Tuesday, January 18, 2011


If sophistry is the use of false arguments to deceive people, then your and your party's justification for repealing last year's health care reform law is a textbook example.

For starters, the title of your repeal bill, H.R. 2: Repealing the Job Killing Health Care Law Act, is both false and a travesty of language that should never be used to title a proposed law. Whoever penned that title must have had low information voters and the health insurance industry in mind. Against all the wonderful features this law has begun to provide the 32 million folks without adequate health care (and the rest of us as well), the best you can come up with is "job killing" to describe it, with no substantiation whatsoever.

Have you ever told your 700,000 6th District constituents about those benefits?

It's now illegal for health insurance companies to deny children coverage for pre-existing conditions

It's now illegal for them to rescind a policy after a person becomes sick, or to cap the amount that insurance companies will pay for medical care over a lifetime

Young folks can now remain on their parents' policies until age 26

Insurers are now required to cover preventative care in new policies without cost-sharing

They must also spend at least 80% of premiums on medical care and quality improvements instead of bloated administrative costs and fabulous salaries for the super rich executives

Repeal would eliminate federal tax credits helping small businesses coverage to their employees

Repeal, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office would drive up the national deficit by 230 billion over the next decade and much more in later years, due to loss of the medical cost reductions that will flow from this reform.

Your recent comment in the local press that "There was no ambiguity of what the public thinks of the new health care law", is vintage Roskam sophistry. The truth is that when you add up the folks who want the law strengthend to include a public option, to those who support it without reservation, a sizeable majority (62% in one poll just today) are against repeal.

But this debate is not about just dollars and cents, Congressman. Every year thousands of families suffer bankruptcy trying to pay medical bills, or infinitely worse, suffer catastrophic illness and death because our heartless society fails to provide them with the most basic but unaffordable service: decent health care. The US alone, among the 34 most developed countries, allows private insurance companies to acquire enormous wealth at the expense of the solvency and the health and the lives of the people they, up till now, have so cavalierly exploited. We just began to turn the corner on that indefensible system with the imperfect law it took a year to pass last year over the campaign you so willingly joined, financed by hundreds of millions of health insurance company dollars. And what is the second law you and your party put forward to improve our nation in the 112th Congress?


If you are proud of that proposed law and that priority in the new Congress, then your interest group is not the People, but the special interests whose gravy train is fueled by the least fortunate in our society. I suggest a less sophistic but more truthful title for your repeal bill:


National health care was first proposed by your Republican forbear Teddy Roosevelt in 1912 and it took 98 years to get an imperfect first step; imperfect due to the relentless obstacles you and your party, funded by the special interests, put in its path. If the ghost of TR came down to a Republican gathering today, many would shout "Progressive" and banish him from the premises.

The vote tomorrow is a foregone, but pyrrhic victory for your party; there is no chance for actual repeal due to the Democratic Senate the the Presidential veto pen. Don't waste the Peoples' time fulfilling a campaign pledge to the folks who fund your likely lifetime political office, complete with one of the best health insurance plans in the country. Rethink your intransigence to the forces of progress, which, though slow and riddled with setbacks, are relentless. Vote tomorrow against repeal and earn an S, not for Sophism, but for Statesmanship.

Respectfully yours,

Walt Zlotow
Glen Ellyn, IL