Wednesday, September 23, 2009

There were 11 town halls in Oregon this August. I heard a lot of heartfelt anger and confusion from Oregonians about health care in our nation. I am sure it echoed the confusion and frustration from voice across our nation.

A lot Oregonians came out to tell me that they did not like one bit of the descriptions of the reform plan that they were hearing on radio and on television. If reform means that they would have to give up their insurance or give up their doctor, they did not want any of it.

If reform meant that government panels would deny care to seniors, then they wanted me to know, that was outrageous and that they would never support it. And you know? I agree with them.

If reform has those features, it sure won’t get my vote and I don’t think it would get a single vote in this chamber. But as most of America now knows, those claims were lies, told to scare the bejeebers out of the citizens by folks who profit from our current health care system. That says a lot, doesn’t it?

That those who want to block repairs to our broken health care system have to resort to creating myths in order to whip up opposition. Now the opponents of reform have their own plan, which is to continue to profit from the current system. Our current broken system.

Their Plan, simply put, is a terrible plan for America. The opponents’ status quo plan features shutting out folks with potential health care risks, those who most need health care, from our health care system. Their plan features denying coverage to citizens with preexisting conditions. Their plan involves dumping citizens out of coverage who after years of paying their premiums develop a health care problem and then they lose their health care.

The opponent’s status quo plan is to continue a broken system in which premiums double every seven years, putting health care out of reach to America’s working families and robbing workers of their pay raises that could improve their standard of living.

The opponents’ plan is to continue health care rationing by insurance company bureaucrats who make money denying claims the opponents plan is to continue lifetime limits—that pile massive debt on those unfortunate enough to get sick or injured. The opponents’ plan is to continue a system in which health care costs drive more than half the bankruptcies in America, tearing the financial foundations out of our working families, setting them back decades, if in fact they ever recover at all.

What I did hear from citizens back home is they don’t like that status quo plan. They want to see those problems fixed. They want as an individual to be able to join a pool and get a much better deal. They, as a small business, want to know that they will be able to control health care costs and keep providing health insurance and maybe even get a better deal and not have to pay the transfer costs of all the folks that don’t have health care and end up in the emergency room.

So, for a small business to thrive in our nation, for American families to thrive, for larger business to compete internationally, we must fix our broken health care system. The status quo plan put forward by opponents is simply wrong for America, wrong for our families and wrong for business.