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Second Letter to Barack Obama, President of the United States

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Location: Washington, DC

<br>Second Letter to Barack Obama, President of the United States

Congressman Steve Scalise sent a letter to President Barack Obama today accepting another invitation from President Obama to come to the White House and discuss the health care reform proposals. Scalise's first acceptance letter has not been answered.

In July, Scalise sent a letter to President Obama accepting the invitation after the President stated at a town hall meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina, on July 29, “When we come back in September, I will be available to answer any questions that Members of Congress have. If they want to come over to the White House and go over line-by-line what's going on, I will be happy to do that.”

Last night in an address to a Joint Session of Congress to promote his health care agenda, President Obama said, “If you come to me with a serious set of proposals, I will be there to listen. My door is always open.”

Congressman Scalise and other members of Congress have proposed comprehensive health care reforms, specifically HR 3400, which has more than 35 co-sponsors including four Members of Congress who are medical doctors. Scalise believes this is a “serious proposal.”

A copy of Scalise's letter is below.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20502

Dear Mr. President:

In a health care town hall meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina in July, you invited Members of Congress to come to the White House in September and discuss health care legislation. Last night during your address to the Joint Session of Congress, you again said, “If you come to me with a serious set of proposals, I will be there to listen. My door is always open.” I wrote to you in July and have not heard a response. I am writing now for the second time to formally accept your offer.

While I agree that our health care system needs to be reformed, I share the concerns of many Americans who strongly oppose a government takeover of health care. I have co-sponsored common-sense health care reforms like HR 3400, the Empowering Patients First Act that address the problems that exist without destroying the things that make our medical care the best in the world.

I would like to meet with you to review the comprehensive health care reforms we have proposed, specifically HR 3400, which has more than 35 co-sponsors including four Members of Congress who are medical doctors. I would also like to discuss some serious concerns I have with the House bill you support. One of the commitments you have made is that people can keep their current health insurance plan if they like it. Unfortunately there are sections of your current House proposal, HR 3200, that allow government bureaucrats to de-certify a private insurance plan even if someone likes it. In addition you have stated many times that families making less than $250,000 will not see their taxes increase, “not one single dime.” Unfortunately HR 3200 violates this pledge in a number of different places. I would like to go through those sections of the bill to work on the elimination of those tax increases.

There are many reforms I support that share bipartisan support, like portability of insurance, prohibiting discrimination against pre-existing conditions, pooling by small businesses, and other measures to reduce costs and make health care more affordable and accessible for all Americans. But we must be very careful that we don't destroy the things that make America's medical care the best in the world, all in the name of fixing the problems that exist.

I am confident we can find many areas of agreement if we sit down and go through the bill you support, as well as the solutions I have co-sponsored, and try to find some common ground, and I look forward to scheduling a meeting in the near future to discuss much-needed reforms to our health care system. Thank you again for your invitation.

Sincerely,

Steve Scalise
Member of Congress


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