When it comes to health care reform, the devil is in the details
When it comes to legislation, there's a general rule of thumb that the number of details someone doesn't want you to see is directly related to how quickly they try to pass it. The so-called health care "reform" bill is a text-book example.
The reason Obama and liberal Democrats are pushing so fast and furious is because the details, (where the Devil usually hides), are beginning to get out. And as the details start to sink in, they're cutting through all of the "yes we can" rhetoric and leading more Americans to say "no you don't".
So what's getting them worked up? Let's take a look at some of the details of this "reform".
Despite Obama's best efforts, the financial implications are finally becoming more widely appreciated, (so to speak). According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the proposed legislation would not reduce the overall amount of money spent on health care in America, which undermines Obama's rationale for the massive overhaul in the first place.
They estimate that the "reform" would add between one and one and a half trillion dollars to our national debt, just over the next decade alone. The result will be a call for massive tax increases and the eventual rationing of care to cover and reduce costs. And of course this is before we find out how much more it will really cost once it becomes law, as every federal program eventually costs more than initially advertised.
And there are plenty of non-financial "details" to be concerned about as well.
The legislation would provide taxpayer funding of abortion by mandating coverage in the "public" (government run) version of health insurance. Democrats specifically opposed an amendment that would have mandated that no public funds go to cover abortion in the bill, and worse yet they approved an amendment that explicitly includes abortion coverage. In short, the bill would represent the greatest expansion of abortion in America since Roe vs. Wade.
There's trouble for doctors and nurses too, as they're likely to lose the "conscience protections" that keep them from being forced to provide abortion services, or risk losing their jobs. Obama's administration has already moved to rescind Bush era regulations that helped guarantee those protections.
The "public" (government run) version of health insurance would provide free health care to illegal aliens, but would result in the rationing of care for elderly and disabled American citizens in order to save money. Congressional liberals even defeated an amendment that would have specifically banned the rationing of health care.
And what happens when the government starts to ration care? Who decides who gets what, and when? Why bureaucrats and politicians, that's who. And what happens when people are left to wonder what kind of care they'll get if they're not supporters of the right political party? Such fears (not to mention corruption) become plausible given a government run system.
Obama claims that rationing is already going on by our insurance companies, so we shouldn't get worked up about it. Maybe so, but that doesn't mean we should trade private rationing (done by private companies that have to compete for consumer dollars) for public rationing by a government with no competition.
Then there's Obama's pledge that, "if you like your current insurance plan, you can keep it", which is a hollow promise at best, if not an outright lie.
A recent Heritage Foundation study projects that the "reform" Obama wants would cause almost 90 million Americans to lose their current employer-based insurance, as many employers will simply cease to offer coverage and push employees onto the government plan in order to save money.
Worse yet, the current version of the legislation would make it illegal for Americans to buy, or for insurance companies to sell, any individual private insurance plans after the first of the year.
The "reform" also would force all Americans to pay for health insurance, whether they want it or not - and use the IRS to levy fines on anyone who doesn't have the level of coverage that the government mandates.
The bottom line is that this plan represents a massive foot-in-the-door towards a "single-payer" system, where private insurance is completely abolished and all medical personnel work for the government. In fact, many of its supporters have admitted as much.
Representative Jan Schakowsky was caught on video in April stating that this was indeed an attempt to move toward a single payer system and to run the insurance companies out of business. And Obama himself stated in 2003 that, "I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer, universal health care plan." What more do we need to know?
Who doesn't believe that this plan won't become a gateway for the regulation of an ongoing list of human behaviors? Once the government's paying the tab, every type of human behavior becomes a potential cost to be analyzed and controlled.
Don't believe me? Look no further than the Pentagon's recent trial balloon about banning smoking in the military because it increases military health care costs. Now just replace "Pentagon" with "National Health Service", and replace "smoking" with "cheeseburgers" or "mountain climbing". You get the picture.
Americans seem to be catching on.
The most recent polls bring bad news for Obama, showing a continued drop in just about every category...job approval...his ability to "fix" health care...support for his plan...and with at least one poll showing the Republicans now leading Democrats on a "generic ballot" test. Which means that, at least for the moment, being the "party of no" is working just fine for the GOP.
As a result, the Democrats just this past week re-tooled their rhetoric to make insurance companies the latest boogie-man in their attempt to distract people from the facts. But the only problem is that this "reform" means more government, which is one of the few things people dislike more than insurance companies.
And speaking of insurance companies, if the Democrats do run them out of business, who will all the trial lawyers sue? Just curious. John Edwards has child support to pay!
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