This is the email I sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. You too can send him an email or call him at 303-866-4500 or mail him at 1525 Sherman St., Denver, Colorado 80203. You can learn more about our attorney general at http://www.coloradoattorneygeneral.gov.
Dear Attorney General Suthers,
I read your press release indicating you would be joining in the lawsuit challenging challenge the constitutionality of the individual health care mandate in the recently enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. I am writing to express my disapproval of this action on a number of grounds.
First, I do not think this is a good use of the state’s resources, given the dire straits of the economy and looming budget cuts to key services including funding of education and given the unlikelihood of any success. Please see the article by Timothy S. Jost, J.D. titled Can the States Nullify Health Reform in the New England Journal of Medicine at http://healthcarereform.nejm.org/?p=2967. The opinion of this article, with which I heartily agree, is that these lawsuits are about political posturing rather than any expectation of success. I would rather see State resources, for which I contribute tax dollars, be used to better effect. For example, if you wanted to spend your efforts looking into health insurance companies who rescind policies that are duly paid up, when the holder of that policy gets sick and actually needs the benefits they’ve been paying for, I would certainly support that effort.
Secondly, and most profoundly, I, like a majority of Americans and Coloradans, do support Health Care Reform. We voted in decisive numbers in the 2008 election for change and this is the kind of change we meant. With unemployment rates up, many Coloradans have lost their jobs and their health care insurance; if they are off insurance long enough, without healthcare reform, they can be denied for pre-existing conditions. Without healthcare reform, children can be denied insurance due to pre-existing conditions. Without healthcare reform, seniors will continue to be penalized by the donut hole in the coverage of prescription drugs.
Without health care reform, insurance companies will continue to make record profits, deliver to their executives record bonuses and increase their premiums by record amounts while Americans lose their insurance in record numbers. That is not the kind of record Coloradans or any Americans deserve.
To address specifically the issue of individual mandate, I recommend the September 2009 opinion by Bill Frist is U.S. News & World Report titled ”An Individual Mandate for Health Insurance Would Benefit All” at . He makes three key points about why this is necessary:
- Elimination of Wasteful Cost-Shifting
- Reduction of adverse selection
While the individual mandate alone is no panacea and this health care reform bill is only an imperfect start on the broad range of reforms needed to lower healthcare costs and improve healthcare outcomes, the time to start is now.
I urge you to withdraw from this pointless lawsuit and focus on the real needs of Coloradans.