The Honorable Congressman Parker Griffith Responds to RMJ.

I wrote the Good Pay-Dawg Democrat who represents me in Congress a rather heartfelt and somewhat challenging letter regarding the Obamacare fiasco on its way through the Waxman Committee as we speak. He responded back. Presented w/o further comment, Congressman Parker Griffith.

Dear Mr. KOTM/RMJ:

Thank you for taking the time to contact me with your concerns. As your representative, I value maintaining an open dialogue with my constituents, especially on issues as important as health care.

As you know, the question of how to improve our health care system has divided lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. As a physician who spent 30 years treating patients from across North Alabama, I have a different perspective on this issue than others in Congress. I am concerned that the current health care legislation falls short of meeting its goals of reducing costs, increasing access, and protecting a patient’s right to choose. Because this piece of legislation would have such a large and lasting impact on our nation, I want to make my position on this issue clear.

Our first priority is to make sure that we do nothing to harm our current system. We have the best health care system in the world, but we must reduce costs and increase access to the system. To meet these challenges, we must encourage greater competition in the health care market. One of the best ways to do this is by allowing individuals to purchase health insurance across state lines and by requiring providers to cover pre-existing conditions. While I believe it is necessary to increase competition in the health care market, I do not favor a government-sponsored health care option. I believe that a public option would result in less consumer choice and too much government involvement in health care.

Along with increasing competition in the health care market, any effective and sustainable reform must also be carried out in a fiscally responsible manner. As a fiscally conservative member of the Blue Dog Coalition, I am committed to supporting reform that takes into account our growing deficit. Expanding access to health care is vital, but we must not do so at the expense of our children’s and grandchildren’s futures.

One of my main priorities during the health care debate is to encourage Congress to take a thoughtful and bipartisan approach to reform. Wide-sweeping reform cannot be passed overnight. All our options must be carefully considered before finally settling on a package that is in our nation’s best interest. To encourage this type of approach, I recently introduced legislation, H. Res. 643, which requires any major reform bill to be available to the public and Members of Congress at least a week prior to the final vote on the bill.

As the debate over health care reform continues, the key for Congress and the American people is to remain focused on health care reform’s primary goal: improving our current system of care while also saving families, small businesses and the government much-needed money. Again, I appreciate your input on this issue. For more information on the health care debate, I encourage you to visit my website at http://griffith.house.gov where you can view daily news updates regarding health care reform as well as read my health care principles and correspondence with other constituents on this issue.


Parker Griffith