Senator Rob Portman: Bald-faced liar. (an open letter)

Dear Rob Portman,

As you know, I wrote you with my concerns about health insurance recently. As you are no doubt aware, you replied with a form letter full of vile lies that insult my intelligence. Let’s go through them, shall we?

The first thing you told me, after the opening pleasantries, was the following:

Before diving into the specifics of what I expect to see in law’s replacement, please know that I support a transition period that would maintain premium subsidies and Medicaid coverage through at least 2017 in order to ensure that all affected individuals will have due time to adjust to the new system and that no one loses coverage unexpectedly.

This is technically true; you supported an amendment that would offer more time to decide on the replacement measures. But you didn’t stand by the values you supposedly hold; you rescinded the amendment without much fanfare or argument.

The third paragraph of your email is the point where you become a liar. You write:

With the intention to better serve the people who have been disadvantaged by the President’s poorly conceived law, I have assembled a few key ideas that would be central to a new and improved healthcare system.

I was eagerly awaiting your contribution. And yet, this was all you had to offer me:

Most importantly, we need reforms that will make healthcare in the U.S. more patient-centered and consumer-driven. Such reforms could include enacting important consumer protections in the insurance market, like prohibiting lifetime limits on coverage and requiring insurance companies to cover dependent children up to age 26. A consumer-driven healthcare system would also include protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions so that they may not be denied coverage as well as a refundable tax credit targeted to certain individuals solely for the purchase of health coverage.

Look at what you offered me. You said that you wanted to prohibit lifetime limits on coverage. This is already in effect: as part of the ACA you voted to repeal. You are the one endangering me by introducing lifetime limits, not Obama.

You said that you wanted to require insurance companies to cover children up to age 26. Again, this was part and parcel of the Affordable Care Act that Obama signed, that you voted to repeal. You offer protection for people like me, living with pre-existing, chronic, incurable conditions — and a mere two days later, you voted to remove those protections.

You wrote:

After six years of the status quo, it is clear now that health care costs have grown out of control for many Ohioans

The thing that’s “quite clear” to me is that you are a two-faced liar, willing to sacrifice your constituents on the altar of party ideology. You should be ashamed of yourself, Senator Rob Portman.

By now you might be wondering why I’m calling you out by name, over and over, in this blog post. It’s simple. I intend to share this post as far and wide as possible so that everyone knows what your true colors are.

Who is willing to help me?

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