Every morning before work I access Drudge Report for the latest breaking news. For the past few months I’ve read headlines saying “Healthcare Within Reach,” “Politicians Continue to Work on Healthcare Bill” and “Hanging by a Thread.” On Saturday morning House Speaker Nancy Pelosi denied criticism she did not have enough votes to pass healthcare reform and claimed lawmakers were “on the verge of making history.” Whether you love or hate the healthcare debate, the outcome affects everyone. Here is a rundown of Pelosi’s plight and why our generation needs to say, “No, we will not tolerate this.”
We Can’t Afford Another Entitlement Program The number one concern of government run healthcare is cost. Can we afford another entitlement program? Where will this money come from? In September, Obama said he won’t sign a bill that adds to our deficit. An analysis by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) claims the bill does not control costs. The current bill, as written, will cost $460 billion for the first ten years and $1.2 trillion for the next ten years (Healthcare Summit, 2010). No one addressed the issue of exponential population growth. How will this affect healthcare costs in the future? Pelosi, Reid and many other politicians are in their “golden years.” Most will be dead within 30 to 40 years. The reality is you, me, our children and future grandchildren will be stuck footing this bill. “Medicaid is bankrupting states, yet we’re here having a debate about creating another entitlement program that will bankrupt our country. This bill will bankrupt our country. I think this bill is a dangerous experiment,” said Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio).
Other Options are Available Government run healthcare is not the only answer to our problem. We need to allow Americans to purchase healthcare across state lines. According to GOP.gov, a family in Massachusetts could decrease insurance premiums by 61 percent if allowed to purchase their coverage from North Carolina. California residents could decrease premiums by almost 50 percent if they purchase their insurance in Oregon. A New York resident could slash premiums by 57 percent if they purchase their health insurance in Pennsylvania. Another way to decrease insurance premiums is to cap medical malpractice reform. Texas caps doctors, hospitals and institutions for medical malpractice. Lawsuit filings are down. The largest malpractice insurance company slashed premiums 35 percent (John McCain, Healthcare Summit). Enact malpractice reform to reduce costs. It is proven effective. These are just two solutions to rising healthcare costs. Both will decrease costs and taxes on the American people.
Live Within Your Means Common arguments for nationalized healthcare include, “30 million people will die without healthcare!” and “We must help the poor!” First, let me clarify you do not die without healthcare. Sick patients cannot be denied treatment if they show up at the emergency room. Second, the poorest of poor people do have healthcare. It’s called Medicaid and it’s going broke. If Americans are so poor, consider this. According to the US Census Bureau’s annual survey on poverty, 37 million Americans are considered “poor”. Forty-three percent of all poor households own their homes. Only six percent of poor households are overcrowded; two-thirds have more than two rooms per person. Nearly three-fourths own a car; 31 percent own two or more cars. Ninety-seven percent of poor households have a color TV; over half own two or more color televisions. 62 percent have cable or satellite TV reception (Heritage.org, 2007)! The average cable bill is $71 per month (multichannel, 2009). If you cannot live within your means, why is it the government’s responsibility to take care of you? If you cannot afford two cars, get rid of one. If you can’t afford three cell phones and a land line, reduce yourself to one phone. It is not a “right” to own multiple televisions, DVD players, etc. Would you expect the government to pay your cell phone bill? How about your heating bill? No? Then why is it the government’s responsibility to pay for our healthcare? Americans need to learn to live within their means.
Is it Legal? Under Pelosi’s plan, Americans are required to purchase healthcare, whether they want to or not. Failure to purchase “acceptable” health insurance could result in a fine punishable up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment of up to five years. That is according to the Joint Committee on Taxation, a non-partisan analysis committee in Congress. Even better, House Speaker Pelosi suggested using a procedural slight of hand to pass the bill without even having members vote on it (Washington Post, 2010)! “Where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?” A CNS News reporter asked Pelosi this question at a press conference in October 2009. Listen to her response here. For the first time in 212 years the government is forcing us to buy a product whether we want to or not. This is a prime example of government takeover. The government wants to take over 1/6 of the US economy. Can someone show me a successful government run program?
Government Run Programs are Broke Medicare alone is $3.7 trillion in the hole (Rep Jim Cooper, Healthcare Summit). Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) calls Medicare the “biggest unfunded liability in the US.” Social Security pays out $29 billion more in benefits than it takes in (AuburnPub.com, 2010). Medicaid is bankrupting states. According to the Healthcare Summit, Medicaid is growing at 21 percent. This means trillions of dollars in obligations. Under Obama’s healthcare plan, 14 to 18 million more people would be placed on Medicaid, but on who’s dime? Fix the programs currently in tact. How will increased spending fix the broken system? You cannot spend your way out of debt!
Back Room Deals Democrats are using back room deals to buy votes. In December Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) offered $100 million in Medicaid funding to win the support of Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.). In February House leaders dropped the deal, claiming it was unfair. Nelson maintains he did not pursue the deal in exchange for his vote. Sen. Mary Landieu’s state of Lousiana received an additional $100-300 million for Medicaid, dubbing her vote the “Louisiana Purchase” (CBS, 2009). Florida received an additional $5 billion for Medicare Advantage. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders scored $10 billion to increase community health centers in the US, including two in his home state. Reid’s response to the deals? “That’s what legislating is about. It’s about compromise.”
Abortion Coverage The current healthcare bill covers abortion and democrats are divided over it. Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) objects to the current healthcare bill based on his anti-abortion stance. “We’re not going to vote for this bill with that kind of language,” he said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” (Huffington Post, 2010). In the same interview Stupak said, on pages 2069 to 2078 you will find federal funds that directly subsidize abortions. “Every enrollee has to pay a minimum of one dollar per month toward reproductive rights, which includes abortions” (ABC, 2010).
Accountability What happened to accountability in America? Nearly 40 percent of American children are born out of wedlock. Seventy-two percent of black women gave birth out of wedlock in 2007, over 51 percent of Latina women and 28 percent of white women did (CNN, 2009). High school sex education taught us poverty is the usual outcome for babies born into single parent homes. Children raised by never-married mothers are seven times more likely to live in poverty than children raised by biological parents in intact marriages (Alabama Policy Institute, 2007). Continuing with accountability, it’s no secret college graduates earn more than high school graduates. Between scholarships, financial aid and community colleges, everyone has the opportunity to attend college. If you want to earn an additional $1million in your lifetime, go to college (About.com, 2010). If you don’t, why is that my responsibility?
The American People Do Not Want This Bottom line, the American people do not want this bill. According to Rasmussen Reports, 53 percent of Americans oppose the healthcare bill, 57 percent predict the current plan will hurt the economy and 55 percent say congress should start over. Watching the Healthcare Summit it was apparent Obama and our elected officials don’t get it. The arrogance displayed is disgusting (watch the Healthcare Summit on C-Span here). Nancy Pelosi recently said they need to pass the bill for people to see what’s in it. No Nancy, you do not need to pass the bill. We know what’s in it and we don’t like it! What part of no do you not understand? Politicians are elected to represent the people, not their corrupt, personal agenda. Websters dictionary defines socialism as, “a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.” Is this really the path we want to go down?
Freedom of speech, the right to bear arms and the pursuit of happiness are rights. Healthcare is not a right. We need change, we want change, but we want it to work. Start over, start small. Don’t put the government in control, put the people in control. Some people might say my ideals are insensitive. What happened to caring about mankind? I care about mankind and I feel we should take care of one another. I believe that is the role of the people, not the role of the government.
Make your voice heard! Write your politician here.
*Please click on the lovely picture of Madam Pelosi. I got creative in Photoshop this weekend :]