NOTE: I received an email from my new Republican representative, Patrick Meehan, about his support of his party’s efforts to repeal the Health Care Reform bill passed last year under the guidance of Pres. Obama. His rationale was basically that the bill as it stands is too costly, directs “unfunded mandates,” to the states and was passed through “closed door” deals (welcome to Washington Congressman! As if your party never did anything like that!) – the same tired arguments that have been all along
What follows is my email response. I share it as an example of how we need to keep the pressure on to maintain the modest gains that have been made in the last two years in providing justice for the poor in our midst.
I received your message regarding your participation in the effort to repeal the current health care reform bill. I am writing to strongly urge you NOT TO CONTINUE SEEKING REPEAL of the bill. Nearly 50,000 people are without adequate health care insurance in this country, and the actions of those seeking repeal is both cruel and misguided. The bill as passed did not go far enough in providing the necessary supports to the needy and controls on the health insurance companies. If there are ways to improve the current bill by tightening controls and easing access, then work on those. However, to simply reject the bill because of costs is duplicitous and hypocritical, when your party has (1) refused to tax wealthiest Americans and (2) refused to curb military spending (in this instance you share responsibility with the Democrats). It is neither prudent nor just to cut services to the most vulnerable Americans, when you refuse to do it to those who are most economically secure. Such actions only show you are beholden to the corporate powers and you fail to think outside of the “lockstep” directives of your party. Your role as a representative is not to oppose the president in order to score political points, but rather to serve the needs of the people, no matter what your political bosses tell you do.
Rep Sestak who preceded you was no “flaming liberal” (no matter how your party tried to portray him), but he laced his politics with compassion. This is something I hope and expect that you will continue.