Monday, March 22, 2010


To the readers of this blog, the following thank you notes are to those who did the heavy lifting, not me. As the earth shaking health care reform legislation heads to the President's desk, I would rather let the heavy lifters relish in their splendid job. The Notes are from Congressman Adam Smith of the 30th Congressional District in the State of Washington; and, on behalf of the President of the United States:


A Message from Congressman Adam Smith

March 22, 2010

Mr. Christopher A. Adekoya
32123 4th Avenue SW
Federal Way, Washington 98023

Dear Christopher,

Thank you for contacting me with your thoughts on health care reform legislation. I appreciate you taking the time to contact me and would like to take this opportunity to explain my position on this important and complicated issue.

There are far too many people in our country who either do not have insurance or are underinsured, and the cost of insurance is escalating at unacceptable rates. We have to cover more people and get costs under control now.

These are very, very difficult goals to accomplish. For over 75 years, Republicans and Democrats alike have bemoaned the current health care system. It costs too much, covers too few, and often doesn't provide the best results. If we've discovered anything in our pursuit of reform, it is that this is a difficult issue to address - but that is not a reason to avoid the problem. If we are truly committed to addressing these issues, we cannot simply rage against what is wrong; we must do what we can to fix them.

I support this legislation because it is the best available step forward for reform. With health care costs ever increasing, we need action on these tough issues. The option before us is imperfect, but it begins the process in a substantial way.

This bill will cover an estimated 30 million additional Americans and save more than $1 trillion in the long term. These are huge steps forward in the reform process. These two key facts make it imperative that we pass this legislation and move forward now.

The legislation passed in the House on March 21, 2010 is better than the House bill that was passed in November. It does a much better job of getting costs under control. The numbers demonstrate that this legislation will not only help reduce costs in the short term, but also help bend the long term cost curve. The legislation moves forward on rewarding quality of care over quantity. We begin to shift away from the failed fee-for-service model that encourages high levels of utilization without regard to the quality of that care. Instead, it encourages accountable care organizations (ACOs) and many other quality based payment methods, which emphasize overall quality of care over the sheer number of visits, tests, and referrals. We will have to monitor and adjust these policies as we move forward and see how they are implemented, but they will actively work toward controlling costs and improving the quality of health care in this country.

This legislation includes a number of ideas from both sides of the aisle, such as portability, which allows insurance companies to sell insurance over state lines. It also encourages employers to provide incentives for their employees to manage controllable health factors known to lead to long term health issues. These incentives will help create an overall healthier society, and encourage individuals to control their own health care costs.

Americans will be touched directly by the improvement in care. In addition to no longer being denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions, Americans will have access to a greater choice of plans at more affordable rates. The quality of care will also improve as doctors are rewarded for quality rather than quantity of care.

Further, this legislation empowers states to be the drivers of reform - not the federal government. States have the ability to set up the exchanges to help individuals find quality health insurance, and states will be the primary regulators of insurance companies, rather than the federal government.

This bill is not by any means the end of Congress' work to improve health care in this country. The months and years ahead will be filled with the continued work to improve upon these ideas, learn from our mistakes, and work toward a system that is sustainable and provides access to quality health care for all Americans.

Health care is an incredibly difficult issue to address, but I believe that I was elected to make difficult decisions, not to hide from them. I have chosen to support this legislation to give Americans the opportunity to have a better health care system.

Over the last year, I have seen an extraordinary level of engagement from the American people about reform. In fact, in all my years a legislator, I have never seen this level of involvement from my constituents. This is a promising sign for the vitality of our civic culture and I hope I continue to see this level participation as we move forward to address the many difficult issues our country faces.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me on this important issue. I hope that you will not hesitate to contact me with any future questions, comments, or concerns you may have.


Adam Smith
Member of Congress


A Thank you Note from un-behalf of the President of United States

Thank you, Christopher

Christopher --

For the first time in our nation's history, Congress has passed comprehensive health care reform. America waited a hundred years and fought for decades to reach this moment. Tonight, thanks to you, we are finally here.

Consider the staggering scope of what you have just accomplished:

Because of you, every American will finally be guaranteed high quality, affordable health care coverage.

Every American will be covered under the toughest patient protections in history. Arbitrary premium hikes, insurance cancellations, and discrimination against pre-existing conditions will now be gone forever.

And we'll finally start reducing the cost of care -- creating millions of jobs, preventing families and businesses from plunging into bankruptcy, and removing over a trillion dollars of debt from the backs of our children.

But the victory that matters most tonight goes beyond the laws and far past the numbers.

It is the peace of mind enjoyed by every American, no longer one injury or illness away from catastrophe.

It is the workers and entrepreneurs who are now freed to pursue their slice of the American dream without fear of losing coverage or facing a crippling bill.

And it is the immeasurable joy of families in every part of this great nation, living happier, healthier lives together because they can finally receive the vital care they need.

This is what change looks like.

My gratitude tonight is profound. I am thankful for those in past generations whose heroic efforts brought this great goal within reach for our times. I am thankful for the members of Congress whose months of effort and brave votes made it possible to take this final step. But most of all, I am thankful for you.

This day is not the end of this journey. Much hard work remains, and we have a solemn responsibility to do it right. But we can face that work together with the confidence of those who have moved mountains.

Our journey began three years ago, driven by a shared belief that fundamental change is indeed still possible. We have worked hard together every day since to deliver on that belief.

We have shared moments of tremendous hope, and we've faced setbacks and doubt. We have all been forced to ask if our politics had simply become too polarized and too short-sighted to meet the pressing challenges of our time. This struggle became a test of whether the American people could still rally together when the cause was right -- and actually create the change we believe in.

Tonight, thanks to your mighty efforts, the answer is indisputable: Yes we can.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

Once again thank You.


The focus of this blog is going to shift predominantly back to the issue of environment. The debate now is going to take on items of Climate Change, Clean Water and Clean Air Acts. For my readers who were coming back to this blog for the refreshing health care debate, we will re-visit health care reform occasionally in the future, but not at the same depth as we have done in the last eight months.

With all my respect, thank you.

Christopher A Adekoya
Post a Comment