An email I received from Congressman Harry Mitchell’s campaign on why he is voting yes on HCR.

Dear Friend,

Over the last year or so, I’ve spoken with many of you regarding health care reform. I believe this will be one of the most important votes I will cast in all of my years spent in service to our community, state and country.

I have arrived at my decision after careful consideration and I want you to be among the first to know that when the House of Representatives votes on health care reform and provisions critical to our state, I will be voting yes on behalf of Arizona families.

Upon being sworn into office in 2007, I put together a healthcare advisory committee to meet and discuss key components of reforming our health care system. For more than three years I’ve heard from hundreds of doctors, patients, health care professionals, seniors, students, small business owners, and thousands of concerned Arizona families representing views both for and against reform.

One thing has been clear: Out of control health care costs are hurting families, burdening small businesses, weighing down our economy and is slowing our recovery.

Many of you have been supportive of reform, but I know that some also have important questions about how I reached my decision and what reform means and how it affects us.

GETTING BEYOND POLITICAL GAMES

Reform has been a topic of debate for over 75 years. While I understand that this bill is not perfect – no bill ever is – I strongly believe that we must slow the rapid growth of health care costs and voting no would maintain the status quo. I believe that doing nothing is not only irresponsible, it’s also fiscally unsustainable.

For too long, the problem has grown worse, and instead of working to help the situation folks in Washington have used this issue to score political points. Both parties are guilty of this. But grandstanding and playing it safe, however, as some have suggested I should do, is why big problems – like healthcare and immigration reform – never get addressed. You didn’t send me to Washington to engage in these types of games.

WHAT REFORM DOES AND DOES NOT DO

We need to be honest. There are organizations that have spent millions of dollars to spread extreme rhetoric and patently false statements that have been meant to distort what reform really means and to attack those who will support it. Let me be clear about what this legislation will and will not do:

  • Health care reform will not kick you off your current insurance. If it would, I wouldn’t vote for it.
    – It will ban insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions and prevent them from dropping your coverage if you get sick.

  • Health care reform will not dismantle the private insurance industry. If it would, I wouldn’t vote for it.
    – It will allow for more competition and private insurance purchases across state lines.

  • Health care reform will not weaken Medicare. As someone who is over 65 and on Medicare myself, I wouldn’t vote for it if it did.
    – It will strengthen Medicare for 84,000 residents in our district, close the prescription drug donut hole for seniors and has been endorsed by AARP.

  • Health care reform will not bankrupt small businesses. If it would, I wouldn’t vote for it.
    – It will allow small businesses to qualify for tax credits to help cover costs of providing insurance so they can retain talent and continue to be competitive. It also will allow them to ‘pool’ their purchasing power to negotiate better rates.

  • Health care reform will not allow federal dollars to fund abortion or provide coverage for illegal immigrants. If it would, I wouldn’t vote for it.
  • Health care reform will not affect TRICARE coverage for our nation’s veterans and military families. If it would, I wouldn’t vote for it.
  • Health care reform will not have devastating effects to Arizona’s economy and state budget. If I believed it would, I wouldn’t vote for it.
    – It will reduce Arizona’s Medicaid costs by treating Arizona equitably by providing assistance in covering individuals enrolled in AHCCCS. It also removes special deals like the so-called ‘Cornhusker Kickback’ that treated states unfairly.

  • Health care reform will not add to the nation’s deficit. If it would, I wouldn’t vote for it.
    – According to the Congressional Budget Office – which both Republicans and Democrats rely on as the non-partisan budget referee – it will reduce the deficit by $138 billion in the first 10 years and $1.2 trillion in the following 10 years because its provisions work to bend health care costs over time.

Some key provisions that take effect immediately include:

  • Ban insurance companies from dropping people from their coverage when they get sick
  • Ban insurance companies from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions
  • Create an interim high-risk pool to provide immediate access to people who lack coverage due to pre-existing conditions
  • Allow young people to stay on their parents’ insurance policy until they are 26 years old
  • Begins to close the Medicare Part-D prescription drug donut-hole and eliminates co-payments for preventative services for seniors
  • Provide tax credits for small businesses that will help make current coverage more affordable
  • Create a temporary program that help employers offset costs for providing coverage for retirees age 55-64
  • Invest in training programs to increase the number of primary care doctors, nurses and public health professionals

When uncontrolled health care costs and misplaced priorities can result in Arizona becoming the only state to nation to kick kids off of health insurance, risk billions in health care funding and over 40,000 jobs, how can we afford not to act?

I know some of you will have honest differences of opinion on this important issue. But I hope that this will help you have a better understanding of how I reached my decision and why I believe it’s time for reform.

Harry

Thanks Harry, nice to see you have our back.

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"Harry Mitchell on His HCR Vote" by was published on March 21st, 2010 and is listed in Congress, Democrats, Election 10, Healthcare, Politics.

Comments on "Harry Mitchell on His HCR Vote": 2 Comments

  1. Noneyee wrote,

    Yeah… Ole Harry has “our” back alright. And I will see his “backside” when he is kicked out of office for voting against the will of the people. I’ll sure to check this website after the next election… Should be big fun! 🙂

  2. Lahdee wrote,

    Feel free to stop by any time. Oh, and be sure to bring those talking points with you. Will of the people, Heh.

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