Today we celebrate the achievements of the FIRM coalition over the past year.
FIRM started at the end of January 2007, and comprises a group of Colorado citizens with diverse careers, interests and ideas about what medicine and health insurance should (and could) look like in Colorado (and in America, for that matter). For some, this is the first time they have ventured into an ethical/political issue in public. Some want to stay out of politics, but are interested in what used to be called "moral suasion," persuading people through moral argument to change their beliefs about a particular issue.
What these people do agree with is that the government should stop regulating, controlling and intervening in decisions that individuals make about what medical procedures they should have, whether to buy health insurance, and if so, what type of health insurance is appropriate for them and their families, and who should be their provider of services, among the thousand other decisions that people make regarding their health every year.
I am very appreciative for all of you who have supported the efforts of FIRM, and want to provide you the tangible record of your efforts. Briefly, in a summary form, they are as follows. From January 30, 2007, to January 31, 2008, FIRM coalition supporters had the following public results:
Letters to the editor -- 48 (including one in "USA Today")
OpEds/Columns -- 26
Citations in Media -- at least 10, perhaps more
Articles/Essays -- 2
Talks/Panel Discussions -- 9
Media appearances -- 6
Formal Proposal Submissions to 208 Commission -- 1
Public statements to 208 Commission -- 17
Letters to 208 Commission during their request for public comments -- at least 5, undoubtedly more
Letter to Colorado Medical Society -- 1
Public Statements to Medical Organizations -- Total 1
Public Statement to Colorado Joint Legislative Committee on Health and Human Services -- 1
Distribution of "Health Care is Not A Right", by Leonard Peikoff -- over 1,000 copies
These are fabulous results. The war is not yet won, and it will be difficult. Last year, at this time, one of the popular ideas in the public was the individual mandate to purchase insurance. This year, at least, it looks like there will not be a push for the individual mandate to purchase insurance in the State of Colorado, and that is due in no small part to the efforts of FIRM supporters -- of their own, individual efforts. Individual mandates are not dead, but they are no longer thriving.
This year, it appears that the effort will be to expand government health insurance to all of the uninsured children in the state, increasing the number of people on government programs that don't work, giving families the illusion of coverage, at an expensive price tag for all, including taxpayers. We expect to see additional restrictions on insurance policies, including benefit mandates and rating issues as well. So there is work yet to do.
Below are the details that support the summary above. I applaud every name on the list, and I also applaud all of you who have written, sent comments and forwarded any of these efforts to friends, family, co-workers, doctors or other health-care providers. Please remember as you read the list, that not everyone on the list may absolutely be in 100% agreement with all aims of FIRM. FIRM is a coalition, and its ideas are expressed in its Statement of Principles and Goals. These individuals have expressed their adherence to some of these goals in these particular writings or public statements.
A special thanks to Paul Hsieh for blogging so diligently and for co-writing with me an excellent article on the state of medicine and health insurance in America.
I have used smaller type so that the blog is not so long.
Letters to the editor -- Total 48 (including one in "USA Today")
Diana Hsieh, Rocky Mountain News, 2/5/2007, "Paul Campos: Health Care"
Brian Schwartz, Denver Post, 3/3/2007, "Universal Health Care"
Richard Watts, Rocky Mountain News, 4/16/2007, "End government health-care meddling"
Richard Watts, Craig Daily Press, 4/19/2007, "Health Care"
Paul Hsieh, Denver Post, 4/24/2007, "Health Care is Not a Right"
Russell Shurts, Rocky Mountain News, 4/25/2007, "Health Care in Colorado"
Richard Watts, Rio Blanco Herald Times, 4/26/2007, "Health Care"
Paul Hsieh, Denver Post, 4/30/2007, "Two Arguments Why Health Care is Not a Right"
Brian Schwartz, Denver Post, 4/30/2007, "Fair Health Care"
Brian Schwartz, Rocky Mountain News, 5/3/2007, "Medical insurance restrictions are costly"
Brian Schwartz, Boulder Daily Camera, 5/3/2007, "Health Care: The government would worsen it"
Ralph Shnelvar, Denver Post, 5/6/2007, "Debating health care systems in U.S., Canada"
Hanah Krening, Denver Post, 5/23/2007, "Proposals to reform health care in Colorado"
Paul Hsieh, Pueblo Chieftain, 5/27/2007, "Socialized Medicine"
Richard Watts, Steamboat Pilot, 5/30/2007, "Too Much Control"
Richard Watts, Rocky Mountain News, 5/31/2007, "Health Care"
Richard Watts, Glenwood Springs Post-Independent, 5/31/2007, "Don't Allow the Government to Dictate Your Health Care"
Gina Liggett, Denver Post, 6/6/2007, "Free Market Health Care Reform"
Gina Liggett, Boulder Daily Camera, 6/9/2007, "There is No 'Right' to Any Health Care"
Gina Liggett, Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, 6/13/2007, "Need vs. Right"
Gina Liggett, Carbondale Valley Sentinel, 6/14/2007, "Need vs. Right"
Gina Liggett, Pueblo Chieftain, 6/17/2007, "Health Panel Stacked Deck"
Brian Schwartz, Denver Post, 6/19/2007, "'Universal' Health Care"
Richard Watts, Grand Junction Free Press, 6/21/2007, "Health Care is Not a Right"
Richard Watts, Boulder Daily Camera, 6/22/2007, "Health Care is Not a Right"
Martin Buchanan, Denver Post, 6/27/2007, "Health Care For All: Whose Responsibility Is It?"
Gina Liggett, Rocky Mountain News, 6/28/2007, "Health Care is Not a 'Right', It's a Need"
Russell Shurts, Rocky Mountain News, 6/29/2007, "Social Responsibility"
Gina Liggett, USA Today, 6/29/2007, "Moore In Denial"
Brian Schwartz, Rocky Mountain News, 7/2/2007, "Health Insurance"
Diana Hsieh, Colorado Springs Gazette, 7/3/2007, "People, not government, responsible for health"
Gina Liggett, Denver Post, 7/6/2007, "Health Care in the US"
Gina Liggett, Northern Colorado Business Report, 7/6/2007, "Free Health Care?!"
Richard Watts, Rocky Mountain News, 7/7/2007, Health Care"
Paul Hsieh, Rocky Mountain News, 7/12/2007, "In-Store Health Clinics"
Diana Hsieh, Rocky Mountain News, 7/17/2007, "Free Market Medicine is the Answer"
Gina Liggett, Colorado Confidential, 7/21/2007, "Health Care"
Paul Hsieh, Denver Post, 7/31/2007, "Rising Health Care Costs"
Richard Watts, Denver Post, 7/31/2007, "SCHIP Program"
Lin Zinser, Rocky Mountain News, 8/7/2007, "Health Care in Colorado"
Brian Schwartz, Rocky Mountain News, 8/13/2007, "Free Markets Key to Affordable Health Care"
James Schroeder, Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, 8/28/2007, "Single Payer Health Plan Would Be Costly and Unfair"
Brian Schwartz, Denver Post, 8/31/2007, "Health Savings Accounts"
Brian Schwartz, Denver Post, 9/7/2007, "Funding Health Care"
Russell Shurts, Grand Junction Free Press, 9/13/2007, "We Shouldn't Be Forced"
Brian Schwartz, Boulder Daily Camera, 9/24/2007, "We Do Not Have Free Market Care"
Brian Schwartz, Boulder Daily Camera, 1/4/2008, "Free Market Health Insurance Needed"
Brian Schwartz, Rocky Mountain News, 1/17/2008, "Politically Controlled Insurance Is a Disease"
OpEds/Columns -- Total 26
Brian Schwartz, Boulder Daily Camera, 2/11/2007, "Government-run auto repair? Yes!"
Ari Armstrong, Boulder Weekly, 2/15/2007, "Colorado Medical Socialism"
Ari Armstrong, "What's Right With Colorado Health Care", 4/8/2007, Independence Institute
Brian Schwartz, Rocky Mountain News, 4/28/2007, "Government controls violate rights, raise costs, cut access"
Paul Hsieh, Rocky Mountain News, 6/2/2007, "Free market holds key to ensuring quality for Coloradans"
Paul Hsieh, Boulder Daily Camera, 6/10/2007, "Socialized Medicine is Wrong for State"
Paul Hsieh, Pueblo Chieftain, 6/10/2007, ""Blue ribbon panel prescribes wrong approach on health care"
Linn and Ari Armstrong, Grand Junction Free Press, 6/11/2007, "Health socializers ignore benefits of liberty, harms of controls"
Brian Schwartz, Denver Post, 8/5/2007, "Don't Model State Reforms on Medicaid: How Should Colorado Lawmakers Fix A Broken
Russell Shurts, Rocky Mountain News, 8/7/2007, "Socialized Medicine Just Another Gang Operation"
Ralph Shnelvar, Boulder Daily Camera, 8/14/2007, "Your Government Doesn't Care"
Brian Schwartz, Boulder Daily Camera, 8/26/2007, "Warning: Medicaid is Hazardous to Your Health"
James Schroeder, Grand Junction Free Press, 8/23/2007, "Beware of unintended consequences of health care proposals"
Linn and Ari Armstrong, Grand Junction Free Press, 9/3/2007, "Reformers demand more labor for politically-run medicine"
Paul Hsieh, Ayn Rand Institute, 9/18/2007, "'Single-Payer' Health Care Is Anything but Free"
Brian Schwartz, Rocky Mountain News, 9/26/2007, "Government Control Is Bad For Your Health"
Linn and Ari Armstrong, Grand Junction Free Press, 10/15/2007, "Insurance Mandates Threaten Your Health"
Linda Gorman, Independence Institute, 10/24/2007, "It's Official: Medicaid Managed Care Does Not Save Money"
James Schroeder, Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, 11/18/2007, "Expanding Medicaid Eligibility Will Mean Fewer Doctors Accept It"
Brian Schwartz, 11/21/2007, Independence Institute, "Ritter's health care cure would prove more crippling to Coloradans"
Linda Gorman, Independence Institute, 12/3/2007, "Health care "reform" in Colorado: Go home and die; it's cheaper"
James Schroeder, Grand Junction Free Press, 12/26/2007, "Here's Your Prescription"
Brian Schwartz, TCS Daily, 1/14/2008, "Compulsory Medical Insurance as Collective Punishment"
Linn and Ari Armstrong, Grand Junction Free Press, 1/21/2008, "More Political Control of Medicine Comes With Higher Costs"
Linda Gorman and Ari Armstrong, Rocky Mountain News, 1/30/2008, "A Very Costly Health Care Solution"
Brian Schwartz, Colorado Springs Gazette, 1/31/2008, "Compulsory Insurance as Collective Punishment"
Citations in Media -- At least 10, perhaps more
Lin Zinser quoted in Colorado Springs Gazette, 5/22/2007, "State health care commission narrows focus"
Paul Hsieh quoted on Mike Rosen Radio show, 6/7/2007
Brian Schwartz cited in Face the State, 8/27/2007, "Does the Effort to Provide Government Health Care For All Kids Leave Too Many
Brian Schwartz quoted in Denver Post, 8/31/2007, "Experts pan health savings accounts"
James Schroeder quoted in Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, 10/12/2007, "Community Discusses Health Care Reform"
Brian Schwartz quoted in Rocky Mountain News, 10/5/2007, "Audience at health care forum backs single-payer proposal"
Ari Armstrong and Brian Schwartz cited in Rocky Mountain News, 10/13/2007, Jason Salzman Column
Brian Schwartz and Paul Hsieh quoted in Colorado Springs Gazette editorial, 1/3/2008, "Health Care, Ho! State Should Avoid Repeat of
Linda Gorman cited in Rocky Mountain News, 1/10/2008, "Mandatory Health Plan Participation Opposed"
Linda Gorman and Brian Schwartz cited in Face the State, 1/31/2008, "Minority Report Critical of Health Commission Findings"
Articles/Essays -- Total 2
Paul Hsieh, Colorado Medicine (March-April 2007 issue), "An Open Letter to Colorado Physicians"
Lin Zinser and Paul Hsieh, The Objective Standard (Winter 2007-2008 issue), "Moral Health Care vs. 'Universal Health Care'"
Guest Speaker/Panel Discussions -- Total - 9
Lin Zinser, "The Crisis in Colorado Health Care", 4/17/2007, Colorado Springs Republican Women
Lin Zinser, Aurora Rotary Club, 6/11/2007
Lin Zinser, Grand Junction, 7/19/2007
Lin Zinser, Castle Rock Republicans, 7/20/2007
Lin Zinser, Jefferson County Town Hall Meeting, 8/18/2007
Lin Zinser, Greeley Centennial Rotary Club, 9/6/2007
Lin Zinser, El Paso County Republican Women, 9/17/2007
Lin Zinser, Mesa County Republicans, 9/21/2007
Lin Zinser, Gateway Rotary Club, 9/26/2007
Media appearances -- Total 6
Lin Zinser, 5/10/2007, Amy Oliver Radio Show
Lin Zinser, 5/18/2007, John Caldera TV Show "Independent Thinking"
Brian Schwartz, 6/17/2007, John Andrews Radio Show
Lin Zinser, 7/26/2007, KNZZ Report Radio Show
Lin Zinser, 7/26/2007, Grand Junction TV 5:00 news
Lin Zinser, 9/6/2007, Amy Oliver Radio Show
Formal Proposal Submissions to 208 Commission -- Total 1
Brian Schwartz, "Free Markets, Affordability & Individual Rights"
Public statements to 208 Commission Meetings -- Total 17
Paul Hsieh (read by Lin Zinser), 1/30/2007
Brian Schwartz, 10/4/2007
James Schroeder, 10/11/2007
Lin Zinser, 1/30/2007, 1/31/2007, 2/21/2007, 3/28/2007, 4/27/2007, 5/17/2007, 5/18/2007, 6/19/2007, 7/18/2007, 8/23/07, 9/24/2007,
11/02/2007, 12/13/2007, 1/10/2008
Letters to 208 Commission during their request for public comments -- Total at least 5, undoubtedly more
Lin Zinser, Diana Hsieh, Paul Hsieh, Betty Evans, Richard Watts, and others
Letter to Colorado Medical Society - Total 1
James Schroeder, November 2007
Public Statements to Medical Organizations - Total 1
Paul Hsieh, Arapahoe-Douglas-Elbert Medical Society, 6/21/2007
Public Statement to Colorado Joint Legislative Committee on Health and Human Services - Total 1
Lin Zinser, January 31, 2008