Saturday, November 21, 2009

Posting my own e-mail

Let me make this clear at the top: I'm on e-mail lists created by those across the political spectrum. I don't advocate for either party; what I do advocate for is informed advocacy.

Timothy Jost is a nationally recognized health care expert who's probably familiar to you from his appearances on NPR and on WMRA's Virginia Insight. He is as informed a person on the subject of health care reform as one is likely to come into contact with.

Professor Jost recently wrote a summary of HR 3962, the Affordable Health Care for Americans Act, on the Health Affairs blog. Earlier, he wrote several posts in the same journal on the Senate Bill. If you wish to be an informed contributor to our current reform discussion and haven't read up on what you're talking about, those links are for you!

All that said, at 7:58 this Saturday morning, I got the following e-mail that had been sent from Jost to Lowell Fulk (Chair, Rockingham County Democratic Committee) to Harvey Yoder (of the Family Life Resource Center, who creates "Centerpiece" for WEMC Public Radio). It seems to indicate that those against the current Congressional bills for health care reform are much more active than those who are for them. For what it's worth, and with Professor Jost's permission, I thought I'd pass his e-mail along.
Hi Lowell,
You know how busy I have been all fall on health care reform.  This battle has proven much harder than I ever could have imagined.  With our health care system in shambles, you would think the public would overwhelmingly favor reform.  The bills we have right now are not as good as they could be. But they would cover over 30 million Americans and, I believe, begin to get a handle on costs.  They are facing overwhelming opposition, however.

Ruth [Mr. Jost's wife, Ruth Stoltzfus Jost] called Senator Warner's office today [note from MW: yesterday, by the time I got this e-mail]. The lines to Washington have been busy all day. She finally called Warner's Roanoke office.  When she told them she was in favor of reform, the woman asked her to repeat herself. She said she has gotten hundreds of calls today and they are overwhelmingly against reform. It was so good to hear someone in favor.

We are not doing our job.  This is the signature Democratic issue this year, and it is important. Senators Webb and Warner need to hear from us.  If they don't this will go down, and the Democratic party with it.

Could you please contact local Dems on your email list and ask them to call Webb and Warner?  They desperately need our support.  Thanks for anything you can do,

Senator Webb, 202-224-4024, 540-772-4236

Senator Warner, 202-224-2023, 540-857-2676

I thought it was an interesting report from the trenches of the health care reform wars. The WMRA listeners with whom I've discussed the issue have been overwhelmingly in support of some kind of reform. My questions for you are:
  1. Have you read a good summary of the bill's in question? 
  2. If so, what's your view on them? 
  3. And have you called your Senators yet to express your views from either side of the debate?
Finally, anyone gotten something from a well-informed opponent of health care reform they'd like me to pass along?

    1 comment:

    1. I'll pass along a provocative column, not one "opposing" health care reform, only raising some fears about what might happen if we ever enact a "single-payer system" and then conservatives (being to the right of those in Canada etc.) get elected and control it: "If Conservatives Ran Health Care," by Maggie Mahar (a progressive), WashPost op-ed section, Nov. 15. I'd been hoping for a single-payer system one day, until this column scared me! However, my husband (thoughtfully) and some of the Post's online commenters (not always in civil tones) disagreed with its premise...and I'm not sure. --C.E.