Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Letters to Washington: Too complex?

Dear Senator,

I learned tonight that the Senate Finance Committee voted against posting the text of Senator Baucus' health care reform bill 72 hours in advance of a vote on it. This was troubling to me, especially since I had hopes for a more moderate bill from the Finance Committee than some others. Now, it seems I won't even get a chance to read it before the Senate votes on its passage.

Some have suggested that the bill is too "complex" for ordinary Americans to read. Not only is that a bad reason to not post the bill, it's also an insulting one. The American people are not so stupid that we cannot read and understand legislation that our leaders are considering. It brings to mind the words of another legislator who literally laughed at the idea that Congressmen and Senators should read HR 3200 all the way through before voting on it because "it would take days to read and understand", and that you'd need the help of a lawyer, at least. Senator, why on earth would Congress write legislation that it can't even read?

The president, and most of Congress with him, has promised more transparency than the public has received in past years. Not only is this promise broken on an almost regular basis now, but it seems to happen every time with the most important issues of all, most recently health care reform. I urge you to speak with your colleagues in both houses of Congress and insist that they keep the American people "in the loop", especially on health care. We deserve to know what you're doing.


Stephen Monteith

No comments:

Post a Comment