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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Today in Washington D. C. - June 11, 2009 - Government Run Health Care

Yesterday, the Senate voted 67-30 to invoke cloture on FDA tobacco regulation bill, H.R. 1256 and will vote this afternoon on the bill.

Government Run Health Care: The first cracks in the dam holding back opposition to Democrats’ plans for a government-run health plan are becoming apparent today, and Democrats are showing signs of panic.

The New York Times reports, “[T]he American Medical Association is letting Congress know that it will oppose creation of a government-sponsored insurance plan, which President Obama and many other Democrats see as an essential element of legislation to remake the health care system.” Yesterday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, “the world’s largest business federation,” and the National Federation of Independent Business, “the nation’s leading small business association,” both released statements announcing their opposition to “an intrusive government-run program that doesn’t compete fairly with the private market,” as the NFIB described it. The Chamber added, “The creation of a government public plan option would inevitably result in a government-run health care system.”

These developments have apparently not been lost on nervous Democrats on both sides of the debate. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), who is writing one of the Democrats’ health care proposals and supports a government-run health plan, actually dispatched aides to warn lobbyists for groups concerned with health care reform not to meet with Republicans. According to Roll Call a Democratic lobbyist who attended the meeting [with Baucus staffers] was told, “Republicans are having this meeting and you need to let all of your clients know if they have someone there, that will be viewed as a hostile act." Roll Call notes, “[T]he underlying motivation for the get-together [with Republicans] is to encourage health care lobbyists and stakeholders concerned about the Democrats’ health care reform plans to speak out publicly.” But “with Baucus’ office still warning dissenters that anyone who makes their opposition public could be permanently excluded from future negotiations, the groups representing businesses, health care providers, hospitals and similar stakeholders are still wavering on whether to voice their concerns publicly.”

Meanwhile, Politico reports that liberal groups are turning their fire on Democrat senators expressing skepticism about or outright opposition to a government-run health plan. “When Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) called the public plan a deal breaker, a progressive group co-founded by Joe Trippi launched a campaign in Nebraska accusing the senator of being a ‘sellout’ for special interests,” Politico writes. “Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) is the next target. On Tuesday, she said she opposed the public plan. By Wednesday, the liberal Health Care for America Now was drawing up a plan to change her mind. . . . Interest groups are closely watching Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware, and Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor of Arkansas” as well as Sens. Evan Bayh (D-IN) and Jon Tester (D-MT). Nelson told Politico, “Those people who are out there attacking us are using the whack-a-mole approach – anyone who sticks their head up and says, ‘I won't be supporting a single payer plan,’ they whack.”

Clearly, the more key groups that will be affected by government-run health care understand the proposals coming from Democrats and the president, the more they oppose those plans. Americans should study them and understand the dangers. The Heritage Foundation has summarize this issue on a special Fix Health Care Policy website:
The Problem: There is little disagreement that the current health care system needs an overhaul. Today, health care costs continue to rise while people have fewer choices and are less secure that the coverage they have today will be there tomorrow.

However, President Obama and leaders in the Congress think the solution is to expand government’s control over health care. Proposals like a new public plan, a federal exchange and health board, and even mandates on employers and individuals to offer or buy government-approved package of benefits, are all intended to give more power to Washington over the financing and delivery of health care.

The end result could jeopardize the private coverage Americans have today, limit their health care choices, and cost taxpayers more.

The Solution: Instead of a putting Washington in control over personal health care decisions, individuals and families should be the key decision makers in their health care.

Proposals that give fair and equal tax treatment for those who buy health coverage on their own, encourage states to develop solutions that will give individuals direct control of the flow of health care dollars, and finance reform by restructuring existing spending, not more spending, are key steps to solving America’s health care problems.

Such a system would promote personal ownership; give Americans more health choices, and force health plans and providers to compete directly for their dollars. The end result would lower costs and guarantee better quality.
On June 9th, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Bob Moffit, director of Heritage’s Center for Health Policy Studies, spoke to more than 1,300 concerned citizens about the future of health care in America. Click to listen to a recording of the teleconference.

Tags: FDA, health care, Max Baucus, nationalized health care, Paul Ryan, The Heritage Foundation, tobacco products, US Congress, US House, US Senate, Washington D.C. To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 10:25 AM - Post Link


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