And a letter from Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn responding to good friend Dr. Richard Fisher's letter:
August 6, 2009
Dr. Richard Fisher
8808 Bredbury Cove East
Cordova, Tennessee 38016-6498
Dear Dr. Fisher:
What a pleasure to hear from you. Thank you for contacting me to share your opposition regarding a universal government run health care plan. Hearing from constituents on issues of concern is important to our office and me as we work to represent our district.
Today, more than 41 million Americans are either without health care or participate in a basic system that provides only marginal coverage. As a result of a myriad of state regulations and our current tax code, many small businesses cannot afford to offer health insurance and many individuals cannot afford to purchase health insurance. Additionally, people often fear leaving their current job with employer-based health insurance due to the lack of portability and the limited number of affordable insurance options either for individuals or in the small business market.
Also, the rising cost of healthcare is a troubling problem. According to the most recent Medicare trustees report, total Medicare expenditures are estimated to be 3.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2006, reaching 11.0 percent in 2080. With our rapidly aging society, costs can be expected to increase as more individuals join the Medicare program. Without some true reform, the high cost of health care and the difficulties in obtaining health insurance will continue.
Like you, I do not support a universal government run health care plan. It is my belief that a system like this would take away the ability for you to make decisions about your own health care and put it in the hands of government bureaucrats. The best way to expand health care coverage is by giving the individual the power to choose a medical option with his or her own insurance, not by having a government official tell us what procedures are allowed and refuse to provide additional treatments. As the 111th Congress begins, I will continue to push for reforms that will lower costs and increase health care options for all Americans.
Please be assured of my continued commitment to ensuring Americans have access to health insurance. Congress must do more to expand high quality health care and make it more available and affordable for working families. Our nation must move from today's bureaucracy-driven, heavily regulated health care system to a new patient-centered system of consumer choice and free-market competition. As your Representative, I am committed to making sure that all of Tennessee's families have access to affordable, high quality health care, and I will continue to work hard so that this goal can be realized.
Please know that I appreciate both your interest and time in contacting us on this issue. As the discussion moves forward on this and other issues, please feel free to visit our website at www.house.gov/blackburn where you can sign-up for our email update, learn about constituent services, and find the latest legislative news and critical information that affects and concerns the people of Tennessee.
Member of Congress