Dear Congressman Van Hollen:

image I urge you to reject the Obama health care bill. This is not reform; it is a bailout of bankrupt insurance companies at the expense of average working people, obtained through coercion and extortion. Forcing Americans to buy insurance from private, for-profit, deregulated companies is clearly unconstitutional. The idea of a mandate to purchase insurance is a reactionary Republican invention, and we want no part of it. Furthermore, this bill’s $500 billion in Medicare cuts are a direct attack on the economic rights of Americans implemented under the New Deal and the Great Society,

and will cause incalculable suffering and human tragedy. These colossal Medicare cuts will inevitably result in rationing, delay, and the denial of care, causing patients to die needlessly. The spirit of this bill is that of OMB Director Peter Orszag, the sinister Malthusian bureaucrat who is behind recent attempts to deny Americans Pap smears, mammograms, and PSA tests – as cost-cutting measures.

Instead, we should set a national goal of extending US life expectancy by five years over the coming two decades. Funding for Medicare must be increased by making Wall Street pay their fair share with a 1% Tobin tax or Wall Street sales tax on derivatives and other speculative transactions, by clawing back the TARP bailout from the zombie banks, and by ending the Iraq and Afghan wars. Give every person the voluntary option to join Medicare For All at any age for $100 per person per month, with generous allowances and fee waivers for families, the unemployed, students, the working poor, and the destitute. Further savings can come through a fully funded national and international crash program of biomedical research to find cures for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and other dread diseases.

In addition, health care requires more than insurance. We need to build 1,000 modern, state of the art hospitals with 500 beds each just to reach the minimum of targets set by the Hill-Burton Act of 1946. We need to train 250,000 doctors over the next ten years. These goals require serious investments, not subsidies to predatory insurance companies who are going broke because of their reckless derivatives bets.

Your role in the Democratic leadership suggests that you are severely out of touch, paying far more attention to the needs of Obama and Pelosi than to the needs of your district. Stop armtwisting for this wretched sellout and listen to your constituents. Vote no on this bill.

Webster G. Tarpley