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Mike hopes to see the world turned upside down through local communities banding together for social change, especially churches which have recognized the radical calling to be good news to the poor, to set free the prisoners and oppressed, and to become the social embodiment of the reign of God on earth as it is in heaven. He lives with the blessed memory of his wife, in Durham, NC, and has three adult children living in three different states. He also shares his life with the Mt. Level Missionary Baptist Church in Durham, the faculty and students of Shaw University Divinity School in Raleigh, NC, and the faithful fans of Duke and Baylor Basketball in his neighborhood.

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Thursday, July 02, 2009

Where Does Hagan Stand on Health Reform?

I am trying to find out where Senator Hagan stands on health care reform. Here is the letter I sent her today.

Hello, Senator,

A while back I sent a letter asking you four questions about your position on health care reform.

We live in a difficult time for most people, and a major cause of our economic difficulties is the out-of-control health care system. On the one hand, the medical profession and hospitals operate as quasi-monopolies, keeping numbers of physicians low and buying up smaller practices to eliminate competition.

On the other hand, the business invokes the free market as justification for excessive charges, as if persons seeking medical care can shop around the way they do for a hamburger, a pair of shoes, or a gallon of milk. The powerful insurance companies and health care institutions already place severe limits on which doctors we can see, what treatments we can get, and even how long our doctors can talk to us. That is not a free market.

US costs double or triple the costs of excellent health care systems in other parts of the world. Something must be done to get this runaway train to stop.

That is why I support a public insurance option immediately for all people who want to choose it. The highest priority is to get rid of layer upon layer of administrative costs, all focused on keeping me from getting medical care paid for rather than focused on keeping me healthy.

So again, I want to know the answers to four questions.

1. Do you support a public healthcare option as part of reform?

2. Do you support a public healthcare option that is ready on day one?

3. Do you support a public healthcare option that is national, available everywhere, and accountable to our government?

4. Do you support a public healthcare option that has the clout to establish rates with providers and big drug companies?

Don't listen to the critics who say this will create long lines: we already cannot get an appointment to see a doctor without waiting months.

Don't listen to critics who say this will lead to bureaucrats making health decisions for us: we already have to put up with that from the insurance companies.

Don't listen to critics who say this will be unfair competition: they want to maintain their high executive salaries and focus on profit rather than trim their costs and organizations to make health care affordable.

Don't listen to critics who say this will make medicine less attractive for bright people to choose as a career: the insurance and health care management companies are already driving doctors out of the profession because of the regimentation and demand for shorter and shorter patient visits.

Stand with all of us for a better health care system. Stand for the public plan option.

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