Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Rep. Cooper Responds

I received an e-mail this morning from Representative Cooper (D) in response to my note to him. Here's the response:

Thank you for contacting me in regards to H.R. 3962, the Affordable Healthcare for America Act. I am grateful to the thousands of Nashville-area residents like you who have shared their opinion on health care reform with me. Everyone feels strongly because health care is so important to our lives.

Having read the bill and taught health policy at Vanderbilt for twelve years, I made the decision to vote yes on H.R. 3962. On November 7th, 2009, the House passed the legislation 220-215.

I voted yes to advance the cause of health care reform by forcing the Senate to act. Without passage of this House bill, the Senate could delay reform indefinitely. That would be the worst possible outcome because our current health-care system is not sustainable. Congress needs to pass good health legislation for the good of the country.

My vote is not an endorsement of all the provisions of the bill because I find much of the bill to be deeply flawed. Passing legislation is a little like writing a term paper in school. The first draft is usually not very good. The second draft is better - H.R. 3962 is the second draft. The bill that the Senate will vote on will be the third draft, which I expect to show major improvement. The final draft will be written afterword, if we get to that point, when the House and the Senate will vote on the same bill.

I will continue to work hard to make sure that the final legislation helps all of our families get quality, affordable health care.

First, let me say that my note to him on Friday last was a polite plea to uphold his prior pledge to vote against the bill (see post below), not the letter I sent to the Tennessean in response to his voting on the bill. Second, let me thank the Congressman and his staffer for actually responding to me. They may not be reading their mail, but they are at least hitting the "return" button. Now as to the specifics of his letter, some observations:

1. "Having read the bill..." Congressman Cooper said this about the Cap and Trade bill that he voted for also. He really should avoid such grandiose statements. No one could possible read this:

and understand it. The bill was dropped into the House on October 29th - all 1990 pages of it, not counting subsequent amendments...that would mean about 225 pages of gibberish legalese per day, not counting your regular duties as a Congressman and a human being. He has NO IDEA what is buried in this monstrosity.

2. "taught health policy at Vanderbilt for 12 years..." Cooper is extremely qualified to read and understand this thing - he's very bright (on paper): Harvard Law, Oxford, etc. He also has great private experience in managing an equity fund. He should know better.

3. "I voted 'Yes' to advance the cause of health care reform by forcing the Senate to act" So again, even though he is opposed to much of this bill (notice he doesn't say what he is opposed to leaving him room to say that the bill now doesn't deserve his opposition) he needs to move the process forward. Congressman, my advice to you with all your knowledge, is to grow a pair and fix the bill where YOU are responsible for it. This is utter BS and you know it, you are carrying the water for Nancy Pelosi because somehow they (and you) think your district is a safe bet. This is an act of cowardice and he should be ashamed.

Sidebar: Liberals LOVE "process." They love things like the "peace process" and the "legislative process;" how about RESULTS! How about something in this instance that won't add to the pending bankruptcy of this nation?
4. "the final draft will be written afterward..." Yadda, yadda, yadda. Why not just be honest - "I chickened out. I sacrificed my integrity and principles for process and Pelosi."

You are a better man than this Congressman, you should be ashamed.

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