Asking Sen. Gillibrand, Sen. Schumer, Rep. Hinchey about the Healthcare Bill

The following is the exact email sent to Senator Gillibrand, Senator Schumer, Representative Hinchey about the proposed Health Care Reform Bill currently under debate in Congress.

Each of the above represent me from New York State. That is the only reason each was sent the following email (also to be sent August 11th via regular mail).

The only purpose is to have real, exact answers from Congressional Representatives on this critical issue. All responses will be verbatim. All questions are based on those posed to me by real Americans across the country, and my own questions. The questions and this post are without political backing of any group.

In addition a similar copy has been sent to President Barack Obama as well.

President Barack Obama, Senator Gillibrand, Senator Schumer, Representative Hinchey

My name is Michael Vass. I am a citizen of New York State and the United States of America, of voting age, a former member of the military, a small business owner, and involved in politics. You are my representative in Congress and Washington D.C.

I write for blogs (including Black Entertainment USA, VASS, Presidential Race Blog, Breaking News Blog, Worth Blog, ect) on numerous topics, which includes American politics, and am considered a member of the press (at least on a local level). My political writing has readers of multiple political party affiliations, and consistently number in excess of 100,000 per month per blog.

I have stated all that as I have questions in regard to the health care reform that is being debated in Congress at this time. Based on my own research I have several beliefs, but I believe there is no better source for verification of the truth than the legislative representatives that represent me in Washington D.C.

In addition, I will provide all my questions, and any and all responses from you, to my readers so that they may draw their own conclusions on this vital issue.

I pride myself on providing factual evidence and never altering a single word of any person I have ever interviewed. To that end, my corporation and my personal reputation guarantee that any response on the questions I ask will be verbatim as they always have been. And I will also offer you the ability to answer any and all of my questions in person on video or via a representative of your choosing, at your preference.

The questions I would ask of you are the following:

  • 1) There has been some debate about the cost of current proposals for the Health Care Reform Bill. Estimates range from several hundred billion dollars to in excess of $1.5 trillion. What is the actual cost of the entire Health Care Reform Bill as currently stipulated? Is this cost verified by the CBO or other Independent Agency? Does this cost include Medicare and other similar pre-existing programs?
  • 2) Does the current Health Care Reform Bill (HCRB) require any Americans to switch existing coverage to a Government plan? If so how many Americans are estimated to be required to change and where does that estimate come from?
  • 3) What is the on-going cost of the HCRB? To clarify, once enacted how many new Government workers will be required to run the program and what cost will the program have on an annual basis?
  • 4) What is the estimated cost of coverage for a family of 3 (ie. husband and wife with 1 pre-teen child) making $30,000 that currently does not have health coverage, per month? Where does that estimate come from?
  • 5) What is the cost of coverage for the same family as noted above that had private insurance and switched?
  • 6) How much does the cost change based on income and/or additional children from the above figures?
  • 7) Is there a punitive cost to the HCRB? To clarify, it has been stated that those electing not to take the Government plan will incur a 2.5% penalty assessed in their taxes. Is that correct? Is there any additional cost beyond that?
  • 8 ) There is some question as to whether the elderly and/or those with handicaps might suffer changes to their current health care coverage. Will coverage for the abovementioned groups ever change? Who decides the changes in coverage for these groups?
  • 9) There have been questions in the nature of health care the HCRB will provide. Many refer to the Canadian and British Health Care Systems. In both of these national systems it is factual that there is a backlog for certain procedures, such as knee surgery and mammograms among others, that extends for several months. What guarantees does the HCRB provide to ensure this does not happen in America?
  • 10) It is also a fact that certain medications are withheld from certain groups in the British and Canadian healthcare models. What guarantee is there in the HCRB that will ensure medications for the elderly, or for Breast Cancer patients (as is a factual example in Britian), are not restricted or precluded from coverage? Also what ensures that guarantee will never change?
  • 11) Will the American Government have access to private patient information that is currently restricted by law from the Government database?
  • 12) What incentive will private insurers (who employ tens of thousands of Americans) have to compete with a Government plan that is paid for by taxpayers and thus can be run at an annual loss?
  • 13) Will the HCRB create new or increased taxes for businesses? If so, how much and what if any businesses are exempt?
  • 14) If the HCRB does not run at a loss, creating a profit of any amount, what is to be done with the money generated?
  • 15) Will Congress and/or any elected official be mandated to be covered by the exact same Government program as the general public? If not why?
  • 16) The inception of Medicare and other similar Government programs were created with initial budgets that ensured solvency. Since that time they have grown in size and cost to be over 1000x projected costs. What safeguards are in place to ensure that the HCRB does not grow in a similar manner?
  • 17) Why have provisions, such as the ability of the Government to enter a private home and instruct parent about raising children (on a voluntary basis), been included in the HCRB?
  • 18) Current estimates state that the proposed means of paying for the HCRB – taxes on the top 1 – 5% of incomes – will not cover the cost of the Bill. In fact, if estimates are correct, the entire tax revenue (non-recessionary) of the U.S. is not enough to cover the cost of HCRB. Where exactly will the difference, if any, come from?
  • 19) Why is there a need to pass the HCRB before the 4th quarter? Already we have seen that immediate passage of the Obama Stimulus package created unforeseen problems, as one example. Why is taking more time to review all aspects of the 1100 page Bill, and it’s most likely effects, counter-productive to the American public?
  • 20) Will the HCRB provide coverage to illegal aliens (undocumented workers)? If so, how does that coverage factor into individual costs and/or the national cost?
  • 21) How many of the estimated 47 million people (roughly 12% of all Americans) without healthcare will remain without coverage based on the HCRB, if any?

These are the main questions I have heard and discussed with colleagues, business owners, and average working Americans across the nation in every age group, race, religion, ethnic background, and economic status for the past 2 months. These are the questions that I believe that constituents in New York State would like to have an answer to.

The above questions are precluded by a single question. I have assumed the answer, but for the sake of absolute clarity I will ask it.

  • Have you personally read and understood all 1000+ pages of the proposed Health Care Reform Bill?

    I want to thank you for your response to each of these questions. As I stated I believe voters in this State, as well as across the nation will appreciate your direct simple answers to these questions. I have no doubt that upon hearing the facts, as your answers will attest to, the voting public will be able to determine if they wish to support or reject the HCRB. And once the voters that elected you to office have spoken, I have no doubt that you will act as they have mandated.

    As stated at the beginning of this letter, I will be placing this entire document on the internet. I will be sending this to your offices in New York State and in Washington D.C., via email and in physical form via U.S. mail. You are welcome to respond via comment, email, or in person (or via a direct representative in person). Any and every response will be posted verbatim, so that no voter or citizen of the nation will have any question about your response.

    If you have any question about anything I have asked, or wish to arrange for any form of response, you may contact my at 718-344-6921 or via email at info@vassconsult.com. Due to the public nature of this letter, I hope you understand that both are my business contact information, but will ensure contact with me.

    I thank you for taking the time to respond to your constituents, most directly myself.

    Sincerely

    Michael Vass
    President of M V Consulting, Inc.
    info@vassconsult.com
    718-344-6921

  • ***Feel free to copy this letter and send it to your Congressional Representatives, with your own name and address.***

    About the Author

    Michael Vass
    Born in 1968, a political commentator for over a decade. Has traveled the U.S. and lived in Moscow and Tsblisi, A former stockbroker and 2014 Congressional candidate. Passionate about politics with emphasis on 1st and 2nd Amendments.

    5 Comments on "Asking Sen. Gillibrand, Sen. Schumer, Rep. Hinchey about the Healthcare Bill"

    1. As of 3:17:16AM I recieved an automated email from Sen. Schumer acknowledging having received the letter and stating a response will come when possible.

    2. As found on Facebook.

      Pamela Morris Clearwater

      Good questions, Michael. Look forward to reading any replies you may get.

    3. As of Aug 18, 2009 at 5:04PM I received the following response from Senator Charles Schumer. The following is a verbatim copy of the letter sent to me.

      Dear Mr. Vass:

      Thank you for contacting me and expressing your support for increasing access and coverage in health care reform. I wholeheartedly agree, and am committed to health care reform that will enhance access to quality and affordable health care for every American.

      Our country is facing a crisis in health care. The cost of health insurance is skyrocketing, and too many New York families are caught in the middle. Like you, I believe it is absolutely unacceptable that more than forty-six million Americans do not have health care coverage. Both the health of our citizens and the health of our nation are at stake, and we must act soon.

      I also strongly support the establishment of a public health insurance option which would create a not-for-profit insurance plan, started by the government, which would compete on a level playing field with existing private health insurance plans. Because the public health insurance option would be not-for-profit, it would help to lower premiums and, therefore, exert downward pressure on the premiums of existing insurance plans. This change is pro-consumer because it adds competition to insurance markets, allowing New Yorkers and all Americans one more choice of affordable and comprehensive health insurance.

      Too many Americans are either uninsured or underinsured and Congress must act soon to provide the necessary catalyst we need. The Senate Finance Committee, of which I am a member, is working with all stakeholders in the health care community to develop a strong bill that can help solve our current health crisis.

      Thank you for contacting me about this important issue. Please do not hesitate to contact me again if I can ever be of assistance to you on this, or any other matter.

      Sincerely,

      Charles E. Schumer
      United States Senator

      Please do not respond to this email. To send another message please visit my website at http://schumer.senate.gov/SchumerWebsite/contact/webform.cfm . Thank you.=

    4. As of this moment, no comment or response has come from Senator Gillibrand or Representative Hinchey.

      My thoughts on the response will be found in a seperate post.

    5. The following is the letter from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, responding to my letter and email on August 11, 2009. This is the verbatim transcription of the letter received today in the mail.

      September 10, 2009

      Dear Mr. Vass,

      Thank you for writing to me about the current state of our healthcare system. I appreciate your point of view and share many of your concerns. I believe that it is vital that we act now to bring forth health care reform solutions that will lower the cost for those currently covered by private insurance, strengthen Medicare for seniors and allow every American to access quality and affordable health care.

      Our healthcare system is currently badly broken. Over the last ten years, health care premium increases have far outpaced earned wages and forty-seven million Americans, including three million New Yorkers, are currently uninsured and an additional 25 million are under insured. With our current economic situation, many Americans are losing their insurance coverage when they are laid off from their jobs. Even people who thought they were adequately covered with the health insurance they purchased later to learn that they are not when facing catastrophic diagnosis. This is unacceptable. No family should be one health care emergency away from bankruptcy. Congress must act to provide stability in the health insurance industry.

      Quality care for the patient, affordability for families and small businesses, and patient choice are all important considerations in reforming our health care system. We need a plan in place that Americans will be able to afford, as well as allow them a true choice between competing health insurance plans. Having a public option, similar to a Medicare-for-all program, would create competition and result in lower health care costs across the board. If you are happy with the coverage you currently have, a public option would also allow you to keep it.

      I have been a strong supporter of affordable, quality health insurance for all. I am committed to addressing this important issue and will work with my Seante colleagues on a bipartisan solution.

      Thank you again for writing to express your concerns and I hope that you keep in touch with my office regarding future legislation and concerns you may have. For more information on this and other important issues, please visit my website at http://gillibrand.senate.gov and sign up for my e-newsletter.

      Sincerely yours,

      Kirsten E. Gillibrand

    Thank you for lending your voice. We appreciate hearing what you have to say.

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