Sunday, February 5, 2017


Writing your Congress Person is a valid activity for all citizens

An Open Letter to the Honorable Jaime Hererra Buetler;

The outcome of your recent Town Hall meeting should be, but may not be, fully apparent to you.  When asked what your replacement for the ACA (ObamaCare) was you stumbled and gave platitudes.  When the attending citizens pressed you about the actual ideas that you would include in the replacement act you stammered and stumbled some more and appeared angered that they were not listening to you.  My grandmother, many years ago, explained to me that is difficult to listen when you are doing all the talking.

Here is the thing about this that you seemingly missed.  For several years now you and almost all of the Republicans have been saying that you will repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act with something that you like better.  You have said you have a plan and that it is better.  You act as if this will be done in two steps.  Repeal and then at some undisclosed point replace.  The replacement will be with better provisions you are still saying.  Yet you are unable to define that better plan.  What you did not want to hear was that it is not two separate actions. 

Language is sometimes a funny thing.  Repeal and replace can and should be done, if you really have a better idea, in one single action.  The same bill that repeals the ACA should and could be the act that does the replacing.  It is not difficult.  The first paragraph of the replacing act says, simply, the former bill known as the ACA is retracted and all the paragraphs after that would be the replacement language.  Then as it would be debated and explored working its way through the process you (and all of us) could decide if you really had a better plan.  If you push along a bill that does not meet that simple test you would know that your job is on the line.  You would know, in your heart, if you were looking out for the best interests of those you represent.  If you insist on telling us the continued untruths that you have to date we would all know that you did not listen and traditional Republicans combined with better informed Democrats would likely replace you.  The far Right Republicans would lose their traction if you forgot to listen to all of your constituents but that is what Town Halls and democracy looks like. 


Vancouver, WA

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