Earlier this week, the warning signs were clear to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid (perhaps made clearer after a visit to the White House): the liberal dream of a government health care takeover was headed down the same path trod by the Clinton Administration some 15 years earlier — skyrocketing cost projections in the trillions of dollars, talk of an ever-expanding government bureaucracy, and plummeting support from the American public as the details began to trickle out.
Fearing that the more the American public learns about the impact of a government-run health care program, the more they would oppose it, liberals in Congress decided they had to overpower the efforts of conservative groups and members of Congress who have worked to expose the truth about government-run health care: Americans don’t want an overhaul of the system, they just want lower costs.
So, in a fit of desperation, Congressional liberals hit the panic button and launched a wild bid to ramrod a massive, government-run health care program through both the House and Senate. The House bill is over 1,000 pages, and the Kennedy bill, passed by a straight party-line vote out of the HELP Committee, is just as ominous. Both are loaded with tax increases on millions of Americans, both add trillions more to the deficit, both require significant state spending increases for Medicaid (which most states can’t afford now), and, worst of all, both trample patients’ rights.
Poll after poll shows that the American people do not support a government-run health care system because they know it will increase costs, ruin American businesses, reduce the quality of care, and ration needed treatments. To try and push such a plan through in a state of panic, or worse, only to salvage a political agenda, is not only irresponsible, it is a disservice to the American people who will bear the pain and burden of any radical overhaul. And for what? All so liberals can check a box and say, “Look! We got that done for you,” while simultaneously washing their hands of the damaging impact this will have on our economy through higher taxes, business mandates, and an ever-growing government deficit.
While the liberals panic, conservatives must recognize that this is an opportunity for more reasonable minds to prevail. America needs to take a good, long look at exactly what this plan entails, keeping in mind that the Medicare program, another form of government-run health care, is already insolvent and will cost many trillions more to fix. A more vigorous debate should continue and should focus on what is really needed to reform health care — lower costs. True reforms rooted in choice, competition, responsibility and accountability can achieve that goal without a massive government takeover, billions in new taxes, and trillions in new spending.
We all want reform that will lower costs, increase access and allow us to be in charge of our health care decisions, rather than what Congress has proposed in these bills: bureaucrats in Washington making our health care decisions for us. The American people have made it consistently clear that they do not support government run health care. It is time for Congress to listen to the American people and provide real reform that is good for patients — not a government run program that the American people know will trample on patients’ rights.
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