“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”

Jonathan Swift
"The Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital." - Bill Maher
"The city is crowded my friends are away and I'm on my own
It's too hot to handle so I gotta get up and go

It's a cruel ... cruel summer"

Friday, December 18, 2009

URGENT! Consumer Reports: Senate health bill has sneaky medical underwriting

This is also why I sent the following letter to Kay Bailey Hutchison's office:

December 18, 2009

James Christoferson Deputy Chief of Staff - Hutchison 284 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510

Dear Mr. Christoferson:

Earlier this week, I sent an e-mail to Ms Hutchison through your Web site. The next day, I got a “Dear Friend” e-mail — obviously from you mailbot.

My message to Ms Hutchison was that she represented the right wing of the Republican Party and was a captive of those lobbyists who bribed her. Further, I told her I wished, in the theological sense, she be damned to Hell for her political record.

As an Episcopalian, Ms Hutchison should know the magnitude of that wish. As I am an Episcopalian, I know the significance of that wish and did not make the statement lightly. The Episcopalians I know in Amarillo are far kinder and far more compassionate than Ms Hutchison. They understand that the Jesus we follow as part of a Triune God would disapprove of the coddling of the moneyed and corporate classes so obviously being done by your boss. Jesus would want people in power to take care of the least of us. None of the GOP cronies are doing that. Clearly, it is ludicrous to refer to me as “Dear Friend.”

I recognize Ms. Hutchison has millions of constituents and some may bother to contact Ms Hutchison’s office. But a one-size fits all response sent back under the illusion that we all agree with her politics fails to realize that Texas is becoming a purple state. Even worse, the “Dear Friend” letter is loaded with more bullshit than you’d ever find in the Texas Panhandle and you know how much cattle we have here. The response is a cud-like regurgitation of the talking points from the GOP masters that Ms Hutchison, Mr. Cornyn and Mr. Thornberry repeat interminably. They are following the “Big Lie” theory of propaganda: Keep repeating something long enough and it becomes perceived as truth. Do you know who last successfully used this technique to take over a country?

Ms. Hutchison’s claim that her proposals are fiscally responsible and the right approach to a market-based health care system shows an ignorance of basic health care economics. I would think someone who could get through the University of Texas Law School might have the intelligence to understand the basics of supply and demand theory — unless, of course, she got a pass and it’s her staff feeding her information. It’s clear that neither Ms Hutchison nor any of the Republicans spouting this kind of drivel know anything about supply and demand in health care.

The call for national medical malpractice reform is also a cipher. Texas implemented medical malpractice reform and it’s not yet clear that it has help make things better. The fact is that a national medical so-called reform would protect incompetent doctors and place the public at risk. As long as the National Practitioner Database is exempt from the public disclosures and other peer review and medical credentialing are protected from disclosure, so-called malpractice reform is useless.

To close her letter with the bashing of “bureaucrats” and “government” is so beyond being crassly disingenuous that it is a flat-out lie. Yes, I am calling Ms. Hutchison, your boss, a liar — to your face and to her face. Why? Who is that government? She is. She has been on the public payroll a long time and now is employed by me, but she really doesn’t work for me because I’ve not made a big enough campaign contribution to get her attention. The Republicans ran the government for eight years while the Democrats have held their majority for less than a year. The first stimulus package was at the behest of Bush and the GOP. Don’t tell me it’s anyone else’s fault but her and her cronies.

If the GOP part of the Texas delegation continues to blindly goose-step behind George W. Bush, who I hope at least you have noticed, is no longer president, they will find themselves loosing out more and more. By the way, is Ms Hutchison aware of that fact? The public isn’t as stupid as Ms Hutchison thinks they are and will realize Ms Hutchison can only be bought for so long.

You and your health staff might do well to look at history. P:L. 89-749 did more to control costs and rationalize health care than any other legislation ever passed in this country. I may not agree with some of the things in the health reform measure before the Senate now. In fact, I think it is so watered down that I agree with Dr. Howard Dean that it should be killed and started over. I also agree with Sen. Franken, who said we have a right to our opinions, but not our own facts.

I am writing this letter as a personal one, as a constituent. And you’ll notice that throughout I’ve not referred to Ms. Hutchison as a senator because she isn’t my senator. I have no senators from Texas representing my interests in Babylon-on-the-Potomac just as I have no representative from Texas-13 representing me in the house. In fact, most of the people elected to the Senate aren’t worthy of being called senators. They, like Ms Hutchison, are career politicians only interested in aggrandizing themselves and their cronies.

I hope this takes care of the illusion that Ms Hutchison has broad support in the Panhandle.

Very truly yours,