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A Second Open Letter to The Blue Dog Coalition
November 4, 2009
Dear Member of the Congressional Blue Dog Coalition:
Angry constituents this past summer made it clear to Members of Congress that HR 3200 was too expensive, too intrusive, too impractical -- and was being rushed too quickly through the House for Members and their constituents to comprehend the intended and unintended consequences of this bill on our health care system and our faltering economy.
We at Doctors on Strike for Freedom in Medicine were among those angry constituents at Tea Parties, Town Hall Meetings, and internet discussion forums. We are a grassroots coalition of patients, doctors, and business owners founded on July 4, 2009 to encourage health care reforms that preserve, protect, and promote individual rights and freedom in health care.
Launched four months ago on July 4th, our website has been visited by 9505 times by 7921 people from 2481 cities in 79 countries around the world, including all 50 states in America. Our message is getting through to Blue Dog constituents who rightly expect you to safeguard the rights of patients, doctors, and business owners from any governmental intrusion during the health care reform process.
Over 600 people have thus far signed our recently posted “Petition to Protect Doctor and Patient Rights” to get Congress to vote against any legislation that provides for any:
--Public plan option,
--Mandates that force individuals to buy insurance coverage,
--Mandates that force employers to provide insurance coverage,
--Surcharges that force some groups to pay for the healthcare of other groups, and
--Provisions that might allow HHS to force doctors to participate in public plans.
About 97% of the petitioners have responded “Yes” to the question: “Should doctors ‘go on strike’ by refusing to participate in any new government-run healthcare plan?”
Another 86% of the petitioners have responded “Yes” to the question: “If ObamaCare is approved, should doctors ‘go on strike’ by stopping their participation in other government-run healthcare plans (Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, SCHIP)?”
(We invite you to read and sign this petition at http://www.doctorsonstrike.com/petitiontoprotectdoctor-patientrights.html).
We are now urging you to oppose HR 3962: “The Affordable Health Care for America Act” because this 1,990-page behemoth is -- like HR 3200 -- too expensive, too intrusive, too impractical, and is again being rammed down our throats.
We ask that you vote against HR 3962 because it contains so many poisonous provisions -- ones that are patently immoral, arguably unconstitutional, fiscally irresponsible, demonstrably ineffective, and, as recent polls show, politically unpopular.
If you do not find these arguments against HR 3962 persuasive, we would appeal to your political self-interest before you vote on HR 3962 and whatever health care reform bill might eventually emerge from both Houses of Congress.
Think about how many different groups of likely voters will be hurt by HR 3962: seniors (due to Medicare cuts), the young and healthy (due to individual mandates), doctors (due to government intrusion into decision-making and reduced Medicare payments), small businesses (due to mandated insurance for employees and the surcharge on wealthy business owners), the wealthy (due to the surcharge on millionaires), medical device manufacturers (due to increased taxes), and -- last but not least -- the millions of health care policy holders who would have to pay significantly higher premiums (due to taxes on insurance, costly mandated coverage by HHS, and shrinking risk pools).
Think about the possibility that these voters would be so hurt by HR 3962 that Republicans, Libertarians, and Ross Perot-style Independents could easily mobilize them to vote many incumbent Democrats out of office in 2010 and 2012.
Think about the electoral consequences of forcing Americans to buy expensive health insurance while they learn that Congress has failed to address the root causes of rising health care costs.
Think about how -- as our economy continues to falter in 2010 and beyond -- the 2009 Tea Parties and Town Hall Meetings would be dwarfed by a rapidly spreading, Dresden-like firestorm of popular resistance to any more federal intrusion into our lives.
Think about how HR 3962 would be a prescription for economic, health care, and electoral disaster: Surely, a bad bill would be worse than no bill, not only for our economy and our health care system, but also for your political career.
Finally, think about this: A Blue Dog voting for HR 3962 might very well be committing an unnecessary, career-ending act of political suicide.
Dr. Gregory Garamoni
Doctors on Strike for Freedom
P.S. We are encouraging patients, doctors, and business owners from all over America to call, email, or fax the Blue Dogs to urge them to reform healthcare in a fiscally and ethically responsible manner that fully respects the rights of doctors and patients to make healthcare decisions without any government interference. To this end, we have compiled a list of the Washington phone numbers along with a complete list of the Washington and District fax numbers for all 52 members of the Blue Dog Coalition (http://www.doctorsonstrike.com/bluedogcoalition.html)