OPEN LETTER TO BARACK OBAMA
by pmb, Fri Dec 07, 2007 at 02:22:23 AM EST
As a constituent a multiple contributer, I am aware of your history of fighting for AFFORDABLE health insurance for illinois working families.
I know that as a former democratic chair of Health and Human services committee in the Illinois Legislature you have successfully worked to provide health insurance for working families. This is an issue that you have deep passion for; I'm aware that as a young state senator, one of your most ambitious goals was to make it CONSTITUTIONAL for every illinoisan to have health insurance as good as what Senator Lobbyists FreeRide got(lol). It failed because of a republican governor and republican majority in the Springfield. So when Paul Krugman spews untruths like "i suspect he's not serious about universal healthcare" I wonder if he's done his homework.
You're making a big mistake!
This is a communication issue: Your approach to universal healthcare is distorted by a respected progressive economist, Mr. Krugman.
You have said that YOU ARE NOT OPPOSED TO MANDATES, but don't think MANDATES SHOULD come UPFRONT before there's assurance of lower cost, afterall, folks won't purchase until they know it's affordable.
You have also said that this is all about LEVERAGE: That if you can have proof that your insurance is CHEAPER than private options, THEN you are in a good position to enforce a mandate!
As Mr. Krugman's own reader said in a response to his highly critical review of mandates, the experience of California and Massachussets suggests carrots will be better than sticks at the beginning of a healthcare reform process.
Re "Mandates and Mudslinging" (column, Nov. 30):
Paul Krugman dismisses Senator Barack Obama's points about health insurance mandates as "echoing right-wing talking points" on health care. Really?
It was two pragmatic Republican governors, Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, who proposed mandates as cornerstones of their respective health reform plans.
In California, resistance to that approach has come primarily from unions and Democrats. Although I have favored the mandate component of Mr. Schwarzenegger's plan, Mr. Obama raises valid points about the practicality of immediate mandates as the path to universality.
In California, there are real questions about whether the insurance that people would be required to buy and able to afford, even with subsidies, would be worth having. Massachusetts has already had to grant waivers to many.
In addressing this issue, carrots may prove more effective than heavy-handed sticks.
San Ramon, Calif., Nov. 30, 2007
It seems Mr. Krugman hasn't seen you say this despite you giving extensive interviews with New Hamsphire Editorial Boards about this.
So In the INterest of neutral voters who want to get a better health care system,
I suggest that you PEN an open ed in the New York Times about your specific approach and how that will be a superior and pragmatic approach.
I know that you have emphasised that the president must allow a transparent process and that will be key to engaging americans who want affordable healthcare desperately.
Thank you for your service to our beloved country.