By EVELYN PHILLIPS
Dear Rep. Mike Simpson,
I was going to send you some money this spring as you face a Tea Party opponent, because of your efforts over the years to protect the Boulder-White Clouds by introducing a bill (CIEDRA) to create a new wilderness area there, and because of your promise to bring back Amtrak’s Pioneer train through Idaho.
But, after reading your commentary in the Idaho Mountain Express newspaper of Feb. 19, titled “Obama broke promises on health care,” and then reading Dr. Elliot Mercer’s excellent letter to the editor in the same newspaper of Feb. 26, I have changed my mind. Your position on this very important issue has soured any support I had for you. In your commentary you state, in regards to the Affordable Care Act, that you will “continue to support delaying it, defunding, reforming or repealing it, and offering solutions to replace the law with real reforms to improve the health system for all Americans.”
Dr. Mercer, a physician, says your commentary is full of hyperbole (overstatements and embroidery), inaccuracies and outright lies. I agree with him, and I have to think that your efforts in regard to the ACA are not motivated by noble intentions, but by some resentment and ill will.
It is obvious that the Republicans
are doing nothing in Congress.
Mercer says, ”Your distaste for President Obama is so great that you would oppose anything that our elected president, or the Democratic party, proposed.” In the Sunday, March 2, edition of The New York Times, the lead editorial wrote of “a House that seems to pride itself on doing nothing.” The editorial went on to say that “the group Heritage Action for America urged the House to stop legislating and focus only on attacking the Obama administration.”
It is obvious that the Republicans are doing nothing in Congress. If this isn’t true, why haven’t we seen any “solutions” proposed by your party, since the health care debate began?
Despite the hiccups and flaws and problems rolling out such a complicated law (it was the same with the New Deal) this new health care law is actually working. I know of three success stories right here in Idaho.
My sister, who just paid off a knee replacement with complications, is one. For years she had been paying very high premiums with a maximum deductible of $7,500. She went to the Idaho exchange online and found a good insurance plan with no deductible and very low monthly premiums. Pre-existing conditions did not factor in. Two other friends told me that they now feel secure, enrolled in good plans, with low or no deductibles and affordable monthly premiums (one was previously uninsured and now qualifies for a subsidy). They went through the federal exchange. I am sure there are lots more of these success stories out there.
In my own case, my insurance company at first wanted to raise my premiums more than double, but thanks to the ACA, I was able to stay on the same plan until later this summer, when I will qualify for Medicare. With legislators behaving like you, and anti-government sentiment running rampant, I worry that even Medicare might be endangered soon.
So, I am giving my money to a friend from Virginia who is running for the U.S. House of Representatives as a Democrat. She is Suzanne Patrick—she is committed to affordable health care for all, and she believes that government can do great things for our nation.
Evelyn Phillips, a longtime county resident, lives near Hailey. She is a member of the Idaho Mountain Express board of directors.