In response to my recent personal letter to Senator Crapo about health care, I received a “form letter,” email response. (What was I expecting?)
The response completely ignores the issues I raised and reads like an apology for the heartless legislation now before the Senate. [Senator Crapo’s email is copied verbatim below.]
- No mention of the CBO scoring that shows tens of millions will lose health coverage under any version of the Senate legislation.
- No mention of the disproportionate impact on Idaho, because of our already shameful “coverage gap” and the likely losses to already-stretched medical services in our far-flung rural communities.
- No mention of the disproportionate benefit of tax cuts for the wealthy at the cost of the poor.
- No acknowledgement that the problems of the current law can be traced to conservative, compromise provisions inserted in the Act; the virulent Republican opposition since; and, the new administration’s squeezing off of legally-mandated support in an effort to force failure–which is like a “caregiver” pressing a pillow over the head of a struggling hospital patient.
Senator Crapo’s email response makes clear the opposition to the current law (the “PPACA”) is based on the right-wing imperatives of unfettered markets and lower taxes. Facts, logic and a concern for the health of society (and our state) do not seem to matter.
For Idaho and Idahoans, this may be the most impactful decision our Senators ever make. Unfortunately, like lemmings (and our Congressmen before them), they appear to be following the partisan crowd in their “rush to the sea.”
In a show of courage, Senators Crapo and Risch should pull back their support and advocate for collaboration with the rest of the Senate (the whole Senate) to find ways to improve the PPACA.
I hope they will muster the courage. Sadly, Senator Crapo’s apologia does not give me much hope.
Senator Crapo’s response to my letter:
July 21, 2017
Thank you for contacting me about health care reform. I value the constructive thoughts, opinions, and ideas shared by all Idahoans and welcome this opportunity to respond.
Prior to the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), America’s health care system was in need of reform; however, PPACA favors a one-size-fits-all, top-down approach that has led to increased premiums, smaller provider networks and stifled competition between insurers. It is necessary to work toward implementing consumer-driven, state-based health reforms that ensure the American people have access to the health care coverage that is right for them. On May 4, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives took the first step toward comprehensive health reform by passing H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act.
The Senate is currently considering various proposals to repeal and replace PPACA. Any successful reform initiative must include provisions that stabilize the insurance market, repeal the individual and employer mandates and job-stifling PPACA taxes. With premiums rising and coverage options disappearing, the status quo of PPACA is no longer an option.
Congress remains actively engaged with governors, stakeholders and consumers to develop an effective system that works for all Americans. America deserves a better process and a better product, and I look forward to doing my part to make this happen.
In the meantime, please feel free to continue to contact me about health care reform or on other matters of interest to you. For more information about the issues before the U.S. Senate as well as news releases, photos, and other items of interest, please visit my Senate website, http://crapo.senate.gov.
United States Senator