As Rep. Clyburn, the 3rd ranking House Democrat, recently put it ‘There’s nothing in the Constitution that says that the federal government has anything to do with most of the stuff we do.’ Sadly, the modus operandi of leadership in Washington today is to shove through Congress whatever legislation they can get away with nearly complete disregard to the responsibilities chartered in our country’s founding document. This is demonstrated by the twisted treatment given to a Constitutional clause which was intended to protect free trade, but has been everted, spun, and woven into an instrument of distortion used to consolidate state control.
Democrats lament that insurance companies need “competition” from the government in order to lower costs and improve services, when it is in fact government mandates that have created health insurance monopolies, high costs and poor services. In defiance of the Constitution’s Interstate Commerce Clause, health insurers are not even permitted to sell across state lines. It must be understood that in a free enterprise system, the health care market naturally responds to whatever ailments are suffered on the population with new hospitals, increasing numbers of doctors and advances in technology. If the market was suddenly liberated from government regulations, over 100 existing insurance providers would be free to sell to anyone in any state. With such an explosion of new supply, costs would be driven down by the resulting competition, quality would be continuously increased and access to coverage would be vastly expanded by nature of the newly burgeoning healthcare sector. Our greatest problems are a result of governmental interference and cannot be solved by more of it.
Yet, if the superiority of free market competition, individual choice and personal responsibility is wildly self-evident, why has the left insisted on expanding the government, the perpetrator of every health care woe in America? Sadly, they do not believe in freedom or the sovereignty of the individual. They want to force you into “prevention” because they don’t trust you to do so yourself. They must cut costs because they demand that you foot the bill for other people’s failures. They further constrict the private sector because they see an opportunity to rob you of your greatest and most sacred liberty: your life. The government seeks to control your body and divest all private health choices from you and your doctor; it wishes to determine how and when you live or die. If the left is claiming their health care legislation is anything but tyranny, they are simply lying.
While Democrats in the District of Columbia try to deceive Americans using such marketing terms as the public ‘option’, they are preventing hundreds of companies from competing in the health insurance marketplace and are leaving us with a monolithic bureaucratic agency that will remove choice and ignore the volition of our citizens.
As a small business owner in Tennessee recently wrote, the government is preventing him from providing affordable health insurance to his employees.
As a small-business owner, I know firsthand the difficulty of providing health insurance. I also know that too much government is one reason health coverage isn’t more affordable already. You do not tear down your house and replace it with government housing just to fix a leaky roof. You fix the roof.
There are many ways to “fix the roof” of our health-care system without burdening future generations with another $1 trillion in debt and creating new bureaucracies to control and ration health care. Unfortunately, Obama’s plan does not include two simple reforms that would help immediately: interstate competition and encouraging high-deductible plans with health savings accounts.
In 1990, we started our first bicycle store. We now have three stores in the Nashville area. For years, we wanted to offer a health plan to our employees, but it was too expensive. I heard the same lament from bicycle dealers nationwide while serving as president of the National Bicycle Dealers Association a few years ago — they wanted to provide health plans but could not afford to. Dealers often asked if the association could offer an affordable plan for the many thousands of employees of the more than 4,000 bicycle dealers across America.
Through enforcement of the true meaning of the Commerce Clause by allowing interstate competition, the number of health care choices in Nashville would expand from 3 to over 1,000. Unlike the fake reforms in the currently proposed plan, this simple measure would actually increase choice 300 times over. On the other hand, the fact that it would not cost anything means that it would not benefit any of the Democrats’ special interest groups and thus receives little interest.
Although more than 1,000 companies sell health insurance in America, we only had three to choose from because of the lack of interstate competition. I have no doubt our premiums would be even lower if all 1,000 companies had competed for our business. Unfortunately HR 3200 does not allow interstate competition, and it effectively eliminates health savings accounts. Small businesses create most of the jobs in America.
These reforms would help them offer affordable insurance coverage to their employees — without exploding the national debt or putting government in charge of your health care.
If Democrats were sincerely concerned about reducing health care costs, they would tackle the taboo topic of tort reform. However, as a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee stated, ‘The reason that tort reform is not in the bill is because the people who wrote it did not want to take on the trial lawyers.’
Eliminating defensive medicine could save upwards of $200 billion in health-care costs annually, according to estimates by the American Medical Association and others. The cure is a reliable medical malpractice system that patients, doctors and the general public can trust.
But this is the one reform Washington will not seriously consider. That’s because the trial lawyers, among the largest contributors to the Democratic Party, thrive on the unreliable justice system we have now.
Almost all the other groups with a stake in health reform—including patient safety experts, physicians, the AARP, the Chamber of Commerce, schools of public health—support pilot projects such as special health courts that would move beyond today’s hyper-adversarial malpractice lawsuit system to a court that would quickly and reliably distinguish between good and bad care. The support for some kind of reform reflects a growing awareness among these groups that managing health care sensibly, including containing costs, is almost impossible when doctors go through the day thinking about how to protect themselves from lawsuits.
Fascist Democrats unsatisfied with merely the higher taxes and dollar devaluation which will come from this $1 trillion giveaway are planning to force Americans to purchase a $10,000 government sponsored insurance plan under the penalty of a fine up to $1,900, which could result in jail time if unpaid.
Let’s say you decide not purchase health insurance. Could you go to jail? Well, the way the Senate Finance Committee bill is set up now there would be a $1,900 fine if you didn’t buy health insurance. But what if you didn’t pay the fine? You may be looking at the following scenario below:
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has called the measure ‘an unprecedented form of federal action’.
Under questioning last week, Tom Barthold, the chief of staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation, admitted that the individual mandate would become a part of the Internal Revenue Code and that failing to comply “could be criminal, yes, if it were considered an attempt to defraud.” Mr. Barthold noted in a follow-up letter that the willful failure to file would be a simple misdemeanor, punishable by the $25,000 fine or jail time under Section 7203.
So failure to pay the mandate would be enforced like tax evasion, but Mr. Obama still claims it isn’t a tax. “You can’t just make up that language and decide that that’s called a tax increase,” Mr. Obama insisted last week to ABC interviewer George Stephanopoulos. Accusing critics of dishonesty is becoming this President’s default argument, but is Mr. Barthold also part of the plot?
In the 1994 health-care debate, the Congressional Budget Office called the individual mandate “an unprecedented form of federal action.” This is because “The government has never required people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States.”
Roger Pilon – CATO
The lack of choice resulting from the proposed socialist health reforms will not be limited to insurance. The next step will be to force citizens to take the health remedies decided by the government. This week in New York, health care workers protested regulations which would force them to take swine flu shots.
The rally is intended to call for “freedom of choice in vaccination and health care” and to protest mandatory vaccination for influenza and the H1N1 swine flu. “This vaccine has not been clinically tested to the same degree as the regular flu vaccine,” Tara Accavallo, a registered nurse on Long Island, told Newsday. “If something happens to me, if I get seriously injured from this vaccine, who’s going to help me?”
While physicians, nurses, and medical technicians may not be known for their willingness to march on state capitols, a recent New York Department of Health requirement has sparked an unusually intense response. The August 13 regulations (pdf) say that all health care workers who “could potentially expose patients” must be vaccinated for influenza by November 30 unless it would be “detrimental” to the recipient’s health.
The health care workers are justified in their concern. A group of Canadian studies involving 2,000 people have found that the seasonal flu shot actually makes people twice as likelyto get swine flu.
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