05 April 2009

Senator Pat Roberts - Position Paper vs. Response

I have a couple posts I'm working on, but they really aren't ready to see the light of day yet - but I did want to touch base regarding the letter writing campaign.

As you know, I wrote to my Senators & to my Representative last week - regarding my feeling that they should forfeit their taxpayer funded healthcare, if they didn't support government funded healthcare for everyone. This is the response I got from Senator Roberts:

April 2, 2009

Dear Nicki:

Thank you for contacting me regarding health care reform in the 111th Congress. I appreciate your taking the time to get in touch.

I agree. The cost of health care is simply unbearable for many Kansas families. This is why I am working to provide access to quality, affordable health care for all Kansans. As a member of the Senate Health and Finance Committees, I have long supported efforts to give consumers better choices and more control over their health care. I support expanding tax incentives and health savings accounts to help individuals purchase health care. I am working to expand and improve health options for small businesses. I also support efforts to strengthen and improve the Medicare program for Kansas seniors.

We must also take steps to get at the heart of growing health care costs. One such improvement would be the adoption of Health Information Technology (HIT) by health care providers. Congress recently approved, and the President signed into law, P.L. 111-5, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which included $20 billion for HIT standards development and adoption incentives for providers and hospitals. Although I cosponsored HIT legislation in the 110th Congress, I have serious concerns about the HIT provisions in ARRA which were rushed through Congress so hastily that I fear the $20 billion for HIT will be wasted on initiatives that were not fully considered. In addition, many would argue that these funds, most of which will not be spent until 2011, are not sufficiently timely or targeted to stimulate the current economy.

Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) is another idea that many have advanced as a way to drive down health care costs. CER is the evaluation of the impact of different treatment options for a given medical condition and a particular set of patients. While I understand that CER holds promise for improving the quality of health care outcomes, I am concerned about the use of CER for the purpose of lowering costs. This strategy has led to the rationing of health care in countries that have adopted it. The ARRA included $1.1 billion for CER, with virtually no directions or restrictions on its intended use. I worry that such vague CER policies will ultimately result in fewer choices for patients and doctors. For these and other reasons, I could not support ARRA or the healthcare provisions contained within that bill.

Again thank you for taking the time to contact me. If you would like more information on issues before the Senate, please visit my website at http://roberts.senate.gov. You may also sign up on my home page for a monthly electronic newsletter that will provide additional updates on my work for Kansas.

With every best wish,


Pat Roberts


Well, here's my problem Senator Roberts, I wrote to you with a real concern and a real request, I did not request your position paper on Healthcare, I can get that on your website.
Tax incentives don't help people that are choosing between medicine and food, electricity, rent. It is easy to worry about "rationing" when you have access. Most uninsured people do not. The average doctor will not see patients if they know they can't pay. Isn't that "rationing"? Do you really need this explained to you?
Thanks for avoiding my request for you to forfeit your gold plated health care...nice to know you read your letters.
Who exactly is this man representing? Freakin' pathetic. Now of course I have to call his office.

Please take this seriously readers! Write/Call/Harass your legislators - until you get an answer!

1 comment:

  1. They tend to avoid me because I know more about the issues than they do. :)