Senator Mark Udall Replies to My Support of the Public Option


September 15, 2009

Dear Robert,

Thank you for contacting me regarding health insurance reform.  I appreciate your taking the time to express your specific views on this important topic facing our nation.

As you know, many proposals have been put on the table for reforming our health care system to make it work for all Americans.  I recognize there are many, often competing, philosophies and ideas on the best way to move forward.  As your Senator, it is my job to listen closely to the various stakeholders involved in this process as well as actively seek out input from across the state to help inform my understanding of what is best for Colorado.  One thing I firmly believe, however, is that the status quo is unacceptable and unsustainable.  

While we move forward in this debate, there are a number of key requirements which will guide my consideration. Any health reform must: 1) allow people who like the coverage they currently have to keep it; 2) bring costs down so that all Coloradans are able to cover their families while staying within their means; 3) preserve the critical doctor-patient relationship, ensuring that decisions about treatment are made by those who know the patient the best; 4) call for insurers to provide coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions or medical history; and 5) be fiscally responsible.  By ensuring that these pieces are part of reform, we can provide the stability in health care that is currently lacking for hard working Coloradans – stable costs, stable coverage, and stable quality.  Cost-effective ideas to improve health like emphasizing prevention and wellness programs, early screening and diagnosis, and chronic disease management are just a few pieces of the puzzle that I think can help us get there. 

Another important piece to the puzzle is ensuring that health reform expands access to care for those living in rural communities, which is why I recently introduced legislation known as the Rural Physician Pipeline Act of 2009 (S.1628).  This bill is designed to improve health care in rural communities by helping medical schools establish programs to recruit and train medical students who want to practice in rural areas.  The provisions in this legislation are based on a successful program at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and there is evidence to suggest that, if similar programs are expanded, as called for in my bill, we can dramatically increase the number of rural doctors nationwide.

Additionally, health reform must include provisions aimed at helping to alleviate the financial burden placed on small business owners who struggle to provide health coverage to their employees.  This is especially true for those small businesses that have seen the cost of coverage grow at such an alarming rate that they are unable to stay competitive in maintaining a talented pool of workers.  Small businesses are the driving force of our economy and we must pass health insurance reform which provides them a pooled marketplace from which to purchase coverage and offers credits to make plans affordable.

Reforming our health care system will not be easy, but it is imperative.  As Congress continues looking for the best ways to meet our nation’s health care challenges, please know that I will always keep the best interests of Coloradans in mind.  Along the way, I will certainly remember your particular thoughts and concerns.

I will continue to listen closely to what you and other Coloradans have to say about matters before Congress, the concerns of our communities, and the issues facing Colorado and the nation.  My job is not about merely supporting or opposing legislation; it is also about bridging the divide that has paralyzed our nation’s politics.  For more information about my positions and to learn how my office can assist you, please visit my website at

Warm Regards,

Mark Udall
United States Senator, Colorado


New Info on New Healthcare Package

     Need to decide which way to go!In my desire to retire I have obtained new information on the UPS health care package being offered by the company pretty much nationwide. If you intend to retire any time before January 1st, 2010 you will not be eligible to change to the new retiree package being offered. You must be an active employee on January 1st, 2010 in order to qualify for the new changes. For those of you that may not know it, under the new retiree plan you will have Dental, and Vision coverage at no additional cost. Something you wouldn’t have had under the old plan.
     Of course you need to read the rest of the changes that go with the plan change. Things like being in “Networked Care”. Buying your prescriptions from Medco, and being forced to buy Generics first. There are a number of changes over the current plan, and it is very obvious that the providers save a great deal of money with a networked plan. Enough that they can offer you all of these additional benefits, and still come out ahead.
     Again my point is not to persuade you one way or the other. My point is to get you to look closely to see which of the plans meet your needs. The company is holding regular meetings to discuss the overall changes, and I highly recommend you attend one of these meetings.
     As for speculating about the future, I think, come the next contract negotiation, you will all end up under the new plan, like it or not. Just something to keep in mind.
     Remember, once you decide to take the new plan, you cannot go back, like it or not!

E Plab Nista

What part of “We the People”, has our government forgotten. The polling shows, somewhere in the neighborhood of 62%These are not holy words, they are the words of the people of the people in this country, support the public option as part of the health care reform package. Yet our Congress people act as if it is more important to give the same corporations that created this mess, a handout. They have a, “we can’t sell out our corporate money people just to provide a real service to the American people”, attitude
     . It’s obvious that these people are all corporatists including Barack Obama. All you have to do is follow the Insurance company dollar and you will see that the debate has been bought and paid for by these corporations.
     What the end result will be is nothing for the people that need it. The corporations have determined there is no profit in insuring the poor, and the pre-existing condition, and by damned, we’re going to see to it that they stay uninsured.
     The bill of rights was originally written for the people, but the corporations, and our bought and sold politicians, have seen to it that the word “people” is removed and replaced with the word “corporation”.

There will be no change in Washington from either side until the people get to pick the candidates, not corporate money. Simple as that!

It’s Not a Life Sentence

      I ran across a little article in the paper the other day that really made me think. It seems the longest working employee at UPS retired this year on Founder’s Day. Marty Peters, who is only 87 years old, finally hung up the browns after 67 years with the company. My first thought on seeing this was “God man, get a life.” Why would somebody choose to go to work instead of retiring when they have the chance? Life after UPS
     One reason is that people are simply scared to retire. They think they can’t afford it. Or they hear stories of people retiring and dying in 6 months. They’re scared they might be one of those people. They’re afraid and it’s easier to keep going to work than it is to make a life change. I know  a lot of you are thinking, “Man, I’d retire tomorrow if I was eligible.” But would you..really…?? I know a lot UPSers who have over 30 years, hate their jobs, but feel they can’t walk out just yet.
      I think there are few key factors that can make retirement possible and affordable. One is pay down your debts, like your house, as much as you can. You don’t have to have it paid off to retire, that’s a myth. Also, have a good financial planner.  Make a plan and stick to it. (I can recommend mine if you can’t find one). Get into a savings plan, like a 401(k) and don’t take any money out of it. And, for heaven’s sake, be willing to work part time when you retire. 
     With a defined benefit pension, it’s easy to plan for retirement. You know how much money to expect right off the bat. Thirty years of service nets you about $3000 a month. At age 62, you can draw your Social Security which should be more than half that amount again. When you add it up, that’s over $50,000 a year. A good financial planner should be able to set  you up with a comfortable lifestyle with those base figures. If you feel that won’t be enough, then you need to change your savings and spending habits now. 
     I’m telling you, nobody needs to work until they are 87. I’m coming up on the first year anniversary of retirement. Sept. 19 was my last day on the street and October 1  was my first day of retirement. I’m having a great time, money is not a problem and I haven’t looked back. I don’t miss working long hours and getting yelled at. Retirement should be the best years of your life. Be ready to jump as early as you can.