Questioning Sen. Carper on ACA response
The following letter was sent to Sen. Tom Carper with a copy submitted to the Cape Gazette for publication.
I write in response to your response to a letter from Bill Krause that ran in the Cape Gazette last Nov. 5. In it you stated he was, “both misleading and factually inaccurate” in his assessment of the participation of congressional offices in the Affordable Care Act. That Congress members, under the law, are required to buy coverage is a given.
But later in your letter you acknowledge that the government covers “a portion” of the cost of the premiums. A portion could mean anything from 1 percent to 99 percent of the whole. In other words, it gives no clue to the shares for which the government and your staff and you, individually, are responsible. Please supply the figures that apply, i.e., your out-of-pocket shares and the government’s.
Also of interest is the budget under which your office functions. This would include your satellite offices at Wilmington, Dover and Georgetown. You have three, while Sen. Coons and Rep. Carney have two each. Do you share?
In another matter, the comparison of private enterprise and government in your response to Mr. Krause is not germane. The first is efficient, the latter is not.
Which brings me to your mention that “the federal government, our employer, will … “ etc. I like to think the federal government is not your employer - we citizens are and should be identified as such. We hire you, pay your salary and expenses, and, if we choose, fire you. The government is no more than the payroll clerk. And your reference here should be “public employees,” not “federal employees.”
Your letter also mentions you are “a proud supporter and author of a number of provisions of the Affordable Care Act.” I am sure your constituents would like to know what those provisions are. Senator Baucus’s characterization of the act as a “train wreck” and the many obvious weaknesses in it have attracted much attention.
I write this having had some acquaintance with the Capitol scene. My grandfather, Rep. Charles A. Eaton (R-NJ) served honorably in the House for 28 years. He was chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, a delegate to the United Nations Conference in San Francisco, and a principal author of the Marshall Plan. I had the happy experience of spending time with him in Washington, and I can accurately say he would not be pleased with what has become of our government in the meantime. In his day, he said there was already too much of it.
How would he put it now? The virtues of individual initiative and self-reliance he so cherished are being rapidly effaced by an ever- clutching bureaucracy. Sadly, he would conclude that in today’s Halls of Congress the operative word is no longer serve; it is control.
Charles A. Eaton III