By U.S. Rep. Vernon Ehlers, 3rd District
This year, a large number of people in West Michigan contacted me with their thoughts on making changes to our nation’s health care. I heard from some people in West Michigan who do not have access to affordable health care since they lost access to affordable health insurance when they lost their jobs or they have pre-existing conditions that make the cost of insurance prohibitive.
There is no question that access to health care and affordable health insurance must be improved. Affordable health care should be available to everyone, and people should have access to the type of health insurance, health care and doctors they want.
However, I also heard from others who are very concerned about the proposals put forth by the Democrats. The Democrats’ proposal is not the cure; it does not make the improvements our health care system needs. For example, the current proposal (H.R. 3200) may do nothing to control the growth of health care costs, and would lead to monumental deficit spending. For these reasons, I oppose the Democrats’ bill as it currently stands.
The plan President Obama outlined sounds quite similar to the Democrats’ legislation. However, I was pleased to hear him mention the need to halt deficit spending and contain medical liability costs. Unfortunately, he offered few details about how he proposes to do this.
I sincerely hope that President Obama is willing to listen to the people in West Michigan and the rest of our nation, and work with me and my colleagues, in developing legislation that will improve our health care. In fact, I have been working with my colleagues to develop legislation that will protect the relationship between doctors and patients, lower the cost of care, expand options for people to obtain health insurance, give incentives to medical students entering primary care fields, and improve the quality of our health care.
I agree with President Obama that expanding access to health care insurance is urgent and critical to millions of people in America. I look forward to working with him and leaders from both parties in the House on bi-partisan legislation that expands access to health care and health insurance for all Americans.
Vernon J. Ehlers
Member of Congress