Monday, September 28, 2009

emailed response to my opinion on health care reform

September 28, 2009

Dear Mrs. Rhoads,

Thank you for taking the time to share your concerns with me about our health care system. Although the United States has the highest quality health care in the world, a majority of Americans agree that there is need for significant reform. I am working on ways to address the problems dealing with accessibility, availability, and affordability of health insurance.

Before I address my alternatives to health care reform, let me take a moment and explain why I am opposed to the current health care proposal before the House.

At its core, I am opposed to increasing the federal government's control over health care. I fundamentally disagree with the idea that a federally-funded government health insurance option would improve the current system. While proponents of this approach argue that Americans would not be required to drop their health insurance and join the public plan, we must understand the "public option" would not operate on an even playing field. Simply put, a public health care option would result in fewer choices for Americans and lead to a single-payer system. A single-payer system would eventually lead to socialized medicine. While I am willing to work towards real health care reform, I will not vote for any health care bill that includes any type of public option. Additionally, I believe if members of Congress vote to pass a bill which includes a government run insurance plan, then those members should have to enroll in that plan as well.

I am also opposed to any health care bill that would increase taxes and increase the federal deficit. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the current health care proposal before the House would cost upwards of $1.5 trillion over a 10 year period. I ran for Congress on the idea that government needs to tighten its belt and learn to do more with less.

I am also against cutting funding to the Medicare Advantage program in order to fund other reforms to which I am adamantly opposed. I believe Medicare Advantage is a good alternative which incorporates many free market principles.

There are numerous proposals in the health care debate that I support and should be included in any bill that passes Congress. The health care reform bill should:

o Incentivize preventive care,
o Provide affordable access to insurance,
o Make policies portable,
o Cover pre-existing conditions,
o Allow opt-out provisions for states,
o Allow private insurers to compete across state lines,
o Promote more transparency in pricing and effectiveness of health care services.

These are not controversial provisions; these are provisions for which I would vote. Furthermore, both sides would likely admit these ideas would go a long way toward lowering costs and improving our health care system. I think we could solve a major portion of the health care problem by simply passing the provisions upon which we can agree.

I was also heartened to learn that President Obama was open to discussing lawsuit abuse reform as a tool for driving down costs. I believe that any health care plan absolutely must include such reform. Similarly, I believe that any health care bill that becomes law must prohibit the use of federal dollars to fund abortions and include a provision to exclude health insurance coverage to those in our country illegally.

Although there are many plans under consideration from both Republicans and Democrats, I have yet to find one that I believe would be the best solution for Utah. While there are promising provisions in each of the current proposals, most plans take a one-size-fits-all federal approach to health care. In reality, what works well in one state may not work as well in another. I believe that we will obtain the best results when we allow states as much autonomy as possible to address their unique challenges. I hope more states will follow the lead of states like Utah to innovate and experiment with new ways to improve health care for their residents. We would do well to unleash the creative power of state and local governments to innovate and drive new solutions.

In other words, the health care solutions should be driven by the states, not the federal government.

Again, thank you for your input and ideas. The process of reforming health care is very important. If we have a bad process, we will get a bad result. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact my office.


Jason Chaffetz
Member of Congress

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

26 Weeks

This is a new dress that a VERY kind lady my sister works with sent me. She bought me some new maternity clothes at a Gap Outlet store just because she is amazingly, wonderful and nice. I hope I can be more of that kind of person to people.

OK. I don't know why, but here are lots of photos. I had my 26 week apt this week and things are looking good still. I get to drink the delicious drink stuff in the next two weeks and then just go in to the doc's office to get blood drawn after I drink it. I like it better doing it that way on my own time rather than fasting, drinking, wait an hour etc. (P.S. I got the orange falvored one....)So things are good, ALTHOUGH the doc did tell me that I could have done better with my weight gain this last month....opps! HAHA I actually thought I was going to cry and then I just realized that it's a good wake up call and gauge of what I should be doing and know that I can do better. We ate out a lot throughout our vacation. My tailbone has been feeling better than I thought it would be at this point so Dusty and I have started working out together. I am going pansy light weights but hopefully it will still make a difference.

Week 25

I don't really have many photos of myself for this week. I was the one taking pictures mostly. This is right outside of Magic Kingdom. We walked miles and miles everyday and I didn't even mind. Dusty and I said we were both on Mickey Crack! It's true. We were nonstop the WHOLE time but it was so much fun!

Monday, September 07, 2009

24 Weeks!

I can't even remember details of this surprise though. I just remember being really busy and starting to get a little more energy! I think I wrote stuff in my journal this week, but you guys just get a picture :-)

Amy's Birthday

Well, it's a little late but on August 20th I had a great birthday. Dusty's mom was in town and he went out of his way to get the house nice and surprise me with all kinds of princess balloons, a cold stone ice cream cake and a few nice presents! I was very surprised and so happy to have a little celebration. It was also a kick off to our Disney World vacation, a.k.a. Babymoon, we took last to come. We had a BLAST!

conversation with five 6-year-olds in primary

Are you getting a baby?

Yes! I am. Isn't that exciting? (10 little hands proceed to rub my belly during the "reverence message")

Is it a boy or a girl?

A Boy!


It looks like a girl.

But, you can't see him.

He's wearing pink.

Well, I am wearing pink, but he isn't. He's inside my belly.

Well, I'm getting a baby too.

You are? Well, one day you will and you will be a great mommy.

Yep. and it's gonna be a girl THEN a boy.

(...touching my belly she asks) Why is it so hard?

(...before I have time to answer another little girl answers) Well, I think it's soft.

....Class continues as they rub and poke my belly. Not one of them would stay in their seats. Good times :-)