Writer takes senators to task on health bill

Published 8:48 am Friday, January 8, 2010

To the Editor:

As president of the Board of Directors for my Area Agency on Aging, I am appalled (as are the majority of senior citizens) at the abomination that senators are party to when it comes to health care and insurance reform.

Good, well-thought out legislation is what is needed, not this gerrymandered, special, deal-riddled, loop-hole filled, bribe-ridden piece of bunk. They know it is because they have exempted themselves from having to live with it as their own. Shame on them both.

I’ve always thought more highly of both of our senators: Warner as my governor who did a great job in Richmond; Webb as a fellow Marine whom I know is instilled with leadership principles for tough times.

However, they both fail us in voting for this abomination. I have seen votes bought. Sen. Bill Nelson in Florida got $3.5 billion so seniors there can continue to get Medicare Advantage coverage. Massachusettes senators get $600 million to fund their state’s Medicaid program. Sen. Ben Nelson in Nebraska gets exemption for his state on tax levied on Medigap insurance providers, etc. Michigan Blue Cross-Blue Shield companies are exempted from a new tax on insurance companies. Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester get special exemptions for citizens of their state (Minnesota). Sen. Harry Reid gets Nevada’s Medicaid program fully funded by the federal government (that’s us — the rest of the nation’s taxpayers). Union “Cadillac” health care plans are exempted from the tax thereon. Upper Midwest rural hospitals are exempted from reductions in Medicare payments. I could go on, but I think you get the message.

Our senators need to look in the mirror. If they see an honorable person looking back at them, they cannot vote for this abominable legislation. And the House version is no better with any number of its provisions. Yes, we need reform, but not this. Move to table this and get down to real reform that is good and applicable to everyone, including senators. Vote what is right for Virginia and our country. Lastly, do not support a president who flat-out lied when he said repeatedly in the campaign we’d have transparency and open negotiations so citizens would see and hear those who stand for what interests. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is a duck.

In this case the president is a fool to think we cannot determine a lie when we hear one. A person’s word is their honor. What does that make our president?

My vote and that of seniors all over Virginia count and we have memories that will remember come election day in several years. Voting on principle counts, even today when folks look at Congress with a jaundiced eye (the other one’s on the White House).

Herb De Groft