Wednesday, December 09, 2009

 

I Write Letters

(when I should be writing finals and grant applications)

To the President [will be sent as soon as the White House website is able to connect to captcha again]:

Recently you addressed the need for us to get small businesses hiring again and have indicated a desire to have tax credits and other incentives to ensure small businesses hire new employees.

However, due to the compromises "necessary" pass much needed health care reform, it is likely that whatever health care bill reaches your desk will contain a mandate for small businesses to provide health insurance coverage for all employees but will also (in the name of "fiscal responsibility") provide little in the way of subsidies to ensure small businesses can afford to pay for that health insurance.

Moreover, it now seems that health care reform will lack a "public option", effectively allowing the oligopoly of private insurance companies to charge whatever they want without fear of real competition to keep health insurance costs low. Considering that any mandate will render demand for health insurance completely inelastic, we can anticipate in an open market, even an "exchange", health insurance costs will skyrocket.

While health care reform is important, I urge you therefore to not allow bills to become law that interfere with your also much needed proposals to ensure small businesses hire again. We need health care reform that ensures increased access to health care. We don't need a "compromise" that will only make health care more expensive.

If you want small businesses to hire more people, propose a bill that will pay for small businesses to provide health coverage for said employees so they don't have to worry about. Don't, in the name of health care "reform", sign into law a bill that makes it even more expensive for small businesses to hire new employees.


*

To Senator Schumer,

Recently President Obama addressed the need for us to get small businesses hiring again and have indicated a desire to have tax credits and other incentives to ensure small businesses hire new employees.

However, due to the compromises "necessary" pass much needed health care reform, it is likely that whatever health care bill passes through Congress will contain a mandate for small businesses to provide health insurance coverage for all employees but will also (in the name of "fiscal responsibility") provide little in the way of subsidies to ensure small businesses can afford to pay for that health insurance.

Moreover, it now seems that health care reform will lack a "public option", effectively allowing the oligopoly of private insurance companies to charge whatever they want without fear of real competition to keep health insurance costs low. Considering that any mandate will render demand for health insurance completely inelastic, we can anticipate in an open market, even an "exchange", health insurance costs will skyrocket.

Health care reform is important. I urge you to keep up the good fight to truly reform the health care system. However the current “compromise” does not represent a step in the right direction but rather is an overly complicated bill that, when implemented, threatens to make health care coverage worse for enough people to jeopardize future progressive reforms as people, whose coverage will get worse under the so-called reforms being proposed, will say “why should we support any progressive reforms – look what happened when they tried to reform health care?”

I urge you in particular to vigorously oppose any bill that interferes with, e.g., much needed proposals to ensure small businesses hire again. I also request that you make these concerns known to Sen. Majority Leader Reid who somehow seems to think its more important to have a broadly supported health care reform “compromise” than a bill which will actually provide much needed reforms to our health care system. We need health care reform that ensures increased access to health care. We don't need a "compromise" that will only make health care more expensive.

If we as a society want small businesses to hire more people, we should be willing to help pay for that by paying for small businesses to provide health coverage for said employees so they don't have to worry about that expense. Don't, in the name of health care "reform", support a bill that makes it even more expensive for small businesses to hire new employees.

In general, it may be that true health care reform is something that simply cannot pass Congress. If that is so, it is disappointing. But we should then push for bills that expand coverage so we can evolve toward a better health care system. Let’s not, in the name of reform, push through shoddy “compromises” that only make matters worse and undermine support for future progressive reforms. It’s time for us Democrats to stop shooting ourselves in the foot by attempts to make everyone happy and actually work toward the progressive change we say we believe in!

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