Reply from Glenn Nye

I have received a reply from Glenn Nye to my email to him. I must say I am impressed by how quickly I received this reply.

August 5, 2009

Dear David,

Thank you for contacting me with your suggestions for reforming our health care system. It is helpful to learn the views of my friends and neighbors in Tidewater, and I appreciate having your input.

Our country is facing a growing health care crisis. The cost of health insurance is skyrocketing while the average American is seeing their income stagnate. Many Virginia families are caught in the middle, they cannot afford health insurance yet do not qualify for Medicaid. Both the health of our citizens and the health of our nation are at stake, and we must take action. However, it is important that we also make the necessary reforms to the system and get health care reform right.

I recently spoke with a 20-year Navy veteran from Virginia Beach, who told me about his daughter's struggle with just this. When she was just 3 years old, she was diagnosed with cancer and continues to take expensive medication to keep the disease in remission. She is now a college student working toward her teaching degree. Since he is a military retiree, his daughter is currently covered under his TRICARE until she graduates. But after that, as she begins her teaching career, the current system makes it essentially impossible for her to find her own insurance that will cover the cost of her medication, because of her pre-existing condition. Stories like this are all too common and I will not support any health care reform legislation that does not include a provision to cover those with pre-existing conditions.

You will be pleased to know that the insurance companies are realizing they must make concessions in the health care reform discussion. In fact, the largest association of insurers, American Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), has come to understand that they must include those with pre-existing conditions and now support a pre-existing condition provision in the upcoming health care reform legislation.

Medical care in the U.S. should be the best in the world, and to this point, it has been difficult to get an open and honest discussion of the facts. However one thing is certain, too many Americans are either uninsured or underinsured and Congress must act soon to provide the necessary catalyst we need.

Congress is currently working to totally revamp our health care system and I believe there are several key components this reform must contain to be successful: it is absolutely imperative that any health care plan must reduce costs for families and small businesses, allow Americans to keep their existing plan, choose their doctor, maintain Medicare benefits, accept those with preexisting conditions, and not strip any servicemember or veteran from their TRICARE or VA benefits.

It is unacceptable that more than forty-six million Americans do not have health care coverage. However, we must fix our current system before we add more people into it, which will only exacerbate our current problems. We need to fix current utilization, create real money saving efficiencies, and through a coordinated effort we must incentivize health and preventive care rather than sick care. Additionally, we must focus on improving our long-term and in-home care programs within Medicare. These programs are critical to providing consistent care and ensuring the high quality of life we all want for our aging population. To accomplish this we should look at the experiences of other countries when making future choices, along with finding the appropriate mix of public and private involvement that will best serve all Americans. Only then can we provide access to all Americans.

Like you, I believe that increasing access and the size of risk pools will help drive costs down. This includes not only the young and healthy, but those with pre-existing conditions.

Reforming our health care system is one of my top priorities in Congress, and I am convinced that we can develop a high quality system that remains fiscally responsible and does not increase the deficit. As Congress considers health care reform, I will make certain to factor your recommendations into my decision making.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact my office on this issue. I am proud to serve Virginia's Second Congressional District, and I am committed to working hard for you. If you would like more information about other issues I am working on in Congress, or if you would like to sign up to receive my monthly e-newsletter, I encourage you to visit my website at www.nye.house.gov.


Glenn Nye
Member of Congress
For the most part, I am going to allow this reply to speak for itself, however I will say that I am heartened that Glenn Nye seems to share my concerns.

I am also going to add that while Glenn's being part of the Blue Dog caucus was not addressed in either my own email or Glenn's reply, his involvement with the caucus is something that I applaud. I am confident the Blue Dogs will be working both out front and behind the scenes to ensure the final result is fiscally responsible.


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