Barack Obama Responds to My Open Letter

Remember my Open Letter to Barack Obama? Well, he wrote me back. Seriously!
And although it’s a totally canned email (doesn’t the “Dear Friend” give it away?), and I’m sure thousands of other people receive the same one, I thought I’d share.

Dear Friend:

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. I have heard from countless Americans struggling to afford health insurance and health professionals striving to provide care. I appreciate your perspective.

There is broad consensus among the American people on the need for affordable, high-quality health care. The rising cost of health care is the most pressing financial challenge for families and for our Nation, and controlling this cost is essential to bringing down the Federal deficits we inherited. We must end unfair insurance practices that leave millions of Americans without coverage, denying them access to care, and exposing them to extraordinary burdens. And we should ensure that all small business employees have access to affordable, high-quality health plans so that we can make our economy–and our small businesses- -more competitive. Now is the time to move forward, and I am working to get health insurance reform done this year.

Since I took office, we have done more to improve health care than we have in the previous decade. In February, I signed H.R. 2 to provide coverage for millions of children through the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and I signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to make key investments in computerized medical records and preventive services.

Still, more must be done to lower costs, expand coverage, and improve the quality of health care. My 2010 Budget makes a major down payment on health insurance reform by implementing efficiencies in government health care spending while improving the quality of care. To help fulfill the debt we owe to our service men and women, it includes the largest proposed single-year increase in veterans funding in 30 years. It expands health care coverage to an additional 500,000 veterans by 2013, implements technology that eases the transition from military care to veterans’ care, and enhances screening and treatment services for those suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury.

Looking forward, there are tough choices to be made, and I will seek to bring employers and workers, health care providers and patients, and Democrats and Republicans together to create a system that delivers better care and puts the Nation on a sustainable, long-term fiscal path. To learn more about my agenda or to share a personal story, please join me online at: For further information on health care and assistance that may be available to you, you may call 1-800-FEDINFO or visit:

I share the sense of urgency that millions of Americans have voiced. I watched as my ailing mother struggled with stacks of insurance forms in the last moments of her life. This is not who we are as a Nation; together, we will fix it.


Barack Obama

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