OPEN LETTER TO TED YOHO; FROM YOUR GAINESVILLE CONSTITUENT, CHRIS DEUTSCH

The old and true adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Dear Congressman Yoho,

We have heard from news outlets that talks reviving the failed House repeal and replace healthcare bill have begun. What will the specific changes in this new attempt be that differentiate it from the initial plan?
From your first Gainesville town hall on March 4th, you stated “I don’t feel it is the right of the Federal Government to provide health insurance for me and my family”. Did you mean responsibility? As in the government shouldn’t care about the very basic health of its citizens? You have said you believe that individuals have the right to strive for the tenants of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, as the Constitution spells out, but I submit this can be nearly impossible to accomplish when suffering from a treatable illness that you cannot afford to treat.

You pointed out citizens had coverage for healthcare needs before the 2009 passage of the Affordable Care Act, pointing to hospital visits and community healthcare plans. I ask you, who pays for that? Not for profit hospitals (who must take all who seek emergency treatment) lost billions of dollars in uncompensated treatment for individuals who couldn’t pay. That is unsustainable. All of us end up footing the bill in higher insurance premiums that could ultimately threaten our access to the cutting edge in medical advances. And it is fiscally irresponsible. Isn’t that one of the main tenants of Conservative Republicans, not to waste money? It has been studied extensively and written about in respected medical journals that preventative care saves significantly on future healthcare expenses. The old and true adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

I think one statement about healthcare that you made at the town hall that gave me the clearest picture of your thought process on this subject was and I paraphrase “If I decided to be a responsible adult, I get insurance for me and I don’t expect you to pay for my health insurance.” Wow! As if all your constituents have the same opportunities that you, as a privileged white male, entitles you to. Stunning!

Chris Deutsch, Gainesville

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