I live in Florida’s 15th Congressional District. It’s mostly in Polk County, conservative enough that, well, a moderate like me feels like Saul Alinsky at times. And sure enough, they’ve repeatedly elected to the U.S. House of Representative by comfortable margins the Honorable Dennis Ross. Among his career highlights, he was a guy who couldn’t keep a job in the computer industry as it was starting, so he decided to become a lawyer instead. From there, he eventually ended up at Disney, helping the House of Mouse keep from paying anyone workers’ comp. Started his own law firm which he divested in 2008 when he ran for Congress and won.
Going to bet his clientele did not run toward the little guy trying to find justice in the world. Especially not when you read the bullet point on his position statements. The gentleman comes out, a little right of Franco. Maybe Mussolini.
Anyway, my good representative is almost gleeful in his Tweet from Thursday about the AHCA. It has a true “Ding, Dong, the witch is dead” feel to it about Obamacare. But here’s the thing. One of his colleagues said something Friday, something totally screwed. I wanted my congressman’s reaction. And since Dennis isn’t holding any town halls, there’s only one thing to do…
Dear Congressman Ross,
I’m a registered Independent, so I tend not to have a dog in the fight on most issues. Health care concerns me, though. While I’m a 100% disabled vet, and thus my health care needs should be taken care of through the VA system with varying degrees of success (Seattle seemed to have a much better system than Tampa does), my children are a much different matter.
You see, Congressman, both my kids were born with minor congenital disabilities. They aren’t severe, nor do they inhibit their ability to function as fully capable, contributing adults in our society. But these are, as you say, pre-existing conditions. My oldest daughter found it near impossible to obtain insurance even through her employers because of hers, and my youngest was bumping up against lifetime treatment cost caps, at the age of sixteen. Say what you will about the ACA. You claim it failed for everyone, but I guess my daughters must have been the only two it worked for.
I understand the ACA wasn’t perfect. But your choice to replace it with something else is, frankly, a head-scratcher. Your rhetoric doesn’t match your actions. You passed a bill without any hearings, without a CBO score showing its full impact, and frankly, without most of you having read it, despite that being an accusation made against the passage of the ACA. Please, explain to me why you thought each of those was a justified choice.
What seems to be worse is that current and former colleagues of yours are now approaching the issue and abandoning even the figleaf of compassion. Raul Labrador, a representative from Idaho, said at a town hall on Friday that, and I quote, “Nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care.” I’m asking you directly, Representative Ross – Do you believe that to be true? Do you agree that the lack of access to a doctor doesn’t cause anyone to die?
It’s a subject that inspires a lot of passion. I note that unlike many other representatives, you appear not to be holding any Town Halls for the foreseeable future if your website is correct. A shame, as I always believed a representative’s job was to indeed represent and thus communicate with his constituents. You claimed for the better part of a decade you wanted to do this. You should at least have the courage of your convictions to stand in front of a room of voters and hear what they have to say, without dismissing them in advance as “liberal activists” like the President does.
Thank you for someone in your office taking the time to read this. I look forward to a somewhat prompt reply.
D. G. Speirs
Let’s see what happens.