As part of a letter-writing campaign, I recently asked Senator Diane Feinstein to support health care (health insurance?) reform.
The form letter I got back is simply wrong. She wrote “However, neither the Senate nor the House has adopted a single, comprehensive bill for consideration.”
The House passed “a single comprehensive bill” (HR 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act) on Saturday, November 7, 2009 at 11:15 PM eastern time — over a week before this letter was sent.
Here’s Feinstein’s reply in full:
Subject: U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein responding to your message
Date: November 16, 2009 8:37:42 AM PST
Dear Mr. Schreiber:
I received your letter regarding healthcare reform, and I appreciate hearing your concerns about citizenship verification.
At this time, there is still no single healthcare reform proposal or plan. The Senate Finance Committee and Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions have each passed separate bills on healthcare reform. There are also three bills that have been approved by separate committees in the House of Representatives. However, neither the Senate nor the House has adopted a single, comprehensive bill for consideration.
Both the Congress and President Obama have been explicit that health care reform should not expand coverage to undocumented immigrants. As such, all of the healthcare reform bills currently contain provisions to prohibit the undocumented from accessing the proposed subsidized or public benefits-which is consistent with current laws that do not allow undocumented immigrants to access federal healthcare programs such as Medicaid or the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Like you, I believe that- whatever the final bill- the verification measures in these bills should not have an adverse impact on U.S. citizens or legal immigrants in this country. It is my hope the Senate bills can be merged to achieve the goal of expanded, affordable coverage for Americans, and I will certainly be mindful of the points you raised in your letter as this process continues.
If you are interested in accessing additional information on my views on healthcare reform, I encourage you to visit the “In the Spotlight” link on the front page of my website at http://feinstein.senate.gov/. I hope you will continue to keep me informed of your opinions, and I invite you to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841 if you have any questions.
United States Senator
Further information about my position on issues of concern to California and the Nation are available at my website http://feinstein.senate.gov/public/. You can also receive electronic e-mail updates by subscribing to my e-mail list at http://feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=ENewsletterSignup.Signup.