Wichita Falls - State Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) released the following letter submitted to President Barack Obama regarding the President's proposed initiatives on health care and health care insurance.
An Open Letter to the President of the United States
Dear Mr. President:
Over these last several weeks we have seen a growing number of Americans raise their voice to express their opinion regarding plans to increase the federal government's role in providing health insurance to the American people. This nationalized health care plan has stirred passions on both sides.
While I agree we have a need to address the problem stemming from a lack of affordable health insurance and escalating health care costs, the solutions will not be found in labeling or marginalizing political opposition. I was profoundly disappointed to see Congressional leaders like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer refer to opposing viewpoints as "un-American."
I have heard from my constituents who have expressed their opposition to a nationalized health care system, and I will say that I believe my constituents are behaving as real Americans in exercising their First Amendment rights to speak freely in opposition, to assemble freely in opposition, and to petition their government with their grievances in opposition.
Speaking on behalf of my constituents in the 30th Texas Senatorial District, I ask you to hear the voice of the opposition rather than simply dismissing it as an angry mob. The American people are speaking and they are saying that while they agree we need a better way, they are skeptical that government solutions presented thus far offer that better way toward affordable health care.
I would respectfully submit that you reconsider pressing forward at all costs and take a step back. At this moment in history, you are the President of the United States with firm Democratic majorities in the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate. You have the power to push through any plan you wish regardless of public opinion, but I believe that doing something simply because you can is the worst reason.
If you believe in the axiom that the government closest to the people is the best government, then consider carefully these words offered by a humble Texas State Senator representing 750,000 of the 303 million you serve. Put the plan in a drawer, and reconsider your options. Do not assume that the answer you seek can be found in the halls of Congress. Do not assume that a conference room of bureaucrats will perform better than a boardroom of entrepreneurs. Look to your private sector, look to your non-profits, and look to your governors and state legislatures.
I can appreciate the pressure you feel to produce any legislation that purports to address this issue. However, I have found that when the desire to pass a bill overtakes the desire to solve the problem, the bill becomes part of the problem.
Mr. President, regardless of party affiliation or political philosophy, I respect the Office of the President of the United States, and I believe in your heart you want to do right by the American people simply by virtue of the position you now hold in American history. Will that history remember you to be impatient and obtuse, or deliberative and prudent. You are now writing this chapter in American history and the final narrative will depend largely on not only the solution you seek, but also on how you arrive at that solution.
On behalf of my constituents, I thank you for your time and consideration.
Senator Estes is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Affairs, and represents Senate District 30 covering Archer, Baylor, Clay, Collin (part), Cooke, Denton (part), Grayson, Jack, Montague, Parker, Palo Pinto, Shackelford, Stephens, Throckmorton, Wichita, Wilbarger, Wise, and Young counties.