To the Editor:
Two weeks ago I wrote to First District Representative Chellie Pingree with my concerns over the excessive power concentration in the federal government. The answer I got back is not to be believed. My letter and her answer are enclosed. Draw your own conclusions.
Martin Achilles, Edgecomb
Dear Representative Pingree
What is going on in Washington? We have a government that is totally out of control, incurring absurd deficits that will only increase taxes and make the dollar worthless.
We have a Congress spending money like water going over Niagara Falls to keep failed enterprises alive, spending on pork disguised as stimulus, and an annual budget beyond the realm of reality. We have a President assuming unprecedented and illegal powers by take over of the financial sector, by taking absolute control over auto manufacturers and denying bond holders their property rights, by creating czars accountable to no one, by a health care plan that substitutes government control for individual and doctor judgment, and God only knows what else is going on that is hidden from the taxpayers.
I’m not fooled by Mr. Obama’s bonhomie. He is Woodrow Wilson redux with a socialist agenda to accomplish, without regard for the US Constitution.
The seeds of the current financial crises were sown by Congress. Specifically in the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 (Gramm/Leach/Bliley) and the Commodity & Futures Modernization Act of 2000. Both acts were passed with members of Congress ignorant of what they were voting for. Congress continues to pass legislation without knowing what they are voting for or the unintended consequences. Even the sponsors of legislation (by their own admission) are ignorant of what their bills contain.
In 1776 our forefathers fought a revolution to rid us of an overbearing and tyrannical government. Eleven years later they wrote The Constitution, a document that limits the powers of the Federal Government in favor of “we the people.” You, our elected officials are now on the verge of returning this country to a tyrannical government that will plan, control and tax every aspect of people’s lives.
Our Constitution only guarantees equality of opportunity, not equality of results. The greatness of America is because of our Constitution, individual responsibility and Adam Smith’s “invisible hand”. When these are destroyed (which you are on the way to doing) America will be destroyed.
Martin Achilles, EdgecombE-mail dated 8/7/09 at 2:37 p.m.
Thank you for contacting me about health care reform. I appreciate hearing from you on this critical issue.
We are facing a dire health care crisis, resulting in a lack of access to high quality, affordable care for far too many Americans. We spend more money per capita on health care than any other industrialized nation, yet the United States continues to rank far worse in life expectancy, maternal mortality and infant mortality.
Too many Americans who have insurance find that coverage is not there when they need it – and with 47 million uninsured Americans, and countless more underinsured or paying premiums and bills they cannot afford, we must act now to fix our broken system.
I believe that the time has come for guaranteed, affordable access to health care. President Obama has affirmed that repairing and reforming our health care system is a top priority on his agenda. I am hopeful that we have the political will in this Congress to work with him to thoughtfully develop a plan that lowers the cost of health care for those who are already insured, improves the quality of care in this country, and provides guaranteed access to a choice of affordable coverage for every American family.
As we move forward in crafting health care legislation, we have many important issues to consider – promoting prevention and primary care, investing in scientific research on the causes and most effective treatments for debilitating and life-threatening diseases, reducing the cost of prescription drugs, reforming Medicare, and bolstering our workforce of nurses, providers, and allied health professionals – just to name a few.
I have outlined several key principles that I believe must be included in the health care reform legislation that this Congress will pass…
I strongly believe that this bill must include a public health insurance option, in order to give the insurance companies some competition and give people a real choice in coverage. Competition from a public option will force private insurers to lower costs and improve coverage. I also believe any health care reform should guarantee choice – so that people who like their current coverage can keep the same doctors and coverage plans.
On July 14, 2009, the House Committees on Education and Labor, Energy and Commerce, and Ways and Means released H.R. 3200, America’s Affordable Health Choices Act. I am eager to work with my colleagues to ensure that this legislation will make bold changes to cover all Americans, contain costs, and improve the quality of health care in this country.
I am particularly pleased to see the inclusion of critical regulations that will prohibit private insurance companies from engaging in discriminatory practices that enable them to refuse to sell or renew policies due to an individual’s health status, or to exclude coverage of treatments for pre-existing health conditions.
The legislation also creates an Advisory Committee that would develop an essential benefit package that includes preventive services with no cost-sharing, mental health services, dental and vision for children, and caps the amount of money a person or family spends on covered services in a year.
I understand that many people have concerns about whether or not Members of Congress have had time to read and thoughtfully consider this bill – I can assure you that I have indeed read this bill and truly believe it is the right step forward to fix our broken health care system.
I have spent many years working on issues surrounding health care reform, and I believe this proposal is the greatest chance we have had in our lifetime for significant health care reform.
Others have asked how this bill would impact the employer-provided coverage that federal employees and Members of Congress receive – I can assure you that Members of Congress and federal employees are not exempt from any provisions of this bill.
As a Member of Congress I am lucky to have quality coverage from my employer – and my greatest goal as your representative in Congress is to ensure that every Mainer and every American has access to the same high quality coverage that Members of Congress do.
Health care is an issue that affects all of us, our families, our friends and neighbors, and our businesses. I truly appreciate you taking time to share your health care concerns with me. I will certainly keep your thoughts in mind as I work with the Obama Administration and my colleagues in the 111th Congress to improve our health care system.
Again, thank you for being in touch, and I hope to see you in Maine soon.
Chellie Pingree, Member of Congress