Submitted by Chris Perkins campaign communications director Kate LaPotin:
"As a Green Beret, part of my mission in the military was to provide humanitarian assistance to impoverished villagers in places most Americans only read about in National Geographic magazines or see on television. We would participate in emergency tooth extractions, administer vaccines, and even perform minor surgeries. For many of these people, it was the only healthcare they would ever know.
This personal experience reinforced my belief that the United States sets itself apart from most of the world via our ability to address our own healthcare needs. Unfortunately, that ability for most middle class Americans is in sharp decline.
We have to acknowledge that the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as 'Obamacare', will neither protect the consumer nor make healthcare more affordable. We need to admit that this law was rushed through Congress during a lame duck session on a strictly party-line vote without being adequately vetted by either political party, and that it will adversely affect those it was meant to help by increasing the cost of healthcare for everyone. This will likely be very difficult for many Democrats like Congressman Connolly who have so adamantly defended the flawed piece of legislation and now believe their personal reputations to be at risk.
Then we must protect consumers by setting the conditions that will lead to lower costs and greater accessibility. This, in turn, might be particularly difficult for some Republicans who believe that the federal government should stay out of the healthcare business altogether.
A healthcare system should be judged by three factors: affordability, quality and access. Despite all of the rhetoric and political wrangling, Obamacare fails on all three accounts. Once again, the actual facts speak for themselves.
The cost of healthcare in this country is rising at almost twice the rate of inflation --- significantly outpacing earnings and making it unaffordable to many Americans. The federal government's open-ended entitlement system has led to skyrocketing healthcare costs, a situation that is exacerbated by Obamacare.
Under Obamacare, the insurance companies, corporations and the federal government --- not the consumer --- ultimately collaborate to determine the quality of our healthcare through a 'one-size-fits-all' strategy. As with all monopolies whose natural goal is to provide the least product for the most cost, quality will not increase until the introduction of consumer choice that drives competition.
Finally, we are already seeing healthcare providers and private insurers leaving the market rather than accepting less than fair market value for their services as mandated by Obamacare. Many businesses are electing to drop coverage for their employees altogether in favor of paying a less costly fine in order to avoid the financial burden of the Obamacare mandates.
Implementing a plan that will halt this decline in our healthcare system will require hard work, leadership and a bipartisan approach to governance. It will demand an end to the political grandstanding and finger pointing prevalent in Washington these days. And it will require our elected officials to pull their heads out of the sand and admit that we have a problem that needs fixing."