Gregg Harper email – Your Health Care: Behind Closed Doors

Dear Friend,

With the U.S. House of Representatives returning to Washington this week, the question ahead is whether 2010 will be driven by more of the Democrats’ failed job-killing agenda. Republicans continue to offer practical, common-sense solutions to building our economy, reigning in federal spending and providing affordable and accessible health care without jeopardizing the entire system. There is no doubt the American people are interested in the business being conducted in Washington – especially with health care on the table. Whether the President and Speaker Pelosi listen to their concerns remains to be seen.

Concerned citizens across the country are tuned in as House Democratic leaders assemble the massive health care overhaul behind closed doors. Ironically, President Obama stated in the first sentence of his first executive order that, “My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.” While discussing the health care overhaul during his presidential campaign, he declared, “We’ll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents, and who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies.”

Recently, C-SPAN wrote congressional leaders requesting all future health care negotiations be open to the public through media coverage. The American people deserve a seat at the table and so I strongly support this request by C-SPAN, and urge the Democratic leadership to follow suit. Citizens deserve openness, transparency and accountability, not more secretive backroom deals.

Families all over our country are tightening their belts and small businesses are cutting expenses to help weather this economic storm. This is why it is important that Congress pass responsible health care reform that lowers costs and provides greater access to affordable care. We need to fix what is broken in our health care system in a way that protects families and that does not raise premiums for private policy holders and burden states with unfunded mandates. Sadly, the Democratic plan for a government takeover of health care will increase government spending, raise taxes and increase health care costs. This is not the prescription for reform the American people want or deserve.

The Daily Leader in Brookhaven wrote an editorial highlighting the lack of transparency in the health care negotiations. To review this article, access the provided link.

Daily Leader – Openness lacking in negotiations on health care bill

Last weekend, I accompanied two three-star generals and Mississippi National Guard leadership from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland to the 172nd Airlift Wing in Jackson, Miss. and the 186th Air Refueling Wing in Meridian, Miss. The decorated generals included the Director of the Air National Guard, Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt, and Lt. Gen. Loren M. Reno, who serves as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Installations and Mission Support for the U.S. Air Force.
The two-day congressional delegation tour began Friday, January 8th, where I participated in a patient offload procedure prior to our group’s departure for Mississippi on a C-17 Globemaster III. Our group spent Saturday touring Mississippi’s two Air National Guard bases.

The 172nd Airlift Wing’s C-17 fleet participates in the Air Force’s Aeromedical Evacuation mission, which transports soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan back to the United States for treatment. Well over 28,000 patients returned safely to the United States from Iraq, Afghanistan and Germany by the Airlift Squadron since mobilization in 2005.

The 186th Air Refueling Wing is busy transitioning for future missions at Key Field in Meridian. Currently, the 186th is home to eight KC-135 Air Refueling Tankers. Key Field is also home to the MC-12 Project Liberty mission. Due to the Base Realignment and Closure round in 2005, the 186th will soon lose their air refueling mission in the second quarter of Fiscal Year 2011. In the first quarter of FY 2012, the first of four C-27J Joint Cargo Aircraft will call Key Field home. Once scheduled to arrive as late as Fiscal Year 2015, the C-27J is now expected to arrive in FY 2012. We are now working with Air Force and Air National Guard leadership to designate Key Field as the Flying Training Unit (FTU) for the C-27J mission. An FTU designation would bring more aircraft and more positions to the base. Key Field is one of six Air National Guard bases vying to become the new Training Unit.

Both Air National Guard bases in Mississippi play a significant role in response to hurricanes and other disasters at home in addition to the ongoing conflicts abroad. The Mississippi National Guardsmen’s commitment to community and the nation is unmatched and is recognized all over the world.

To learn more about the recent tour, please click on the below link that includes a print story as well as video coverage of the meeting in Meridian.

WTOK – Congressman Gregg Harper and Officials Stop in Meridian’s Key Field

Thanks again for your support. I am honored to represent you in Congress. If I can ever be of assistance, please do not hesitate to visit my website listed below or contact one of my offices.

God bless,

Gregg Harper
Member of Congress