Constituents Write Open Letter to Barbara Comstock Asking for Leadership

Comstock-Ryan photo

May 5, 2017

Dear Representative Comstock,

Your vote on May 4 against the American Health Care Act sent a new and encouraging signal that months of citizen protests have not gone unnoticed. For that, we thank you. Yet, like the Republican leadership’s celebration with President Trump in the White House Rose Garden, a broader expression of celebration would be premature and lacking intellectual integrity. 

Since early January, citizens from your district have been calling and visiting your offices, writing you letters and emails, and demonstrating at a variety of venues to demand that you protect access to affordable healthcare. We have asked you, as our representative in Congress, to work to fix, not repeal, the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 

Your January vote for the budget resolution to repeal the ACA without a replacement plan was an early signal that you are willing to vote party over principle, even on something as critical as healthcare. We voiced our outrage and demanded to know details of your replacement plan.

Your only response was a vague claim that a forthcoming plan would preserve core attributes of the ACA that you agree are critically important. When that plan finally emerged, it became clear it would cost more, insure less, and put all of your constituents at risk of losing coverage if they get sick. We again called, and wrote, and visited with your staff, but most of our direct questions have remained unanswered.

Your voice has been so critically absent in this debate that we cannot help but question if your most recent vote was based on a political calculus rather than a policy conviction. 

Nonetheless, your “no” vote is worthy of our recognition and a call to action for citizens at large to continue to express their views, including “thank yous” when your votes reflect their values. We appreciate your public statement that supports “coverage for pre-existing conditions without lifetime limits.”  The next step for you is to follow up your public statements with demonstrable action by sponsoring legislation that allows for affordable coverage for pre-existing conditions and prohibits insurance carriers from applying lifetime limits to insurance coverage.

Our groups will continue to urge you to speak with your constituents in public forums that allow you to explain your true convictions and suggested policy solutions related to health care and other critical issues. Your constituents deserve and thus demand more than scripted statements and staged photos. We expect you to rise above partisanship, engage in constructive dialogue, and act in a way that answers the urgency of this tenuous time in our nation’s history. 

Respectfully,

Lisa Holliday, Guy Potucek, and Kristen Swanson,

Founders of Indivisible District 10 Facebook Groups

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