Here is a letter I wrote yesterday to my senators and congressman in Iowa. Grassley, Harkin and Boswell.
Dear Senators and Congressmen,
In lieu of the murder of Mr. Krentz an Arizona Rancher, I think that the U.S. Citizen’s will now speak up. The U.S. Citizens will be pushing for border enforcement. Also let’s enforce the law to the fullest and prosecute illegal immigrants.
Please sir or madam, hear me out. The next step will be immigration reform. Please, do not support any type of amnesty. If our government cannot round up the illegal immigrants and deport, then why do we think we can round up terrorists in other countries?
I will be so disheartened if Congress excuses the criminals who have broken our laws. If you cannot Fight Amnesty, then keep this in mind. Illegal immigrants have broken a "FEDERAL LAW". This is a felony. They should not be given the right to carry a firearm nor to vote.
Please examine the laws that apply to U.S. born citizens who break federal laws. These two rights are stripped from them. If Washington truly wants to give illegal immigrants the opportunities in this country, then let them do it without firearms and the right to vote. NO AMNESTY. If you do, then I think that the American Citizen's charged with a felony should have their rights reinstated to vote and to carry firearms.
We will see how you vote. If all of you in Washington grant Amnesty and give these criminals rights to bear arms and to Vote, we will Vote you Out!
Please look below at the Immediate response I received from Senator Tom Harkin (D) Iowa:
March 30, 2010
I appreciate you taking the time to express your interest in health care reform. I am pleased to report that on December 24, 2009, I voted for, and the Senate passed, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), which will lower costs, guarantee affordable coverage for all Americans, improve the quality of care, and reduce our federal budget deficit. The PPACA was signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010.
I voted for this legislation because I believe strongly that we can no longer settle for the status quo in our health system. Our current health care system leaves nearly 50 million Americans without insurance, including nearly 300,000 in Iowa. People can be denied coverage because of preexisting conditions, and can be dropped from their health insurance if they get a serious illness. They can be charged much higher rates if they are women, are older, or are sick, and can be cut from insurance entirely once they reach an annual or lifetime cap on payouts. Even those who have insurance can find that, due to coverage limitations or sky-high deductibles, it is woefully inadequate for their medical needs. A recent study of bankruptcy filings found that 62 percent of all bankruptcies were related to medical debt, and nearly 80 percent of those people actually had health insurance.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act contains critical reforms designed to overhaul our broken health care system. Among its immediate benefits, the bill prohibits insurers from imposing arbitrary and excessive limits on the benefits that they will pay out; bans insurance companies from canceling your insurance policy if you get sick; requires insurance companies to cover prevention and wellness services, with no co-pays or deductibles; requires insurance companies to permit children to stay on family policies until age 26; provides small businesses with tax credits of up to 35 percent of premiums, to help reduce the cost of providing health insurance to their employees; creates a re-insurance program for early retirees (before age 65), to help ensure they don't lose health coverage before they are Medicare eligible; closes the "donut hole" in the Medicare drug benefit, and requires insurance companies to provide rebates to their customers if their administrative costs are too high.
When the bill is fully effective, the PPACA will guarantee a choice of quality, affordable coverage for all Americans. The bill will create new health insurance exchanges where people without access to affordable coverage will be able to easily shop and choose from a menu of quality health plans, much in the way members of Congress are able to do today. Tax credits and reductions in cost-sharing will further reduce the premiums and out-of-pocket costs that lower-income and middle-class Americans will have to pay. And, insurance companies will be barred from denying coverage, or charging higher premiums, because of a pre-existing conditions or gender.
Finally, of great importance to me, this legislation also places prevention and public health at the heart of our health reform efforts. As I have often said, currently in the U.S., we don't have a health care system, we have a sick care system. If you're sick, you get care. But we spend peanuts on prevention. The system and all of the incentives are focused on pills, surgery, hospitalization, and disability. This bill will give Americans access to a 21st century health care system - one that is focused on preventing disease, and helping us to live healthy, active, productive lives.
Among other things, the bill creates a Federal-level Prevention and Public Health Council, which will improve coordination among federal agencies in incorporating wellness into national policy, and will develop a national prevention and public health strategy. The bill includes a strong Prevention and Public Health Investment Fund, which will provide for expanded and sustained national investments in prevention and public health programs in communities across America. Communities will tailor programs to meet health challenges unique to their area. They can get creative; find out what works; and make a big difference.
At the clinical level, the bill will require reimbursement for proven, cost-effective preventive services such as smoking cessation, mental health screenings, cancer screenings, as well as obesity screening and counseling programs. And for essential screenings and annual physicals, our bill will eliminate the co-pays and deductibles that currently discourage many people from doing the right things to stay healthy.
From the beginning of this debate, my colleagues in the majority party and I have been committed to passing legislation that is fully paid for and does not add to the federal budget deficit. I am pleased to report that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that PPACA will actually reduce the federal budget deficit by $143billion over the next ten years, and by $1.2 trillion in the ten years after that.
In addition to supporting the PPACA, on March 25, 2010, I also voted for the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act. This legislation, was signed into law by the President on Tuesday, March 30, 2010, improves the original health reform bill in a number of ways. Among other provisions, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act improves the subsidies for individuals and families who purchase insurance, to make coverage more affordable, and extends many of the critical insurance protections in the original bill to all insurance policies, not merely the policies sold through the new insurance exchanges.
To learn more about both the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, you can visit the Senate Democratic Policy Committee's Website at http://dpc.senate.gov/dpcdoc-sen_health_care_bill.cfm. In addition, the White House has created resources for individuals who wish to get more information on health reform. I encourage you to visit these websites, which can be found at http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/ and http://www.healthreform.gov.
Thank you for sharing your views with me. Please don't hesitate to contact my office on any issue that concerns you.
United States Senator