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Pharr Letter - 09/11/09

Everyone wants health care reform and for all Americans to have access to health care. The U.S. has the best, although expensive, health care system in the world. We do not need to apologize for a system that we created through free enterprise, while most countries with considerable resources took the easy way out with government-provided health care that is less than satisfactory.

President Obama has inflated the numbers of uninsured in America by consistently stating that 47 million people in the U.S. are uninsured. While that appears to be a big number, according to Dr. Juno Neal, a New York University economist who was formerly the head of the Congressional Budget Office, 43 percent of those 47 million can afford to purchase health insurance but for different reasons do not. Twenty percent of them earn over $75,000 per year. Of the remaining, one-third of them are illegal and the rest are in the poverty level. Of these uninsured, it is clear that many are out of work due to the recession in the U.S. As more jobs are created by the stimulus package, it would seem clear that more Americans would become insured as quickly as the stimulus is supposedly working.

We have systems in place now to provide for those without health insurance. In Georgia our citizens have Medicaid, which is federally administered, and Peach Care, which is a state-run program. There still, however, are some citizens that are not insured and cannot afford insurance. We also know that when one loses their job for whatever reason, they usually lose health care insurance. There is a program in place to ease that problem, but it is unsatisfactory. In addition, we know that the high cost of insurance has caused some doctors to leave medicine or stop performing surgeries. Tort reform must be a part of health care reform. Finally, we know that Hawaii has tried universal health care coverage and had to abandon the program. The point is, define the problem and fix it. Don't revamp a system that still provides the best in the world.

I have listened to some of the Town Hall meetings run by Democratic congressmen. In one meeting, the congressman admitted to the fact that he had not read the bill. Hurrah for honesty. He also said that it did not matter since he could not understand the bill anyway, The "by invitation only" Town Hall meeting conducted by our representatives does not speak well for working together to provide the best health care for the American people. If you are going to change something, you should understand all sides and concerns of the issue.

We would also like to see Congress and the president accept this health care plan/option as their personal and family coverage. If the bill is so great, they should participate.

What we in Rockdale County want is a bill that everyone can understand and a program where all Americans are covered. We want the continued ability to select our health providers to treat situations that we deem necessary. We want the U.S.'s health care to remain the best in the world. Universal health care coverage administered by the central government is not the way to achieve these goals.

Kellie Pharr

Chairwoman

Rockdale Republican Party

Conyers