Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Reform Rx - Dear Senator

I am only one voter. In fact, I did not vote for your re-election. However, despite growing skepticism, I hope that you might represent me and fellow Maine citizens regarding health care to accomplish what we deem is of vital necessity.

I am only one voter. I cannot compete with insurance company special interests and large profit making corporations. Should I ever be able to visit you briefly in our capital or at a Maine office, I still lack the privilege of constant daily Washington access to you that these industries and their lobbyists enjoy. I cannot compete with paid self-described experts working tenaciously to influence you and your staff.

I am only one voter but in regard to health care reform, I believe my concerns about health care reform ought to prevail over those of any special interest. I represent not an industry but one affected voter joined with a swelling demand for substantive action on behalf of citizen expectations.

There are aspects of health care reform which are starkly clear to a voter. Reform that is not profound and robust will not serve the everyday, serious financial and health requirements of Maine citizens. We instinctively recognize that a light touch of minor guidelines and incentives that can be ignored or manipulated, disregards our needs. We fear tepid action and delay becoming a harbinger of future difficult dilemmas that will be more daunting. We intuitively understand that reform without a strong and direct government role from its initiation will simply not transform health care.

I am only one voter but engage in discussing health care everyday with fellow voters who are neighbors, relatives, social acquaintances, and fellow workers. They find consensus in the need for dramatic reform led by direct permanent government involvement as the solution to this vital issue. They are a broad group of individual voters; some have supported you in the past, others have not. In candid discussion, they all believe they are deserving of your full support now of their consensus.

You take hundreds of votes as our Senator. Consideration of varied interests on these votes is valid. However, a few times in a long Senate career, there are vital matters of overwhelming importance that distinguish leaders and directly affect the very lives of constituents in a way that will last well beyond your service. Some of these times present fundamental choices between clear constituent voices and very powerful influences. I am only one voter who sees heath care reform as one of these significant matters that requires unequivocal and decisive action, reflected in the conversations and concerns heard everyday in Maine.

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