Harry Teague’s Office Sends 2 Responses

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Several weeks ago I sent 2 emails to Harry Teague about Health Care Reform.  This is the response I received from him.  Today I received answers to the two emails I’d sent to Teague.  I’m going to c/p from the email and let you be the judge.

Steve Pearce is challenging Harry Teague.  If Teague keeps up with the following tactics, he’s in deep dodo.

Email #1

August 17, 2009
Dear SJ,

Thank you for contacting me about H.Res. 615 and reforming our troubled health insurance system.  I have spent over 30 years working to build prosperity and opportunity in Southern New Mexico, and I appreciate having the benefit of your views as I continue that work in the United States Congress.

As you know, H.Res. 615 would express the sense of the House of Representatives that those who vote in favor of a public option in H.R. 3200 should forgo their right to participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.  I understand the concerns you have regarding a public health care option.  Like you, I do not believe that Congress should legislate solutions mandating health care plans that they themselves would not opt into.

Many constituents have contacted me to share their thoughts on the health insurance reform legislation currently being worked on in Congress.  Many are happy with the coverage they have today and do not want to see that changed and an equal number either do not have coverage or are struggling to provide insurance for their families or their employees.  Regardless of their situation, it is clear that there is wide spread agreement that our health insurance system is broken and needs reform.

Our current healthcare system is overly bureaucratic, it costs way too much, it covers too few, it hurts small businesses, and it undermines our nation’s economic competitiveness and strength.   In New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional district alone, 154,000 people are uninsured, 660 bankruptcies occurred because of health care related costs, health providers were not compensated for $104 million in care, and the average individual pays over $4,000 a year in health costs.

Health care spending has spiraled out of control, piling costs on businesses, local governments, families and individuals.  In 2008, national health expenditures rose almost 7 percent – two times the rate of inflation.  Total health care spending now accounts for a staggering 17 percent of America’s economy activity and, without reform, is expected to continue increasing over the next decade until costs reach $4.3 trillion in 2017, or 20 percent of our total economic activity.

Without reform costs will continue to spiral out of control.  This will make our economic recovery and achieving balanced budgets even more difficult – access to affordable healthcare insurance will become more elusive, and businesses and families will be crushed at every turn by rising costs.

Any reform, however, is no substitute for the right reform.  For this reason, I am pleased that the House decided to delay the vote on H.R. 3200, America’s Affordable Health Choices Act, until after the August District Work Period. This will give my colleagues and me time to consider the bill thoroughly and talk to our constituents face-to-face about their priorities on healthcare.

As both Congress and the American people consider different proposals for health insurance reform, I will be looking for a plan that does the following:

o   Brings health care spending under control, so we can decrease our skyrocketing budget deficit and enable economic recovery;

o   Protects small businesses and those that create jobs and wealth in our country from unnecessary tax increases;

o   Offers every American more choice in health care coverage options, including the choice to keep their current plans and their current doctors if they want;

o   Reduces the health insurance burden on American business to enable job creation and economic growth;

o   Provides more quality and affordable health insurance coverage for Americans than our current system.

As a small business owner, I had to work very hard to provide health insurance for our employees.  I know how important but also difficult that is to do.  I also know what it is to not have access to health care, and I have experienced the economic hardship that accompanies not having health insurance.  Health insurance reform must reduce spiraling health care costs, give Americans access to quality and affordable coverage, and limit the burden on American business.  I hope to work with my colleagues in the House to make sure any healthcare legislation we pass in Congress fits this description.

Thanks again, SJ, for contacting me about this important issue.  As a newly elected Member of Congress, I have been working hard to open several offices around the district so I can provide you with the highest possible level of access and service.  I am happy to announce that these district offices are up and running, and for your convenience, I have included their contact information along with this correspondence.  Please do not hesitate to pay my offices a visit or be in touch if I can be of assistance.  Please watch out for coming announcements and I hope to see you in Glencoe or any office that is convenient for you someday soon.

Sincerely,

Harry Teague
Member of Congress

Email #2

“August 17, 2009
Dear SJ,

Thank you for contacting me about H.Res. 615 and reforming our troubled health insurance system.  I have spent over 30 years working to build prosperity and opportunity in Southern New Mexico, and I appreciate having the benefit of your views as I continue that work in the United States Congress.

As you know, H.Res. 615 would express the sense of the House of Representatives that those who vote in favor of a public option in H.R. 3200 should forgo their right to participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.  I understand the concerns you have regarding a public health care option.  Like you, I do not believe that Congress should legislate solutions mandating health care plans that they themselves would not opt into.

Many constituents have contacted me to share their thoughts on the health insurance reform legislation currently being worked on in Congress.  Many are happy with the coverage they have today and do not want to see that changed and an equal number either do not have coverage or are struggling to provide insurance for their families or their employees.  Regardless of their situation, it is clear that there is wide spread agreement that our health insurance system is broken and needs reform.

Our current healthcare system is overly bureaucratic, it costs way too much, it covers too few, it hurts small businesses, and it undermines our nation’s economic competitiveness and strength.   In New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional district alone, 154,000 people are uninsured, 660 bankruptcies occurred because of health care related costs, health providers were not compensated for $104 million in care, and the average individual pays over $4,000 a year in health costs.

Health care spending has spiraled out of control, piling costs on businesses, local governments, families and individuals.  In 2008, national health expenditures rose almost 7 percent – two times the rate of inflation.  Total health care spending now accounts for a staggering 17 percent of America’s economy activity and, without reform, is expected to continue increasing over the next decade until costs reach $4.3 trillion in 2017, or 20 percent of our total economic activity.

Without reform costs will continue to spiral out of control.  This will make our economic recovery and achieving balanced budgets even more difficult – access to affordable healthcare insurance will become more elusive, and businesses and families will be crushed at every turn by rising costs.

Any reform, however, is no substitute for the right reform.  For this reason, I am pleased that the House decided to delay the vote on H.R. 3200, America’s Affordable Health Choices Act, until after the August District Work Period. This will give my colleagues and me time to consider the bill thoroughly and talk to our constituents face-to-face about their priorities on healthcare.

As both Congress and the American people consider different proposals for health insurance reform, I will be looking for a plan that does the following:

o   Brings health care spending under control, so we can decrease our skyrocketing budget deficit and enable economic recovery;

o   Protects small businesses and those that create jobs and wealth in our country from unnecessary tax increases;

o   Offers every American more choice in health care coverage options, including the choice to keep their current plans and their current doctors if they want;

o   Reduces the health insurance burden on American business to enable job creation and economic growth;

o   Provides more quality and affordable health insurance coverage for Americans than our current system.

As a small business owner, I had to work very hard to provide health insurance for our employees.  I know how important but also difficult that is to do.  I also know what it is to not have access to health care, and I have experienced the economic hardship that accompanies not having health insurance.  Health insurance reform must reduce spiraling health care costs, give Americans access to quality and affordable coverage, and limit the burden on American business.  I hope to work with my colleagues in the House to make sure any healthcare legislation we pass in Congress fits this description.

Thanks again, SJ, for contacting me about this important issue.  As a newly elected Member of Congress, I have been working hard to open several offices around the district so I can provide you with the highest possible level of access and service.  I am happy to announce that these district offices are up and running, and for your convenience, I have included their contact information along with this correspondence.  Please do not hesitate to pay my offices a visit or be in touch if I can be of assistance.  Please watch out for coming announcements and I hope to see you in Glencoe or any office that is convenient for you someday soon.

Sincerely,

Harry Teague
Member of Congress

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