13 Aug 10 Reasons to Reject Obama-Care
“Obama-care”, the unfathomably complicated and controversial version of socialized medicine that the current President has proposed, ought to be repudiated by the American people for a lot of reasons. Thanks to my friend, Dan Baren (2008 Lincoln Club Member of the Year, by the way), I have included the top 10 reasons to object below from Human Events. As Mark Steyn has said, of all the socialist nonsense this current leftist administration has done, is doing, and wants to do, nothing is as irreversible as the health care proposal. Hilary Clinton probably could have warned Obama that this is the real third rail in American politics, and for good reason. A society that hands over its health care to the government is a society that has thrown in the towel on individual responsibility and freedom. Nanny-ism can be dealt a massive blow if and when this government-run health care is defeated. My political instincts tell me that the original intention is all but dead, but that some modified version is still very likely to go to vote. Read below, and be vigiliant. This is not an arbitrary political issue; it is a matter of “life and death”.
1. Millions Will Lose Their Current Insurance: President Obama wants Americans to believe they can keep their insurance if they like. Proposed economic incentives, plus a government-run health plan would cause 88.1 million people to see their current employer-sponsored health plan disappear.
2. Your Health Care Coverage Will Probably Change Anyway: Even if you keep your private insurance, eventually most remaining plans will have to conform to new federal benefit standards. Moreover, the necessary plan “upgrades” will undoubtedly cost you more in premiums.
3. The Umpire Is Also the First Baseman: The main argument for a “public option” is that it would increase competition. However, if the federal government creates a healthcare plan that it controls and also sets the rules for the private plans, there is little doubt that Washington would put its private sector “competitors” out of business sooner or later.
4. The Fed Picks Your Treatment: President Obama said: “They’re going to have to give up paying for things that don’t make them healthier. … If there’s a blue pill and a red pill, and the blue pill is half the price of the red pill and works just as well, why not pay half for the thing that’s going to make you well.” Does that sound like a government that will stay out of your healthcare decisions?
5. Individual Mandate Means Less Liberty and More Taxes: President Obama is open to the imposition of an individual mandate that would require all Americans to have federally approved health insurance. This unprecedented federal directive not only takes away your individual freedom but could cost you as well. Lawmakers are considering a penalty or tax for those who don’t buy government-approved health plans.
6. Higher Taxes Than Europe Hurt Small Businesses: A proposed surtax on the wealthy will actually hit hundreds of thousands of small business owners who are dealing with a recession. If it is enacted, America’s top earners and job creators will carry a larger overall tax burden than in France, Italy, Germany, Japan, etc., with a total average tax rate greater than 52%. Is that the right recipe for jobs and wage growth?
7. Who Makes Medical Decisions? While the House and Senate language is vague, amendments offered in House and Senate committees to block government rationing of care were routinely defeated. Cost or a federal health board could be the deciding factor. President Obama himself admitted this when he said, “Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller,” when asked about an elderly woman who needed a pacemaker.
8. Taxpayer-Funded Abortions? Nineteen Democrats recently asked the President to not sign any bill that doesn’t explicitly exclude “abortion from the scope of any government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan” or any bill that allows a federal health board to “recommend abortion services be included under covered benefits or as part of a benefits package.” Currently, these provisions do not exist.
9. It’s Not Paid For: The CBO says the current House plan would increase the deficit by $239 billion over 10 years. And that amount will likely continue to rise over the long term.
10. Rushing It, Not Reading It: We’ve been down this road before — with the failed stimulus package. Back then, we also heard that we were in a crisis and that we needed to pass a 1,000-plus-page bill in a few hours — without reading it — or we would have 8% unemployment. Deception is the only reason to rush through a bill nobody truly understands.
An add-on from the American College of Surgeons:
CHICAGO—The American College of Surgeons is deeply disturbed over the uninformed public comments President Obama continues to make about the high-quality care provided by surgeons in the United States. When the President makes statements that are incorrect or not based in fact, we think he does a disservice to the American people at a time when they want clear, understandable facts about health care reform. We want to set the record straight.
Yesterday during a town hall meeting, President Obama got his facts completely wrong. He stated that a surgeon gets paid $50,000 for a leg amputation when, in fact, Medicare pays a surgeon between $740 and $1,140 for a leg amputation. This payment also includes the evaluation of the patient on the day of the operation plus patient follow-up care that is provided for 90 days after the operation. Private insurers pay some variation of the Medicare reimbursement for this service.
Three weeks ago, the President suggested that a surgeon’s decision to remove a child’s tonsils is based on the desire to make a lot of money. That remark was ill-informed and dangerous, and we were dismayed by this characterization of the work surgeons do. Surgeons make decisions about recommending operations based on what’s right for the patient.
We agree with the President that the best thing for patients with diabetes is to manage the disease proactively to avoid the bad consequences that can occur, including blindness, stroke, and amputation. But as is the case for a person who has been treated for cancer and still needs to have a tumor removed, or a person who is in a terrible car crash and needs access to a trauma surgeon, there are times when even a perfectly managed diabetic patient needs a surgeon. The President’s remarks are truly alarming and run the risk of damaging the all-important trust between surgeons and their patients.
We assume that the President made these mistakes unintentionally, but we would urge him to have his facts correct before making another inflammatory and incorrect statement about surgeons and surgical care.