Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Pete Sessions Praises Ted Kennedy

From Dallas Morning News:
Of the hundreds of sentiments from Capitol Hill mourning the loss of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, among the most poignant comes from Rep. Pete Sessions...

"I am deeply saddened by his passing and most appreciative of his work on behalf of people with special needs," Sessions said in a statement.

"Without Senator Kennedy's leadership in the Senate, this bill [the Family Opportunity Act] would not have become law," Sessions said. "A fierce advocate of the liberal cause, Senator Kennedy will be remembered most for his ability to reach across party lines and work to get things done."
In 2001, Pete Sessions introduced The Family Opportunity Act alongside one of the most liberal members of Congress, Henry Waxman (CA-30). From Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law:
February 28, 2001-Legislation to give many more children with serious disabilities access to needed health and mentalhealth services was reintroduced this month by Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Edward Kennedy (D-MA)and Representatives Pete Sessions (R-TX) and Henry Waxman (D-CA).

The Family Opportunity Act of 2001 (S. 321 and H.R. 600) is also referred to as the Dylan Lee James Act, in honor of a little boy with Down syndrome who lived in Representative Sessions' district in Texas. He lost Medicaid coverage when his father received a $3,000 bonus. The bill targets the huge gap in coverage faced by families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, lack employer health coverage or have private insurance with inadequate mental health benefits.
Which brings us back to the questions that's been asked so many times on this blog: if Pete Sessions could support that bill, why the vehement opposition to a plan allowing anyone to buy into a public health insurance plan?


Anonymous said...

From one of Congressman Sessions' constituents:

Letter to Pete Sessions re health care
This post is a copy of a letter to Pete Sessions, U.S. Representative from my district in response to a letter he wrote to me, probably just a form letter. The paragraph heading are a paraphrase of his response.

Dear Pete,

Thank you for your response to my inquiry about health care. What is there about the current proposals you do not like.

You favor affordable health care for all Americans.
Included in most Democratic proposals.
Do you know what health insurance with a high deducible costs? About $3,000 per year per person. With 46.6 million people uninsured that’s $139,800,000.00 per year, $139 billion. You’re going to pay for that? (Granted some of these uninsured are so by choice, but since as a country we only allow 18,000 actually die for lack of medical care the health care costs for the uninsured are passed on to the insured in the form of higher charges for treatment.

You favor allowing insured to retain their current health care plans.
Included in most Democratic proposals.

You favor prevention and wellness.
Don’t we all, but this will cost money. How do you pay for it. 18,000 die each year, because they do not have health insurance. This is the ultimate rationing of health care.

You favor reduction in health care costs and suggest pooling.
If pooling had worked, large health insurance carriers are a form of pooling, why are costs rising for large insurance companies.

You favor equalizing the tax treatment for individuals and corporations.
Many of the Democratic proposals favor eliminating the tax favored treatment of health insurance enjoyed by large corporations. Is this what you mean?

You favor portability and uniform regulation of health insurance.
This is a provision in Democratic proposals.

As a member of Congress you enjoy a government financed health care program.
Why is this good for you and bad for the country. See, answer to question one for the reason that a government sponsored is necessary. Medicare costs 6% of the payout for administrative expense. A commonly quoted figure for a health insurance company is 25%. Some hospital administrators have told me that they spend 25% in additional costs to collect from health insurance companies. These numbers seem to be inline with the experience other industrial countries which spend about half what we spend on health care as a percentage of GNP. Incidently they also deliver better health care by standard measures of health care, infant mortality and longevity. Rich Canadians may come to this country for health care, but the poor don’t.

I expect you will be urging our U.S. Senators to vote in favor of the Democratic proposals.


Ben Goff

Sessions Watch said...

Good rebuttal to Pete Sessions. Thanks for posting.