If Democrats really cared about health care we wouldn’t be talking about the 9,000 pages (give or take) of taxes, fees, mandates, fines and entitlements contained in their three health care packages. It’s insane. They aren’t looking to improve health care in America, they’re looking to expand the nanny state to the point where they fundamentally and permanently transform the relationship between the people and the government. If this was purely about health care, why would they have plugged nationalization of the student loan industry into the reconciliation bill?
Rep. Paul Ryan addressed the problems with ObamaCare in an op-ed in the Washington Post. He also addressed the unfathomable methods they’re employing to ram it through.
Despite claims of transparency and calls for a “simple up-or-down vote,” there is nothing simple about this process. This convoluted legislative charade demonstrates how far the Democratic majority has wandered from real health-care reform and cost control, employing any means to achieve political victory.
Through any analytical lens, the legislation will not address the central problem of skyrocketing health-care costs. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that families’ premiums could rise 10 to 13 percent; private-sector actuarial estimates top these already high numbers. The higher costs are driven by federalizing the regulation of insurance, narrowing consumers’ options and reducing competition among providers. The health-care market would be dominated by government programs and the largest insurance companies, operating as de facto government utilities.
We already can’t pay for the existing entitlements of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. We’re in a recession which has been prolonged thanks to the actions of the government. The last thing we need is to penalize employers. That move will likely lead to higher unemployment.
Despite claims to the contrary, Ryan and his Republican colleagues have put forth quite a few proposals addressing health care cost containment.
The Patients’ Choice Act takes on the discriminatory and inflationary tax exclusion, delinking the tax benefit from employers and attaching it to individuals through universal tax credits. The tax exclusion for employer-provided health coverage subsidizes insurance instead of health care, hides the true cost of coverage and disproportionately favors the wealthy at the expense of the self-employed, the unemployed and small businesses. Health-care economists across the political spectrum and reform-minded Democrats such as Sen. Ron Wyden identify the backward tax treatment of health care as a problem that must be addressed.
The Patients’ Choice Act includes additional reforms — such as an emphasis on preventive care, medical malpractice reform and interstate shopping — that could be advanced one at a time in a bipartisan fashion to fix what’s broken in health care without breaking what is working.
This year I re-introduced my own proposals to tackle our entitlement crisis head-on. My plan, “A Roadmap for America’s Future,” fulfills the mission of health and retirement security, lifts our crushing burden of debt, and spurs economic growth and job creation. In stark contrast to the vision being pushed by the majority in Congress, my plan unapologetically seeks to apply our nation’s timeless principles — our Founders’ commitment to individual liberty, limited government and free enterprise — to today’s challenges. It does so in a way that honors our historic commitment to strengthening the social safety net for those who need it most.
But the Democrats will just have you believe that Republicans want Americans to die in the street due to lack of health insurance. It’s a lie. You may or may not agree with all of the GOP proposals, but why weren’t they even considered or debated?
The government created the problem of having health insurance tied to employers. And we’re supposed to trust that having our health insurance tied to government is going to be an improvement. Really?