Tomyamaguchi’s Weblog

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Email thanking Senator Feinstein for supporting public option

Email to Senator Feinstein:

At the recommendation of friends, I read your August 28 press release, Concerns Regarding Healthcare Reform, and found it very helpful. There so are so many confusing and contradictory reports on the current health care debate, it can be quite discouraging to the average person who lacks affordable, comprehensive insurance. While we worry about the cost of any plan on the nation’s deficit, I agree with the President that not doing anything will be more expensive.
I appreciate your support for the public option. I prefer that to the proposed non-profit cooperatives. Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean opposes them and said, “The co-ops are too small to compete with the big, private insurance companies. They will kill the co-ops completely by undercutting them, using their financial clout to do it. In the small states like mine and like Senator Conrad’s, you’re never gonna get to the 500,000 number signed up in the co-op that you need to in order for them to have any marketing [power].”

In addition, I am concerned by your statement “Health reform should not address end of life care.” The intent of the provision for end of life care was clearly distorted by those who want to stop any reform from passing at all. Such planning should be covered so that doctors may be able to discuss all options for the benefit of both patient and family. As with the public option, we are talking about choices, being able to choose what is best for us and for our families. I would like to see more on how you would like that issue to be addressed.

Thank you for your time and effort on health care reform. Please keeping working on the behalf of us who are either uninsured or underinsured. We cannot afford to wait any longer.

Update: Email response from Senator Feinstein sent 9/15/09

Dear Mr. Yamaguchi:

Thank you for contacting me to express your support for the inclusion of a public health care option in health care reform legislation. I am committed to enacting meaningful reform to expand access to the health care system.

I am delighted that you support healthcare reform, as do I. The key is to find a healthcare plan that provides coverage, as well as limits costs. My colleagues in the Senate and I have been working on this, but it is a difficult issue and must be carefully thought out. I hope that the Senate Finance Committee will propose a bill which will lay out a way in which we can accomplish these goals and can be effectively merged with the bill passed by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

Other health reforms are also necessary. I strongly believe that any healthcare reform legislation should prohibit coverage denial based on preexisting conditions. Reducing healthcare costs is absolutely essential. Between 2000 and 2007, combined profits for 10 of the country’s largest publically traded insurance companies rose 428 percent. I believe that a way to control those costs is by instituting a public option, a nonprofit cooperative model, or a regulatory authority to achieve this. I am also concerned about the astronomical growth of entitlement spending, which makes up 56 percent of all federal dollars spent in 2009. Health reform must bend the healthcare cost curve, slowing the growth of entitlements in order to reduce our nation’s debt and budget deficit.

Any Senate health reform bill must improve California’s complex health care system, and please know that I am working hard with my colleagues to make health care affordable for all Americans, without adding to the federal deficit.

Again, thank you for writing. If you have any further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841. Best regards.

Sincerely yours,
Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

September 7, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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