Sunday, February 28, 2010

Interesting phone call to my Congressman's office

Two days ago, I woke up and was telling my wife how disgusted I was with the federal government's response to the Wellpoint rate increases.  In a nutshell, individuals residing in California that are insured by Wellpoint were recently informed their insurance rates will be going up by 39%.  HHS's response has been to invite Wellpoint CEO to Washington to explain why they are increasing their rates on individuals.  My disgust with this is that the real reason Wellpoint is able to hike rates on individuals buying their possibilities is because under the current, archaic tax laws, there is little competition when it comes to individual policies because there is such a tremendous tax advantage to purchasing health insurance through an employer.  Eliminating this unfair advantage people get when they purchase insurance through their employer rather than as an individual would go a long way towards transforming our health care system.

Getting back to the ranting and raving with my wife--I told her I was going to call my Congressman and find out why he wasn't supporting such a reform plan.  I called Congressman Lipinski's office at about 8:15 EST, and I am pleased to tell you that I was talking to the Congressman at 9:00 AM EST.  At this point, my confidence in our government was already being restored.  He informed me that he was a cosponsor of the House version of the Healthy Americans Act, which would eliminate the unfair tax advantage.  By the time he told me that this bill had bipartisan support in the Senate, I was really starting to wonder why Americans weren't demanding more of a hearing of this approach.  I encouraged Congressman Lipinski to continue pushing this approach.  Do you think now is a window of opportunity for this approach to get a hearing?  Would you call your Senator and Congressman and demand a hearing of this approach?  By the way, the bill is only 170 pages long.

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