Reaching out to Rep. Heinrich

In case you have been hiding under a rock or left the country for vacation recently, you are probably aware that Congress has heard an earful from the American people on the issue of health care and President Obama’s move to vastly expand government control over Americans’ health care. In light of these outbursts, Members of Congress are being very careful about how they handle their town hall meetings.

Rep. Martin Heinrich is not alone. He has one town hall scheduled on health care. The event is scheduled for Saturday, August 22, 2009, 3:00 to 4:30 p.m and will be held at the UNM Continuing Education Building which is located at 1634 University Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87131. From talking to his staff, the idea is to have a panel of experts on hand to explain Obamacare.

Since we at the Rio Grande Foundation have done a great deal of work in the field of health care, we offered our services to appear on the panel and provide an alternative perspective. Unfortunately, we were told that although the panel for the 22nd was not full, our services were not needed (don’t expect to hear anyone who doesn’t think Obamacare is a good idea or that government should not see a much larger role in Americans’ health care decisions).

So, I followed up with Heinrich’s office offering to host a discussion of the topic in which free market voices are added to the discussion. Our letter is block-quoted below and we’ll definitely keep you posted if anything develops (I’m not holding my breath).

August 10, 2009

The Honorable Martin Heinrich
United States House of Representatives
20 First Plaza, Suite 603
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Re: Health Care Debate

Dear Representative Heinrich:

In the interest of giving the First Congressional District the full and open debate it deserves on the President’s proposals to change our national healthcare insurance and delivery systems, the Rio Grande Foundation is pleased to offer to convene for you a panel of experts and concerned citizens who favor free market approaches to the issue.

We understand your health care town hall meeting on August 22, 2009, will include a panel of experts who favor the President’s plan, but will not include any critics or proponents of free market alternatives (including representatives of the free-market oriented Rio Grande Foundation which is based in your home district in Albuquerque). We believe the citizens of your district deserve more than that, and that is why we make this offer.

We would be glad to schedule this panel discussion any time convenient to you. We look forward to working with your staff to arrange this educational event, and advance the public debate on an issue so important to your constituents.

We hope you will accept this invitation.


Paul Gessing,