan, I would like to briefly update you on the status of health care reform legislation.

Health care reform is one of the top priorities for the 111th Congress. As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, which shares jurisdiction over health care reform with the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to implement reforms that improve access to quality, affordable healthcare. Last November, the chair of the Finance Committee, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), released a white paper titled "Call to Action: Health Reform 2009". While the document is not an inclusive list of reform proposals, it is an excellent blueprint. I urge you to visit the following website, where you can take a look at the white paper and a number of other valuable resources: /

More recently, another proposal on health care reform was introduced. Former Senators Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, and Bob Dole collaborated on producing a bipartisan report of recommendations for reforming our health care system titled "Crossing Our Lines". I believe that there are some intriguing ideas in their proposal, and it is worth examining further. With that said, the proposal has not been analyzed by the Congressional Budget Office, which serves as the official cost scorekeeper for the Senate, so we cannot adopt its recommendations without examining it fully. However, it does have some good ideas on health care reform, and I urge you to consider its ideas as well:

As you may know, the Finance Committee held an extraordinary series of hearings and roundtables, where I was able to enter into a dialogue with some of our nation's most qualified experts on health care. The first roundtable discussion was on delivery system reform, the second on expanding coverage, and the final roundtable focused on financing health care reform. These discussions were very helpful, as my colleagues and I heard about what is working with the current system, and what needs to be improved.

At this point, all proposals are being considered - we will continue to listen to all the groups and individuals who will be affected by health care reform and evaluate ways to improve the quality of care in our system while also reducing costs. As you know, we're starting on the process and are beginning the hard work of writing a bipartisan bill.

I can certainly understand your support for expanding health care coverage through a public plan. Proponents of a government administered public plan contend that the private insurance market has failed certain segments of our population by denying coverage or making it prohibitively expensive. Moreover, they contend that a public plan would have lower administration costs and would provide much needed competition in the health insurance market. I am not opposed to a public plan in health care reform - but before my colleagues and I make a decision on it, we do need to know the details of the public plan we're considering.

Moreover, there are many provisions in health care reform that will increase access to affordable health insurance, regardless of whether a public plan is included. For example, a number of insurance market reforms that are being considered will ensure that no person is denied coverage based on pre-existing conditions. Moreover, people with serious diseases will not see the astronomical rates that they oftentimes face when they try to get coverage. On the government side, Medicaid will be expanded to cover more individuals and families. Tax credits will be given to those people who may not qualify for Medicaid or CHIP, but still find it difficult to pay for health insurance.

These reforms are meaningful and represent a significant shift in our health care system. However, I do think that if these reforms are not enough to keep the insurance companies honest, and they may not be, then there should be an alternative for consumers. As I mentioned, there is no clear consensus on what the public plan would look like - some favor a Medicare-style program but with higher reimbursement rates, others favor a co-op health insurance provider that is owned and operated by the patients, rather than by a for-profit corporation. Another option is to wait a set amount of time, and if the reforms have not resulted in quality affordable health care for those currently without it, then the public plan would take effect.

I think that there is ample room for debate, and I will certainly keep your thoughts in mind about the including a public plan in health care reform. I recognize that this is a contentious issue - and an important one - but I am committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to reach a consensus on the public plan option. The goal, which is to keep the insurance companies honest, is not negotiable. However, the method by which we achieve that goal is negotiable. As the Finance Committee considers these ideas and others, I will keep in mind your support for a public plan option.

Thank you again for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future about this or other matters of importance to you.

With best personal regards, I am


Tom Carper
United States Senator
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