Thanks a ton, Bruce

Dear Editor:

Any health care act that affects millions of Americans deserves clear, intelligent and thoughtful deliberation, not a 24 hours “let’s pass something” abomination, as was the bill regurgitated out of the House last Thursday. I also take offense to [Rep. Bruce] Poliquin’s remark that this bill is what the constituents in your district want. I doubt it is what the constituents in Washington and Aroostook counties want. Just to remind you, these folks are making decisions between heating their homes or purchasing the medications they need. They are choosing between buying enough food to sustain themselves or being able to afford the doctor visit they desperately need.

Then there are the folks with pre-existing conditions who you threw under the bus. “They have the high-risk pool” you say. Let’s look at the small print of that pool. It is very easy for states to obtain pre-existing coverage waivers and insurance companies are allowed to strip health care packages offered this population so that they become totally inadequate. Premium rates can be increased as much as the insurer wishes; assistance this population may (or may not) receive from the government will be too little to make up the premium deficits and the funds Congress has allocated for this purpose are woefully inadequate for the needs that exist. So, in effect, people with pre-existing conditions will most likely not be able to afford insurance, or the insurance they do get will be inadequate for their needs.

The folks you did help and who will be thanking you with their election dollars are the pharmaceutical companies, the insurance companies and the major hospital consortiums. The bill you passed is a gift to untold proportions for these folks, so I’m sure they will be most grateful when the time comes. The bill Congress passed last Thursday is nothing short of “privatizing the gain and socializing the risk” so that, yet again, the middle class picks up the tab for everything.

Gee, thanks, Congressman Poliquin.

Barbara Sinclair, Ph.D.
Constituent in CD2