Congressman Jim Moran, a Democrat in the 8th Congressional District of Virginia (representing the urban core of Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church, and significant portions of Fairfax County), held a phone townhall meeting this evening.A number of great questions were asked regarding health care and health care financing reform, but the Congressman crucially did not answer where he, himself, stood on these issues, speaking only in generalities about the types of bills he expected to get out of the House or to finally pass both Houses of Congress.In response, and since I was left dangling in the queue and unable to ask the questions I wanted to ask, I composed the following letter to Congressman Moran:
Dear Congressman:I listened to your entire townhall conversation this evening (7/13), but was in the queue to ask my questions when time expired. First of all, thank you for holding this phone town hall.My questions piggyback off of the questions posed by the woman from Reston re: single payer health care and a robust public option.You mentioned numerous times that single payer is off the table, and that you thought that some kind of public option might be included in the final bill. However, you, yourself, never committed to either of these options, spending quite some time detailing your concern about the costs of enacting these reforms.1) In the 110th (and previous) Congresses, you were a co-sponsor of Representative Conyers’ HR 676, which would provide single payer universal health care coverage for all Americans. Why are you no longer co-sponsoring this bill in the 111th Congress after previously co-sponsoring it? And, do you support this bill and/or some other version of single-payer coverage even though you no longer are a co-sponsor of this legislation? If you no longer support single payer, what has changed since last December to cause you to switch your stance on this crucial issue?2) Do YOU support a robust public option for health care that is available to all Americans on day one to compete with the for-profit health insurance industry that has completely failed to ensure quality health care financing coverage for a large percentage of American citizens? If you do not support a public option, why not?3) If cost is the reason that you do not support a public option in health care, why was it okay then to support and vote for $700 BILLION in bailout monies for the largest financial institutions — all in deficit spending in less than one fiscal calendar year — but it is now NOT feasible to spend around the same amount ($700 Billion to $1 Trillion) over 10 years to reform our health care system? 4) If you do not support reforming our health care financing system such that a public option is allowed to compete with for-profit insurance companies to encourage cost reductions, do you then pledge to give up your taxpayer-subsidized health care coverage and to attempt to find coverage on the open market using your own resources as millions of un- and under-employed Americans currently do?Thank you for answering these questions in a timely manner, and I look forward to your responses.Cordially,Ron Lafond
We’ll see if I get any response back from the Congressman that actually answers these questions, or if we only get a dodgy response instead. I’ll post the response here. Senators Webb and Warner will be forwarded similar letters.