9 August, 2017
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Re: Health Care, again
I received your boilerplate response to my most recent personal letter on the subject of the ACA. It was, I believe, the third or fourth response I’ve received to my now more than one hundred personally-written, hand-signed and hand-addressed letters. Even these few responses have been emailed boilerplate. I cannot believe that you, or anyone at your office, actually read my letters or gave them the attention and thought with which they are written. Too bad!
That aside, I find myself in disagreement with at least two of the points made in your boilerplate response. First, if the ACA is indeed “on the cusp of collapse” as you assert—a Republican talking point with which most serious analysts take issue—it is due to the spiteful neglect of Republican lawmakers and governors rather than the bill itself. We all agree that fixes are needed—we have all agreed on that from the very start—but Republicans have resisted every invitation from Democrats to collaborate on those fixes, choosing instead to vote persistently on “repeal.” Now that this option has been finally laid to rest, I would hope for a better resolve on the part of you and your colleagues to serve the interest of the American people.
Next, you insist—contrary to evidence—that the Republican alternative, the American Health Care act, provided adequately for those with pre-existing conditions. You praised the fact that it “would have initiated a more market-oriented, competition driven health insurance market.” Here, as you must know if my letters have been read, we have a fundamental disagreement: to properly serve the needs of all Americans, we need to think of health care as something other than a “market.” The provision of health care is not, by its very nature, profitable, for the simple reason that those most in need are likely the least able to meet the proportionately higher costs of insurance or care.
There are the points I have been trying to make in my letters on this subject. Rather than addressing my concerns, your response simply reaffirms your party’s known positions—which have already been rejected soundly by both public opinion and congressional vote.
Peter Clothier, Ph.D.