Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Health Care Follies - My Email to Rep Schakowsky

I am so done with this. I can't believe what I am reading in the news, but there it is. What follows is my email to Congresswoman Schakowsky. If you have not written to your Congressional rep to express your views, I suggest you do it right away.


I have corresponded with you regarding my concerns about health care reform efforts. The current 2,037 page bill does nothing to allay my concerns. The fact that Congress may see fit to encumber it with unrelated legislation on student loans and Speaker Pelosi is willing to use the self executing rule rather than a straight up or down vote is beyond discouraging.

I am angry. Do you get it now? I am furious with you, and with your peers, who seem genetically incapable of engaging in real dialogue, identifying real reforms, and achieving real results on such a crucial matter. We have a bloated bill that has doubled in size since I started writing to you, evidence of outrageous deals spun as negotiating (Nebrasak anyone?), and ongoing gridlock. This alone is enough to make my head spin.

The fact that unrelated legislation is likely to be tacked on is bad enough. But to propose a backhanded approach to pass the bill is beyond the pale. That approach may be appropriate in raising the debt ceiling, but it has no place here. This bill requires a full up or down vote. Each representative needs to vote directly, not via the self executing rule that will enable ever so much spin while you are all out on the electoral hustings this summer.

Speaker Pelosi was quoted in The Washington post as saying:

"It's more insider and process-oriented than most people want to know," Pelosi said in a roundtable discussion with bloggers Monday. "But I like it," she said, "because people don't have to vote on the Senate bill."

The article the comment came from.

That comment speaks volumes about Congress' unwillingness to be accountable. I don't care if this is an attempt to avoid dealing directly with the Senate bill's provisions, particularly the unpalatable ones. You and your peers need to grow a pair and do your jobs.

I can promise you today that you cannot take my vote for granted in November. If voting you, and all the rest of the current Congress, out of office is what's needed, then it's high time the electorate do that. We will lose institutional knowledge, which is regrettable, but we may clear out the gridlock and send an important message to both parties, and I won't be sorry to see that happen.

At the very least I expect a straight up and down vote on the bill. If the Speaker uses this rule process instead, then I better see your vote as NV or Present. If there is anything else believe me I will be looking for your opposition on the ballot come November.

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