Post from the Past: a letter to President Obama regarding health care

Original post date 12/18/09

 

This may only demonstrate my ignorance, but my argument is that if you know what you need, then you can’t be ignorant about it, just confused by people who are deliberately trying to be confusing.

Here is a letter I wrote to President Obama about health care, followed by his response:

Dear President Obama,

As more and more criticisms are made of your proposed health care policy, I would like to make a request. Please consider those of us who support alternative health care methods. We are your allies in reducing health care costs. We seek out preventative treatments such as chiropractic, massage, and acupuncture; we go to doctors who prescribe supplements, herbs, and dietary changes instead of prescription medications and surgery. While I understand that the mainstream medical industry has a lot vested in making sure Americans need its services, and that you must take their contributions into account, you also have a responsibility to the health of each individual in the United States. Those of us who want to practice preventive health care will relieve some of the burden of care for the many Americans who still rely on hospitals, pharmaceuticals, and mainstream medical care.

Please offer a health care option for us. The HSA has been that option.

You have easily the most difficult job in existence, and I commend you and thank you.

Emily Avent

Dear Friend:

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.  I have heard

from countless Americans struggling to afford health insurance and

health professionals striving to provide care.  I appreciate your

perspective.

There is broad consensus among the American people on

the need for affordable, high-quality health care.  The rising cost of

health care is the most pressing financial challenge for families and

for our Nation, and controlling this cost is essential to bringing

down the Federal deficits we inherited.  We must also end unfair

insurance practices that leave millions of Americans without

coverage, deny them access to coverage, and expose them to

extraordinary burdens.  And we should ensure that small

businesses have access to affordable, high-quality health plans for

their employees so that we can make our economy – and our small

businesses – more competitive.  Now is the time to move forward,

and I am working to get health insurance reform done this year.

Since I took office, we have done more to improve health

care than we have in the previous decade.  In February, I signed

H.R. 2 to provide coverage for millions of children through the

Children’s Health Insurance Program, and I signed the American

Recovery and Reinvestment Act to make key investments in

computerized medical records and preventive services.

Still, more must be done to lower costs, expand coverage,

and improve the quality of health care.  Health insurance reform

must provide more security and stability to those who have health

insurance; make sure those who do not have insurance can find

affordable options; and lower the cost of health care for our

families, our businesses, and our government.  Reform will benefit

seniors by protecting and strengthening Medicare, closing the

“donut-hole” gap in coverage for prescription drugs, and providing

free preventive care.  To help fulfill the debt we owe to our service

men and women, I am committed to ensuring that we provide the

highest-quality health care possible to America’s veterans.  My

2010 budget requests the largest single-year increase in funding for

the Department of Veterans Affairs in three decades and

significantly expands health care coverage to an additional 500,000

veterans by 2013.

Ultimately, there are tough choices to be made, and I am

working to bring employers and workers, health care providers and

patients together to create a system that delivers high-quality

health care and puts the Nation on a sustainable, long-term fiscal

path.  To learn more about my Health Insurance Reform Plan or to

share a personal story, please join me online at:

www.HealthReform.gov.  For further information on health care

and assistance that may be available to you, you may call 1-800-

FED-INFO or visit:  www.USA.gov.

I share the sense of urgency that millions of Americans

have voiced.  I watched as my ailing mother struggled with stacks

of insurance forms in the last moments of her life.  This is not who

we are as a Nation; together, we will fix it.

Sincerely,

Barack Obama

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