The following LTE appeared in the Keene Sentinel yesterday:
A common theme with Paul Hodes
Published: Wednesday, October 07, 2009
I recently received a nice e-mail from Congressman Paul Hodes asking for my input on health care. In the past, I have provided him with input on various subjects, but this is the first time I can remember him directly asking for my input.
With previous letters to Rep. Hodes, I always received form-letter responses containing nice politicianesque words, but clearly conveying that my input would be totally ignored, as it has been all along. Since this input was solicited, I hoped for better when I sent my thoughts.
I explained that I do believe reforms affecting health insurance would be good.
Specifically, I believe changing the tax code to allow all health related expenses, including health insurance, to be tax deductible for individuals would shift the incentive away from employer-purchased insurance toward individually purchased insurance.
This would reduce loss of insurance due to change in employment or retirement, thereby addressing several concerns in our current debate.
I explained that reducing health care costs by reducing FDA regulation would save huge sums on expensive drug costs. Reducing other regulation would reduce costs substantially in other areas.
These changes would make health care more affordable for everyone, especially the poor.
I explained that providing streamlined civil penalties for habitual erroneous denial of benefits (a form of breach of contract) would improve things for both doctors and patients.
I explained that I do not support a “public option” for health insurance.
Government has already done enough to ruin our health care system.
Instead of more government, we should explore improvements through limiting government interference, regulation, and taxes, not expanding them.
I sent the e-mail, happy with myself for articulating what many people want but won’t waste their breath advocating due to their disenfranchisement.
For those brief moments before receiving the response, I had a tiny shred of hope that at least a portion of my message would break through.
Despite my hope, I wasn’t surprised to learn it was yet another wasted effort.
The response was more swift and worse than I expected: Delivery failed.
I suppose it’s appropriate, though. That about sums up my opinion of Rep. Hodes record as a congressman: delivery failed.