I just submitted a thinned-down version of the below as a letter to the editor of the Centre Daily Times. I leave it here as an open letter, and as possible inspiration for other PA-5 constituents who may wish to contact Mr. Thompson.
UPDATE (March 17, 2017): The letter was published as “Thompson rushing bill into law”.
Congressman Glenn Thompson doesn’t know how many of his constituents he is hurting in his support of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), and he doesn’t seem to want to find out. Wasting no time, Mr. Thompson tells us that the law, which was introduced on Monday and sped through the Ways and Means Committee by 4:30 a.m. on Thursday, should be sent to the Senate by March 23 and on the President’s desk by Easter. While his constituents are racing to understand the impacts the new law will have on their lives, Mr. Thompson can’t be bothered to wait for a score from the Congressional Budget Office, and seems to have no interest in independent analysis.
The Congressional Budget Office, which provides nonpartisan analysis for the U.S. Congress on budgetary and economic issues, has not yet provided a score for the AHCA, so neither Mr. Thompson nor anybody else truly knows what the plan will cost the American people or how many will lose their health insurance if it passes. Perhaps because he and the rest of the GOP know that the CBO score will be shocking to many voters, Mr. Thompson has moved to preemptively invalidate the work of the CBO, telling Talking Points Memo, “I don’t have a lot of confidence in the CBO process . . . Trust me, this bill will be subject to all kinds of alternative analysis.” Yet, as recently as 2012, Mr. Thompson held quite different views, as when he said on the House floor, “The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office served a devastating blow” to Obamacare. If the CBO was reliable then, why has it so suddenly lost credibility?
In the same March 2012 floor speech, Mr. Thompson, citing figures from the CBO, focused on access to healthcare as the metric by which to judge the Affordable Care Act, declaring it a failure based on the number of people projected to lose their employer-provided insurance coverage. Now, however, Mr. Thompson has changed his story, saying recently that, “A nation’s health policy should not be about access to health insurance.” If the number of insured was the critical measure of the Affordable Care Act, why is it no longer his concern in evaluating the GOP’s replacement?
It’s hard not to compare Mr. Thompson’s “alternative analysis” to the world of “alternative facts” which the Trump Administration is trying to create. In his rush to avoid a CBO score, and blindly further a GOP agenda, it’s estimated that 50,000 of Mr. Thompson’s constituents will lose their health insurance.