My Letter to Jason Altmire

Dear Rep. Altmire,

I am deeply disappointed in your vote on health care reform tonight. If there was ever a reason to have a Democrat in office in your district, it was this vote. At this point, I see no reason to support your campaign in any way come the fall.

I am not one of your constituents, but I worked to get you elected nonetheless. As I did in 2008, I was planning on working for your campaign again. No longer. I am loathe to see a Republican in office where we once had a Democrat, but better a Republican than a Democrat who votes like a Republican.

This was the most important vote in my lifetime, and you were against me.

Now I am sorry to have to say that I am against you.

Sincerely,

Eric Sipple

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5 Responses to My Letter to Jason Altmire

  1. BrettB says:

    True that brother

    @banditelli (watching the altmire twitter search :P)

  2. Mike says:

    Eric,

    I too am disappointed in representative Altmire’s vote. However, I think you are wrong to suggest that it is the most important vote in your lifetime. First, the strength of the bill was emasculated in the Senate – anything approaching a single-payer system was removed, thereby eliminating most of the ability to contain costs in the long term. Yes, stopping insurance companies from discriminating based on previous conditions is a good thing, but in the absence of single payer or some other cost-controlling measure, something will give in the long term. Moreover, there are serious and systemic problems with Medicare, Social Security, national debt, lack of accountability of corporate leadership for long term stability of companies, and so on. I urge Democrats to chastise Congressman Altmire for this vote, but to use the leverage to ask the Congressman to make some future tough decisions on taxes, regulation, energy, and other hugely important issues. This is an important issue, but it is far from the only issue, and I would argue that in fact, these other broad-based economic problems outweigh the importance of healthcare for the working class in the long run. Either way, thank you for your energy in the cause of egalitarianism.

  3. saalon says:

    My feeling on the importance of this bill is not based entirely on what this bill specifically accomplishes, though that’s a big part of it. It’s also the importance of having passed health care reform – any health care reform – in this country. If this vote had failed, if cowardly Democratic opposition like Rep. Altmire’s had stopped the bill cold, health care reform would have become even more politically toxic than it had been to this point. We might not see another chance at it for years, decades even.

    This bill had to pass to break the wall, to show the country that reform was going to happen before it was too late, and to start us on the path of the long term reform that’s needed. Rep. Altmire stood in the way not just of a bill, but of the realistic chance of getting reform at all for many, many years. Since this issue affects not only our health, but also our long term fiscal outlook, this put him on the wrong side of the most important issues I watch.

    That said, this is the most important issue to me, and not necessarily to others. Which is why it’s a personal choice for me to say that this ended my support for him. Can he earn it back with other tough votes? Certainly. But I can no longer credibly say that those votes will get back my donations or my support. On that, we’ll just have to see.

    Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

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