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Columbia Missourian

LETTER: Luetkemeyer opts for partisanship over health care reform

By Peter Hinshaw, Columbia
July 1, 2009 | 10:41 a.m. CDT

I was stood up by Blaine Luetkemeyer's Columbia staff on Friday along with 12 other 9th Congressional District constituents. *Despite having called ahead to let them know we were coming during regular office hours, no congressional staff was available. It was disappointing that Rep. Luetkemeyer's office can't keep regular hours.  It is also disappointing that Rep. Luetkemeyer and the minority party is playing partisan politics with health care reform.

American per-capita spending on health care dwarfs other developed countries. Because of the astronomical cost of American health care, almost 1 of every 6 Americans are not covered. Many American families must choose between health care coverage and other primary expenses such as food and shelter. Health care costs are 16 percent of the total economy and continue to climb.

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The economy depends on workers being healthy and ready for work. Americans can't compete economically with other developed countries with our current health care system.

The vast majority of Americans recognize that health care reform is required. Businesses understand the health care system hurts their ability to compete. But what is obvious on Main Street is in danger of being lost in Washington because of the vast lobbying effort on health care reform. If the public allows Washington to continue as usual, the outcome will be more of the same. Readers should contact Rep. Luetkemeyer and our senators often to be sure they understand the critical importance of health care reform.