4 May, 2017
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Re: The American Health Care bill
From everything I read and hear, it seems likely that you will finally, after seven years trying, manage to squeeze enough votes to pass your “repeal and replace” bill. A less than amazing accomplishment, I think you’ll agree.
It will, though, be a pyrrhic victory, inflicting great damage not only on Americans who want and deserve a better health care system, but also on your party. For the former, Obamacare was already a compromise, far less than the universal coverage we should aspire to; the current bill, it seems, is nothing more than Obamacare lite, a system that will deprive far more people of access to health insurance and at far greater cost—for some, I’m sure, unaffordable.
As to the damage to the Republican party: the seven-year attempt to repeal has done little but create the image of a vengeful, spiteful caucus, intent on the destruction of a health insurance system that has long been needed by American citizens, and long denied them. I can think of no reason other than petty pique for Republicans to have chosen to devote so much time and effort to tear down what has been achieved, rather than work with Democrats to make readily feasible improvements.
And now, Congressman, if the American Health Care Act should pass today, it will be yours. It will be your responsibility to ensure from this time forward that it works for the benefit of all Americans; that it excludes none, including those suffering with pre-existing conditions, because of inability to pay; that it precludes financial exploitation by those insurance, drug and medical companies who may seek to profit from it at the expense of taxpayers and the sick.
A health insurance system based on supply-side economics and the profit motive is guaranteed to betray those who most urgently need it. A system that caters to the corporate interest rather than the needs of the sick and suffering is not what is needed to replace Obamacare. The act that you propose to adopt today is an affront not only to our aging population, but to all who need, or will in the future need the services of health care professionals.
Peter Clothier, Ph.D.