Monday, December 7, 2009

He Wrote Back!

I wrote to Congressman John Yarmuth the first week of August to suggest that he hold a real, live town hall on health care as opposed to the fake teleconference town halls he had held up to that point.

He (or rather, one of his minions) has replied -- four months later. I am so glad for the instantaneous nature of email; it really improves constituent relations between the elected and we the little people.

It is unclear why the staffer bothered to even respond at this late date. Maybe he or she noticed that on a a near daily basis, new Republicans are announcing their candidacy to challenge Yarmuth.

As form letters to constituents go, it's a fine letter. I especially like how Yarmuth sought to reassure me that he will not turn us into Canada, Britain or France as he takes over one-sixth of the U.S. economy: "Speaking with so many people and hearing so many different personal experiences only reinforced my belief that our current health care system is unsustainable, and I will do all I can to ensure that we find a uniquely American solution that works for the American people."

One interesting turn of phrase: Yarmuth -- who is, after all, a designated messenger for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- describes the health care take over as "reform." As in, "As a result of constituent feedback during the month of August many changes were made to the health care reform legislation being considered by the House. " (Emphasis added.) And to reiterate this change of nomenclature, "With my support, H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act was passed on November 7, 2009. H.R. 3962 is now on hold until the Senate approves its health reform bill." (Emphasis added.)

Reform sounds so modest and incremental. Not nearly so draconian as what the Democrats' plan actually is: a trillion dollar, two thousand page monstrosity that will make health care more expensive while reducing quality.

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